Back in 2008 an announcement was made which led to rise in anticipation to witness the epic tale of Ramayana in its yet another rendition form. Produced by Contiloe Pictures, the animated feature film Mahayoddha Rama which was set to be released in 2008 was unheard for several years, until now.
Today,Contiloe Pictures unveiled the official trailer of Mahayoddha Rama along with music track “Ram Laala Pyaare Hain”. Produced by Contiloe Pictures CEO Abhimanyu Singh, directed by Raizada Rohit Jaising Vaid, the CG production for the Mahayoddha Rama (3D, 108 minutes) was earlier being carried out by Pixion studios which was also the associate producer of the film. However, due to some unknown reasons, the deal was cancelled three years back and the movie was later worked upon by Illusions Studio with creative director Deepak S.V.
Contiloe Pictures, CEO, Abhimanyu Singh says, “The film has had close to nearly three hundred animators working on it. According to me it’s going to be the biggest animation film out of India.” Keeping the budget of the film under wraps, Singh mentions, “I will not disclose the amount, if I disclose the amount, then people will think that it’s an idiotic thing to invest so much.”
In an earlier interaction with AnimationXpress he had mentioned that it’s going to be more expensive than Roadside Romeo. (Roadside Romeo had a budget of Rs 110 million)
The story is depicted from Raavan’s point of view which will leave you perplexed with dasmukha’s talking to each other. Bollywood actors have lend their voice to this animation feature wherein Gulshan Grover can be heard as Raavan’s voice. Since Raavan has 10 heads, all heads have been voiced by different actors with Grover voicing the central head. Other actors are Kunal Kapoor as Ram, Jimmy Shergil as Laxman and Samira Reddy as Sita.
This isn’t the first time that an animated film based on Ramayana would be released. Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama which released back in 1992 is one of the most recognised film from the lot. So, how different would this film be? “The story remains the same, but the storytelling is completely different. So when you watch it, you will see Ramayana from a fresh perspective.”
Commenting on his venture into animation space, Singh adds, “Animation in India is considered as cartoons. However, animation is a great tool and grammar to tell stories. The biggest one is Snow White which became the biggest blockbuster in Hollywood in the 40s ever. We are trying to the change the perception that animation is specifically for kids. We’re not boasting about the fact that this is going to be the fantastic, unbelievable animation film. What we are saying is the animation would be extremely good and the storytelling will not make it childish. Both children and adults would enjoy it. There are many small underlying messages throughout the film.”
When asked why not create an original animated film, Singh tells that India is still a recent market, so it’s difficult to break the perception of the Indian audience that animated films are not just ‘cartoons’. “Since it’s Ramayana and animation, at least we have an audience that would really want to see it because it is in this genre. Now, if it is good and refreshing and there is a new tick to it, then all the Ramayana watchers would want to go and watch it.”
Javed Akhtar has penned the lyrics and music in this movie is the last stint of the legendary music director Aadesh Srivastava. “It’s a full fledged proper animated feature, it’s not a cartoon film, it’s not a franchise that we are making into cartoon, it’s a proper animated feature, the way it’s told as of 112 minutes, you can actually make it into a play also, like you have Broadway plays,” boasts Singh.
Singh says, “First we will be releasing the movie in India and then we will see how the organic growth happens and the we’re going to release it elsewhere.” Zee Music comes in as the music partner, Nucleus doing the PR activity and the promo play and placements are being handled by Contiloe Pictures. The broadcast rights have been sold out to Viacom 18, so it will be showcased on television and OTT platform – VOOT post the film’s release.
The distributor of the film is yet to be announced and so is the release date of the film. When asked Singh about the release, he says, “It’s happening in the festive season and we are conforming the date, but it will be in October.” However, on the Facebook page of the movie – Mahayoddha Rama, it’s been announced that it will release on 14 October, 2016. If this is the case then the release of the film would clash with yet another animated movie – Viacom 18’s Motu Patlu: King of Kings which is set to hit the theatres on the same date.
The month of October would witness three major Bollywood releases: Mirzya (7 October), Shivaay and Aa Dil Hai Mushkil (28 October). So to avoid any clashes with these three films, the filmmakers are left with 14 and 21 October. And if Mahayoddha Rama hits the screen on 14 October, it would be interesting to see which movie manages to win audience’s heart over as one is banking on its franchise (Motu Patlu) while the other on the mythological and festive aspect.