Every time you tell a story, you aim to express as well as impress. Maintaining the interest level of the audience is primary. And when you are going to express a tale which has been told over and over again since ages then definitely your focus shifts to making it interesting in any possible way.
Hailing from any race or any corner of the world, the mythological tale of Ramayana is not an alien concept. Hundreds of versions of Ramayana have been communicated in a thousand different ways with millions of alterations and twists. Both Performing and Literary arts have embraced this mythological drama of Valmiki for years due to its strong essence.
Conveying such a tale in the 21st century to a modern audience who are already well aware of the progression of the plot is undoubtedly a task. Contiloe Pictures took up this challenge with their animated feature film Mahayoddha Rama. It is fresh, different and has its own swag with a number of humorous punches and Bollywood style twists.
The second half of the film follows the regular story of Ramayana at a fast pace. But the first half is a unique visual experience in terms of the story, characterisation and design. Negativity captivates the mind more easily; Contiloe has triggered this psychological concept and thus worked profusely on the Ravana character. So, in this story of Good vs Evil, the evil power grabs your eyeballs with the reverberating powerful voice of Gulshan Grover.
The ten heads of Ravana (each having its own characteristics) indulge you in the evil character and you connect to it immediately. However, the protagonist Ram voiced by Kunal Kapoor has his own handsome personality. The blue skin hero has a new avatar armed with his typical bow and arrow and clothes that make his personality shine as a warrior prince.
The admirable character in the film is Sita with a distinct swag of possessing beauty with might. She has been projected as a princess/queen who does not require a Ram to protect her as she can defend herself on her own. The sacrificing brother Laxman is a character to look upon for he does everything and anything to help his brother. Unfortunately, the big bulky (Vanar) Hanuman is not that enchanting moreover, the important scene of him tearing apart his chest to reveal ‘Prabhu Ram Aur Sita Maiya’ is missing in the film. However, the battle of his “vanar sena ” sums up the entertainment for him.
The dialogues, progression of plot, design, costumes, environment, backgrounds, characters and script has a unique fresh approach. Just an example, we all expect Sita to be a subtle simple woman but in this film Sita is a warrior who is fabulous at martial arts. In fact, even Ram has a warrior personality as he loves to adventure since his childhood. The evil gang of Lanka has Bollywood vibes induced in them and this pinch of trendy tadka adds humour to the story.
Animation wise the movie has great detailing in every character. Ravana and his heads have been created with extreme detailing. Every head has a different expression at the same time to denote a unique emotion. Indrajit, son of Ravana, with his huge chain as his astra makes him look like a game character. And just one disappointing note, Ravana gets killed a bit easily or rather soon, it would have had been great if there could be more violence.
If we go with a mind full of the age old Ramayana that we have seen, then surely this Mahayoddha Rama will fill your mind with a fresh perspective and different approach towards the same story. Contiloe’s attempt of recreating the tale in a unique way to give the underlining message in an entertaining manner has proved successful. You will connect to this story without much of an effort. Some might feel that the essence of the animated Ramayana (1992) is lost.
Directed by Raizada Rohit Jaising Vaid and produced by Contiloe Pictures CEO Abhimanyu Singh, the CG production for the Mahayoddha Rama was worked upon by Illusions Studio with creative director Deepak S.V. It also includes the voices of Jimmy Shergil as Laxman, Samira Reddy as Sita, Mukesh Rishi as Hanuman with Zee music providing the engaging music. Mahayoddha Rama releases on 4 November, 2016.