Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
It must take a lot of talent to take one of the greatest stories ever told and turn it into a mediocre, boring tale that makes you yearn for Ramanand Sagar to make a comeback with his serialised ‘Ramayana’.
Chetan Desai’s “Ramayana – The Epic”, an animated version, tells you nothing new but manages to make one of Hinduism’s most revered epics and its characters tacky, B-grade Bollywood extras who uses phrases like “marvayega tu” and sing rap songs in the middle of a jungle before going out to fight against Ravana.
I am all for retelling a story but I am afraid Desai goes about this ‘Ramayana’ with the attitude of a bull in a china shop. He glosses over the childhood years of Rama, deals with his wedding and exile in a half-hour and then moves on to the action — namely, his fight against Ravana.
Important plot points are explained away by a two-line narration and the dialogues, particularly, are amateurishly written. This is certainly not how Hindi was spoken hundreds of years ago.
This has got to be one of the most difficult reviews I have ever written. All I have done so far is stare at a blank word document for more than 15 minutes. Words fail me, but I will have to do it, because I will not allow those three hours of my life to be in vain.
Perhaps I am being a little overdramatic here, but this drama is nothing compared to the extremely loud, jingoistic and nauseating drama that Anil Sharma’s “Veer” indulges in, so kindly bear with me.