Almost every person’s childhood memories are possibly inseparable from the word Mahabharat. Whether it be in the form of television or stories from our parents, the story transcends boundaries of race, religion and time.
Now, this ageless story will transcend all boundaries yet again. This time it is on the big screen. Within the last few months, there have been not one or two but three hopes of the adaptation of the epic on screen.
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And if you are a Baahubali fan, you will know which one to choose to watch.
The Director of Baahubali and its soon-to-be-released sequel has made the first claim to directing a Mahabharat adaptation. This was in early January of this year. SS Rajamouli, who is no stranger to films of large scale productions is anxious about converting the project into reality. He has in fact recently revealed to media houses that he has held talks with Amir Khan on this pretext.
Speaking of the Khans, the King Khan of Bollywood – Shahrukh Khan himself has also expressed his long cherished dream of a film based on the epic. He has gone on record to say that the ‘dream film’ is to be as large (or perhaps larger than) Bahubali. But the investment required to produce stunning visuals and VFX would only be possible in collaboration with foreign investors in SRK’s opinion.
This is where the third prospective project-in-the-making of the Mahabharat beats the rest of them.
B.R. Shetty, an Indian billionaire based in UAE has reportedly invested a thousand crore rupees (1,000 crore INR) for the creation of a Mahabharat film. It is to be directed by ad filmmaker V.A. Shri Kumara Menon. The story of the film is an adaptation of M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s Jnanpeeth Award winning novel, “Randamoozham”. The novel narrates the Mahabharata story through the perspective of Bhima.
Shetty, who is the Chairman of UAE Exchange and NME Healthcare, also plans on having a team comprising people from among Hollywood’s finest. The film will be made in two parts with one part releasing about 90 days after the other. It will be shot in English, Tamil, Hindi, Telegu and other languages. It will also be dubbed into many more languages.
Although films based on the epic have been made as early as 1989 to 2013 as well in 2015, this is the highest ever invested in any Bollywood movie. The central role of Bhima is to be played by famed Southern actor Mohanlal as was recently announced. The respected actor’s previous films include hits like Oppam and Vismayam.
It seems now that the audience will be spoilt for choice on an ‘epic’ scale.