First in the pipeline is the ambitious project of Mahabharata for the big screen
Be it Bollywood or the regional film industry, mythologies have always been an interesting category for filmmakers. However, due to certain limitations, mainstream cinema, especially Bollywood, has ceased to make mythological movies.
However, it looks like the success of the Baahubali franchise has given a new lease of life to mythologies and many filmmakers have announced projects in this category.
Two big-budget films promising a similar cinematic experience like that of SS Rajamouli’s work were announced last year.
First in the pipeline is the ambitious project of bringing the epic storyline of Mahabharata to the big screens for which southern superstar Mohanlal has already been roped in to play the central character of Bheem, who will narrate the period drama through his eyes.
Another important development for the magnum opus is that Karnataka-born Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, among the richest Indians in West Asia, will be investing Rs 1,000 crore.
Based on MT Vasudevan Nair’s book, the film will be released in English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. The mythological drama, which will be made in two parts, is slated for 2020 release.
The next big-ticket venture is Rs 500 crore-Ramayana for which three filmmakers have come together. Allu Aravind, Namit Malhotra and Madhu Mantena will work in tandem to bring this live action feature film to the theatres. It will be shot in 3D and released as a three-part series.
Along with this, director Imtiaz Ali has also announced a project based on the epic love story of Radha and Krishna. Kunal Kohli too had disclosed details of his next film, which will be a take on the Ramayana titled Ramyug.
Why has mythology been restricted to television and animation?
One of the major concerns while making a mythology film is the big budget as they tend to be expensive due to the set-up and visual effects. Also, the duration of the film can be another reason for not being viable. Hence, mythologies have been an area of interest for TV and animation films.
Ghatothkach: Master of Magic, Dashavatar, Arjun: The Warrior Prince, among others are films that are based on mythologies. Similarly, television draws many stories from the mythological space but it works for them as fresh faces can be cast without hampering the success of the shows.
On the other hand, films are a star-driven industry and roping in a star means shelling out too much.However, after Baahubali, filmmakers are more confident in investing big money in such subjects.