Ramyug doesn't live up to the mark, feels Prateek Sur.
You may wonder why a show based on the epic Ramayana is returning on screens.
Is it because the makers wanted to benefit from the fact that everyone loved the re-runs last year of Ramayan and Mahabharat from the late 1980?
Is Director Kunal Kohli, who is trying to make a comeback of sorts, trying to take this quick shortcut?
Or is he trying to comment on the political situation in the country?
Well, whatever the case is, Ramyug doesn't live up to the mark.
Apart from Diganth Manchale, who plays Ram, there is not a single character in the show who demands your attention.
Diganth's deep baritone makes his character likable.
Akshay Dogra as Laxman is hot-headed, but the characterisation is naïve.
I can't understand what the continuity assistant director was doing in terms of the beard the two men have on show. In one scene they are shown with beards, the very next scene they are clean-shaven!
And then suddenly, when they are in the jungle, the two men are seen having a properly clean-shaven look. Even when they are in beards, they have awesomely trimmed stubbles. From where were they getting the razors in the middle of a forest?
Debutante Aishwarya Ojha as Sita is way off when it comes to the dialect.
In the later episodes, she somewhat rectifies it.
Funnily, she barely has scenes in this eight-episodic show, which focuses on Ram-Laxman.
Stalwart actors like Anuup Sonii, Dalip Tahil, Shishir Sharma, and Tisca Chopra have been totally wasted in two-minute scenes.
The biggest letdown is Kabir Singh Duhan as Raavan. He has the perfect physicality and the grim-bearded look to carry off the character and yet, he manages to make a mockery of the character.
The way his character is shown is fantastic.
It is a unique approach to show all 10 heads of Raavan discussing important issues, and it is more like the way an M Night Shyamalan movie would show characters with multiple personality disorders. That's a brilliant move.
Kamlesh Pandey's writing and Kunal Kohli's direction are the biggest shortcomings of the show.
When you are making fantasy fiction, it's okay to take cinematic liberties.
But when you are making an epic like the Ramayan, the story of which audiences know, you are not allowed to change historical events.
There are loads of such instances spread across the show.
For example, the main people behind making the Ram Setu, Nal and Neel, were not mentioned at all.
The fact that King Dashrath had three wives was never shown. Only two wives are shown, as they were necessary to this plot, and the third wife doesn't even get a mention.
The fourth brother, Shatrughan, doesn't have a single dialogue in the entire show.
Raavan says he has an army of billions, but we never see it.
I could go on and on about the shortcomings.
Yes, you have got Amitabh Bachchan to sing and chant the Hanuman Chalisa for the show, but does that mean that you will use that at every instance when Hanuman is shown flying off to the clouds?
The portrayal of the mighty Mahabir is also very pale by Vivan Bhatena, who uses just his chiseled body to do the talking.
The Ramayan cannot be abridged into an eight-episode show but even if you tried to do so, one must not show historical inaccuracies.
I cannot believe that Ramyug is made by the same director who made films like Hum Tum and Fanaa. Ramyug seems to be a pale attempt at reviving a dying career.