Ramanand Sagar’s highly successful television series on the Indian epic Ramayan that used to air on Doordarshan is a benchmark of sorts in television history. And it is impossible to recreate the same magic on the small screen. However, Sagar Arts tried to make Ramayan yet again in the year 2008 for Imagine channel, which was accepted well by audience.
And now Moti Sagar Productions is bringing the mythological series back to your living rooms on Zee TV as well as on Doordarshan, and with it comes back the excitement of TV viewing on Sunday morning.
But will this new version of Ramayan appeal to the masses? Have we not got an overdose of the epic already?
Oh well, it is true that there has been an overdose of Ramayan as the epic with Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonerjee on Imagine is still fresh in our minds. Having said this, the plus point of Zee’s Ramayan lies in the fact that it is not offered to the viewers as part of the daily programming and instead it is slotted at the perfect family hour of 11am on Sunday.
So what’s new in this Moti Sagar Productions’ Ramayan? To start with, Ravindra Jain’s music has to be the biggest talking point. The ace music composer had scored brilliant music in the 1980’s for Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan for Doordarshan and the man is surely on the right path to recreating the magic all over again. The music whether it be the opening scene in Swarg Lok where Devi Prithvi comes with a plea to Lord Vishnu about the increasing atrocities of Ravan in the Prithvi Lok or the excitement in Ayodhya amongst the common man on the birth of Ram, Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughn were simply outstanding. The make-up team needs a big applause for their tremendous effort, and the best example of their costume finesse was seen in the look given to Lord Vishnu. The cinematography was also catchy, and the sets appealing. The visual effects were of the first grade, something that takes us back to the original Ramayan created in the 1980’s.
So what about the cast? Well, Rishabh Shukla as Raja Dasharath is a wonderful actor no doubt, but he looked jaded in few of the scenes. The man who is even today known for his role of King Shantanu in Mahabharat has to probably look better on screen. Shikha Swaroop’s comeback to television as Kaikeyi after playing the mighty Chandrakantha is a welcome move and she looked gorgeous in her role. Neelima Parandekar as Kaushalya was good. Sunita Rajwar as Manthra was impressive.
The best thing about the first episode was the pace at which the story was told. Story telling has the crisp feel and this will really pull the viewer to taking note of it.
We now get back to the main question whether viewers will warm up to watching Ramayan all over again…Well, Moti Sagar Productions might just pull off a winner here, as they seem all set to replicate the look and feel of the 1980’s Ramayan.
Having said this, let’s hope for the best.