Watch the trailer if you don't believe me.
... But their (Rohit Vaid and Abhimanyu Singh, of Contiloe Pictures) enthusiasm, love, and passion for the project hooked me. I signed on, despite myself. Surprising myself, my family, friends. And so Mahayoddha Rama was born, an animated film for viewers of all ages (it’s not just for kids, trust me) that aspired to match the quality of any international animated film, while aiming for a photo-realistic 3D animation style that hasn’t even been attempted yet here let alone achieved, and overall storytelling and production qualities that would make all of us proud–would make every Indian proud, in fact.
The script was gruelling. Yes, the film was based on the Ramayana of Valmiki. (Not on my Ramayana books–those are being adapted separately to live-action films by a Hollywood studio.)
... What we were trying was to reinvent the Ramayana for Indian filmgoing audiences, through the grammar of all-ages animation. Now that may seem simple at first, but it’s not. For one thing, there’s never been an Indian animation film that truly uses the grammar of animation. Sure, there have been the Hanumans and Bal Ganeshs, and the like, and they may even have done reasonably well, but they’ve essentially been compromises between low budgets and a dearth of creative courage.
Our attempt was much bolder: It was to create a film experience that wouldn’t simply retell Ramayana, but would reinvent it for a new generation.
Ashok Banker is a perfect example of how pure passion for a subject can show in amazing (literary) accomplishments and suddenly the world is a better place. At least, I am grateful to him for making Ramayana approachable, captivating and delightful to novel-readers like me. And now they're bringing the Ramayana to audiences of this generation in a movie format. That is terrific news.
I hope I can stop being envious about Lord of The Rings. I hope we can claim that we too have our own amazing depictions of our traditional stories. And yes, the movie is in Hindi and is meant for an Indian audience.
After watching the trailer, I think it's true that Indian animators can rock.
The movie is scheduled to be released nationwide in October-November 2008. Looking forward to it!
P.S. How can one resist such a movie if Gulshan Grover is the voice of Ravana and Sameera Reddy is the voice of Sita?