Filmmaker Om Raut’s Adipurush has been one of the keenly-awaited films ever since it was announced more than a couple of years back. The filmmaker’s Hindi debut Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, his previous effort, had become a runaway hit at the box office, so there was anticipation on what he would offer next.
Apart from the cast of Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan and Kriti Sanon, the major reason why Adipurush made heads turn was because of its adaptation from the great Indian epic Ramayana.
But the reaction to the long-awaited teaser finally released more than a week back would have taken the team of Adipurush by a rude surprise. The initial footage has been panned on social media for more than one reason.
Firstly, the VFX has been criticized as the visuals didn’t impress the viewers. But more than that, the look of Saif Ali Khan’s character of Raavan has been literally lambasted for it doesn’t match with what people imagine the character to be.
Not just that, the looks of Prabhas and Devdatta Nage, who play Lord Ram and Hanuman, along with the depiction of the Vaanar Sena have also come under criticism.
It was gradually realized that the teaser has given rise to opposite political reactions.
Om Raut started off his career with the Marathi movie Lokmanya: Ek Yugpurush in 2015. Apart from narrating the life story of Bal Gangadhar Tilak aka Lokmanya Tilak, the film also gave special footage to the protagonist’s efforts in writing Gita Rahasya, his own interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita.
His next Tanhaji, his debut in Hindi, was about the achievement of the Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare.
In other words, both the films were appreciated by the Indian Right Wing. Of course, the movies weren’t aimed at them specifically but their subjects were such that they naturally found takers in people from that particular political side.
The announcement of Adipurush naturally excited the Right Wingers since the film is based on Lord Ram. Plus, Raut’s social media posts are also appreciated by them, especially the ones about the upcoming Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Another reason for the excitement for Adipurush for them was the casting of Prabhas as Ram. The actor has formed a fan base among the Right Wingers after the mammoth success of both the Baahubali movies. The films are considered pro-Hindu because of their content, although they were appreciated with people across political opinions.
Unfortunately for the makers, it is the Right Wingers who have been offended the most by the teaser of Adipurush. Although Prabhas is facing criticisms for his look as Ram, it is the portrayal of Saif that is receiving the maximum flak for him allegedly looking as a Mughal ruler or Alauddin Khilji. Despite being evil, Raavan was a learned scholar and, as per the reactions, Saif isn’t appearing like one in this get-up.
But that’s not all. Quite a few ‘pro-Hindu’ groups have started protesting and calling for a ban on the movie. The teaser has also triggered one such group to demand ‘Sanatani Censor Board’ to ensure that Hindu gods aren’t portrayed in a ‘derogatory’ manner in movies. A few BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leaders too have slammed the teaser. Right Wingers on social media have also been trending boycott against the movie.
The film’s teaser was launched at a grand event in Ayodhya, where the much talked-about Ram Temple is being constructed currently. Ironically, the chief priest of the same temple has demanded a ban on the film.
On the other hand, the liberal crowd or those against the Right Wing have been providing full support to Adipurush since they believe there should be freedom of expression for the makers to portray any character the way they want. Their main argument is that nobody knows how the characters present in the Ramayana looked in real.
Before the teaser came out, not many would have expected a pro-Hindu movie made by pro-Hindu stars to be slammed by the Right Wing and supported by those having an opposite political view. The moral of the story is that trying to please people of any political ideology can backfire.
We can just wait and watch what happens when the full trailer of Adipurush is released.