Mohanlal's Rs 1,000-crore Mahabharata project will be called Randamoozham after threats from right-wing group
Ever since the screen adaptation of MT Vasudevan Nair's book Randamoozham was announced, it's been in the news for a variety of reasons.
The biggest among these is is massive budget — an unprecedented Rs 1,000 crore.
Its star cast — which is expected to bring together superstars from across Indian cinema, with Mohanlal — is another reason.
And the third, is the film's title.
The project has been widely referred to as the '1000-crore Mahabharata' or 'Mohanlal's Mahabharata' in the press, and it was this that roused the ire of some right-wing activists.
As reported earlier, the film ran into trouble with members of the Hindu Aikya Vedi, who said the title should be Randamoozham, just like the book on which it is based. Hindu Aikya Vedi president KP Sasikala said on 22 May 2017 that the group would not allow the release of the film, if it was called Mahabharata. She said they could use Mahabharata in the title only if the film was based on Ved Vyas' epic. However, if it was based on MT Vasudevan Nair's book, "shouldn't one be wary of having the epic's name for Randamoozham?" Sasikala said.
Randamoozham narrates the epic through the eyes of Bhima. Mohanlal plays Bhima in the film.
The row triggered a discussion on the Mahabharata, and whether Ved Vyas' text could be considered the only true telling of the epic.
Whether it is in response to the controversy, or out of choice, the producers of the film have now confirmed that it will in fact, be titled Randamoozham.
The Deccan Chronicle reported producer BR Shetty as saying the shoot of Randamoozham would begin in May 2018 in Dubai, and that elaborate sets would be constructed there. One of the sets is that of a lush forest, Shetty revealed.
The film is being directed by VA Sreekumar Menon, and like SS Rajamouli's Baahubali, will be made in two parts. It is expected to have a 2020 release date.