Ram Navami 2017: How the epic story of Ramayana has been portrayed in different films

The epic Ramayana has been told and retold through centuries in numerous forms. Storytellers have captured the story of the valor of Ram in different forms, like poetry and dramatic narratives.

On Ram Navami 2017, here is a look at some of the most interesting interpretations of the classic to celebrate the birth of Ram:

Sita Sings The Blues

Artist Nina Paley visualised Sita as a jazz singer who crooned about her problems of being in love. Paley entwines two tales in the hand-drawn animated film: Sita's historical tale of love and loss, a more contemporary version of the Sita's story.

A large part of the film is a musical set to 1930s jazz singer Annette Hanshaw's numbers and the film features three Indonesian shadow puppets that serve as narrators who give the audience a very critical commentary on Rama's treatment of Sita.

Since Nina Paley doesn't believe in copyrights, the whole film is available to watch online:

Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama

Here's a different sort of animated film about the Ramayana. Japanese animation master Yugo Sako collaborated with Ram Mohan for this Japanese anime style film.

The film perfectly combines the visual flair of Japanese anime with Indian art forms, resulting in a spectacular epic of battles scenes, superhuman feats and magical weaponry that remains faithful to Valmiki's original.

Sako's film remains close to the original epic and helps establish Ram as a pop culture icon and yet like the brilliance of all anime, it stays true to its source material and stays true to the direction set by the moral compass of Ramayana.

This is also the film that inspired Batman Vs Superman and now Justice League helmer Zack Synder to make films like 300.

Here's the trailer:

Opera Jawa

Garin Nugroho's version or Ramayana is a still more sympathetic to Ravana. A wealthy man is besotted by Ram (Setio) wife and abducts her. When Setio and his gang get her back, they test her by making her go through a trial by fire, which is interpreted as a murder.

This Indonesian musical also uses Javanese songs, wayang puppet theater, gamelan music and Mozart, to portray the abduction of Sita.

Here's the trailer:

Sabil Alun

The Assamese film brings forth the oral tradition of the Ramayana from the animistic tribal society of the Karbis of Assam. Altaf Mazid gets performers to sing and enact episodes from the epic for the 52 minute documentary style film.

Here's the trailer:

Sampurna Ramayan

Image via Youtube.

Image via Youtube.

This version of Ramayana recounts the most famous version of events. This 1961 version was awash with memorable music. It starred Mahipal and Anita Guha as Rama and Sita.


Published Date: Apr 05, 2017 03:22 pm | Updated Date: Apr 05, 2017 03:34 pm