Nitesh Tiwari's Ramayana adaptation will be a trilogy; Director says adapting epic for screen is a 'massive responsibility'
Nitesh Tiwari's last release was the student drama Chhichhore, starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Shraddha Kapoor.
After delivering two blockbusters, Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal and the recently released Chhichhore, director Nitesh Tiwari has solidified his position as one of Bollywood's most promising directors. His next will be a cinematic adaptation of the Hindu epic, Ramayana.
At India Film Project in Mumbai, Tiwari spoke about Chhichhore being "the most profitable film of the year." He said, "I don't know the numbers for profitability but as you know I only measure it in terms of love. So yes I would like to be called 'the most loved movie of the year' so far."
Both his films balanced sentimentality with humour, which Tiwari said is necessary to make a film entertaining. "As a creator, I strongly believe that people primarily come to consume cinema for entertainment. So even if you have something which has shades of getting serious, but I try to do present it in a lighter manner, so that, the core purpose of people come into the theatre is served. And we should not forget that you are making the movie for the audience," he explained.
Meanwhile, he is currently in the process of developing Ramayana, which will be a trilogy. The director shared the pressure he is under to adapt the mythological tale as he has to be mindful of all sentiments attached to it.
"It's a massive responsibility, so we will behave in the most responsible manner, you know, yes, there are a lot of sentiments which are involved around Ramayana and all the sentiments should be will be kept in mind." He added, "The only pressure I would like to take is the kind of expectations people have of me and to be able to live up to those expectations. Box office numbers are not in my mind."
Tiwari never thought of adapting Ramayana until he was offered the film. He admitted that it took him a while to decide whether he wanted to take up the project.
"I really thought about it very seriously, only when it came to me. I had never planned very in advance that I wanted to make Ramayana. But when the project came to me is when I started evaluating, and it, makes you think, would you be able to do justice to what you are being asked to do? And it takes a lot of time to conclude that yes, you know, this is what I would want to do next," he shared.
Tiwari does not want to leave any room for error in his execution of Ramayana onscreen. Besides referring to different versions of the epic, the team is being helped by a group of scholars in the story's development.
"Of course I’m relying on the literature, there are so many things written about Ramayana in this country. We will take whatever meets the most common sensibilities of the country, but the renditions are different. So yes, you know, episodes are different in different books, but at the end of the day we have a lot of scholars also who are helping us and so that we will just make sure that everything we are doing is just the right way. Or at least it's widely accepted in the norms. It’s a very touchy thing," Tiwari asserted.
The director said he wanted to be prepared with the film's concept before he even decides on a cast. Ramayana is expected to go on floors next year and release in 2021.
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