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Hindu epics Mahabharat, Ramayan at the peak

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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Hindu epics never had it so good. Some of our most powerful filmmakers are reinterpreting the classics. Though Mani Ratnam's plans to make the Mahabharat with producer Bobby Bedi are for now postponed, Raj Kumar Santoshi is going right with his Ramayan featuring Ajay Devgan, Kajol and Southern maverick Prakash Raj as Ram, Sita and Ravan. Salman Khan has been keen to play Rama for years in a home production. Far away, across the seven seas, enterprising producer Uru Patel is doing his own modern take on Hanuman.

And now comes the most interesting twist in the tale of the mythologicals. Aparna Sen has a dream project lined for impending realization. "I want to do my own version of the Ramayan as told from the point of view of Sita. I want to do it as a true international film in English. It needs international funding and whole lot of detailed production planning. But it's my one most cherished project."

Interestingly, while she is all set to film the Ramayan as seen through the eyes of Sita, Aparna Sen's favourite protege Rituparno Ghosh is all set to do an international version of the Mahabharat from Draupadi's point of view.

Ritu has already decided to cast Bipasha Basu as Draupadi. But he's willing to back off for Aparna's sake. "If she at any time feels my Draupadi would impinge on her Sita I'd happily put off my film. Reena-di (Aparna) has a superb script and she has been toying with the project for seven years."

Adds Bipasha, “I want to do Draupadi with him. I've grown up hearing the tales from the Mahabharat. Draupadi is a favourite character. People say I"m too westernized to play Draupadi. But I know myself. I can carry it off .This is one thing that Ritu and I are definitely doing together."

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