Adipurush has got everyone talking. Ever since its release, the film has been a hot topic of discussion as the audience is highly disappointed with Prabhas and Kriti Sanon starrer. Adipurush is receiving severe backlash from all corners. Audiences are agitated with how Ramayana is portrayed in the film. We got in touch with actor Aashiesh Sharrma who played Rama in the show Siya Ke Ram. He shared his two cents on the controversy around Adipurush and called it a lazy, non-researched piece of work. He even spoke about the damage control the makers are trying to do. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
What’s your take on Adipurush?
My thoughts are pretty simple and straight after watching it. It’s a very lazy, completely non-research piece of work. And it straightforwardly tweaks the scripture in its entirety. And it changes the narrative, which I think is not appropriate because we do not have that kind of liberty and command to literally rewrite our scriptures. It is almost like rewriting our scriptures. Because today, cinema and literature have always been the greatest tools and mediums to take forward our cultural heritage and our history to the next generation. Now that we know that our current generation is moving away from books, content is the biggest medium right now to take forward our cultural heritage to the next generation. And so has been claimed as well, that the film has been made for the next generation. So if we claim that we are making something for the next-gen, then the responsibility becomes even bigger to take forward it in its actual shape and actual narrative. And then by saying that, giving a lame excuse like creative liberty, we tweak its core itself. So then I think it is a criminal offense, I suppose.
What do you have to say about Prabhas being Lord Ram?
It has nothing to do with the actor. It has to do with how it has been conceived. The actor can only do and add what has been provided to him or what has been breathed. So I think it is very badly conceived to begin with. It looks like it has been made with WhatsApp forwards. Yeah, literally it sounds like that. The dialogues are such, the characterizations are such. It looks like the intent since the beginning was wrong. Because whenever we make something like this, especially in Bharat, when we are making something on Lord Ram, the sentiment behind Sri Ram is huge. He is not just another revered deity. He is embedded in our DNA. He is embedded in our daily lives. It’s like our hello is also Ram Ram. So that deep, he runs into our DNA, cultural DNA. So if we are making something on that, at least we should stay true to the depiction of it. The depiction has been written in the scriptures. In any version of Ramayana, it is very clearly written how Lord Ram looked like and how Lord Ram behaved. What were his characterizations, all that he embodied. It is mentioned very clearly in the scriptures. So I think we should at least, if they had followed it that much, it would have been fine. But then I think it is just made on WhatsApp forwards. It looks like that.
Thoughts on Lankesh/Raavan from Adipurush…
No character is like how it has been described in the epic. Raavan, Sita, Lakshman, Hanumanji, Bali, Sugriv, Vibhishan, Meghnath. None of them are like how they have been described in the scripture. Raavan, I do not know what is wrong. Raavan was never a villain. Ram and Raavan were both two sides of one coin. So that is what Ramayana says. If you embody the qualities of what Ram stood for, you become Ram. And if you embody whatever Raavan stood for, you become Raavan. Because they both were equally knowledgeable and they were equally excellent warriors. But because Raavan had pride and ego on his knowledge, he became Raavan. And Ram was humble and he had humility in place and the knowledge made him more humble. So that is why he was Ram. That is the basic difference. But Raavan was never the villain per se.
You think makers focused more on VFX than the script?
That is the biggest drawback of the film. I think today’s filmmakers, whatever I know, is a problem all across any kind of content that we see, especially on the big screen, I’d like to really stress on this point. Big screens have time and again failed to depict authentic representation of any historical and mythological over the years. I have not seen one authentic depiction of any historical on big screen. And when people downgrade the small screen, the small screen has been the biggest medium to portray our history and mythology in its most authentic way. Since time immemorial. If we talk about it today, Mahabharata and Ramayana are the biggest examples and they were made in the 80s. And since then, TV has been the biggest medium to portray things authentically. Because they take pride in it. The problem with today’s filmmakers, what I see is that we see ourselves from a westernised point of view. The whole film is looking at our own scripture from a very westernised point of view. Take the technique from West, but tell our content. Now that should be the process
Do you think Adipurush deserves the criticism?
I think it’s a very complicated situation. From my point of view, I can say that no filmmaker or actor would set out to make a bad film. Even for the commercial angle, any filmmaker would want to make a successful film, a good film that will make money at the box office, or which will just impress the audiences. That’s what everyone’s intent is. But then, I think what reflects badly on the content is the lazy approach towards the content, and being over-confident about the content, or just taking audiences for granted at times. With respect to Adipurush, I feel that the film has been made with a very lazy, over-granted kind of approach. You know, this wave is going on, let’s make it in cash and give it to the audience. People would love it because it’s just Shri Ram and they would love it. So these excuses are also coming, that we will change the dialogue, or this was Ramayan before and later on it’s an adaptation of Ramayan. These are very ignorant excuses, still trying to cover up. If you’ve screwed up, you’ve screwed up. And accept that, okay. And I strongly feel that if you’ve made something like this, in a nation like India, if you actually genuinely give a statement out, saying that we are sorry we faltered, we are sorry we are human and we faltered, people would forgive you. I think the backlash became even more when they started covering up their mistakes. Do not justify it, because it’s out in the open, you cannot hide those mistakes, these are so evident. And when the common man is saying it, respect their sentiment, respect what they are saying. Do not try to justify the mistake in front of the audience, because they are showing, and they are telling you by action, by not buying the ticket. And they are telling you that this is wrong. So then respect that sentiment, and say sorry to them, because at the end of the day, right now they are the deciders.
Aashiesh Sharrma of Siya Ke Ram has heavily criticised Adipurush starring Prabhas, Kriti Sanon, Saif Ali Khan and others.