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Bhima’s tale to go global

Posted April 18th, 2017, 12:24 PM IST

Bhima’s tale to go global

In a deal that looks like a million dollars, UAE-based billionaire businessman and philanthropist Dr B.R. Shetty has decided to invest Rs 1,000 crore to produce India’s biggest-ever motion picture The Mahabharata, an adaptation of Jnanpeeth winner M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s masterpiece Randamoozham. The magnum opus, to be directed by noted ad filmmaker V.A. Shrikumar Menon, is planned as a two-part series which will go on the floor by September 2018 and hit the screens by early 2020. The second part of the film will be released within 90 days of the first part’s release. The film will be shot in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu and will be dubbed into major Indian languages and leading foreign languages.

The cast and crew is expected to be a coming together of the creme de la creme of Indian and global cinema. The technical crew would include big names in the world cinema and Academy winners. With a cast comprising the best of Indian cinema and Hollywood, the film will have a pan-continent identity representing the myriad characters of the epic. The movie will be a retelling of The Mahabharata through the eyes of Bhima, the second of the Pandavas. The screenplay is penned by Randamoozham author M.T. Vasudevan Nair, who holds the record for winning maximum National Awards for screenwriting. Though there have been numerous creative adaptations for the epic, this will be the first-of-its-kind big screen, big-budget adaptation.

Founder and chairman of UAE Exchange and NMC Healthcare, Dr B.R.Shetty says, “The Mahabharata is an epic of all epics. This movie will be a true ‘Make in India’ made for the world. I believe this film will not only set global benchmarks, but will also reposition India and its prowess in mythological storytelling. I am awestruck by the fantastic screenplay by MT and tremendous faith in the ability of Shrikumar to paint this narrative on celluloid.” MT too expressed joy over the turn of events, “I’m extremely happy with Dr B.R. Shetty’s belief in the potential of the story and his passion and commitment to take it to global audiences.”

Shrikumar has been living the script and researching for this project for the past few years. “I would like to sincerely thank Dr B.R. Shetty for having immense faith in this project and help bring it to life with his financial commitment and innate pride on Indian heritage. We are fully geared to attain the next level of production quality and visual magic, as well as narrative wizardry with this initiative.” For the hero’s part, Mohanlal’s name has been in the buzz for long. “I feel honoured that my name has been heard for the role of Bhima ever since the news of cinematic adaptation of Randamoozham started doing rounds. I salute B.R. Shetty for making such a huge investment, which is a gift for generations. And with the passionate Shrikumar at the helm, I am sure the movie will be an everlasting epic in celluloid.”