True Review Television - More Epic Content & Time Leapsby Piroj Wadia February 12 2016, 5:32 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 45 secs
Are television channels and content providers milking the mythological cow dry? Why not? Both the epics – the Ramayan and the Mahabharat have had their 21st century run. Characters like Arjuna and Hanuman have also had animated feature films dedicated to them on the big screen, so now it’s the turn of television to give the viewers another fix of mythological narratives. Both epics are a mine of characters and their own stories; none of which have been tapped as individual stories. So stories of say Arjun or Karan or Hanuman make for an extensive TV series which make viewers familiar with characters beyond Ram, Sita, Draupadi, Yudhistir, Bheem, Duryodhan, etc.
There seems to be a growing trend on TV channels of picking major characters from the epics and telling their stories. Much of the time, during the epic narrative, the big picture focuses on the main characters, relegating the stories of the other characters to sidebars. Hence, after recreating the epics dressed up with contemporary technology, producers and channels have opted to zoom in on other important characters and narrate their stories; sometimes from another character’s viewpoint. Sony Entertainment Television’s Sankatmochan Mahabali Hanuman has the story of Hanuman told from the viewpoint of Krishna and Devi Rukmini. Suryaputra Karn gives Karna his due credit as the best archer of Mahabharata and a great warrior. The story of Ram and Sita has been told and retold over generations, but Star Plus’ Siya Ke Ram, brings a fresh perspective on the Ramayan. The story is narrated from Sita’s perspective.
Siya Ke Ram scores high on casting. It features actors like Dalip Tahil as Dashrath, Bijay Anand as Janak, Grusha Kapoor as Kaikeyi, and Kannada star Karthik Jayaram as Raavan. The actor makes his debut on Hindi television. Dalip Tahil, albeit a film actor, is a TV find with Ramesh Sippy’s Buniyaad.
Not letting just the show and it production values speak for it, the channel did a clever PR activity. As Siya Ke Ram headed for the all important episode of Sita Swayamvar, Star Plus initiated a Dhanush Yatra, where Siya Ke Ram’s legendary bow that Ram lifted was on display for all to see.
Siya Ke Ram’s Dhanush covered 107 cities across Gujarat, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh – the Ram-Sita heartland. Fans not only got a chance to catch a glimpse of the Shiv Dhanush, but also participated in various activities. The Yatra was inaugurated by a special aarti on the banks of the Ganga in Kashi, which was followed by a pooja at the Somnath temple, in Gujarat.
As the Ramayan tops the charts among the masses, Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan revealed how India stood still on Sunday mornings, when it was telecast. Likewise, the Siya Ke Ram on the ground blitzkrieg must have grabbed many more eyeballs as it played on the devotional sentiments of the populace.
Content wise the mythological is the king; it can never get dated. Selecting individual sagas, it ensures keeping audiences hooked on to the mythological mode.
Spandan’s impish look, the face of Chakor, will go missing from Udaan. The serial now heads for a 10 year leap and actor Meera Deosthale plays the grown up Chakor.