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I am doing a new interpretation of Ramayan: Kunal Kohli

The director plans to cast unknown actors for the most ambitious film of his career.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images


Filmmaker Kunal Kohli is upbeat about the most ambitious project of his life — a new take on the Ramayan. But he says there's nothing political about it.

"I am doing a new interpretation of the Ramayan' Why another? Because I feel the message and characters of the Ramayan are more relevant today than ever before.

"We're living in times when the Ramayan asserts its value to us in unexpected ways," said Kohli.

He says he is not casting "stars" for the film.

"I am going with relative newcomers in the Ramayan. It is important to cast unfamiliar faces in the Ramayan. Established actors with images do not work in the mythological context," said Kohli, who feels there are episodes in the Ramayan he would like to use in his film.

"It is not possible to film the entire scripture. That was possible when Ramanand Sagar shot the Ramayan as a marathon television series. In a film, one has to select certain portions."

Kohli has zeroed in on the portions of the Ramayan he wants to shoot.

"Now the casting is in process. We plan to complete and release the film by next year."

Is he attempting to be politically correct by making the Ramayan at a time when Hindutva is a big political force?

"Not at all! I am not the least political. I don't even pretend to understand politics. My decision to film the Ramayan has nothing to do politics," said the director, known for films like Hum Tum (2004) and Fanaa (2006).