Some may have heard of Rama: The Rise of Dharma, the ambitious project undertaken to bring one of India’s most well known and loved tales of all time, the Ramayana to the Hollywood audience, thus the rest of the world. It begs the question, why has this not been done before?
With the release of this audience feedback video from the team, it may be a good time to discuss why the Ramayana is now appealing to the western audience. What does the Ramayana offer that Hollywood today wants?
The Ramayana has elements which appeal to everyone. There are plots and subplots, scratch the surface and you find deep ideas and philosophy. There are mysterious and weird characters and demonic characters. There are clans, tribes and war. There is heart-wrenching romance. To many however, the most important appeal are two heroes, or superheroes rather, who are known and celebrated across and around India, Rama and Hanuman.
Hollywood’s fantasy and superhero genres have proven in popularity. We have even seen several subplots of the Ramayana and cultural features of its time used or bare similarity in some of the greatest blockbusters in Hollywood. May it be the Dharmic principles held by the Na’vi in Avatar, the Siddhis possessed by the Jedi in Star Wars, the Journey in Lord of the Rings, the evolution of Simba in the Lion King, or even the Tilak proudly worn by Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
By no doubt at all, Rama brings to Hollywood a whole new genre just waiting to happen. Audiences that enjoyed and even formed cults around films such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, 300, Superman, Hercules, Thor, Troy and Planet of the Apes are bound to be blown away when they meet Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman on the big screen soon.