Ranbir Kapoor is currently riding an unprecedented high.His controversial but insanely popular presence in Sandeep Vanga Reddy’s Animal raises some serious questions on the dilating moral dimensions of the Hindi Film Hero.
More urgently, will Ranbir be accepted as Rama Bhagwan in Nitesh Tiwari’s bigscreen adaptation of the Ramayan which Ranbir starts shooting from April?
Politically correct moves like attending the Pran Pratishtha in Ayodhya and the decision to abstain from alcohol and cigarette during the shooting , can only take Ranbir this far, and no further in his quest for acceptance as Lord Rama.
Ranbir is the latest in a lineup of Bhagwan Rama’s on screen.The first ever actor to give a stature of reverence to Lord Rama was Mahipal whose Rama in Babubhai Mistry’s superhit Sampoorna Ramayan was to the 1960s what Arun Govil and his Ramayana was to the 1980s.
Anita Guha who played Sita in Sampoorna Ramayan ,recalled, “Mahipalji and I became the face of Rama and Sita until Arun Govil and Deepika took over. Wherever we went, we were treated like real Gods. And we had to make sure we lived up to the ideals that we projected in the film.”
Arun Govil who became the screen face of Rama after Ramanand Sagar’s looks back on his life-changing stint. “Years after it was first telecast people are giving me their love and respect. Zindagi mein aadmi kya khota hai and kya pata hai ussey gaur se dekhni chahiye. If I lost a few roles look at what I gained.Mujhe lagta hai maine khoya bahot kam aur paya bahot zyada hai.Even before I played Rama I was never an extroverted partygoer. I grew up in an environment where the Ramayan was read regularly . My Mummy and Daddy read the Ramayan and we did puja every morning and evening. So no, I didn’t have to stretch myself to play Rama. The maryada(reverence) came naturally to me.I am not an excessively religious person. But I do believe in God and in Rama.”
Prabhas’ eagerly awaited Rama in Om Raut’s Adipurush derailed for no fault of his. His fans feel he made a swell Rama. It is now Ranbir Kapoor’s turn. It remains to be seen in which direction he takes Rama in Nitesh Tiwari’s adaptation of the Ramayan .