Filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee to tell the epic from the woman’s point of view
It seems there is no full stop to filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s experiments with history and epic. After Binodini- EktiNatirUpakhyan, the Bengali biopic based on theatre legend BinodiniDasi, the internationally acclaimed filmmaker is up to creating another rare celluloid experience- based on the magical tale of Draupadi from Mahabharata. BR Chopra had made a history on the small screen with Mahabharata and now so many years down the road, TMC MP and Tollywood super star Deepak (Dev) Adhikari (Dev Entertainment Ventures) has joined hands with Prateek Chakravorty of Mumbai (Pramod Films) to bring the magical tale of Mahabharata on big screen with Mukherjee as the Director and one of Tollywood’s leading ladies-Rukmini Maitra in the lead role. Rukmini also played the lead role in Mukherjee’s Binodini-EktiNatirUpakhyan.
The film, which promises to be Bengal's biggest visual extravaganza, is based on noted author Pratibha Ray's award winning Odiya novel Yajnaseni. "When director Ram Kamal approached me for the film rights of Yajnaseni through my publisher Rupa Publications, I was delighted that even today Indian filmmakers are interested in the story of Mahabharata. My book, Yajnaseni, is about Mahabharata from Draupadi's point of view with contemporary relevance. Yajnaseni is an epitome of Patience, Penance and Power. It's a creative collaboration, and Ram Kamal being an author himself, will definitely do justice to Yajnaseni and her story. I feel we are at the right time to revisit our epics and tell the new generation about our culture and heritage,” says Ray.
"I am thankful to my producers Dev and Prateek for standing by my vision once again, this time on a much larger scale. I am grateful to Pratibhaji (Ray) for giving us the official filming rights of her best seller novel Yajnaseni. And finally, I am overwhelmed to reunite with my most favourite Rukmini as Draupadi. I know for a fact that we both will have to work hard on this film. I don't remember when was the last time Bengali cinema produced a mythological film? Hats off to Dev and Prateek for taking that leap of faith with me and Rukmini," says Mukherjee.
The production houses has already released a motion poster designed by Ekta Bhattacharjee from Ekta Tales with background score composed by Sourendro and Soumyojit duo. The Sanskrit verses in Draupadi motion poster are written by Ram Kamal.
"It's a pleasure to reunite with Ram Kamal after Binodiini EktiNatirUpakhyan, because he makes me feel comfortable in characters that are extremely challenging to portray on screen. I guess, these are the little perks that you enjoy while working with a friend. He has been wanting to make Draupadi, but he waited for the right time. It's an honour to be a part of Mahabharata, a subject that is so close to every Indian. Needless to say this will definitely be one of the most challenging role in my career after Binodiini,” says Rukmini.
The producer-duo are excited too. Dev says, “Ram Kamal has an amazing sense of aesthetics and visual presentation skill. When he shared his dream of making Draupadi, I felt that he would certainly do justice to the scale and subject. I have also witnessed the range of Rukmini as a performer in Binodiini, and I knew why Ram Kamal wanted to cast her as Draupadi. As a producer uniqueness of his narrative attracted me. It's going to be a mind-blowing experience for all."
Chakravorty, on his parts, said, "Mahabharat is one of the most epic tale ever told. The characters, their journey, their redemptions are life lessons. An attempt to recreate this grandeous saga is both intriguing, exciting and nerve wracking and we attempt to say it in Bangla in its most ambitious form.”