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More respectable than the teaser? – Beyond Bollywood

Prabhas as Raghav still looks shaky. Kriti Sanon’s Janaki has a steely resolve to her.  The trailer has its cons but it offers a slightly different experience vis-à-vis the widely disappointing teaser.

By Mayur Lookhar

There is often great excitement around a trailer launch. There was one here too but it perhaps is also accompanied by a fear. This after the teaser wasn’t received so warmly by humble citizens, critics, chiefly the army of You Tubers. The criticism compelled producer T-Series, director Om Raut to push their film Adipurush’s [2023] release date by five months. The long due trailer was finally launched yesterday [9 May] in Mumbai. Let’s get straight as to how the trailer has fared.

Before that it is important to note that a vast majority of the Hindi speaking population is affixed with the image of Ramayana as shown by the late director Ramanand Sagar in his highly popular 1987 TV series.  Growing up, Arun Govil was the face of Lord Ram, Dipika Chikhlia was Maa Sita, and the late Dara Singh was Lord Hanuman for us.

In our fixation with Ramanand Sagar’s TV series, many of us are perhaps oblivious to representation in other cultures, particularly down South.  With Telugu actor Prabhas in the lead, Adipurush was bound to be shot simultaneously in Telugu. A hero without moustache is unacceptable down South. But for the majority of the Hindi audiences, their Ram needs to be clean shaven.

The early impression of the trailer suggests that director Om Raut and the creative team have taken stock of the some of the early criticism.  Chief among them was the revered figures donning leather ware.  We’re still not clear whether any portion was reshot. So, the changes that you see are mostly cosmetic.

Raut, T-series have opted to trigger Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan nostalgia as they begin their trailer with the iconic words Mangal Bhavan Amangal Hari from Ram Chaupai.  But the nostalgia ends with the few words. Thereafter it is Om Raut’s Adipurush that takes over.

Even though this is just a trailer but Prabhas as Raghav really worries us.  He has to bear the brunt of the tacky dialogues. Besides, we’re not clear whether Prabhas has spoken Hindi or are the dialogues dubbed by someone else. We’re not sure but is it Sharad Kelkar? The dialogues are not gripping plus Prabhas’ stoic expressions doesn’t make for great viewing.

The trailer enables us to see more of Kriti Sanon. While she looks fine as Sita, the tone will evoke mixed views. During the trailer launch, Sanon stated that her character Janaki, alias for Sita, is in captivity but she has a steely resolve to her. We hope we don’t get to see a feminist Sita here.

Though a bit early, but Raghava, Janaki and Lakshman [Sunny Singh], the three principal characters don’t quite hook your senses. And nor does Devdatta Nage as Lord Hanuman. Saif Ali Khan’s presence as Lankesh is limited in the trailer. The beard appears to have been trimmed but there is nothing spectacular to Lankesh in this trailer.

What is good about the trailer is the narrator’s tone and the improved quality of the VFX. Mind you, we reiterate again that this film should only be viewed in 3D to experience the VFX.  So, the 2D trailer will feel below par. Wait till you experience it in 3D.  If you take the Jai Shri Ram anthem out, then the trailer, the action scenes don’t quite have the same impact.

Enough has been said, dissected about the teaser, and now the trailer. The trailer looks more respectable than the teaser. Audiences, critics should wait for the film before passing the final judgement.

Adipurush is set to be released in theatres worldwide on 16 June. Watch the trailer below.

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