‘Dream Girl’ to ‘Judgementall’: Ramayana, Mahabharata Take Stage

In this week’s Reel Deal podcast, we discuss films that have have found contemporary interpretations of mythological stories and characters, and sent out relevant messages on gender equality and fighting modern-day demons.

Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have often found their way into Bollywood film plots, and at times in the form of a stage production. In the recently released trailer of Dream Girl, we see Ayushmann Khurrana take on the role of Draupadi in a play and make a relevant point about the treatment of women.

Kab tak auraton ko unki iccha ke bina baant te rahoge tum. Mahabharata ke time pe Me Too hota na to sabse pehle tum log andar jaate (For how long will you continue sharing a woman without her consent. If Me Too had been there at the time, you guys would have ended up in jail.),” says Khurrana’s character.

While Dream Girl uses Draupadi’s example to make a relevant point about women in Indian society, recently Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao-starrer Judgementall Hai Kya, used Sita as an important device in its storytelling. Ranaut’s character, who works as an understudy in a theatre company, begins to believe that she is Sita and that the Ravan of her story needs to be killed.

Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades and Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Lajja have also used the Ramayana to drive home the message in their respective films.

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