October 11, 2010 (Calcutta Tube):LAVA KUSA is a 2010 Hindi Animation film based on the epic tale of Ramayana. LAVA KUSA is directed by Dhavala Satyam. Read the complete review of LAVA KUSA and watch the trailer online.
Cast and Crew:
- Director: Dhavala Satyam;
- Voiceovers: Arun Govil, Vindoo Dara Singh, Vasava Prasanna Amgadi, Bharat Kamal;
- Rating: ***
The world knows the story of Luv and Kush, the son’s of Rama, as a suffix to Ramayana. In reality it is a correcting rejoinder to Ramayana, where Ram, with an imperialist mindset to subjugate all other kingdoms, starts the Ashwamegha Yagya. The only one who stand up and resist his army, are his own teenage sons, born from a wife he had ruthlessly discarded during her pregnancy.
The kingdom of Ayodhya, challenged by Lava and Kush, shamelessly sends one brave warrior after another. After Shatrughan is defeated, Laxman goes. When even he falls, Ram himself takes up the challenge, but for the intervention of Sita in the end.
This ancient story is well known. But what is not looked into is the transformation of Ram, the hero of Ramayana, into an arrogant villain ready to fight even kids for the preservation of his vanity. This animation film stays true to the original story, and its release now, considering the fears of communal tensions flaring up in the name of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, is timely.
Though touted as the most expensive 2D animation film in India, it lacks global animation standards. Yet, compared to animation films in India, both in terms of story and animation, it is a far superior and successful attempt.
LAVA KUSA Trailer
Arun Govil, who played the role of Ram in the serial Ramayana, gives the voiceover for Ram in the Hindi version of this film. Dara Singh’s son Vindoo Dara Singh takes over the voice of Hanuman from him.
Another highlight of the film is its music by the late L. Vaidyanathan, who sang and gave the music for Malgudi Days, and passed away just after composing for the film. The songs sung by stalwarts like Yesudas, Shankar Mahadevan and Sadhana Sargam are devotional and melodious.
The film is also a two-in-one package, as the entire story of Ramayana is recreated in its songs. However, to a keen observer, this adds to the unintended satire on Ram, that while the songs eulogise Ram, what he does with his own wife based on a stray comment by a subject and his willingness to fight children, makes him out not to be the ‘Maryada Purushottam Ram’ (the best upholder of values Ram), but a vain, arrogant and ruthless king.
Hindu fundamentalists in India who are usually up at arms against anyone desecrating Ram’s name, cannot do anything as it is based on the well revered story of Ram’s own sons and his actions.
Though the film misses many nuances and emotional moments, its release at this time will hopefully remind everyone that man, even if it is the reincarnation of god, is faulty. And there is no greater stupidity than using the name of such a faulty god to cause violence.
Featured Book: RAMAYANA
The great Indian epic rendered in modern proseIndia’s most beloved and enduring legend, the Ramayana is widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s great literary masterpieces. Still an integral part of India’s cultural and religious expression, the Ramayana was originally composed by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around 300 bc The epic of Prince Rama’s betrayal, exile, and struggle to rescue his faithful wife, Sita, from the clutches of a demon and to reclaim his throne has profoundly affected the literature, art, and culture of South and Southeast Asia-an influence most likely unparalleled in the history of world literature, except, possibly, for the Bible. Throughout the centuries, countless versions of the epic have been produced in numerous formats and languages. But previous English versions have been either too short to capture the magnitude of the original; too secular in presenting what is, in effect, scripture; or dry, line-by-line translations. Now novelist Ramesh Menon has rendered the tale in lyrical prose that conveys all the beauty and excitement of the original, while making this spiritual and literary classic accessible to a new generation of readers.Ramesh Menon is the author of Blue God A Life of Krishna and of the novel The Hunt for K, which was a bestseller in India. He lives in Kodaikanal, India.From Ramesh Menon, a bestselling Indian novelist, comes The Ramayana A Modern Retelling of the Great Indian Epic a work already deemed by many the finest and most comprehensive single-volume edition of this classic available in English.India’s most beloved and enduring legend, the Ramayana ranks among the world’s great literary masterpieces; an integral part of India’s cultural expression and religious thought, the epic was originally composed around 300 BC It presents the multi-year (if not multi-generational) saga of Prince Rama’s betrayal, exile, and struggles to rescue his faithful wife, Sita, from the clutches of a demon and to reclaim his throne. In Menon’s generous and engaging new version of the Ramayana, we find a tale told in lyrical, readable, and evocative prose conveying all the beauty and excitement of the original.”The perfect balance of detail and narrative excitement . . . [This is] the best single-volume version of the Ramayana.” Ariel Glucklich, Associate Professor of Religion, Georgetown University”This is a beautifully re-told Ramayana. Menon finds the perfect balance of detail and narrative excitement. It’s the best single-volume version of the Ramayana.” Ariel Glucklich, Associate Professor of Religion, Georgetown University”Reverent, lyrical, and engaging, Menon’s retelling is an impressive addition to the voluminous lore oral, written, and performed that collectively comprises the Rama story tradition of India and Southeast Asia. Combining the basic narrative of the ancient Sanskrit epic of Valmiki with strands from medieval devotional versions and hints of Western epic, folktale, and scripture, it brings this great story to life once more for an English-language audience.” Philip Lutgendorf, Associate Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies, University of Iowa”One of the ancient world’s great verse epics is retold in energetic English prose in this sparkling volume, the work of an obviously accomplished Indian novelist and journalist . . . The characterizations of heroic Rama, stoical Sita, Rama’s stalwart brother Lakshmana, and especially the satanic Ravana are unusually full, complex, and preternaturally vivid. A masterpiece made new for a generation of readers who ought to be very grateful indeed to Menon.” Kirkus Reviews”A beautiful new rendering of an inexhaustible theme.” Peter Brook