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Prabhas on ‘Adipurush’: Have made this film with lot of love and respect

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MUMBAI: “Baahubali” star Prabhas on Tuesday hoped that the audiences like his portrayal of Lord Ram in “Adipurush”, Om Raut’s big screen adaptation of Ramayana, which the actor said has been made with “a lot of love and respect”.

The makers of the multilingual period saga released the trailer of the film on Tuesday, six months after the teaser stirred a controversy over the depiction of Ravana and Hanuman as well as the quality of its visual effects (VFX).

Prabhas, who along with the crew chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Siya Ram’ at the press event, said he felt grateful to portray such an iconic character.

“I should thank Om for giving me this opportunity. We have made this film with a lot of love and respect. Hope you all like it,” he said.

“Adipurush” courted controversy, including boycott calls, over the depiction of Hindu deities and the buzz cut sported by Saif Ali Khan’s Lankesh when the teaser released in October last year.

The 3.19-minute trailer mostly focuses on Ram’s journey from Raghav to Adipurush as he braces for a war with demon king Lankesh.

Khan was not present at the trailer launch and the team, including Prabhas, actor Kriti Sanon, producer Bhushan Kumar of T-series, director Om Raut and lyricist Manoj Muntashir, shared their experience of working on the project. But they did not take any questions from the press.

Raut, known for National Award-winning “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”, dedicated the film to Ramleela artists who have been bringing to life the epic tale in varied forms across the country for many years.

“I want to dedicate the film to each and every artist who has been a part of Ramleela. I feel the story of ‘Ramayan’ has always been there for years and it is like a bus. We have boarded this bus and we will continue for some years. Then we will get down and somebody else will board the bus. But the journey of Ramleela will continue. We will continue to see Ramleela in different ways as long as there is India,” he said at the trailer launch.

The trailer begins with Raghav(Prabhas), Janki (Sanon) and Shesh (Sunny Singh) leaving the Ayodhya palace for 14-year exile and traverses through the jungles where Janki is propelled to cross the Lakshman Rekha as Khan’s Lankesh appears in disguise of a sage.

It then transports the viewers to Lanka, gives a glimpse of Bajrang’s (Devdatta Nage) meeting with Janki in Ashok Vatika, and Raghav’s quest to crush evil forces as he travels across the sea with the army of monkeys and bears, led by Hanuman, to rescue his beloved wife.

Khan makes a brief appearance in the trailer, which ends with the demon king contemplating to abduct Janki, but his look as Lankesh remains hidden for the audience in the trailer.

Sanon said sharing the trailer with the audiences globally is an “emotional” moment for her.

“I have goosebumps right now. ‘Adipurush’ is more than a film to all of us. I’m grateful for the experiences we have had during the making of this movie. There are very few actors who have had the opportunity to play a character like this. So I feel very blessed.”

She said she has tried to play Janki with “full respect and devotion”.

“I had respect and admiration for this character but it all got amplified as I shot for this movie. I could understand this character in detail. For me, Janaki represented the combination of a pure, kind soul with a strong mind. I’ve given my 200 per cent. They were gods, we are mere humans. So, if there’s any kind of shortcoming, please forgive me,” the actor added.

Kumar dedicated the film to studio founder and father Gulshan Kumar, known for popularising devotional music in the 1990s.

“I’m very happy that today my father’s dream is coming true. This is a very emotional moment as you know that he was a very devotional individual.”

“Adipurush” was initially set to arrive in cinema halls on August 11, 2022, but the release date was pushed to January 12,2023.

In a recent interview with PTI, Raut said they have utilised the additional time to improve the VFX of the film. The film is now slated to hit the screens in 3D on June 16, with its international premiere on June 13 at the 2023 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. (PTI)

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