Nov 8, 2008

Entertainment - India;Mani Ratnam's Ravan

Prithwish Ganguly

The actor has been asked to get into shape by the film-maker for his next film, which is a period drama, reports PRITHWISH GANGULY

Film-maker Mani Ratnam wants Abhishek Bachchan to shed a lot of extra baggage, literally. Mani has asked Abhishek to lose around 15 kilos for his next film Raavan and get into shape for a leaner and fitter look that the role demands. Abhishek plays the role of Rama in the period drama.

Abhishek was criticised for the way he looked in Drona. And if one assesses the costumes to be used in Raavan — a film inspired by Ramayana — men would have to carry off bare bodies for some of the shots. So flaunting a good body becomes a pre-requisite.

“The film requires both lead actors (Abhishek and south Indian star Vikram who plays Raavan) to look fit. It is a period film and actors have to flaunt their chiseled bodies in quite some portions of the movie.

There are war scenes, a marriage scene in which the actors will go bare bodied and Mani wanted his heroes to carry off a perfect body. He has asked Abhishek to shed around 15 kilos and work out regularly to develop a muscular physique. Abhishek has paid heed to Mani’s words and is working out religiously.

Both actors need to do many action stunts themselves and a fitter body only helps in making the shooting process smooth as your body becomes capable to undergo those grueling and challenging action shots,” says an insider.

Mani seems to have added a twist to the tale of Raavan. The film will not recount the known tale of Ramayana in which Raavan, the king of Lanka, kidnaps Sita and then Rama wages a war to win back his wife.

Instead, it will narrate the story from the point of view of the king of Lanka and how Sita takes his side when Rama asks her to go through purification by fire to prove her chastity as she was kept as a hostage by Raavan.

The film will be made in two languages — Hindi and Tamil — simultaneously. In the Tamil version Vikram will essay the role of Rama and Prithviraj will don the garb of Raavan. Aishwarya Rai will play Sita in both versions.

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