Prabhas, Om Raut discuss teaming on ‘Adipurush’

One of the most anticipated Indian films of 2023, Adipurush brings together the talents of Prabhas (the Baahubali franchise) and Om Raut, the director of Ajay Devgn with Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, the biggest Indian box office hit of the year 2020 with 50 million dollars gross.

Adipurush is Raut’s interpretation of the Indian mythological epic Ramayana by Valmiki, in which Rama, the king of Ayodhya, travels to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita, who has been kidnapped by King Ravana. “Adipurush” is set 7,000 years ago and in the film Prabhas’ character’s name is not Rama, he is Raghav, another name for Rama. Sita, played by Kriti Sanon, is called Janaki while Saif Ali Khan’s is Ravana Lankesh, also derivatives of their “Ramayana” names. Adipurush literally means “first man”, but here the interpretation is that of “best man”.

After Tanhaji, Raut could have called any Indian A-lister for his next film, but he settled on Prabhas. “I always had Prabhas in mind when I wrote Raghav’s character – it became so compelling for me,” says Raut diversity. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have made the film.”

Raut made it to Hyderabad from Mumbai in the middle of India’s first COVID-19 lockdown to discuss the film with Prabhas in person. The actor describes the meeting as a “super exciting day”.

“After three days I was a bit stressed because I thought it was the most valuable film for the country – can I do it?” Prabhas said diversity. “Om said not to worry and so it was a beautiful thing that happened. And I think it’s the most prestigious film of my life.”

Prabhas says he signed on because of Raut’s fascinating screenplay and how it integrates Indian history and culture. “The way he designed the film was amazing, huge. And I think he did very well,” Prabhas said.

Raut says he worked to go beyond the actor’s “Prabhas personality,” whom he also describes as the “quintessential superstar,” to get the character of Raghav right, including focusing on his emotional eyes.

“The way he played it is divine. It’s extremely spiritual on many levels, but it’s also a commercial flick,” says Raut. “So it’s got this crazy balance of playing on the gallery, obviously like everyone, but at the same time we’ve had to maintain the sanctity and purity of the character and stay within those boundaries and try to achieve what we want to achieve.”

Although the subject is set seven millennia ago, the storytelling is contemporary. “Om designed the film for today’s generation and wanted a swagger that no other director could think of in Adipurush,” says Prabhas.

“Om designed it for children and families,” adds Prabhas. “Even women love my action, so there’s a lot of action. And he designed it in a commercial way, so I think it’s very good news for the fans.”

Produced by T-Series and Retrophiles, “Adipurush” was filmed in Hindi and Telugu languages. The theatrical release is scheduled for January 12, 2023 and will also be available in dubbed versions in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada languages. Raut is in “serious talks” with a Los Angeles-based studio for a wider release beyond Indian Disapora in non-Indic languages.

“We will do our best to get a Prabhas film on the world map,” says Raut.

Following Adipurush, Prabhas next up is Salaar by KGF franchise filmmaker Prashanth Neel, Project K alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone by Mahanati director Ashwin Nag, and Spirit by Sandeep Reddy Vanga (Kabir Singh”).

The first teaser for “Adipurush” was released on October 2, 2022 at a ceremony in Ayodhya. Watch him here: Prabhas, Om Raut discuss teaming on ‘Adipurush’

Charles Jones

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