Our stories have heroism like Marvel films, we need to tell them correctly: ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ director | Hollywood

Mumbai, “Kalki 2898 AD” has been praised for weaving together elements from the Mahabharata with sci-fi and director Nag Ashwin, who already has a sequel in the works, is confident that Indian mythological stories, if told correctly, can match the complexity of the western superhero genre.

Our stories have heroism like Marvel films, we need to tell them correctly: 'Kalki 2898 AD' director
Our stories have heroism like Marvel films, we need to tell them correctly: ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ director

The film, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Prabhas and Deepika Padukone in key roles, has turned out to be a money-spinner at the box office at a time when the big budget titles have failed to yield results.

Is “Kalki 2898 AD” India’s answer to superhero movies from the stables of Marvel and DC Studios in Hollywood?

“I don’t know if it is an answer or not but we definitely have the kind of stories and the depth, complexity and heroism that any other Marvel or DC movie . We just have to delve into it and tell it in the correct way.

“If we tell it in a way that the generation now is used to, maybe mix it with sci-fi, I feel that would be the correct way. And that’s actually worked out because people are now feeling that it is our story,” Ashwin told PTI in an interview.

Set in the future dystopian city of Kashi , the story revolves around Bachchan’s immortal warrior Ashwathhama who is trying to protect the next avatar of Lord Vishnu, carried by Padukone’s Sumathi. Prabhas’ Bhairava, a bounty hunter, is sent to find her by Haasan’s antagonist Supreme Yaskin.

The sequel of “Kashi 2898 AD” is already in the works, he said, adding that it will be a continuation of the story, which looks familiar and yet fresh.

“They have seen these familiar tropes in ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel films but it is still in Kashi. It still has an auto on the streets. It feels like all the worlds have come together… You don’t want to feel derivative, you don’t want to feel like it’s Blade Runner. It should look like Kashi, not Tokyo.”

Some of the visuals of the film have been compared to recent Hollywood futuristic spectacles be it the “Mad Max” movies or “Dune”.

The director, however, said there is nothing common between his film and the two Hollywood movies other than visuals of the desert.

“I love ‘Star Wars’… There must be something subconscious there. Other movies not so much except for the fact that we have desert in our film and there is also desert in Dune and ‘Mad Max’.

“Apart from that, it has nothing to do with the story, technology or design. Having the funny robot sidekick is probably a ‘Star Wars’ thing. Maybe aging the vehicles to make them look rusty was also an aesthetic from there,” he said.

The film’s box office success it has crossed the 700 crore mark globally has come with “relief and gratitude” as the team gave a lot to it for many years, said Ashwin, who has lived with the story for more than five years.

Like any other child growing up in the country, the director said he too was familiar with the characters of Mahabharata through books and the famous 1988 serial but he read the book in its entirety when he started working on the movie.

Ashwin said the epic is better than “our best stories” as even the weakest characters have a strong back story and depth.

“I always wanted to reimagine it for our generation and also keep the simplicity intact. For example, these guys are not wearing any crowns. It is a small thing but I found it would be impractical to wear a crown when you go to war. The armour is also designed differently,” he said.

The idea behind making the story was to evoke “a sense of wonder” that he felt as a child when he was first introduced to the stories, said the director, who has previously directed the National-award-winner “Mahanati”.

“If I watched it as a kid, I will have so many questions about the vehicles and other things. I just wanted to make it for this generation.”

Asked if the anger inherent in Bachchan’s character was a homage to the ‘Angry Young Man’ characters the actor played in the 70s, Ashwin said it must have come subconsciously.

“But Ashwathhama was known to have a short temper and he was a fierce warrior. These things just came together and Bachchan sir was perfect for the role.”

Bachchan was the first in the cast to hear the narration of the story and the megastar had many questions.

“I think he was the first one I actually narrated to in a raw and primary shape. He fully understood what it was but he was not sure how we would pull it off. He said, ‘You are showing me all these things and pictures but how are you going to do this? How is it possible? So, it took a few times for him to have faith.”

Haasan also took some convincing to play Supreme Yaskin.

“We went back and forth a few times. By the time we spoke to Kamal sir, we had already shot a bit of the film… Kamal sir is always up for something new and challenging. So, we had multiple narrations just to be sure. He is the antagonist so he just had to be sure that we knew what we were doing,” he said.

“Kalki 2898 AD”, which has been made on a reported budget 600 crore, was a difficult film to pull off as the script alone went through 11-12 drafts and took one year.

“It was a hard film to make and a hard film to write. Forget the actors, when you have so many characters, world building and what not and you try to squeeze that into one feature film, then it’s always a difficult screenplay to write.”

Produced by Vyjayanthi Movies, the film released in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, and English on June 27.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

Source link