Director: Vijay Bhatt; Writer: Vishnupant Aundhkar, Anuj Visharad; Cinematographer: P.G. Kukde; Cast: Prem Adib, Shahu Modak, Shobhana Samarth, Durga Khote, Umakant Desai, Athavale, Shantabai Kothare, Prem Kumari, Nimbalkar, Pandey, Indumati Pathak, P. Ratnamala, Vipin Seth, Vimala Vasishta, Amirbai Karnataki
Duration: 02:34:07; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 120.794; Saturation: 0.036; Lightness: 0.358; Volume: 0.383; Cuts per Minute: 45.569
Summary: Bhatt’s first of many films based on the Ramayana tried to be the biggest and the most faithful adaptation of the epic to date. Credits include dozens of literary sources and the expertise of several historians and curators. This plot tells of Bharat, the third of Dasharath’s four sons, and his unstinting devotion to Rama, his eldest brother. Kaikeyi, incited by her maid Manthara, takes advantage of a royal boon to force Dasharath to exile Rama on the eve of his coronation and to have her own son Bharat made king of Ayodhya. Bharat refuses the throne and goes to the forest to recall Rama. When Rama insists on honouring his father’s promise, Bharat spends 14 years waiting for the heir to return and assume his rightful place as king. The film omits most of the mandatory miracle sequences and looks more like a period romance with expensive sets and battle scenes, e.g. when Bharat is attacked by Nishadraj’s army. Notwithstanding the film’s textual claims to authenticity, its general effect is that of contemporary calendar art with its vaguely neo- classical decor.