Bollywood Gyaan: Bollywood’s first Magnum Opus on Ramayan!

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The nation will celebrate Dussehra, the festival of Lord Ram’s triumph over the wicked Ravana bringing home the message of victory of good over evil on Sunday. Glamsham.Com wishes its readers Happy Dussehra and enlightens about Bollywood’s First Magnum Opus Ramayan.

Ramayan has always been a hot topic for filmmakers down the decades. The first movie made on Ramayan was RAM RAJYA (1943) produced during pre-independence and was directed by legendary film maker Vijay Bhatt. The film was a huge hit. Prem Adib and Shobhna Samarth (Kajol’s grandmother) played Ram and Sita’s role respectively, while the menacing act of Ravana was played by Chandrakant. Obliviously, the movie was made in black and white. Later many more movies got made on this subject.

However, Bollywood’s first magnum opus movie made on spectacular budget was SAMPOORNA RAMAYAN (1961). It was produced by Homi Wadia and directed by Babubhai Mistri. The movie had Mahipal as Rama and Anita Guha as Seeta, while the evil role of Ravan was played by top villain of that era B. M. Vyas.

The highlight of the movie was that besides being made in colour, it was technically brilliant with amazing special effects. The scene where Ravan’s ten heads interact with each other left the audience bewildered. In those days with limited technology shooting such a complex scene was a big challenge but thanks to the brilliance of Babubhai Mistri, special effects wizard and recognized as Father of Trick Photography, the scene was canned so convincingly that even today the scene is regarded as the ‘Best Shot’ of trick photography in Indian cinema.

Babubhai Mistri’s excellence in special effects was such dynamic that in the late 80s when Manoj Kumar made KALYUG AUR RAMAYAN (1987) he too hired Babubhai Mistri to direct the movie as it involved many special effects. Babubhai Mistri was such a genius that he was awarded the ‘Kodak Trophy for Technical Excellence’ at the MAMI festival towards the fag end of his career.

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