Director Priyadarshan’s docudrama about Ayodhya Ram Mandir, which will be his next documentary after the one on Sengol, will also feature Prime Minister Narendra Modi
After completing the documentary, highlighting the history of the ‘sengol’ that was installed in the New Parliament House, Malayalam filmmaker Priyadarshan is now helming a five-episode docudrama tracing the history of Ayodhya Ram Mandir and its prominence.
In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, Priyadarshan, who has just returned to Kerala from Ayodhya, tells us, “The team wanted me to helm the project because I had done the documentary on ‘sengol’ that they were very happy about.”
The series, which has each episode spanning 45 minutes, is produced by the Ayodhya Temple Trust, with Doordarshan and News18 holding its rights. National Award-winning production designer Sabu Cyril and Tamil cinematographer Divakar Mani are also part of the project.
“The story spans the first legal case of Ram Janmabhoomi that was filed in 1883 in a British Court, the various disputes and judgements, the incidents involving karsevaks, and the opening of the Ram Temple. It’s shown in a chronological manner through a team of TV journalists who are exploring history. So, everything is shown through them—through the interviews that they conduct,” Priyadarshan explains.
There are several interviews featuring personalities such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, AB Bajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, LK Advani and historian KK Muhammed as part of the docudrama.
On how involved Priyadarshan was in its conception and scripting, the director says, “The script was given to me; I am just directing it. The script was done with a team of around 12 people, comprising archaeologists, lawyers, historians, poets and other prominent names. My job was just to shoot it.”
Will the docudrama be ready in time for the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya that is scheduled for January 22? “We have completed only about 70% of the series till now,” says the filmmaker.
Shot in Lucknow, Ayodhya, Varanasi, Delhi, Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad, the docudrama will trace the Mughal invasion of India, the history of Ayodhya Ram Mandir, as well as Babri Masjid. Priyadarshan’s previous historical films included Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham and Kaalapani, both starring Mohanlal in the lead.