5 Iconic Portrayals of Ram from Ramayana in Pop Culture
5 Iconic Portrayals of Ram from Ramayana in Pop Culture

5 Iconic Portrayals of Ram from Ramayana in Pop Culture

Tomorrow, Adipurush will bring another interpretation of Lord Ram to the screens, we’re looking at some iconic portrayals from pop culture

Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic, has inspired countless retellings and adaptations in pop culture. One of the most popular characters in Ramayana is Lord Ram, who is symbolic of various aspects of the human experience such as love, brotherhood, friendship, and heroism. Ram's portrayal in pop culture has evolved over the years, from stately to kinetic and from mellow to martial, but he continues to be revered and loved by people all over the country. Ram's journey from a prince to a warrior to a king has been chronicled in numerous retellings of the epic Ramayana, we’re listing 5 of the most iconic ones:

1. Lanka Dahan (1917)

This silent film is one of the oldest film adaptations of Ramayana and was directed by Dadasaheb Phalke. This film featured the first double role in Indian cinema, and you’ll be surprised when we tell you that the same actor played both Ram and Sita! Anna Salunke played Ram and his wife Sita since women were prohibited from participating in commercial performing arts at that time. Lanka Dahan was well received by the audiences and used trick photography and special effects that delighted them. The film was mostly housefull, and there were long queues at the theaters (a phenomenon we’re seeing again with Adipurush).

2. Ramayan (1954 film)

Ramayan is a 1954 film directed by Shankarrao Vyas and Hariprasanna Das. It revolves around the latter part of the epic Ramayana, specifically focusing on Rama and Sita's twin sons Luv and Kusha. The film had Prem Adib and Shobhana Samarth reprising their roles as Ram and Sita following an already successful trilogy – Bharat Milap (1942), Ram Rajya (1943) and Rambaan (1946).

3. Ramayan (TV series, 1987–1988)

A cultural phenomenon like no other, this television series is one of the most famous adaptations of Ramayana and holds the world record for being the ‘Most Viewed Mythological Serial’. Streets were cleared, shops were shut, people gathered in big numbers to watch Ramayan together every Sunday. The show was created, written, and directed by Ramanand Sagar, and narrated by Ashok Kumar, with music composed by Ravindra Jain. Lord Ram was played by Arun Govil, who became a household name after the show's success – people would touch his feet whenever he made public appearances. The show portrays Lord Ram's journey from his childhood to his victory over Ravana, and is known for its fidelity to the source material, powerful dialogues and well-made emotional scenes.

Arun Govil as Ram
Arun Govil as Ram

4. Lav Kush (1997)

Lav Kush is a film based on the story of Sita, Rama, and their twin sons Lava-Kusha. The movie begins with Lord Rama returning to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana with Sita. The cast includes notable actors such as Jeetendra as Lord Rama (one of the handful of leading men who have essayed this character), Jaya Prada as Goddess Sita, and Arun Govil as Lakshmana (yes, Govil has also played Laxman).

Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama
Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama

5. Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama (1992)

Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama is a 1992 Indian-Japanese animated film that was the first of its kind - anime Ramayana that attracted a huge younger audience. The English voice cast includes Nikhil Kapoor as Ram and Noel Godin as Hanuman, while the Hindi dubbed version features Arun Govil as Ram, Namrata Sawhney as Sita, and Amrish Puri as Ravana. The film was inspired by Yugo Sako's discovery of Ramayana while filming The Ramayana Relics documentary in 1983. Yugo believed animation was the best way to capture the essence of Ramayana. While there was some criticism around the colorism in the film, it remains one of the most faithful adaptations of the epic.

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