Kunal Kohli: 'I am NOT Casting Myself in My 'Ramayan''

Kunal Kohli: 'I am NOT Casting Myself in My 'Ramayan''

Filmmaker Kunal Kohli's most ambitious project
Kunal Kohli: 'I am NOT Casting Myself in My 'Ramayan''
Kunal Kohli

Filmmaker  Kunal Kohli, who made romantic comedies like Hum Tum and Mujhse Dosti Karoge and blockbusters such as Fanaa, made his debut as an actor  in Phir Se last year. However, it was a bit of a damp squib. Undeterred he pushes along to the most ambitious  project of his life.

“That’s right. I am doing a  new interpretation  of the Ramayan.Why another? Because I feel the message  and  characters of  the Ramayan are  more relevant today than  ever before. We’re living in times when the Ramayan asserts its value to us  in  unexpected ways,” says Kohli who  last directed Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in Teri Meri Kahani six years ago.

So perhaps Shahid and Priyanka as Ram and Sita  in Kunal Kohli’s Ramayan? “No no!  Not stars. I am  going with relative newcomers in the Ramayan. It is  important to  cast unfamiliar faces in  the Ramayan. Established  actors with images  do  not work in  the mythological  context,”  says  Kohli who feels  there  are episodes in  the Ramayan he would  like to use in his  film.

“It is not possible to  film the entire scripture.  That was possible when Ramanand Sagar shot the Ramayan as a marathon television series. In a film one has to select certain portions.”
Kunal has zeroed in  on  the portions of the Ramayan  he wants to shoot. “Now the casting is  in process. We  plan to  complete and release  the film by next year.”

Is Kunal attempting to  be politically correct  by  making the Ramayan at a time when Hindutva is  a big political force? “Not at all!  I  am not the least political. I don’t  even pretend to understand politics. My  decision to film the  Ramayan has  nothing to  do politics.”