Ram Setu Review: uncompromisingly Hindu; first serious good adventure movie made for young generation

Ram Setu: Uncompromisingly Hindu; First Good Adventure Movie From Hindi Cinema For Youngsters

by Aravindan Neelakandan - Oct 28, 2022 05:38 PM +05:30 IST
Ram Setu: Uncompromisingly Hindu; First Good Adventure Movie From Hindi Cinema For YoungstersRam Setu movie review
  • Ram Setu can be considered as the first serious good adventure movie made for young generation - kids and early teenagers.

    As an adventure story, it tells a far better story than Indiana Jones - both in terms of values and history.

The 'adventure film' is a genre that is not much explored in Indian movies. There have been adventure movies but they have been poor imitations of Hollywood.

These imitations are further made unwatchable by cheap stunts, vulgar hip-gyrations and a sub-mediocre comedy.

On the other hand, the West has used this genre in the visual medium to create a sense of Western cultural superiority and a pride-filled sense of their history.

The Indiana Jones series is an example for the former while National Treasure as well as Dan Brown novels-made-movies are examples of the latter. What is more, most of them are well made and are good entertainment.

Ram Setu is definitely a better answer from Hindi cinema to fill this void. It is a well-made adventure movie. It has a strong Indian setting and a stronger Indian theme. Its technical quality is superb.

Being an adventure story 'inspired by true events', it has taken quite a lot of artistic license which is understandable. If you have kids then you should take them to this movies and watch the movie with them.

The team that made the movie should be congratulated for not getting diverted into any romantic subplots. There is quite a cast of female artists but not in a single scene are they commodified or made into sex-objects.

There is no singing around the trees and caves and archaeological sites. There is no tyranny of the so-called comedy. The movie is focussed on a single theme and does justice to that.

The movie starts with Bamiyan Buddha destruction by Taliban and subsequent restoration attempts. Then it emphasises the cultural bonds of pre-Islamic era between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The atheist archaeologist Dr Aryan Kulshrestha, who gets projected by the press more for his controversial atheistic statements than for his worthy contributions to archaeology, is nudged by those in power to issue a statement on the non-historicity of Ram Setu.

The statement also questions the Ramayana and the embarrassed government suspends the recently-promoted archaeologist.

A private company meanwhile has a lot of investment in destroying the Ram Setu. They employ Dr Aryan to 'scientifically establish' that Ram Setu was a natural formation that predates Rama.

But the truth unsettles Dr Aryan and slowly the historicity of Ramayana, enshrined throughout the land of India and beyond - particularly Sri Lanka - unnerves Dr Aryan.

There are chases, explorations. The audience are taken through the picturesque landscape of Sri Lanka pre-2009. Incidentally the 'rebels' are shown slightly in a positive cover.

There is a scene of the Sri Lankan rebels performing an aarati for Siva-Parvati as Ravana-Anugraha Murti and Shiva Tandava Stotra are being sung. Sacred landscapes and temples associated with Ramayana in Sri Lanka are shown.

This is perhaps the first Hindi movie that tells a vast audience about the destruction of the very famous and precious Jaffna Library and hints at what important historic documents we would have lost in that cultural genocide.

Most of the reviews of this film have been not so kind to the movie. For example, the reviewer of India Today gave it 2 out of 5 stars and wrote that it was 'highly underwhelming' and 'as neither funny nor serious.'

The Bollywood standard of funny is appealing to the gross taste of the audience. This movie resolutely does not do it.

The movie is quite loud with its message and that message is uncompromisingly Hindu.

It points out that Ram Setu is not only just a national monument but a reassurance to women everywhere that whenever a woman is harassed or imprisoned Ram will come and shall build a bridge across the most turbulent and violent waves to liberate her from tyranny and oppression.

The final twist may be well expected by most audience but from a point of view of a child watching the movies that twist shall be quite scintillating. The movie also takes the concept of Euro-centric approach to history and its dangers in effecting mental colonisation.

As an adventure story, it tells definitely a far better story than Indiana Jones - both in terms of values and history. It does not demean any other ethnicity or culture. The history that the movie shows is fanciful but still it is better than the history shown in National Treasure.

It is quite comparable to Da Vinci Code. And there it can decently compete with it in terms of quality.

Of course, suspense of the same level may be missing but again remember this can be considered as the first serious good adventure movie made for young generation - kids and early teenagers.

You cannot expect a Kantara experience here. But consider this as a movie made for children and early teenagers. This is a good entertaining way of introducing the generation to Indian culture, values and sacred landscape of larger Indian land mass. So this is a movie worth watching with your family.

Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments ↓
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.