Rana as Shiva and Shruti as Sati!, karan johar, Rana Daggubati


Set in 1900 BC, the story begins with Shiva standing on the banks of holy Manasarovar, at the foot of Mount Kailash, Tibet. “Shiva gazed at the orange sky. The clouds hovering above Mansarovar had just parted to reveal the setting sun. The brilliant giver of life was calling it a day once again. Shiva had seen a few sunrises in his twenty-one years. But the sunset! He tried never to miss the sunset!” begins Amish, his Immortals of Meluha.

He then goes on and on for three obese books. His Shiva Trilogy- The Immortals of Meluha, The secret of the Nagas and the Oath of the Vayuputras, is also one of the best selling series of all time.

I’m a lazy reader myself and I couldn’t pause until I finished all the three books. Many, who have read the book says it’s a spiritual journey on the whole. But, for me, being a better movie enthusiast, the book has all the elements- heroism, action, melting romance, good humour, sensible sentiments and some glamour too- for a fine commercial movie.

After I finished the three books, the first thought that struck my mind was that how grand it would be to witness this as a movie franchise. I was initially wondering that an animated movie with all the best techs would be cool. Although the creative freedom would be restricted, a real time movie would have the relativity factor working in favour of it.  So I have come up with the best possible (according to me, of course) cast and crew that could make this stunning novel into a massive commercial entertainer. But I never imagined how absurd the cast would look on paper, with the weird ‘age-and-appearance-doesn’t-match’ concept in the novel. However, the author has explained the reason well enough for us to care less about this little mismatch!

If I’m not wrong, Karan Johar possesses the rights to make this into a movie. But, I want the movie version to be made primarily in Tamil, especially for the fact that Hindi and I aren’t in talking terms. So here it goes...

Rana Daggubatti as Shiva: With his well toned and muscular physique, the tall Rana Daggubatti can definitely take up the lead role of Shiva, a fierce fighter, passionate lover and an admirable leader with a good taste for humour. The whole story is about Shiva’s pursuit of the true evil, in order to ravage it.

Shruti Haasan as Sati: The beautiful heir of Kamal Haasan, with her extraordinary potential to dance and emote could easily fit in as Sati, the cursed, but dazzling warrior princess of Meluha. Shruti Haasan with her lithe and agile body satisfies all the demands of the character.

Prithviraj as Veerbhadra- Veerabhadra is the childhood friend of Shiva and the captain of Shiva’s army. He is also Shiva’s pot mate (There’ll be a gracious amount of pot smoking in the film and I’m afraid our late Gutka Mukesh’s associates, the Censor Board wouldn’t be very happy as usual). Actor Prithviraj’s athletic physic and rugged look makes him the best choice for the role.

Madhavan as Nandi- With his plump musculature and innocent looks, but the ability to be athletic if required, Madhavan could be a good option to play Nandi, a loyal devotee of Shiva and a captain of the Meluhan army. 

Vijay Sethupathy as Dhaksha- “Seriously... Vijay Sethupathy as Dhaksha, Sati’s father that is Shruti Haasan’s father?” you might ask. But, there’s a reason behind Meluhans’ youthful looks. On the other hand, it’d be interesting to see Vijay Sethupathy in a gray shaded character. Afterall, he loves experimenting!  

Sudeep as Parvateshwar- Parvateshwar, a true Meluhan, the god father of Sati and the head of Meluhan Army, is one of the most intense characters in the novel and Sudeep is an actor who could easily pull off extreme emotions.

Anyone as Ganesh: Anyone with a good physique and an ability to act could do Ganesh, the deformed elder son of Sati. Anyway the actor’s face would have to be graphically or with mask, be altered to look like an elephant face.  

The same applies to Kali, Sati’s deformed twin sister.

Gautham Karthik as Bhagirath: Gautham’s youthful and buoyant nature makes him the best option for Bhagirath, the valiant prince of Ayodhya.

Anaika Soti as Anandmayi: The very attractive Anaika is well suited to play Anandmayi, the charming princess of Ayodhya and the love interest of Parvateshwar.

Prakash Raj as sage Brigu: Who would be a better choice to play a bad guy than Praksh Raj, an expert familiar with all shades of gray? And, I’m pretty sure that the actor would enjoy playing a character as deceptive and ambitious as Brigu.

And finally, Nassar with his intelligent looks is a straight suit for Brihaspati, the Meluhan chief scientist and Saranya Ponvannan, who has played mother of everyone in the industry, can be cast as Ayurvati, the chief of medicines.

Now to the most important part. It was so evident that Amish had lived every character that he had created. The story has some extraordinarily simple, yet impactful dialogues. I believe our lyric engineer Madhan Karky, who proved his knack with words with projects as extremes as Enthiran and Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara, could do an inspiring job with the dialogues. Also his expertise in Tamil will come into play.

If Amish’s expertise in cinematography is as exceptional as his ability to sketch the beautiful landscapes of Manasarovar, Meluhan empire, Ayodhya, the Dhandaka forest and the other locations, I would suggest he crank the lens himself. Otherwise, the master of cinematography, Santosh Siva, who could show heroism using a mere dog (Thuppakki), would be the apt person to wield the camera. His Ravanan, Urumi and many other masterpieces would vouch my statement.

Music- AR Rahman hands down. I needn’t even explain why. As for as the captain of the ship is concerned, it was difficult for me to choose one from the list of my favourites and the real experts of the genre. After a lot of thinking, the name that just kept showing up in my mind was SS Rajamouli’s. His expertise in handling a period subject, his success rate and his deep knowledge on recent technology makes him the best man to translate this fascinating novel into a majestic movie without losing the true essence of it.

And to sum up, I really hope this happens soon!

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