Arun Mandola has been part of multiple mythological shows and has played the role of Lakshmana twice. He says that while he is not an expert, according to his experience in mythological projects and people’s reactions to them, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor might not be the ideal choice for Nitesh Tiwari’s Ramayana.
“I heard that director Nitesh Tiwari is making ‘Ramayana’ with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. This sounds extremely good as after 30 years of Shri Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Ramayan’ and B R Chopra’s ‘Mahabharata’, we finally woke up and understood the power of Ramayana and Indian historical values. But I don’t see Ranbir Kapoor as the perfect Ram and Alia Bhatt as the perfect Sita. No doubt Ranbir and Alia both are very good actors but the requirement of characters do not fit the bill. Ranbir is known for his chocolaty boy personality and if you see, his acting career history whenever he tries something like that the audience clearly denies it, and Lord Ram was never a chocolaty boy, There was Gambhir Ras with calmness in his personality and Ranbir has opposite personality with this,” he says.
He adds, “I don’t see calmness on Alia’s face. I feel that Ranbir can be as good as Bhagwan Lakshman and Alia can be the perfect Devi Urmila. I like Ranbir Kapoor's short-term anger and that is a perfect match for Lakshman ji and Alia Bhatt also has short-term anger. They can fit there.”
Talking about his ideal cast, he says, “If Sushant Singh Rajput was alive then he would have been a good choice for lord Ram because he had a very calm face, with an innocent smile. Shraddha Kapoor is perfect for Mata Sita because she also has an innocent and calm face. There are lots of incredible things that you can do in ‘Ramayana’. Use great VFX, use unlimited actions, and use powerful Sanskrit Stotram as a song. I mean unimaginable things can be created. Each and every character is immortal in Ramayana. It depends on you how imaginative you are. But the casting has to be perfect. Ranbir as Ram and Alia as Sita then that will not do justice. If you are making Ramayana just for the sake of money, then the results will be mixed like those of ‘Adipurush’ and ‘Ramyug’ web series. But if you want to make your content like Shri Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Ramayan’ then you need deep research with a strong spirituality. He is a great director and he made good films like ‘Chhichhore’ and the blockbuster movie ‘Dangal’.”
Recently, many series and films based on Ramayana have not done well. Explaining why this is happening, he says, “Recently, director Kunal Kohli also made ‘Ramyug’ for MX Player and the audience did not respond positively. But, yes, they tried and I appreciate that. But when it comes to historical/mythological projects, then efforts should be ten times extra. Makers should do deep research with proper evidence otherwise any one can sue you or you will be in big trouble. In this series, the actor who is playing Bhagwan Ram has dimples with no calmness on his face and Lakshman ji is showing attitude to God Parshuram! There is a big difference between attitude and aggression and both were also with short hair in series.”