SS Rajamouli’s assistant Ashwin Gangaraju, who worked with the ace filmmaker on Eega and Baahubali franchise, is all set to direct a period drama. Titled 1770, the film is based on Bengali writer Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s celebrated novel Anandamath.
To mark 150 years of Vande Mataram, the poem written by Bankim Chandra for the novel which was later adopted as the country’s national song after independence, the makers have decided to release the motion poster of the multilingual film on Wednesday. 1770 will be made in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali.
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For Gangaraju, who made his debut as a director with Aakashvani in 2021, the subject of 1770, was indeed a mammoth challenge. “However, with V Vijayendra Prasad (father of SS Rajamouli and screenplay writer of RRR and Baahubali series) sir writing the adapted story and screenplay, I think what we have on paper is a blockbuster cinematic experience,” he said.
Just like his mentor Rajamouli, Gangaraju, too, is drawn towards stories which are set in a certain period. “As a filmmaker, I’m more drawn towards the stories which have periodic setups, bigger emotions, scope for larger-than-life action and 1770 is something that sits in perfectly for me. Initially I was a little skeptical but I spoke to Ram Kamal Mukherjee (the creator of the film) and after listening to his vision I gained confidence,” he added.
Interestingly, 2022 marks 150 years of Vande Mataram, the song that appeared first in Bankim Chandra’s novel Anandamath, which almost shook the roots of the British Empire.
For screenplay writer V Vijayendra Prasad, “Vande Mataram” is a “magical word.” Prasad, who has written the screenplay of superhits like RRR, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Magadheera, said, “Vande Mataram was a mantra that was given by Maharishi Bankim Chandra for a nation to unite against tyranny and injustice. In 1770, we have dealt with the story of unknown warriors who ignited the fire of the freedom movement.”
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Director, author and creator of 1770 Ram Kamal Mukherjee is thankful to the producers for showing faith in his vision. “I instantly liked the vibe of Ashwin as a filmmaker. He came prepared, with his own ideas, which enhanced the narrative visually. I loved his film Aakashvani and appreciated his skill as a storyteller. But the most important aspect of 1770 lies in the magical words written by Vijayendra Prasad sir, who is known for his unique ideas. His way of storytelling connects with the audiences, beyond linguistic boundaries,” said the Cakewalk director.
Shhailendra Kkumar from SS1 Entertainment feels this is the right time to make larger-than-life movies. He has collaborated with Suraj Sharma from PK Entertainment, former Zee Studio head Sujayy Kuttiy and producer Krishna Kumar B to make the dream come true. “Being a singer from Jhansi, we have grown up singing Vande Mataram in our schools and colleges. But when Ram da (Kamal) mentioned the story of Anandamath and Vijayendra sir shared his version, I was completely bowled over. I am grateful to Sujoyy Kuttiy and Krishna Kumar B for making this impossible task possible,” he said.
The team will lock the main lead before Dussehra, and by Diwali, the cast of the film will be announced. Ashwin along with his team has already started researching the period.