Animation Film Hanuman Da’ Damdaar is grabbing eyeballs with its amazing ensemble dubbing cast. The film boasts of names like Salman Khan, Javed Akhtar, Raveena Tandon, Vinay Pathak, Makarand Deshpande, Saurabh Shukla and Chunky Pandey among others!
The animation film is all set to release during summer vacations. Director Ruchi Narain Opens up to Koimoi in an exclusive interview ahead of the film’s release…
Why did you choose to make a film on Hanuman?
I wanted to make an animation film and Hanuman is also the first successful animation film in India. I thought it will be a good starting point. I feel Hanuman has a very good connect to everybody in India. What appealed to me about him as a character is his innocence. He has so much power but he doesn’t know it. He always does everything from that place of purity. In today’s world, where everyone is der shania, I thought it would be great to have a character like this. I wanted to do a fun, adventure tale and hence I chose to do an animation film. The film is an entertaining journey which everyone can watch together.
The film has amazing actors on board for dubbing. Did you choose the cast?
I wouldn’t say I chose, it was on my wish list, my dream team. We went to everybody and luckily they all agreed. It’s amazing to see these names on the film’s poster! Each of them has added so much to those characters to bring them alive, in terms of their persona and performance, that it just takes the film to another level. These actors are known in their space for being the funniest, wittiest and the coolest. It is one of those films where in the end when you go out, you can have long arguments as to who is the best.
Why did you cast Javed Akhtar?
Valmiki tells the story. In those days, stories were not written, they were told, narrated. Valmiki must have been a great narrator! In today’s time, who is a great narrator? Javed sir! He was a little apprehensive in the beginning but he has done a great job.
How was the experience of working with Salman Khan? Did he instantly agree to lend his voice?
It was amazing! There is no question of convincing him. Either he wants to do it or he doesn’t. What I realized while working with him is the reason why he is a big superstar. He is always thinking about his audience. He knows what will make them connect. He wants to entertain them always. Apart from that, he has a great, sharp writer’s mind. You can tell, haan yeh Salim Khan ka beta hai! He has the ability to construct things, especially for his audience be it his dance moves or his lines.
How much of the film has the grown up Hanuman?
The story of how he became damdaar is about the little Hanuman. He (grown up Hanuman) is there in the film, but the main story is about the little Hanuman.
Who is the child who dubbed for little Hanuman?
His name is Arnav Nathani. He has never dubbed, acted or done anything. The first thing he has done is an entire feature film! He is really cute! I did so many voice tests, auditioned many child actors, but what I loved about his voice is its innocence. I am most excited for him to see the film.
Are you planning a sequel?
Not really. Hanuman has been made several times. This film is just a different take on it. I definitely want to do another animation film. It’s a long process but now we know it. It’ll be easier and faster for us next time. Also, the possibilities animation offers you, in terms of scale and imagination you can never do it in live action. We are working on another one.
What is your next film?
We do have a line-up of three films as a production house (R.A.T Films). There is a love story, which we will start later this year. There is also a comedy film with a big star cast and a thriller.
The film is releasing on 19th May, which is summer vacation time for kids. Did you choose this time keeping kids in mind?
Yes, we did. We had decided while making the film that it has to be a summer release. It is a summer kind of film. So we were very sure about the time of the release and would not change it for anybody.
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