While the title of his upcoming film “Ravan Leela (Bhavai)” has been changed to simply “Bhavai” to respect the sentiments of a section of viewers, actor Pratik Gandhi on Tuesday said the rechristening is “not the answer to the broader question”. Set against the backdrop of Bhavai, a popular folk theatre form from Gujarat, the movie marks the “Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story” star’s first Hindi feature film as a lead.
According to a statement by the makers, the decision was taken after receiving audiences” requests for the title change and “to respect their sentiments.”
In the Hardik Gajjar directorial, Gandhi plays Rajaram Joshi, a stage artist who essays the role of Ravan in a Ram Leela presentation, the traditional performance of the Ramayana.
“Bhavai” is a film about two people who work in a Ram Leela and how it affects their personal life. The 41-year-old actor said the film does not glorify Ravan.
“We aren’t showing any interpretation of Ram or Ravan in the film. The film is not at all about it. That’s why the team thought that if sentiments of a certain section of the society are hurt, we don’t mind changing the name if that satisfies them. But I’m sure that’s not the answer to the broader question. We changed the name, but will that solve anything?” Gandhi told PTI.
The audience must understand the difference between reel and real life, he added.
“Then will it be like this that if someone has played the role of Hanuman ji, he will never get married? It can’t be like that. The job of an actor is to bring the story to the audience via screen. Actors also have a personal life and when the audience forgets this, that is a problem, which is the story of the film,” the actor said.
Earlier in the day, director Gajjar said the team is confident that “Bhavai” will entertain the audience.
“I am happy to honour the wishes of my stakeholders and audience, the love we have received for the film thus far is resonance of the fact that good cinema is the need of the hour. Cinema is a medium meant to entertain people and so is our film.
“Audiences have showered Pratik with love for his work and we hope that this film will only see it multiply. It’s a film that is close to our hearts and we are confident that audiences will love it with all their hearts too,” Gajjar said in a statement earlier in the day.
“Bhavai” also stars Aindrita Ray, Rajendra Gupta, Rajesh Sharma, and Abhimanyu Singh in pivotal roles and is set to release theatrically on October 1.
The film is presented by Dr Jayantilal Gada (Pen Studios) and produced by Dhaval Jayantilal Gada, Aksshay Jayantilal Gada, Parth Gajjar, and Hardik Gajjar films in association with Backbencher Pictures.
Gandhi has previously acted in Hindi movies “Loveyatri” and “Mitron”, and Gujarati films like “Bey Yaar” and “Wrong Side Raju”, which won the National Award for best feature film in Gujarati.