Lagan-famed director Asutosh Gowarikar is all set to travel with his recent film ‘Mohenjo Daro’ to Switzerland for the 69th Locarno international film festival (3 – 13 August).
Founded in 1946, the Locarno International Film Festival is the second oldest film festival in the world annually held in August. Ashutosh Gowarikar once again has made it to Locarno, after the Amir Khan starrer Lagaan (2001), which won the Audience Award at the 54th edition of the festival. This time, Gowarikar’s Mohenjo-Daro, a film based on one of the ancient civilizations by the Indus River, is chosen as the closing movie at the prestigious manifestation.
An antique love story
Mohenjo-Daro is one of the oldest civilization and urban settlement of the world. Built around 2500 Before Christ (B.C.), it was coeval with Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt and Crete, in Greece. This ancient city was abdicated around 19th century B.C with the decline of Indus civilization.
The movie Mohenjo-Daro sets on the ancient city of Indus Valley Civilization, which reflects an image of the planning of one the best urban settlements in the world, habitations, culture, lifestyle, attires and get-ups of that era. It is a romantic epic-adventure with a candid mix of Bollywood twists. The storyline revolves around an indigo farmer, who develops a penchant towards the city Mohenjo-Daro . He can also relate himself with the city, and falls in love with his enemy’s daughter. His enemy was the emperor of that city, who gets defeated by the protagonist played by the charming Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan.
A movie rooted in Indian History
Indian civilization and culture has been developed from the ancient culture and civilization of Indus valley. The origin of India and Indian history rooted in Harappa- Mohenjo Daro one of the valuable cities of Indus era. The literal meaning of the word “Mohenjo-Daro” is ‘Mound of the Dead Men’. Earlier Locarno film festival projected Lagaan, which was also based on Indian history of British colonial India. This time another Indian movie, that relates India’s own history.
Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde and Kabir Bedi shared the screen to play the leading roles in the film. Hrithik as Sarman (the protagonist), Pooja as Channi (the beloved) and Kabir as Maham(the emperor) are set to entertain the audience at Locarno in August. To develop the movie Gowarikar took help of the archaeologists, who documented the discovery of the Indus history and it took over three years to build. Gowarikar chose Mumbai, Bhuj (a municipality in Kutch District in the state of Gujarat0, Jabalpur (a tier 2 city in the state of Madhya Pradesh) and Thane (a city in the state of Maharashtra in Konkan Division) for shooting in India. Song lyrics are written by Javed Akhtar and the film score is done by Oscar winner A. R. Rehman (Slumdog Millionaire). The movie is releasing on 12th August, 2016 and distributed by Disney India.
Award winning crew
To portray this epic civilization, life style close to the reality of that era Gowarirkar did a hard work to say the least. He along with his team recreated the whole archaeological site of Dholavira (an archaeological site at Khadirbet in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District, in the state of Gujarat ), India; in a film studio. Mohenjo-Daro crew also had Oscar nominated and Emmy-Award winning costume designer April Ferry. Hollywood big shot, award winning VFX Supervisor Karen Goulekas, who won BAFTA Awards for The fifth element and The day after tomorrow was also a part of this huge period drama. Karen Goukelas said “Ashutosh is an amazing story-teller with a beautiful vision for Mohenjodaro. And our challenge, as his creative team, was to do whatever it takes to get that vision up on that big screen for audiences to share and enjoy.”