Sanskrit movies always carries the imprint of being too much serious. Bhagavadajjukam is my humble effort to change this perception. My aim was to create a light hearted movie in Sanskrit language which the audience could sit back and enjoy, said Yadu Vijayakrishnan, director of the film in a media interaction at IFFI 52 in Goa.
Bhagavadajjukam which was shown under feature film category of Indian Panorama also had its World Premiere at the 52nd edition of IFFI.
Yadu Vijayakrishnan, who always have the penchant to make movies on historical themes said that the idea to make a movie in Sanskrit was actually his producer Kiran Raj’s, who has immense love towards the language Sanskrit.
Kiren Raj is interested in Sanskrit plays and when he approached me with suggestion to make a movie in Sanskrit, I was kind of apprehensive first, said Yadhu Vijayakrishnan, adding, “We all know Sanskrit movies have less takers since the language is being spoken less.”
Sharing how they had zeroed in on a satirical play Bhagavadajjukam by Bodhayana of 7th century CE, Yadu Vijayakrishnan added, “I never wanted to write a new story. I was in search of story with a soul.”
Bhagavadajjukam which deals with philosophies of Buddhism and Hinduism has been adapted into theatre plays in many languages and in art forms such as Koodiyattam- a traditional art form of Kerala.
Asserting how the language posed a serious hurdle, Yadu Vijayakrishnan told that he had included some chosen actors from the Sopanam theatre group as majority knew the characters and dialogues very well. The founder of the Sopanam theatre troupe Kavalam Narayana Panicker had made a play on the Bhagavadajjukam in 2011.
The original play is set in a garden which happens in one single occasion. To convert it to a cinematic experience, there was so much to be done since I had retained around seventy percent dialogues from the original, said Vijayakrishnan while sharing his experience. “Yet we faced difficulties as none including me spoke Sanskrit,” he added in jest
“The co-writer of the movie and Sanskrit scholar Aswathy Ambika Vijayan made our work easier. She translated all the dialogues which made things somewhat easier for us,” the director said throwing some light on their cinematic journey.
Asked about the reaction of viewers during its world premiere at IFFI, Yadhu Vijayakrishnan said they had received mixed reactions. “Some of the viewers opined that only a person who understands Sanskrit would be able to enjoy the film is its full essence. English translation has its limitations as the English can’t convey the deep meanings that Sanskrit words carry,” he shared.