“I want people to go watch Mohenjo Daro with an open mind, understand the heritage,” appeals film director Ashutosh Gowariker, who is back after four years with a film touted to be the most expensive film. Mohenjo Daro also sees Hrithik Roshan in the lead with actress Pooja Hegde, who debuts in Hindi. Kabir Bedi also returns back to mainstream cinema with this magnum opus. Ashutosh Gowariker is fascinated with history, medieval India. “I have interest in different eras, dynasty and culture and I find the urge to bring the untold stories to life on the big screen,” he explains enthusiastically.
It was while shooting Lagaan that Ashutosh Gowariker first visited Dholavira , an archaeological site which has the ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization and it is one of the largest Harappan sites. I was so astonished with the find that I realized this was pre history and we know so little of it. “I was keen on knowing more about it, getting more facts.” Ever since then Gowariker has been reading books on history and archaeology. I have so many books on this subject that when I had archeologists and experts visiting my office, they were surprised to see so many books on the Indus Valley Civilization , even they had not read all of the books.
Ashutosh Gowariker also visited all the other archeological sites; Lothal and Haryana to study and understand the pre historic civilization but to truly understand the Harappan city, he relied heavily on archeologist Jonathan Mark Kenoyer and his work. “The Indus Valley Civilization is known for its planned cities, extensive public works, distinctive potteries, figurines and jewellery. I used these to create my sets and set my story missing facts with fiction,” explains Gowariker.
Gowariker has shot the film extensively in Bhuj. “The reason I chose Kutch to shoot this film is for if you walk westwards, you reach Mohenjo Daro. The landscape too is virgin and it is cohesive with the era that I wanted to depict in this film.” Gowariker also doesn’t stop talking about the cooperation of the locals from Kutch and he mentions in the passing that you might find a few faces familiar.
Story by Prachi Bari