WENN (US), September 8, 2009
Hindus Worried About Keanu Reeves Movie
Hindu leaders in America are concerned Keanu Reeves' reported portrayal of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in a new movie will be another awful Hollywood depiction of their religion, belief system and gods.
Top Hindus are still reeling from the way Mike Myers poked fun at their religion in The Love Guru, and they fear Reeves' new film Hanuman, in which he'll play Rama, will be another misinformed film about Hinduism.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed tells WENN, "Hindus are concerned. If the makers of this proposed movie intend to base the storyline on the epic Ramayana and make references to it or portray Hindu gods/goddesses in the movie, we would urge the makers to stay true to the story and the spirit of the timeless epic and other Hindu scriptures."
Gary Oldman is also reportedly part of the cast, as is Lagaan star Aamir Khan, who is slated to play Hanuman.
Shooting on the Chuck Russell film is expected to start towards the end of this year in Rajasthan, India.
Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, adds, "Ramayana is a highly revered scripture of Hinduism. Hollywood is welcome to make a movie about Ramayana but the final product should be the true depiction of it and not a fantasised or a re-imagined version to fit the Hollywood machine, which was likely to hurt the Hindu sentiments.
"Moreover, as Hinduism is largely misunderstood outside India, the distortion would add to the confusion. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly.
"Ramayana is an integral part of Hinduism and was held in such reverence that Hindus believe that simply reading/hearing of it (sic) showered blessings upon the reader/listener."
Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit scripture, which explores various themes, including human existence and concept of dharma, among other leading religious and philosophical issues.