Mythological Superheroes: Hanuman in Indian Cinema

Exploring mythological superheroes through the lens of Homi Wadia's cinema posters

Mahabali Hanuman PosterUltra Media & Entertainment

Every God is known for his peculiar powers and fascinating chronicles.

Let’s explore one of the most popular Gods in India and their legends which were beautifully portrayed in Homi Wadia films of Classic and Retro Era.

Hanuman Vijay by Homi WadiaUltra Media & Entertainment

Hanuman: The Mighty Monkey-God

Hanuman is the Lord of Celibacy who signifies ultimate strength, devotion and assertiveness. He is worshiped for his self-control, and service towards a cause till the very end. He was considered to be an Avatar of Lord Shiva and has been mentioned in popular Hindu Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata as well.   

Pavanputra Hanuman by Homi WadiaUltra Media & Entertainment

Known as the son of Wind God or Pawanputra, his mischievous childhood posed a danger to the entire world as he was almost about to gobble the Sun down his mouth!

Mahabali Hanuman PosterUltra Media & Entertainment

Upon growing up, he became an ardent devotee of Lord, Rama and accomplished unthinkable tasks to bring back Rama’s wife, Sita from the clutches of the powerful Demon god Ravana!

Mahabali HanumanUltra Media & Entertainment

He even went to the extent of lifting an entire mountain when he was asked to get particular a medicinal plant (Sanjeevani) to save Rama’s brother Laxman’s life.

Hanuman Chalisa by Homi WadiaUltra Media & Entertainment

By simply using his tail, he set ablaze the entirity of Lanka, the grand Empire of Ravana to instigate him to give up Sita, whom he had abducted.

Pavanputra Hanuman 3 by Homi WadiaUltra Media & Entertainment

Such were the chronicles of Hanuman, that he is considered as one of the most loved superheroes of Indian Mythology.

And to play a mythological icon in Cinema is challenging, too, considering the audience already has a fantasised perception about the character.

Mahabali Hanuman PosterUltra Media & Entertainment

In the film, 'Mahabali Hanuman' (1981), the Indian actor popularly known as Hercules, played the role of Hanuman.

Hercules used to be a garment designer, noted for saris. Because of his muscular build, he was pulled into films around 1951 by stunt action instructors Douglas (equestrian) and Azeembhai (fencing), initially to play substitutes. He was later considered for feature roles, especially after Johny Walker and Guru Dutt noticed him.

Mahabali Hanuman PosterUltra Media & Entertainment

Suffice to say, Hercules managed to embody the lead role of Hanuman in the film memorably.

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