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The love queen of Malabar reincarnates through Vidya Balan

The queen of Malabar, legendary Malayalam writer Madhavikutty aka Kamal Surayya reincarnates through actor Vidya Balan. The Bollywood actor, whose roots are in Kerala, is all set to enact the controversial and multifaceted writer on screen in an unofficial biopic directed by veteran filmmaker Kamal. The movie will be made simultaneously in English and Malayalam. The untitled movie is touted as Kamal’s dream project and will also feature Prithviraj in an important role.

The movie will start rolling by the end of the year as soon as Vidya finishes off her Bollywood commitments. Currently, she is busy with director Sujay Ghosh’s Kahaani 2 which will go on floors in April. It will be Kamal’s second biopic project after Celluloid, which depicted the life of the father of Malayalam cinema JC Daniel. “My film will be on Madhavikutty life, and it will focus on her personal and creative sides. The movie will be divided into three episodes; her married life, the time around which she penned her autobiography, Ente Katha, and phase post her conversion to Islam, that is, her life as Kamala Surayya,” Kamal said in an old conversation.

When asked about the reason behind roping in Vidya as Madhavikutty, Kamal said: “I find Vidya Balan the perfect person to bring to life Madhavikutty on the silver screen. The moment I discussed this idea with her, she expressed her happiness. Though she is yet to sign the dotted line, she said that she would be glad to take up the project. The film will be shot in mid- 2016 and I am now busy with the pre-production work.”

Madhavikutty was a well-known Indian English poet and a leading Malayalam author. Her short stories and autobiography shook the traditional reading class in the state of Kerala and gave rise to heated controversies. Her openness and honest treatment of guiltless female sexuality often misinterpreted and made her a controversial figure for most her life time. Her memoirs ‘Ente Katha’ (My story) was initially out there for readers as her autobiography and later rechristened as an imaginary work due to severe moral policing.

Interesting fact is Vidya started her career as an actress with Kamal’s Mohanlal project Chakram that shelved in the half way. Later, Vidya went on to become one of the most celebrated actors of Indian Cinema. Her bold and fearless portrayal of characters has earned her an iconoclastic image among her contemporaries. When both the femininities meet on the screen, the viewers can have a treat.

According to sources, Kamal’s movie will trace her life in three parts. The first part will narrate her marriage at the age of 15 to a banker, the second part will deal with her controversial autobiography Ente Katha (My Story) and the third part will detail her conversion to Islam at the age of 67 and life after that. Even though there is no official confirmation from Prithviraj about his involvement in the project, Kamal affirms the actor’s role in the movie.

“Prithviraj’s character will be a fictional one. But, I cannot divulge more details about it right now. I am yet to discuss with him about the character as he is busy with other projects,” said Kamal. “The script of the English version is complete while some more work is pending for the Malayalam one. I hope we can start the shooting of the movie by this October,” he added.

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