Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Chandramukhi in Hindi

Mohanlal, Vishnuvardhan, Rajnikanth… Akshay Kumar?
Shobana, Soundarya, Jyothika… Vidya Balan?
Suresh Gopi, Ramesh Arvind, Prabhu… Shiny Ahuja?

Talks about the Hindi remake of Chandramukhi (which itself was a remake of Manichithrathaazhu / Aaptamitra) have been doing the rounds for a while now. As with all rumors, a bunch of names have been thrown around for the main roles. Initially, Shah Rukh Khan and then Amitabh were mentioned for the hero’s role. The one constant in all the reports was that Aishwarya Rai was approached for the heroine’s role but couldn’t accept due to lack of dates. With her out of the race, Kajol and Rani Mukherjee were supposed to be frontrunners for the key role of the heroine. And Ajay Devgan was tipped to play Kajol's husband.

The latest news has Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan and Shiny Ahuja in the three main roles in Chandramukhi’s Hindi remake. The director is supposedly Priyadarshan, who has made a habit of remaking Malayalam hits (usually directed by himself) in Hindi.

The number of remakes (all huge successes so far) of Manichithrathaazhu simply points to the universality of Fazil’s original story. Expertly paced and tightly narrated, the film is truly a lesson on how a film that deals with the supernatural should be made. Ofcourse, credit also goes to Shobana and Mohanlal for bringing to life the unforgettable lead characters.

If the Hindi remake does happen, Manichithrathaazhu might be the only film to have been remade or dubbed in all the major languages (Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi). I'm not sure if there has been any other story that got made into a film in all these 5 languages? Another universally popular film I can think of is Munnabhai MBBS, which was remade in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. But no Malayalam remake so far (which, personally, is a huge surprise because I think Mohanlal is the actor perfectly suited to play that role with its mix of seriousness and comedy).

While Akshay Kumar’s name as the hero would’ve made me cringe a few years back, the actor has shown enough comic potential in recent movies to make me think he could carry it off. But then again, the charisma of actors like Mohanlal and Rajnikanth was what lifted their films above the ordinary and Akshay lacks that inspite of being a bankable actor. Vidya Balan definitely has the looks for the meaty role. I don’t know if she is a dancer but Jo did carry her role off with hard work rather than Bharatanatyam talent. So Vidya could do the same even if she isn't a classical dancer. Prabhu’s role is minor enough for any actor to portray and Shiny Ahuja should do fine (though with Akshay as the hero, I’m surprised this role didn’t go to Sunil Shetty). The only question is how Shiny is going to say “Kya Kodumai hai ye, Saravanan!”

The news item talks about the remake as news rather than rumor, with shooting set in Rajasthan and starting in Jan 2007. Will be interesting to see if the Hindi version recreates the success of the movies in the other languages.

34 Comments:

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Srijith Unni said...

Hi Balaji,

Priyadarshan worked as assistant to Fazil for Manichitathazhu. So I think Priyadarshan is perhaps the most capable director, who can go ahead and direct this movie in Hindi.

The theme is universal and can be made well in Hindi, but I believe, that the perfection in the expressions and the dance sequences which Shobhana had, in the original has remained unequalled in all the sequels. That was a national award well deserved.

No offence intended, Balaji,:) , but Jo surely has not reached that range as an actress.

With Best Regards,
Srijith.

 
At 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,
I think "Sattam Oru Iruttarai" was made in all the five languages.
you may check it out.
vengayam

 
At 3:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,

“Kya Kodumai hai ye, Saravanan!” ...LOL

Good one!

Regards,

Pushanikkai (Inspired by Vengayam)

 
At 9:50 AM, Anonymous ram said...

"kya kodumai hai saravanan!" --> R O F L!! i really cracked up!

the other piece in c. mukhi (after someone pointed out) that truly amuses me is prabhu telling rajni, "saravanan, ungaluku e-mail la message vandhuruku." my friend said that it seems someone in the theatre shouted, "pinne e-mail-la mangaathavaa varum?!"

neways, Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan-aa hmm...i wanna watch Manichitrathazhu but my indian grocery doesnt have it...ditto for Apthamithra because I've heard that Soundarya (one of my 'evergreen' fav actresses) was quite good in that role too. feel a tinge of sadness whenever i listen to "enai enna seydhaay" from "Ivan." she was fabulous in that movie...ppl. who've only seen her in glamorous roles should check out "ivan" or even better, "anthapuram." oops, am digressing big time here...

so, apeet...!

 
At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Shwetha said...

"kya kodumai hai saravanan!" :)))) too funny. Equally funny were the vengayam and pushnikai blogger IDs.

Vidya Balan is a great choice, she was terrific in Parineeta and reminded me of Shobana, the way she used her eyes to express. Akshay Kumar...Yuckkkshuy kumar. Amitabh would have been so damn perfect for this. sigh.... they shudve just waited for his dates. Btw, I am no Anil Kapoor fan, but even he'd be better suited than action pin up boy akshay.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL.

Shouldn't it be "Kya kodumai hai Sharvan" :)

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wonder where the ghost will be from?

in manichitrathazhu, the ghost was tamil.
in chandramukhi (tamil), she was gult.
in chandramukhi (gult), she was tamil again.

what was she in the kannada version?

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan said...

after the hindi remake is done, priyadarshan will reremake it in Malayalam !!

:)

 
At 4:46 AM, Blogger prakash said...

What's so funny about the "Enna kodumai" dialogue? I have seen it mocked several times, including a few times on BB's blog itself.

 
At 5:44 AM, Anonymous raj said...

In Kannada, she was gult. So, she has been everything except the language of the original creator :-)
I dont think any actor in Hindi can pull off a Mohanlal. Ofcourse, there are many to pull of a Vishuvardhan. Again, Rajni masala Chandramukhi cant be duplicated in Hindi
Shobana has till now not even been matched 10%, even by Soundarya. Jyothika was as pathetic as the Lollu Sabha parodist who played her role. I think Sathyaraj almost pulled off a near-replica dance of Jyothika's in Englishkaaran. Sorry, BB, Unmai sudum :-0

 
At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and what's with the akshay kumar bashing? do we not like good looking heros in the south? he is the most saleable actor in the US right now, so it does make sense....and isnt't everyone a little tired of amitabh bachchan?

mathangi

 
At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Akshay Kumar bashing has nothing to do with his looks. As an "actor", he would put a tree to shame.

 
At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

akshay kumar is good looking? he looks like a horse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yes i am tired of amitabh bachchan.

 
At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mathangi, good-looks arent essential in the south - for the movie-hall-going-fraternity. What matters is if the hero can shake a leg, else if the heroine is hot(actually this is the overriding condition) else if there is a (what you call) paisa-vasool item song else. Everything else is built around these. Other items must be present as an alibi so that you are not seen as going to watch a movie purely for its hot heroine.

P.S: Dont ask me to explain the success of Anniyan based on the above theory.
P.S.2: From the POV of tamil people, Jyothika is hot!!

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger Suresh Kumar said...

Hi, interesting cast. I think Vidya Balan is the best choice for that character, i think she is trained classical dancer (read in one of her interviews) but not bharathanatyam, it is kathak or kuchupudi, i don't remember. Also i think the story is not that of Fazil, it has been borrowed from a malayalam writer who wrote it as a short story. but Fazil sure can take credit for the brilliant screenplay. I don't think Akshay as the right choice for the central character, though i couldn't really think of any hindi actor in that role except for amitabh. btw..I wish Priyadarshan remakes manichitrathzhu, instead of Chandramukhi

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original story was not by Fazil. Fazil (or rather the producer Appachan) "bought" the rights to the story by Madhu Muttam, who was paid Rs.50,000 (or could be just 5,000 for all you know). The royalty for all other successful remakes went to Fazil & Appachan, with nary a paisa to Madhu.

 
At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Akshay Kumar has done few films under Priyadarshan, so he must have thought Akshay Kumar can fit the bill.

Forget about his acting, atleast he looks stylish with his glasses when compared to other aged heroz! Atleast no one can deny comedy is the forte for Akshay Kumar!

Just Imagine Akshay Kumar singing "Bhagwan Hai Bhagwan, Tirupathi ka Bhagwan" :-)

I am sincerely hoping that priyadarshan does not name the title of the movie as PHIR - CHANDRA - PHERI or PHIR - Chandra - MUKI :)

Vivek

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Akshay is the best, can carry off anything.....could not have been a better choice....and Priyadarshan is no fool to have casted Akshay without having a solid idea about his skills.

Priyadarshan must have given a lot of thoughts before deciding his crew as this is the remake of his original hit and he must be centimental about it, determined to give equal results on the biggest film industry of the world - Bollywood.

 
At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Rahul said...

None of the heroines in remakes could match the performance given by Shobhana in the original. I wish Vidya Balan can do justice to the role of Ganga.

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

guess Akshay would sail thru the roal and essay it real well.. the story itself might not fit into the hindi movie goers mind though.. Hope it does as well as the other versions...

 
At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fat ass tamilians and for that matter all fat ass southies..with th in thier name...deserve thier ass kicked manytimes over....f...in southies..disgrace.

Akshay Kumar...wont fit the role if its for lungi southies....all southies are fat assed..actors and actresses...mohan fat ass laal

 
At 2:40 AM, Anonymous aju said...

Well I appreciate all good movies and good stories.. Manichitratazzu was a legendray movie.. with National Award winner Shobana.. and 4 time national award winer Mohanlal.. So choosing the best of actors and actress is a must for this.. If its a masala bash Akshay fits best but for this I wud say no to akshay or to Vidya .. well my way to go fwd wud have been Ajay with Kajol or Rani..wud have been gr8.. So that Most of these legendary movies made in south cud get recognized elsewere ..So u anonymous just shut ur f*****g mouth shut and place ur ass on a seat to enjoy the movie u ass***le

 
At 5:48 AM, Anonymous jose said...

Akshay kumar has proved again and again that he can be suited for different kind of roles. Priyan is a director who can bring that stuff he needed from any actor to the screen. I believe Akshay can portray the charactor made immortal by Mohanlal in its original.

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amisha Patel dons the role of Rudra ( Malayalam ), Nayantara ( Tamil ), Prema ( Kannada )

 
At 1:42 AM, Blogger nirmal said...

First of all let me tell you that in 'Manichitrathaazhu' it is clearly narrated that the character played by Shobhana does'nt know classical dance, so the actor's contribution is in the fact she acted like a person who does'nt know dancing but since having a split personality believes herself as a dancer and performs, that itself makes it clear that the actor who does this role is not supposed to be a dancer after all she is supposed to act, and that is the great differnce between Malayalam cinema and other language films, they give the film a realistic look and treats is realistic way, other languages add lots of masala and makes it unbelievable.

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The HINDI version of movie “Manichithrathazhu” should have followed the same pattern of its previous versions in Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam as far as the deciding factors are concerned. The lead roles should be done by super stars like Sharukh Khan and Ashwrya Rai. Without such big names in lead roles, definitely this film is NOT going to repeat the success story which we have seen with the previous versions…
-Manjima

 
At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a malayalam movie calld Poovinu pthiya poonthennal which i believe was remade in many langages (once i heard from someone that it was remade in at least 10 languages) and all the films had the same villain - Babu Antony. In tamil, it was poovizhi vaasaliley and in Hindi, it was Hatya. I am not sure of other languages.

 
At 1:24 AM, Blogger Sajit said...

Priyadarshan has many experiences in the Hindi Film industry - he know the best. Casting of Akshay Kumar may be successful. Vidya Balan has the talent.

In the Hindi version the ghost is from Bengal. So Nagavalli will be speaking in Bengali.

Lets wait for the completion!

 
At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to see many Malayalam movie remakes. But, the painful truth is that, the real original talents are always forgotten(Always concealed)!!! I am not sure whether you all know that, most of the Priyadarshan movies in Hindi are just copies (literally) from Malayalam hits. Most of them are seen to seen copies.

There is nothing wrong in remaking films and I'm not criticizing Priyan. But what he should have done is, atleast mention the name of original writers and directors.

Here I am saying this because, the writer of story “Manichitharathaazh” is Madhu Muttom, and completely unknown by all of the people enjoyed the remakes in their own languages. Then there are many people like him. Directors Sidhiq and Lal are one among them.

India has such a big talent. But I don't know why always, there is statements like “South Indian”? Is that means India is totally divided into two “The South India” and “India!!!” ?!!

So I think, at least we the new Generation should change these kind of narrow mindedness and should make India a real united country in diversity.

 
At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shobana knows Hindi and everyone accepts that no one has ever performed as well as had done in Manichitra... they why cant she herself play the role again in the Hindi version? she still looks beautiful and there is anothing some professional make-up cant do to make skin look younger.. what u say?

 
At 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I believe even if a movie is remade, there should be a basic courtesy of the original to be mentioned. But this sadly doesnot happen when it comes to languages that doesnot have a huge audience such as Kannada/Malayalam etc. So many Malayalam movies are remade to Hindi,Tamil and Kannada but the malayalam version is not mentioned nor given any recognision.Thats really sad.Manichitrataalam(my fav),Punjabi house,Kuzhi kunnanetc were remade. A few other remade movies that did well in Hindi are Hera Pheri,Phir Hera Pheri,Garam Masala,Heyy Babyy but not even for one was it mentioned that it was a Malayalam remake. Thats really sad.

 
At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its good to see so many malayam movie remade but would apprecite if the original people are given their recognition.
There is nothing wrong in remaking films and I'm not criticizing any director. But what he should have done is, atleast mention the name of original writers and directors.

 
At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear balaji

Those who speak about Manichithrathaazhu never speaks about poor Madhu Muttam who wrote the film.He has been terribly neglected by all.madhu is a man who is very much interested in Psychological subjects and one of the first to introduce such subjects to Malayalam film.The only film he scripted after manichithrathaazhu was one released recently, BHARATHAN which is a science fiction film which also deals with a psychic case.He is a poet too.

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger n# said...

I think Shobana is a big fit... even i can't understand the logic of putting a perfect classic dancer in a split personality role?

Can a real split personality who behave as a classic dancer can really match such a learned/perfected classic dancer?

So only half baked classic dancers would suffice.

 

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