The remake train is chugging along merrily and the latest news on the remake front is that Dhanush is going to star in the remake of Rajni's MaappiLLai. I think its too early to remake MaappiLLai since the original still works fine and there are no obvious aspects of it that would benefit from an update. If anything, the confrontations between the son-in-law and mother-in-law will not work as well as they did because of the lack of political overtones that the original film had because of the Rajni-JJ feud. But that aside, it is a gimmicky move with a lot of publicity potential as Rajni's maappiLLai is going to star in the remake of Rajni's MaappiLLai!
One of the fun things in such high-profile remakes is to try and see who among the current lot would fill in for the roles. With Dhanush fixed as the hero, the two other key roles would obviously be those of his wife and his mother-in-law. The heroine's role is generic enough to ensure that any of our current crop of actresses will fit the bill. None of them is ofcourse going to match Amala, who was at her prettiest and sweetest in the film. But its not going to matter whether its Trisha, Nayan, Shriya or Tamannah who falls in love with Dhanush and then moves to the sidelines, making an appearance for the duets, as Dhanush clashes with her mom. The heroine's role was actually pretty flaky as she switched sides between her hubby and her mom with alarming frequency but when has that ever stopped our actresses from taking on a heroine's role in a popular hero's movie.
That leaves the mother-in-law's character. Srividya absolutely nailed it in the original as she recognized the movie for what it was and played the role perfectly. She was just a little over-the-top for the film was first and foremost, an entertainer. At the same time, she was not so out there that the film turned into camp and was serious enough to make the confrontations between her and Rajni sparkle.
The actress for the MIL role has to be played by an actress who is from the previous generation but is still popular and will lend the project some buzz when included in it. MaxDaVinci, on Twitter, had 3 interesting suggestions in Ramya Krishnan, Vijayashanti and Kushboo. Ramya is an obvious choice but her role here will seem just a bit too much like Padaiyappa's Neelambari. Vijayashanti too has played the role of the shrew(coincidentally, also with Rajni, in Mannan) and will be perfect for that side of the character but I'm not so sure she can bring the comic touch that Srividya brought to her portrayal. That leaves Kushboo and I think she would be a good fit. She can definitely play the haughty MIL role with the right mix of sternness and light-heartedness. But my first choice for role would have to be Nadhiya. Inspite of a few questionable choices, she still has an aura of exclusivity and will bring some buzz to the film. She has shown us that she can do strict well and can easily add the dash of comedy that the role needs.
Well, whoever he's gonna go up against, Dhanush has some pretty big shoes to fill having selected this film. I mean, can one imagine Dhanush - or anyone else, for that matter - making this scene work?