Wednesday, July 22, 2009


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?


At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Nadia?


At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Nadiya would be the perfect choice. Aishwarya(Lakshmi's daughter) may make it work. Her voice is just fabulous... Nobody can make that scene work except Rajini.

At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nadiya is the perfect choice.But the cliche is she did a similar role with Sundar.C recently.

Not sure about the political aspect you have mentioned though.Maapillai was released in 1989 when JJ was struggling to take foothold of ADMK(If I remember correct,we had ADMK(JJ) & ADMK(Janaki) at that time.

Who do you think will fit the special appearance done by Chiru - He also produced that movie


At 12:39 AM, Blogger Gradwolf said...

Won't Lakshmi fit the role perfectly!!? Nadhiya, I think, still looks too young though she plays only such roles these days. Which was that Sundar C movie where she looked yummier than the daughter she played mom to? Kashtam!

I think Lakshmi would play it really well with the comic touch, and great acting.

Also, why is it that remakes of remakes are being made? Jamai Raja was a wonderful movie in itself and Hema Malini, though a curious choice, pulled it off quite well.

At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Viju said...

Nadhiya is a good choice, but she did it similar role in a Vishal movie too, as a haughty woman for a bit.
Anyone up for Radhika? :P

At 1:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah no one can replace our super star Rajini... but i read that the cast and crew of the film are not yet decided... you guys could also check out the info here

At 3:24 AM, Blogger Sriram said...

How about Jayachitra?

She did well as MIL in Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal (her char name was Kakinada Kanchana.). May be too old?

At 3:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamai Raja was a remake of Mapillai as Mapillai itself was a rehash of Balachander's Poova Thallaiya (The challenger's were 2 people being the only difference).

- KP

At 5:12 AM, Anonymous arun.k said...

I think Radhika would be perfect for the MIL role. Khushboo would be good too, like you've pointed out. The problem with Nadhiya is that she's been doing those kinds of roles recently, like anons have mentioned above, with Sundar C and Vishal. That takes the surprise element away. This may actually be a good chance to re-introduce (yet) another ex-leading lady for a second inning... someone like Radha, Gauthami etc.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger maxdavinci said...

Now that I think of it gautami may also make a strong case, or even Roja who played Prithviraj's mom. My vote still goes for khushboo.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Sreekrishnan said...

My vote is to stop making this movie. I am sure it will be a damp squib in the Box office just like Bore-Di-Nee-Mohini !

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Dot said...


Did you think of who is gonna play chiranjeevi's role ?

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Kaarthik said...

Aishwarya (Lakshmi's daughter) is my 1st choice. She has a rough voice which will be a plus point for this character. Khushboo may not accept the role if offered.
How abt Urvashi, if the character is comic and vampish?

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

A, guess u didnt read the full post. Nadhiya was my first choice too :)

anon, yes, Aishwarya has a truly unique voice and would fit the role. good one :)

jey, yes i think that movie was 'sandai'. considering how popular the taming of the shrew theme is, I wonder if we'll find anyone who hasn't done this kind of a role :)

I don't remember the political situation well but I do remember general talk about Rajni's dialogs having a political overtone wrt JJ :)

gradwolf, I think lakshmi's a bit too old for the role. nadhiya defly looks young but has been relegated to mom roles looks like(that movie u r referring to is 'sandai').

as KP said, JR was a remake of 'maappillai', which was a remake of a chiranjeevi movie :)

viju, radhika? hmmm... i think she has a tendency to overact, which may make the movie more of a comedy :)

sandhya, yeah, this was just some guessing :)

sriram, yes I'd say she's too old. and she doesn't have the 'prestige' factor which the others we've been discussing have :)

arun, interesting. radha looks too bloated but gouthami would be good. as long as we're guessing, could be amala too. that would be quite the casting coup :)

max, I agree, kushboo's a strong contender :)

sree, LOL, but YNM was actually a box-office hit :)

jey/dot, if i dare dream, it could even be Rajni! but its just a fight and so any top actor could do it. or they may take it out too :)

kaarthik, with urvasi, I think the character may have more comedy. but as i said earlier, aishwarya would be a good choice :)

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Dot said...

Come on balaji, that scene had a different impact when chiran stepped in.

Oh no, Dhanush too is taking up movies on bashing women. What's after this..remake of mannan, padaiyappa?

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it could be a great second inning for revathy!....she'd be great!...or banupriya could be a good one too..

but i think it'll end up being someone even simran...

At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remake mappilai? Yuck. But there are so many that are similar.

Anyhow, Dhanush really seems to be making the most out of being the mappila of Rajni. Would be interesting to see the competition if the second daughter also married an actor.

Day by day, I am losing hope for Tamil cinema:-)

Do actresses today have the 'magic' that actresses of 80s/90s like Amala, Nadia were able to bring to the screen? Please don't say 'JO'. Azhuthuduvaen:-)


At 9:28 PM, Blogger Babs said...

Kajan u sound like u r in ur fifties :-), my dad said the same 15 odd years our times actress can sing dance, act and be charismatic on and off screen.....

similar situation in our engg hostel ragging....

senior: Dei nagalam 1st year sema ragging vangu-nom theiryumaa

junior: Sir antha kaalatheyla maatu vandiyela ponagen, ippo maruti car la poragen

senior: appo nangalam aa aa athi vasi ku......

u can finish sentence...LOL

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Sreekrishnan said...

Actually i missed a point .. maamiyar and sInLaw movies will not work now coz it would look like a Male-centric Mega Serial for 3 hrs [and not 3 yrs]

At 11:24 PM, Blogger Kay said...

What about Sridevi? The mind boggles to even think of her in a supporting role but she may pull it off.. She does have magnificent screen presence..

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Balaji,

Your first choice came at the end :) didnt see it.


At 1:34 AM, Anonymous Viju said...

yup... Radhika over-acts and over-reacts... and ppl have seen her enough on TV the last 9 years!
Seetha hasn't had a bold role after her comeback.... maybe she can fit the bill too... but she is too soft to portray the role ...

If I were to produce - it would be remade with slight modification - Instead of mamiyar, heroine's sister ... (Khushboo did it in some movie...) - And we can expect our 'laka laka' Jo in it :)

At 3:29 AM, Blogger Bart said...

If this remake worked, I would be surprised. Anyhow, here is a new entry - Shobana?

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous arun.k said...

For the MIL role, several excellent names have come up so far, but I think Sridevi and, to an extent, Amala have the ability to become the USP of the movie if they get on board... even more than Dhanush himself :-)

For Chiranjeevi's fight scene, it would be interesting if Silambarasan was roped in :-)

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Shwetha said...

It SHOULD be Ramya
If not Id be curious to see Suhasini or Radhika in the role, especially the latter would fit in pretty well I think.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

why even remake those movie? to watch this palli( lizard) mouthing those words? edhuku we willbe better off renting the old classic movie DVD.

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suganya or Simran or Jyothika would be great I think.

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, I have to agree with Swapna:-)

I guess we are less willing to fall for certain things, as the world is right in our living room now. The old is still magical, becaue there was some mystic with that world.

How does one get excited about remakes of films that are fresh in our memories?

I am going to start praying Soundarya gets married soon. Appavaavathu, intha Danush tholla pogam:-)


At 8:43 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

dot, oh yeah, even I was clapping when chiru showed up. i'm just saying any top actor(vijay, ajith, vikram, surya) would be special :)

anon, not sure revathi can do the villainous side of the character. not too sure about banupriya. but u could be right about simran :)

kajan, darn, i was just about to say jo :) I just think the number of movies that give importance to heroines has gone down. when 1 comes along like ghajini, we do see magic :)

babs, LOL :)

sreekrishnan, most of vijay and simbu movies are like male-centric megaserials anyway :)

kay, interesting. yep, she could definitely carry it off :)

viju, i think seetha would be too soft. wouldn't be able to do the villainous side.
i think that 'misaara kanna', where kushboo did that role :)

bart, don't have much hope about it either. but sure would get some pre-release publicity.
shobana, used to like her a lot but somehow can't see her in this role :)

arun, yep, those actresses would really take over the movie :)

shwetha, oh yeah ramya would be perfect except for the neelambari hangover. suhasini seems like an interesting choice. would be nice to see her do a role with villainous shades :)

swaps, LOL. maybe they'll call it 'maappalli' :)

anon, not a big fan of sukanya ever but simran would be great i think. jo looks too young for a mamiyaar role :)

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Kay said...

Ha Ha.. Looks like they did approach Sridevi who was my choice...


At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Viju said...

apprently is Anu Hassan... not too sure how effective she is going to be in this one

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Sreedevi all the way ;-)


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