More than three decades after movie maestros P. Padmarajan, Bharathan and producer Hari Pothen jolted the then orthodox-minded Malayalam film audience with ‘Rathinirvedam', the story of a teenage boy's infatuation with an elder woman, the movie is on its way back to the silver screen.
The 2011 version, adapted from the Padmarajan novel based on which director Bharathan had made the original, might not be in the same mould as its 1978 predecessor, according to director T.K. Rajeev Kumar, who began shooting his version of the story in and around Mavelikara here earlier this week.
The movie, which he promises will be a musical narrative of Padmarajan's story, interestingly is the first story of the late genius to be filmed in his hometown.
Apart from the musical touch that will be given by M. Jayachandran, the locale will differentiate the remake from the ‘original', which catapulted Jayabharathi into stardom, with the entire film to be based in Mavelikara's Onattukara region, where the novel too is originally set.
“The film will be a completely new one, and a tribute to the original classic as well,” promises Rajeev Kumar, who has joined hands with Suresh Kumar of Revathy Kalamandir to bring out the movie. State award-winning actress Shweta Menon steps into the shoes of Jayabharathi while newcomer Sreejith will take up what Krishnachandran did in 1978.
Ms. Menon, who said she did not want to watch the original since she did not want to be influenced by what Jayabharathi did, adds that the role is a challenging one and moreover, a personal dream come true since she had always wanted to work with Padmarajan and Bharathan.
Though both are no more, working in a film that was once made by Bharathan, and with the story remaining that of Padmarajan, the dream is being fulfilled, she says.
Journalist Vinu Abraham, who has handled the script, says it was a tough test to re-work a script penned by Padmarajan, but the originality has not been tampered with. “Still, it is a fresh one” is how he puts it.
Whether Rajeev Kumar's version can create the same ripples that Bharathan's creation did 33 years ago will be main debate on the film, which could reach theatres by the later part of this year.