Malayalam cinema will soon witness a biopic on a renowned poet Kamala Das, who is also known as Kamala Surayya, which is being directed by Kamal. The film will have Manju Warier playing the titular role and is slated to be released this year. Director Kamal says that Manju Warrier was not the initial choice for the poet’s role and they had approached Vidya Balan for it who had accepted the role initially but opted out of it later. Kamal says that he feels that it was a blessing that Vidya Balan backed out of the project for numerous reasons. “Had she played the role, sexuality would have crept in. This is something I didn’t pay attention when I initially approached her. Madhavikutty was known for writing boldly about female sexuality, which is still considered a taboo subject,” Kamal told a leading Malayalam tabloid.
He further added that Manju Warrier brought all her experience to the table and gave life to the character. “It was god’s blessing that Vidya backed out of the project. The Madhavikutty Manju has brought to life is very different from the Madhavikutty I had in mind for Vidya. Manju just took two days to transform into the character,” Kamal said further.
Author Kamala Surayya, AKA Madhavi Kutty, was born in a Nair family and later embraced Islam in 1999. Rumours were doing rounds that she converted because she was promised by one Sadiq Ali to marry her if she embraces Islam and this turned out to be controversial. Kamala also launched a political party named Lok Seva Party and contested in the 1984 elections which she lost.
Director Kamal is keen to have Hindi songs in the film and hence roped in renowned poet/lyricist Gulzar and composer Taufiq Quershi, brother of Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, to work on two Hindi songs in the film. Gulzar will pen down the lyrics while Taufiq Qureshi will compose both the Hindi songs. The Malayalam songs are composed by M Jayachandran and the lyrics are written by Rafeeq Ahmed.