Popular Malayalam actor Manju Warrier will essay the role of Kamala Das in the upcoming biopic, Aami, on the celebrated poetess. The film will be directed by filmmaker Kamal.
Explaining his choice, Kamal told The New Indian Express, that Manju was chosen because she has some character resemblance and some physical similarities with Kamala Das. “I expect Manju Warrier will easily get under the skin of the character,” said Kamal. This will be their third film together.
Manju will replace Bollywood actor Vidya Balan, who reportedly walked out of the project citing creative differences. Balan’s official spokesperson was quoted as saying that the actor had quit the film as she and the director had “divergent approaches to the process”.
Kamal, who was caught in a national anthem row during the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in December 2016, denied that the controversy had a role to play in Vidya Balan’s decision to quit Aami. “She had informed me about her decision even before IFFK. I learnt later that she told the media that she opted out of Aami due to a few changes in the script. But the script has not changed so far,” the director was quoted as saying.
Shooting of the film was scheduled to commence by November 2016 but had to be stopped after Vidya quit. Kamal said Vidya’s act was highly ‘unethical’ and ‘unprofessional’.
An iconoclast, Kamala Das, who died in 2009, had embraced Islam towards the end of her life and changed her name to Kamala Surayya.
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