Visualization of Vidya as Kamala Surayya

Manju Warrier will essay the role of Kamala Surayya, the famous bilingual writer, who was better known as Kamala Das and Madhavikutty, before she embraced Islam.

The Kamala Surayya biopic has been in the making for quite some time. Originally, Bollywood actor Vidya Balan was slotted for the role, but she backed out.

Kamal has not yet recovered from Vidya’s back-out since she had been selected for the role because of her close resemblance to Kamala Surayya. She had gone through the script along with some of Madhavikutty’s books and several videos. She called off her assignment just days before shooting was to begin, upsetting the entire schedule.

Kamal later said in an interview that he was hurt by Vidya’s abrupt decision. Incidentally, Kamal gave Vidya her first break as a lead actor in Chakram, with Prithviraj and Meera Jasmine as co-stars. However, he did not believe that her decision was connected to the offensive against him for his stand on the compulsory rendering of National Anthem before every show inevery movie hall.

He maintains that the role is a challenge for Manju. He said he would rather give up prejudices because Madhavikutty is a writer known for her exposes. Manju has also taken a courageous decision in her life. “ She has to prepare for the role. Madhavikutty’s life was full of incidents. Her decisions have always raked up controversies. Her conversion to Islam left everyone stunned.

Kamal says he has spent three years on the script, reading and re-reading Kamala’s works. He discussed with everyone who is known to her, including her sons and other relatives. “The film will tell Malayalees a lot about a Madhavikutty they did not know”, he said.



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