Aami — the biopic of popular writer and poet Kamala Das aka Kamala Surrayya or Madhavikutty —is the most ambitious project for Malayalam director Kamal, who has delivered many superhit movies in Mollywood. The movie was initially in news when Vidya Balan was signed up to play the title role of the famous personality.
What happened then?
A few days ago, the Bollywood actress, who was expected to make a grand entry to Malayalam cinema with Aami, backed out of the project stating that she could not absorb the character. Her sudden decision to quit the project led to many speculations, and reports said that a few Hindu outfits had opposed her playing the role of Madhavikutty, who had converted to Islam at the age of 65. Vidya, who is a supporter of Narendra Modi, is also said to be having creative differences with the director, who had even openly criticised the Indian Prime Minister.
The actress had even completed a photoshoot, and costumes had been designed for the upcoming movie. Vidya had called it an excellent script after Kamal met her in Mumbai, but rumours also stated that she backed out as the filmmaker made changes to the script. "I heard she told the media that she moved out of Aami due to changes in the script. But it has not changed so far," the director told reporters in Kochi.
Rumours also threw up the names of Tabu and Parvathy to be the replacement of Vidya. However, the latest we hear is that Kamal has zeroed in on Manju Warrier to play the titular role in Aami. Kamal, who seems to be upset with Vidya's "unethical and unprofessional" behaviour by dropping out of his dream project at the last minute, expects that Manju would easily get under the skin of the character. "I don't think Manju will quit the project due to external threats," the director told reporters.
Aami marks the reunion of Kamal and Manju after a gap of 20 years and is the duo's third project together, after Ee Puzhayum Kadannu (1996) and Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu (1997). The shooting of the upcoming movie has been scheduled to begin soon in Ottappalam, Ernakulam, Mumbai and Kolkata, and the film is expected to hit the screens as an Onam release in 2017.