Urvashi – Pururavas by Raja
(Public Domain, from Wikimedia Commons.)
Lenin Rajendran, a leading Malayalam director has been churning the idea of a movie based on the Royal Painter, Raja Ravi Varma, for a few years now. Earlier he was planning to cast Suresh Gopi in the lead. (See: Raja Ravi Varma: A movie on the Royal Painter)
Now the mantle has fallen on cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan. The lead female role is to be done by Karthika, daughter of Tamil (also Malayalam) actress Radha. The screenplay, written by the director himself, is ready. Madhu Ambat is to handle the camera. Music is by Ramesh Narayan.
The name of the cinema which is to be made in Malayalam is Makara Manju. Makaram is a winter month in the Malayalam calendar. Manju means snow or mist. Therefore an appropriate translation of the title could be Winter Mist.
While Lenin was fine-tuning his project, another movie on Raja Ravi Varma has been completed, in two languages – ‘Rang Rasiya’ in Hindi and ‘Colours of Passion’ in English. The Ketan Mehta production features Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen. Some media reviews call it a sensual movie.
There was a proposal for a third project on the same subject, in Hindi, with the title ‘Suryamukhi’. I have not been able to ascertain what its current status is. The well-known Malayalam director Shaji N. Karun was to handle it.
But Lenin Rajendran is planning to tell the story from a different, new, angle. It was the Urvashi and Pururavas painting (see image) by Raja Ravi Varma that inspired the director. The touching tale of the love between Urvashi and King Puruvaras provides the background.
Using that setting, Lenin Rajendran plans to present the emotional parting of the painter and Anjali Bhai, his model for Urvashi. This involves the lead players acting double roles. Santosh Sivan has to play the painter and the king, and Karthika, who might have a different screen name, is to act as Urvashi and Anjali Bhai.
One can safely expect a good product from Lenin Rajendran. But when will the movie be ready for exhibition? The plans for shooting are reportedly ready. The locations include
, Kabani, and Mumbai. Trivandrum, Cochin
(Also please see my criticism of the movie Cinema: Makaramanju, Lenin Rajendran presenting Raja Ravi Varma)