Acclaimed Malayalam filmmaker Kamal’s dream film, Aami, starring actor Manju Warrier in the titular role, went on the floors on Friday at Kamala Surayya Memorial in Punnayoorkulam, Thrissur. The film is a biopic on controversial Malayalam poet Madhavikutty aka Kamala Surayya. Manju also unveiled the first look poster of Aami featuring herself as Madhavikutty. Manju looks convincing in her new makeover as she plays the iconic writer. Talking to the media during the film’s launch event, Manju said she considers bagging this role as a reward of her good karma. “I think Madhavikkutty’s role will fascinate every actress in the country and to play her onscreen is by my biggest blessing,” she said. “The two important films in my acting career, Ee Puzhayum Kadannu and Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu, were directed by Kamal sir. And after 20 years this film has given me the opportunity to work with him again.”
Kamal’s Aami has been facing opposition from a certain political section due to Madhavikutty’s controversial life, including her conversion to Islam. The director’s first choice to play the role was actor Vidya Balan. However, the Bollywood actor backed off just days before the film was scheduled to start rolling without any clear reason. One of the theories that were floating around in the wake of her decision was that she faced pressure from the right-wing groups.
Kamal later roped in Manju, who also came under fire by social media trolls. However, the actor issued a statement making it clear that she won’t be walking away from what she described as her “dream role.”
“This is the happiest day in my life. Everyone on the sets, including the members of Madhavikutty family, told me that Manju has fully transformed and it feels like as if Kamala is standing in front of us. And I’m very happy hearing that feedback,” Kamal told the media.
The star cast of Aami includes Manju, Prithviraj, Murali Gopy, Anoop Menon among other seasoned actors. The first schedule of the shooting will go on in Ottappalam, where the childhood portions of the writer will be shot. The film crew will also shoot in Ernakulam, Mumbai and Kolkata. The shooting is expected to complete in September.