The critically acclaimed Tamil film by Manikandan, Kaaka Muttai, is being remade in Marathi. To be titled Half Ticket, it will be directed by Samit Kakkad. Kakkad, who made Aayna Ka Bayna in 2012, will not touch the soul of the Tamil work, but, of course, he has had to alter the script in a minor way to include certain nuances of the Marathi language. The setting will be Mumbai, not Chennai as it was in Kaaka Muttai, whose music director GV Prakash Kumar has been roped in for the Marathi edition as well.
Kaaka Muttai was a delightful move about two little boys from the slums who go to the quirkiest of extent to earn that Rs 300 needed to buy themselves a pizza from an outlet which opens next to their shanty. It is both novel and hilarious when the two get a makeshift pull-cart to transport sozzled men from the roadside bar to their homes. At other times, the children pick coal that drops from passing steam engines to feed their family of a mother (played with extraordinary ease by Iyshwarya Rajesh) and a grandmother. The father is in jail, and the wife is struggling to get him out on bail -- grappling as she is with crooked lawyers.
Finally, when the boys collect their Rs 300, they are not allowed into the pizza joint by the manager, who finds that they are shabbily dressed. But the boys devise a wittily ingenuous method to get themselves new clothes.
Kaaka Muttai’s humour camouflages the pain of the lads and the brutality of class distinction. One does not fail to notice the iron fencing which separates them from a rich boy whom they befriend, and their conversations often centring on the elusive pizza and sometimes on the swanky watch he sports underline the pathos of India’s have-nots.
Interestingly, Kakkad’s Aayna Ka Bayna also dealt with boys, the inmates of a juvenile remand home, and so one presumes that the helmer will be able to give us a remake as scintillating as Kaaka Muttai. In Kakkad’s 2012 work, the boys escape from the home, and in order to evade being caught, they split into two groups. The warden of the home and the police get hot on the pursuit of the lads.