It seems like an age of remakes, and these are not confined to foreign films being turned into Indian language works. Malayalam movies are being reworked into Tamil, Hindi into Telugu and so on reminding one of those glorious studio days, when AVM and Gemini made the same film in different languages.
Now, we have Ashwini Iyer Tiwari recreating her debut feature, Nil Battey Sannata, in Tamil -- and is titled Amma Kanakku (Mother Maths).
The original version -- which premiered in the competition section of the Silk Road International Film Festival at Fuzhou in 2015 and where its actor, Swara Bhaskar, won a performance award -- dealt with a crucial subject like education.
Watch the trailer of Amma Kanakku here:
Bhaskar plays Chanda, a maid who dreams of the day when her 15-year-old daughter, Apeksha (Ria Shukla), would qualify to be an Indian Administrative Officer. But the girl is terribly weak with numbers and struggles to get a decent grade in her mathematics paper. She is also negative, and frustrates her mother by saying that a maid’s daughter can only hope to be a maid. Nil Battey Sannata takes us then to Chanda’s travails and how she fights her daughter’s prejudice. The movie’s importance lies in the way it tackles the enormous obstacle called “inequality of opportunity”.
Watch Nil Battey Sannata’s trailer here:
Interestingly, the Tamil edition is also being helmed by Tiwari, and she has Amala Paul as the maid and Yuvasri as her daughter. Two other significant roles in Nil Battey Sannata essayed by Ratna Pathak Shah (Chanda’s employer) and Pankaj Tripathi (who is the headmaster of Apeksha’s school) will be reprised by Revathi and Samuthirakani.
Admittedly, Tiwari has roped in a good star cast. Samuthirakani, whose roles in Subramaniapuram and Visaaranai were highly lauded, may well be a great match for Tripathi, who was just brilliant as the headmaster. And everybody knows the work of Shah, and her excellence, and Revathi -- who has had an illustrious career -- will step into Ratna’s shoes. Bhaskar’s range has been amazing. We saw her as the drinking-smoking Bihari girl marrying a Sikh, Payal, in the Tanu Weds Manu series, and the way she transformed herself into Chanda the maid conveyed her ability to sink into a character. Miss Paul has a mighty challenge ahead of her.