In 1993, Manichitra Thazhu a film made by Fazil took Malayalam cinema by storm. The leading actress of the film Shobhana went on to win the National Award for best performance. I have seen the movie over 10 ten times, and to me its one of the best screenplays ever written on Indian screens. The film appeals at many levels as a drama with comic situations and as a psychological gripping thriller. The film also starred Mohanlal in a brilliantly nuanced performance as a renowned psychotherapist. The movie's spine chilling climax with a haunting music score 'Oru muray vanda parthaya' with Shobhana's impeccable dancing formed the highlight.
This movie was remade in Kannada as Apthamitra with Vishnuvardhan playing Mohanlal's role and the late Soundarya playing Shobhanas role. Of course the script was adapted so that the hero could come in right from the first reel itself unlike the Malayalam movie where Mohanlal makes an entry only 45 minutes into the movie.
Impressed with the performance of the Kannada version and also having seen the original, Super Star Rajnikanth decided to green light a Tamil remake especially when he wanted a surefire winner after the debacle of Baba. The movie Chandramukhi went on to break all records in Tamil cinema and the original script was further modified to suit the Superstar. Jyothika who played the female lead gave a confused performance wherein she assumed that any psychological disorder meant madness.
Now there were lot of film makers in Bollywood who wanted to remake the Tamil version as it is more broadbased with new comic elements and more characters than the serious Malayalam original. The news earlier doing the rounds were that Big B would play the lead role and Madhuri Dixit would make a comeback playing Shobhana's role. Well frankly having seen all the versions, this would have been a great idea some years back. Big B thanks to all these world famous in India directors has now more or less become an old man (although Big B and Rajnikanth are only 7 years apart). He cannot be cast as the female lead's husbands friend. The script frankly demands someone younger.
So finally Priyadarsan is going to remake it for T-series. Now it will be interesting to see to which version he is faithful to. The movie has been temporarily named Bhool Bhulaiya (sic).
Akshay Kumar will play the lead, I just hope he essays the serious parts of the movie well. Vidya Balan will get probably what could turn into the role of her lifetime if she can get the emotions right. Based on the potential she has shown so far, that should be fine but the interesting issue would be the climax dance. Shiney Ahuja will be her husband, Paresh Rawal is most likely to do Vadivelu's role as the man terrified of ghosts , Mohan Joshi should be the tantrik and Vikram Gokhale would be Akshay's former professor. With this remake,Priyadarsan would need to show that he is just not a comedy movie director as Bollywood and North India assumes him to be.