Bollywood actor Vidya Balan will portray celebrated Indian-English writer Kamala Surayya, who shocked conventional minds with her bold writings, in a bilingual biopic. The Malayalam-English movie, revolving around the eventful personal and literary life of Surayya, will be directed by national award-winning Malayalam director Kamal.
The writer, who wrote in English as Kamala Das and enriched Malayalam literature under the pseudonym Madhavikutty, had changed her name to Kamala Surayya after embracing Islam a few years before her death in 2009.
According to Kamal, the bilingual movie will not be a conventional, realistic biopic but a mixture of real-life and fictional situations. The shooting is expected to begin in October. “Madhavikutty was a legendary writer and personality who questioned the hypocrisies of the society through her works. But, my movie will not be a completely realistic one. It will have real situations that happened in the life of the writer as well as fictional ones,” said Kamal.
Born in an aristocratic Nair family in Punnayurkkulam in Thrissur district as daughter of eminent poet Balamani Amma, Surayya has left a rich body of literary work.
The most sensational, and arguably widely read of all of them, is her memoirs ‘Ente Katha’ (My story), which was initially propagated as her real-life story, but she herself clarified later that it was just an “imaginary work.”
Her other major works are Childhood Memoirs’, ‘Summer in Calcutta’, ‘Alphabet of Lust’, ‘Descendants’ and collected poems.
Kamal said he had an informal discussion with Vidya Balan on the project two years ago and she was happy to accept it.
“I first talked to Vidya about this project two years ago. It was just an informal chat but she was happy and excited to accept the role,” Kamal, a national award-winning director, said.