Thursday 14 February 2013

Scoop: Vidya Balan in M S Subbulakshmi Bio-Pic, Rajiv Menon Confirms

Scoop: Vidya Balan in M S Subbulakshmi Bio-Pic, Rajiv Menon Confirms

By Subhash K Jha

Vidya Balan actually wanted to play Lata Mangeshkar. Instead she will now play the other Bharat Ratna among Indian vocalists, the redoubtable M. S Subbulakshmi who is to Carnatik music what Beethoven was to Western symphony.

Legendary beyond the iconic, the Subbulakshmi saga which spans 88 years would now be told by ad-maker-cinematographer-filmmaker Rajiv Menon who has earlier directed two Tamil feature films Minsara Kanavu(Sapney in Hindi) with Kajol and Prabhu Dheva, and Kandukondain Kandukondain in 2000 with Tabu and Aishwarya Rai playing sisters.

Confirming the Subbulakshmi bio-pic for the first time, Rajiv Menon who is currently shooting an ad abroad said, `I've narrated the script to Vidya, and she has liked it. We would now be taking the project to the next level next week after I return to India. At the moment I am shooting with giraffes and lions in South Africa. `

Subbulakshmi would be one of the most ambitious bio-pics ever, to be made at an estimated cost of Rs 70 crores in three languages Hindi, Tamil and English.

Says a close friend of Rajiv from the Tamil film industry, `Rajiv has been deeply interested in Carnatic music, specially the music of Subbulakshmi for years. He has lived with this project for many years. He feels Vidya with her keen understanding of Hindustani sangeet would be able to pull off the legendary icon's life. `

Unlike Vidya's The Dirty Picture which was a very selective bio-pic taking the more sensational aspects of Silk Smitha's life and career, Rajiv Menon's Subbulakshmi bio-pic would transverse her entire life and career.

Says a source, `Rajiv somewhere read that Vidya was a keen student of music and wanted to do a bio-pic on Lata Mangeshkar. It was then that Rajiv thought of Vidya to play Subbulakshmi. He wanted a South Indian actress who could carry off the age-span from 18 to 88. Vidya would have to work very hard on the body language and the vocal inflexions. `

The original songs by the doyen who died in 2004 would be used. But new recordings of the Subbulakshmi songs would be done by a professional Carnatic singer.

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