A decade after the much-acclaimed film Mozhi, director Radhamohan and actress Jyotika return with another family entertainer called Kaatrin Mozhi, which is a remake of a Bollywood film.
The easy part about adaptations is that there is a story ready, but the tough part lies in tweaking it to suit the sensibilities of the Tamil audience, said Radhamohan.
His Tamil remake of Tumhari Sulu sees Jyotika reprising Vidya Balan’s character from the original.
Kaatrin Mozhi revolves around Vijayalakshmi, a homemaker who secretly becomes a radio presenter. Not many actors were keen on playing Vijayalakshmi’s husband, but Vidaarth was roped in opposite Jyotika. Telugu actress Lakshmi Manchu reprises the character that Neha Dupia played in the original.
Radhamohan added that the challenge was in retaining the essence of the original story. He has included two new characters though, played by comedians Manobala and MS Bhaskar.
When Radhamohan hit a wall while searching for actors to play Vijayalakshmi’s twin sisters, he decided to cast Sindhu Sekharan and Seema Taneja, the twin sisters from Tumhari Sulu.
Since her comeback in 2015 with 36 Vayudhinile, veteran star Jyotika has been exploring roles that are not only women-driven but also experiments in diversity.
After vowing fans with her Vasanthi, the mother of a teenaged daughter and home entrepreneur, in 36 Vayudhinile, she played a cool TV journalist who takes her mother-in-law and two friends on a tour in Magalir Mattum. Her police avatar in Naachiyaar busted earlier notions of Jyotika, while her Chitra of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam won viewers’ empathy.
“Acting in a remake is always a huge challenge, since they are usually hit films and we have a responsibility to perform well,” Jyotika said. “With Tumhari Sulu, where Vidya Balan has given a fabulous performance, the responsibility is much heavier.”
Working after 12 years with director Radhamohan she found that nothing had changed, including the pressure, responsibility and excitement of performing.
“The highlight of Kaatrin Mozhi is the chemistry between the husband and wife,” said Jyotika. I was comfortable working with Vidaarth. His performance will be much appreciated.”
Depicting the relationship between Vijayalakshmi and her husband was a hurdle director Radhamohan had to work on.
“Their bond is important to the story and in Hindi it was shown through physical proximity in scenes, but in Tamil that was not easy,” the director said.
Working with Jyotika after a decade, he found her the same dedicated actor of Mozhi.
“She took the script 20 days ahead of the shoot for preparation,” he said.
When Vidaarth arrived on the set and watched Jyotika perform, he wondered if he had taken on more than he could chew.
“This role was hard to resist coming from a director I had always dreamt of working and to share screen with Jyotika was unbelievable,” the actor said. “She put me at ease and if I have done a good job, it’s my reactions to her splendid performance.”
Vidaarth looks forward to watching the film with his mother and wife, who are Jyotika’s fans.
The supporting cast includes Kumaravel, Yogi Babu, Simbu in a cameo and debutant child actor Tejas Krishna.
Kaatrin Mozhi releases in UAE on November 15.