2ND LEAD (Corrections)
Tiger angle will be implied in Casablanca remake, says director
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 13:23 GMT]
In the US National Public Radio (NPR), "The World" program interview Tuesday in Trivandram, Kerala, director Rajeev Nath tells David Cohen that in the South Indian remake of the Oscar winning romantic classic "Casablanca" from 1942, in Malayalam retitled "Ezham Mudra," the Liberation Tigers' angle will be implied, not explicit. He says, "I am not touching their politics. I am not saying which is right or which is wrong." Ezham Mudra is expected to hit Indian theaters next spring.
Nath hit on the idea of remaking Casablanca while attending a film festival in Mumbai last year. "While we were chatting in the lobby there were posters of old classic films. Casablanca's poster was there. At that moment I had a dream that I was shooting Casablanca," Nath tells NPR. Within weeks Nath started making plans for directing an updated version of the film.
Asked why he thought Casablanca was memorable, Nath says, "We have seen these movie many times..more than 10 times..why?..Simple. Basically, any movie that goes to your heart..it should pierce..there are very few films which are like that."
Nath will update the film setting it in contemporary India. True to his controversial form, Nath has transformed the heroine and her husband into members of the group closely resembling the Tamil Tigers. "The violent insurgent group..Most would call them terrorists, now fighting the Sri Lankan Government," Cohen says.
Nath defends his choice saying Tiger angle will be implied, not explicit.
The location has been moved from North African desert to semi-tropical South Indian coast. Rick's Cafe Americaan will become Dave's Inn. Dave, the new hero played by Suresh Gopi, is a Master Chef and not a hotel owner.
1930's song "As Time Goes By," became a hit again after being featured in Casablanca. Gopi dreams to rejuvanate 1980's Lionel Richie song "Hello, Is It Me You Looking For," in Ezham Mudra.
Casablanca is an Oscar-winning 1942 romance film set during World War II in the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz and stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund.
It focuses on Rick's conflict between, in the words of one character, love and virtue: he must choose between his love for Ilsa and doing the right thing, helping her and her Resistance leader husband escape from Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.