First of all we don't know if we have named this piece rightly. Here one 'Murattukalai' is not fighting with the other 'Murattukalai' at the box office. The fight is only for that permanent place in your cerebral cortex.
Although remaking yesteryears film is a fascination for many, it still has not become a trend. Here and there we had a few but we haven't got that one big remake hit. Everyone wants to remake a film which was a cult hit in its time and still tops the mind in recall value.
Here is another film which is a remake of a yester years hit by the same name. 'Murattukalai' when released in 1980 actually altered the course Tamil cinema was travelling then. Many pundits still believe it was 'Murattukalai' that created the irrevocable dominant genre called action-masala in Tamil cinema. The pundits say what 'Murattukalai' pioneered, was made everlasting by 'Sakalakala Vallavan'. Though nobody has thought of remaking 'Sakalakala Vallavan' - which itself is a 80s remake of the 60s MGR super hit 'Periya Idathu Penn'- there were many aspirants to remake 'Murattikalai'. Even Ilaya Thalapathi Vijay openly expressed his desire and was working towards fulfilling it.
But Sundar C and Amirtham Gunanidhi moved faster and acquired the rights from AVM. Now the film is complete, audio released and all set for release in early November.
Remaking is not a crime but remaking a cult film that is popular even now as much as it was in its first release is a gamble. Most of Rajinikanth fans remember the original film in detail even after 30 years. So what will be the acceptability rate of Sunder C performing Rajinikanth?
As we said before 'Murattukalai' in the eighties was the pioneer of action-masala, its credit doesn't end only at that. 'Murattukalai' was the film that catapulted Rajinikanth to the Super Star status that he is now. It was the film that brought back the glory AVM Production which was lying dormant after a series of flops. Most importantly it revived the career of Jaishankar who got a new lease of life by playing a villain for the first time. Illayaraja frenzy upped the tempo with songs like 'Pothuvaga en manasu thangam' and others. Cameraman Babu and director SP Muthuraman enthralled with a classic train fight which was considered ahead of it time. There are many things in Rajinikanth's 'Murattukali' that is still well etched in human memory.
Now will there be comparison to the classic film and the new version? We think it cannot be helped. Particularly the hero and the villain will surely be compared. Rajinikanth - Sundar C, Jaishankar - Suman, Rathi - Sneha, Sumalatha - Sindhu Tolani, Surulirajan - Vivek, Illayaraja - Srikanth Deva, Babu - Aruldas, SP Muthuraman - Selvabharathy the star power of the original was remarkable.
Sundar C had said not to compare him with Rajinikanth for obvious reasons. But will Suman be able to match the histrionics of Jaishankar? In the original film the character of Jaishankar was carefully molded so that a hero turning a villain doesn't come as a jolt his fans. Jaishankar had equal footage in the film and equal presence in the publicity materials matching Rajini and it was said the down-to-earth super star wanted it that way.
Even in the climax of the film, scenes were designed in such a way that the villain Jaishankar doesn't lose to the hero Rajinikanth but the villain decideds his fate himself. He dies by shooting himself. Two greats satisfied something like how the dance competition between Vaijayanthimala and Padmini ended in 'Vanjikottai Vaaliban'.
Suman is playing the villain in new 'Murattukalai' and he doesn't have that burden of a hero changing to villain. It is also not a re-entry for him. Will Suman match the novelty Jaishankar released in classic Mrattukalai? That's a show the fans must be waiting for in the new 'Murattukalai'.
Another actor who made a difference to himself was Surulirajan. 'Murattukalai' was the first and almost the only film, Surulirajan shed tears. The secretary to the zamindar was not a comedy role but a character role. Surulirajan in his own inimitable style excelled.
In the new version Vivek plays Surulirajan's role and it has been converted into a transgender. It is to be seen where Vivek's moralistic comedy fits in the film.
And the music? Wow! Period.
Again we repeat. We don't know if we have named this piece rightly. Here one 'Murattukalai' is not fighting with the other 'Murattukalai' at the box office. The fight is only for that permanent place in your cerebral cortex. So where will the new 'Murattukalai' fit in memory? And why is that a director or producer want to remake only a cult film and not an important film?