The Newsroom

August 2, 2016

MEENA KUMARI BACK ON SCREEN

Mirror (March 5, 2015) had reported that after his biopic on athlete-turneddacoit, Paan Singh Tomar, Tigmanshu Dhulia would be making a film on Hindi cinema's Tragedy Queen, a screen adaptation of Vinod Mehta's book, Meena Kumari: The Classic Biography. Mehta's wife had confirmed the news at the time. 
Now, Mirror has learnt that Vikram Malhotra led production house, Abundantia Entertainment which had earlier co-produced Baby and more recently Airlift, has bought the rights to the book from Sunil Bohra who had acquired it earlier, and will be producing the film. 
Confirming the news, Vikram said, "I'm delighted we're making a film on one of Indian cinema's iconic actresses and we will treat it as a huge responsibility given the stature of both the author and the subject. And I promise it will get the scale and the stature it requires. We'll recreate the entire era for the film." 
Mehta's book which was completed just seven months after Meena Kumari's death on March 31, 1972, from cirrhosis of the liver brought on by excessive drinking, begins with the end, an announcement at a party of her death that afternoon. After that it moves into flashback, tracing her journey as child actor Mahjabeen, who at the age of seven became the family's breadwinner, her transition to heroine roles, her numerous relationships and marriage to the already-married producer-director Kamal Amrohi, her professional highs and personal lows and her fatal love affair with the bottle which brought the curtains down on her life at the age of 39. Vikram informs that the script is currently being developed but since they already have fantastic base material in the form of the book, he is confident of locking it soon and then getting the right director to helm the project. 
Prod him on whether Tigmanshu Dhulia is on his wish list and he says shortly, "No director has been finalised yet." There had been talk (Mirror, March 20, 2015) of Kangana Ranaut being approached and given a copy of the book which the actress had found absolutely riveting. 
Vikram answers the query on who will play the legendary protagonist, saying, "A decision on the actress will be taken after the script is in place and the director on board. It's the prerogative of the director. But given that this is the greatest tragedienne we are talking about, it will be a serious A-lister," he asserts, adding that the film should go on the floors by the first half of 2017.

Source: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/entertainment/bollywood/Meena-Kumari-back-on-screen/articleshow/53405146.cms

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