Manal Kayiru, all over again

Thirty-four years ago, Manal Kaviru released. Directed by Visu, it had the protagonist (played by S. Ve. Shekher) laying down eight conditions the girl he marries must fulfil.

A few months from now, Manal Kayiru 2 will hit screens. What’s most interesting about this sequel is that it will feature three actors reprising their roles from the original — S.Ve. Shekher, Visu and Kuriakose Ranga — perhaps a first in tinseltown.

“I think it’s a record in film history… that the same artistes are doing the same roles after three decades,” beams Shekher, whose film career took off after the success of the original, “I play Kittumani and Visu plays Naradhar Naidu, roles that audiences still remember.”

This time around, however, it is the leading lady (Poorna, who plays Shekher’s daughter) who will lay down conditions. “I support it but my wife doesn’t, and so, she goes to Naradhar Naidu for help. She’s a corporate girl, so even the conditions will be drafted accordingly,” he reveals.

The sequel, shot majorly in Chennai and Puducherry, will chronicle the happenings in the family, who are now doing well for themselves.

“We planned this project in 2008, having got the blessing of director KB sir, but my son (Ashwin), who I wished to cast, was doing commercial films at that point of time. Meanwhile, wherever I went for debates and shows, a lot of people told me about how it was so difficult to find the right groom for their girls, as they lay a lot of conditions. Some girls went to the extent of saying that the boy should not come with ‘extra luggage’ — referring to his parents. We wanted to showcase today’s scenario in this film, and have interspersed it with a lot of comedy.”

He’s made sure to rope in a new-age director (Madhan Kumar, who helmed Yaaruda Mahesh) to “not come across as outdated” and a host of other comedians and youngsters, including his son Ashwin.

“We start off the film with a four-minute introduction that will have scenes from the original, for the benefit of people who’ve not seen it or forgotten it, and take off from there,” he says.

The challenges to recreate the magic of the original were many, but the team is hopeful it has done that.

Visu, who directed the original and stars in the sequel too, says, “I owe something to the team of Manal Kayiru which helped my career a lot. Luckily, three of us from the original got the opportunity to team up again.”

He will be Naradhar Naidu again — and now help the boy ‘cheat’ the girl who lays down the eight conditions.

“While I acted for 25 days for the original, I could give only five days for this owing to my health condition. I’m well-known for my family-based films and I think that though society might have changed over the years, family bonds remain the same. If you saw a boy lay down conditions three decades ago and his family suffer due to that, today, the situation is exactly the opposite. We’ve tried to show that in the second part. I hope it will provide a big break for Ashwin, similar to what his father enjoyed with the original in 1982.”