It’s complicated. But intriguing. Maybe more so than the film itself. But, it looks like the most creatively daring gender-switch ever achieved in an Indian film with the enterprising young filmmaker Soundarya Rajinikanth rewriting a role she conceived for her father for Bollywood’s spunkiest actress Kajol.
According to sources in the know, Soundarya’s original plan was to achieve a near-impossible casting coup in the Tamil film Velaiilla Pattadhari 2 with her legendary father Rajinikanth as the main antagonist opposite her brother-in-law Dhanush.
But, the idea of finally bringing Dhanush face-to-face with his iconic father-in-law fell through for many reasons, not all of them professional. In fact, there were rumours of a major rift between Rajinikanth and his younger daughter Aishwarya’s husband Dhanush even as the family comes to terms with the elder daughter Soundarya’s recent divorce.
Given the bleak domestic picture, Soundarya quickly re-scripted Velaiilla Pattadhari 2, gender-reversing the antagonist’s character. Kajol is now the film’s pan-India USP as Dhanush, in spite of a successful Hindi launch in Aanand Rai’s Raanjhanaa, remains a non-entity outside the Tamil film industry.
A Hindi version of Velaiilla Pattadhari 2 is also being readied along with the original Tamil and dubbed Telugu versions. But, it is doubtful we will ever get to see Dhanush share screen space with his famous father-in-law.