Biopics in Bollywood seem to be the new formulae for a successful film lately. With every director trying to crack it, the genre is full of content. Meanwhile, the most controversial subject has to be the former CM of Tamil Nadu Late Jayalalithaa. While Kangana Ranaut is working hard on Thalaivi, We saw Ramya Krishnan starrer MXPlayer series Queen releasing earlier this December. Both based on the late politician.
As we all saw the makers making a bold narrative in the series Queen, Kangana Ranaut’s Thalaivi is a feature film that might have no room for liberty. Today here in a compilation we compare the two projects and tell you what Queen did that Thalaivi cannot or can improve.
About the Projects:
Director: Gautham Menon and Pasath Murugesan
Cast: Ramya Krishnan, Anjana Jayaprakash, Anikha Surendran, Vamsi Krishna and Indrajit Sukumaran
Director: A.L Vijay
Cast: Kangana Ranaut
Let’s just address the elephant in the room first. The makers of Ramya starrer Queen began the show with a disclaimer that the show is a work of fiction (well, judging whether it is or not is up to the viewer). This gave the makers Gautham Menon and Pasath Murugesan a whole lot of room to improvise and take cinematic liberties to the extreme.
With Kangana’s Thalaivi it’s different. Here the makers and the actress herself has been marketing the film as a biopic based on the real-life story of the rage that the South politician was. Every step, in this case, has to be measured; any wrong interpretation will be directly targeting the image of the stalwart and would give rise to controversy.
Jayalalithaa’s life was a rollercoaster and the people surrounding her weren’t any different. If you are someone who has read about this controversial figure, the former actress have had some ‘for the lack of a word’ dark situations involving a few key characters in her life.
Queen that named the central character Shakti Sheshadri dwelled into the personal life of the character in detail. They did not shy away from showing her flaws or the mistakes that she made. Her encounter with the politician actor GMR (initials in name rearranged in the show for obvious reasons) and a Telugu film director Chaitanya Reddy does not really end on a note which is digestible to the fans if it was claimed to be a true story.
In Thalaivi, the makers have to do this level 100 responsibly. While Jayalalithaa has candidly accepted and spoken about her life in public and is documented, her fans and devotees would not agree to portray the rather falling side of the story. And offence is anyway the new trend amongst the masses right now.
Everything clearly depends on the part of the story the makers decide to narrate. MXPlayer’s Queen was set between the time Shakti was 15 and was forced in to act in films to the time she was in her late 30’s and became a headstrong politician accepted by the masses. This part of the story dwells into the events from her personal life, her love affairs and almost marriage which makes it a risky territory to walk in. The show ends on the point where she becomes the masses favourite and gets their support in abundance. By the end we see her saying “This is just the beginning”, this clearly makes way for another season which the makers might be in process for.
It would be an easy walk for the Kangana Ranaut starrer only if they decide to get into the details of her political career. Because naming Jayalalithaa and portraying her personal life might bring in controversy to the maker’s plate.
The teaser that was released recently showed Kangana as a young chirpy actress transforming into the magnum public figure. What side of the story the makers will narrate in depth can only be answered post the release. Having said that, it is also important to show the back story. The makers will have to take a risk to set the base to show her back story. Maybe a montage or a narration but they cannot get away from it.
Whether call it fiction or real, the subject will invite controversy for sure. Recently we saw Jayalalithaa’s niece accusing the makers of both Queen and Thalaivi of showing her and the former actress in a bad light. It was later that the makers of Queen announced that their project is fictional and in no way mentions her. The petitioner had also asked the court to order the makers to give the script to her in advance so she can read and confirm.
The court ordered the makers to be responsible and not portray anything that is wrong and sheds bad light. This clearly indicates that there might be more to come and with politics, involved things might just heat up some more. Only time will tell.
All said, both the ambitious projects are anticipated. Queen though having a strong storyline and the vastly talented Ramya Krishnan fell victim to its screenplay and pace, we hope that Kangana ‘ Thalaivi tries to take some clues and gives us the story of a legendary personality who’s life journey is inspiring, moving, shocking imparts but most importantly is epic.