"Casablanca" to be remade on Indian shores

NEW DELHI Wed Aug 8, 2007 1:54pm IST

Television anchor and actress Mandira Bedi is seen in Mumbai, in this July 10, 2003 file photo. Bedi stars in Indian filmmaker Rajeev Nath's remake of ''Casablanca'' which swaps the Rick's Cafe of the Oscar-winning classic for a restaurant in south India, and the World War Two backdrop for the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. REUTERS/Roy Madhur

Television anchor and actress Mandira Bedi is seen in Mumbai, in this July 10, 2003 file photo. Bedi stars in Indian filmmaker Rajeev Nath's remake of ''Casablanca'' which swaps the Rick's Cafe of the Oscar-winning classic for a restaurant in south India, and the World War Two backdrop for the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

Credit: Reuters/Roy Madhur

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian filmmaker Rajeev Nath is remaking "Casablanca", swapping the Rick's Cafe of the Oscar-winning classic for a restaurant in south India, and the World War Two backdrop for the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

In the 1942 film, Humphrey Bogart played a club owner who romances a married Ingrid Bergman and helps her escape the Nazis with her husband, a resistance leader.

"My film will be a tribute to the original," said Nath, the director who plans to premiere his Malayalam language remake, "Ezham Mudra" (The Seventh Seal), in the coastal Moroccan city where the original was set.

"As a student of films, I had watched this great classic 20 times."

Nath's protagonist is an Indian diplomat-turned restaurateur who helps his lover and her husband, both Tamil separatist rebels fighting the Sri Lankan government, escape from India.

In the adaptation, the hero and his lover meet in a beachside restaurant.

Nath says his film will swap the World War Two background of the original for the separatist movement in Sri Lanka -- where Tamils have been fighting for a separate ethnic homeland in the north and east of the Indian Ocean island -- but does not indulge in any politics.

"It is neither against nor in support of their cause," said the 55-year-old director, who met some Tamil Tiger rebels during a trip to Norway.

The Sri Lankan civil war has killed nearly 70,000 people since 1983, about 4,500 of them since last year alone.

The war strikes a strong chord across the Palk Strait in southern India where more than 60 million Indian Tamils live. India has had a complex political and military link to the conflict and Tamil rebels have also taken refuge here.

Nath begins shooting next month and some parts are to be filmed in Sri Lanka. The film is slated for a 2008 release.

"Ezham Mudra", which is Nath's 12th project as director, features Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi and Bollywood actress Mandira Bedi in the roles famously essayed by Bogart and Bergman.

Nath, who won India's prestigious national award for direction in 1999 for his Malayalam film "Janani", said remaking "Casablanca" was a dream come true.

"Casablanca" ranked third after "Citizen Kane" and "The Godfather" on a list of 100 best American films in a poll conducted by the American Film Institute in 2007.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Paucity of Rains

Patchy Rain

Met office rules out surplus monsoon in 2014   Full Article 

Boat Tragedy

Boat Tragedy

Boy and girl on Korean ferry tied life jackets together before they drowned.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near border.  Full Article 

Big Buyback

Big Buyback

Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion.  Full Article 

Put A Ring On It

Put A Ring On It

Actress Jodie Foster marries girlfriend Alexandra Hedison.  Full Article 

Times Top List

Time 100

Janet Yellen, Miley Cyrus odd bedfellows in Time's list of 100 most influential.  Full Article 

Champions League

Champions League

Benzema strike gives Real Madrid edge over holders Bayern Munich.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage