"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

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:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Barack Obama in India

Reuters Showcase

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh charges opposition chief with instigating attack on bus  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Rebels press Ukraine offensive, Obama promises steps against Russian-backed "aggression"  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Sweet revenge for Murray as old guard hold firm   Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Eastwood's "American Sniper" continues as U.S. box office juggernaut   Full Article 

Boko Haram Fight

Boko Haram Fight

Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

Dolly ki Doli is a breezy watch, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Akshay Kumar's Latest

Akshay Kumar's Latest

"Baby" is a smartly written, well-acted film  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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