There were scores of films in Tamil and Kannada made on the slain bandit Veerappan when he was alive and after his death. In fact, film maker AMR Ramesh did extensive research before he came out with Attahasa that focused on Veerappan’s life in the forest. Now comes the time to talk about Veerappan’s wife Muthulakshmi. The director who has taken up the task of doing this film is Jagadish alias Jaggi, who started off his career in Sandalwood with Kempa. Bearing the title Muthulakshmi, the film will go on floors on May 22. What is interesting is that Muthulakshmi will make her presence in Bangalore today to talk about the film. Jaggi takes us through the journey he took to come about with this film.
“A couple of years ago, Muthulakshmi, in an interview to a private Tamil channel, had revealed that she would be interested in doing a movie on her life if she got a good producer. When I heard about it, I went in search of her. It was a difficult task to meet her, talk to her and get hold of this script. Finally, after many discussions, she agreed to work with us, but only after laying down a lot of conditions. It took us one-and-half years to conceive the story of Muthulakshmi,” he says.
Jaggi feels that a film on Muthulakshmi is relevant even after the death of the smuggler. “The whole world knows Muthulakshmi as his wife, but nobody knows how she became his wife and what kind of life she led with Veerappan. We are going to bring the family aspect of Muthulakshmi’s life as told by her, which is very interesting,” says Jaggi, adding, “With this film, we can see the other side of Veerappan.”
As of today, Muthulakshmi has not asked for any royalty from the makers. “We are gifting her something as a compliment for all the interest she has shown in making this film happen. She has revealed so much about herself, which she has not told anybody. We have to do this even if she doesn’t accept it,” he says.
They are confident that the film will not face any hurdles because Muthulakshmi herself will be monitoring the making of the film. “According to her conditions, we can do only what is told and nothing can be added. However, we have also made an agreement as to how the film will be made in cinematic angle and she has given us the artistic freedom. Her presence at the shooting spots will make it even more easier to take our film in a direction that is fine with her.”