‘Maheshinte Prathikaram’ remake is stepping into large shoes

Priyadarshan has his work cut out retooling Dileesh Pothan’s national award winner in Tamil.

Director Priyadarshan has announced a remake of Dileesh Pothan’s 2016 Malayalam hit Maheshinte Prathikaram (Mahesh’s Revenge). Priyadarshan’s version will have Tamil actor Udayanidhi Stalin and Malayalam actress Namitha Pramod in the roles played by Fahadh Faasil and Aparna Balamurali in the National Award-winning original.

As the title makes it evident, Maheshinte Prathikaram is a revenge saga, but one that is turned on its head in the most charming manner. Mahesh (Faasil), a photographer, vows revenge when a man thrashes him for trying to break up a fight. He resolves that he will wear slippers only after he has pummelled the man. But when Mahesh gets down to executing his revenge, he is told that his opponent has left to Dubai for work. What can Mahesh do? He is forced to wait patiently for nearly a year until he returns.

Meanwhile, life goes on.

Maheshinte Prathikaram (2016).

The cast of Pothan’s film features several standout performances by newcomers Aparna Balamurali, Sujith Shankar and Soubin Shahir alongside the veteran actor Alencier Ley Lopez. Fahadh Faasil is perfectly cast as Idukki district’s everyman. His steady job as a photographer has a steadier line: “Chin down, shoulder down, chin up, eyes open.” Mahesh’s approach to life is to go with the flow, but the desire for revenge rattles the balance and presents him with an opportunity to rise above the banal.

In a typical revenge saga, the routines of life stand suspended as the hero exacts his revenge. The universe conspires to help the hero succeed. Maheshinte Prathikaram keeps it real – a hero gets delayed on his way to extract revenge while the villain bolts to eke out a living. Elsewhere, the national anthem interrupts a fight.

Revenge is fine, but reality is humbling and amusing too. Maheshinte Prathikaram is going to be a tough act to follow.

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