Suresh Gopi to play Raja Ravi Varma in new Malayalam film

Jul 23, 2007 IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, July 23 (IANS) Malayalam action hero Suresh Gopi has been selected to play the role of Raja Ravi Varma, one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art.

Varma (1848-1906) achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art.

The Malayalam film "Raja Ravi Varma" will be made by award winning director Lenin Rajendran. The shooting will commence in September and the movie will be ready for release towards the end of the year.

Rajendran said Monday that this film was the first on the artist's life to be made.

"Even though a few similar projects was announced, so far none has taken off and the one which is now under consideration is in English and Hindi," he said.

"Raja Ravi Varma" would be Rajendran's 13th film. He said the movie would show the trials and tribulations of the great artist who did not get due recognition during his lifetime.

"It was the Diwan of Travancore, Madhava Rao who promoted Varma by inviting him to his residence in Maharashtra and converted his residence into the studio for Varma," said Rajendran.

Gopi said it was a challenge for him to play the role of an artist because it was very different from the action roles that he usually played.

"Yes, this is a challenge because opportunities like this do not come often and I get my daily bread by playing macho roles," said Gopi.

Rajendran said the film did not just trace the life of the great painter but focused on the pressures that Varma had to face as a painter.

"The important aspect that my film would delve into is that Varma always relied on one particular model for all his paintings depicting women. Why he did that is going to be one of the main aspects of this film," said Rajendran.

He added that debutant actresses would play the roles of Varma's model and wife and he would announce their names soon.

Gopi added that drawing or painting had never been his forte and he would have to spend some time with artists to lend a touch of realism to the character that he would soon play.

Suresh Gopi Pictures


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