Amithabh Bachchan's illness has created problems for ace director Manirathnam who has just started shooting for his bilingual film Ravana with Aishwarya Rai working in both Hindi and Tamil versions and Abhishekh Bachchan playing the lead role in the Hindi film.
Manirathnam’s efforts to make a bilingual film with top stars in Bollywood and South is facing lot of teething troubles. Mani who had to spend considerable time in getting the dates from the busy popular stars had started shooting for the Tamil version very recently in the Malayatoor Forest Division in Kerala. But after five days of the shooting of this film, the officials of the forest department have asked the film unit to vacate from the forest land. The shooting has been stopped now and the special sanction given to Manirathnam to shoot the film for 22 days in this prohibited area has been withdrawn by the Kerala Government.
The forest area is a two-hour drive from Kochi and is a prime spot for eco-tourism. The Kerala Government has not given permission for the film shootings at this area, but apparently Mani’s leftist connections had ensured the Governmental permission for the shooting from the CPM Government.
However the environmentalist groups in Kerala had opposed the move of the Government to accord permission for Manirathnam to shoot in this area. The environmentalists have been asking many uncomfortable questions on why Mani was given special permission to shoot in Mulankuzhi-Malayatoor forest area?
According to Krishnadev Prasad Sahu of the Malayatoor Forest Division said Manirathnam was asked to stop shooting of the Tamil film on 10th October evening because the film unit had constructed three temporary huts in prohibited areas in the forest, say the officials of the forest division. ‘This was in gross violation of the specific conditions that were contained in the permission letter issued by the forest department’ says Krishnadev Prasad Sahu.
However the film unit members say that the temporary huts were constructed mainly to keep the costly film unit equipments used for the shooting purposes. However this explanation was not acceptable to the forest department who say that there is no possibility of renewing permission for shooting of the film.
Mani had planned to shoot ten days for the Tamil Version and there after to start shooting for the Hindi version of the film with Abhisek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and others. Though both of them were expected to join the shooting after sixteenth of this month, the present health condition of Amithabh Bachchan who is recuperating in Mumbai’s Hospital may not permit the stars to join the shooting for this film immediately. Aishwarya Rai will be working in both the versions of the film. And now with the forest department of the Kerala state government withdrawing permission for the film shooting, Manirathnam’s cup of woes are filling.