Shreyas Talpade to play Venkatesh

A movie based on The Last Hurrah

Mumbai: The Last Hurrah, a book by Shrikant Murthy, a Bombay-based author, is based on the life of K.Venkatesh, a young chess player who was afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

The young man died in Hyderabad in December 2004. While the young man was in his last stages, his mother appealed to the High Court of Hyderabad for mercy killing so that she could fulfill her son’s last wishes of donating his vital body parts to the needy ones. The law took its own course and during the pendency of the case the young man breathed his last.

In his death he left behind a lasting image of himself on the canvas of time. In a similar case, being in a vegetating state for 15 years, Terry Schiavo of USA, died in Florida in March 2005. The cases cited above have engendered a debate on the ethics of euthanasia or mercy killing, like never before.

In The Last Hurrah, Shrikant Murthy has recounted the absorbing saga of two ordinary persons – a mother and son, who under the most adverse circumstances, led a meaningful life and eternally strived to serve some little purpose in life. The book published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was released in Hyderabad on May 9, 2004 at the hands of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

The book received some rave reviews and is being sold all over India and in all English speaking countries. Dinanath Kolambkar of Rameshwar Divya Films has obtained filming rights from the young man’s mother and from the writer of the book. The feature film in Hindi, is titled Mein Phir Aaunga (I Will Be Back), a punch line the young Venkatesh often kept saying. Shreyas Talpade (Iqbal fame) and Moushumi Chatterjee, the leading lady of yester years, have been signed to portray the most challenging roles of the young man Venkatesh and his mother Sujatha, respectively.

The movie will be directed by Krishnakanth Pandya (who earlier directed Panaah, Bedardi and forthcoming Kyonki Hum Deewane Hain). Khayyam will score the music for the film. The executive producers of the film, Lawrence-Manohar, plan to shoot the film in Mumbai and Hyderabad in the next couple of months and propose to release the movie by the end of this year.

According to producer Dinanath Kolambkar, mercy killing is a universal issue. Besides, he adds, that the brave story is a tear jerker that moves from sorrow to sorrow and yet elevate the viewers’ mind in the end – a film that strives to uphold universal human values not only to be seen but to be experienced collectively by men, women and children alike.

Banner: Rameshwar Divya Films Producer: Dinanath Kolambkar
Director: Krishnakanth Pandya
Music: Khayyam Executive
Producers: Lawrence-Manohar
Screenplay: Krishnakanth Pandya & Shrikant Murthy
Dialogue: Dr Achala Nagar
Cinematography: Kishore Kapadia
Editing: Arun-Shekhar
Sound: Buta Singh
Action: Kammu
Art: Leelaladhar Sawant
Designs: Studio Link
Lab: Adlabs
PRO: Peter Martis

“Between housewife and mother, Sujatha chose to play mother to an invalid boy who was destined to die” – Shrikant Murthy “If a rich man is sick, he has to fight only his illness whereas a poor man has to fight against disease and poverty” – Sujatha “Nature makes no choices or preferences.

It’s wrong to call a particular place as God’s own country, or God forsaken or Goddamn place. The whole world is beautiful. Moreover, God doesn’t forsake. It’s the Man who does that” – Venkatesh

With best compliments: PETER MARTIS/ 9820142879