On Monday night the Royal family hosted a glamorous reception to mark the launch of “UK-India 2017” at Buckingham Palace. The event marks the beginning of a year-long series of events in the UK & India, celebrating the bond between the two countries and marking 70 years of India’s independence from Great Britain. Attending the function were celebrities from the UK & India including veteran South Indian actor Kamal Haasan.
However this is not the first time Kamal and Queen Elizabeth II have met. In 1997, the producers of “Marudhanayagam” managed to rope in the Queen to the set of Kamal’s pet project. As the chief guest Queen Elizabeth II launched the project at MGR Film City on 16th October 1997.
She spent 20 minutes at the launch, meeting veteran actors Sivaji Ganesan, chief minister M. Karunanidhi, journalist Cho Ramaswamy & many more.
Kamal Haasan played the role of Marudhanayagam, a warrior (some claim a traitor) from Tamil Nadu, who rose from humble beginnings to command the troops of the controversial British East India Company. The film is set in the early 17th century with Kamal portrayed his character in English, French and Tamil languages.
The producers began shooting Marudhanayagam in 1997 but due to financial constraints and political problems the project stalled by 1998. However, thanks to British Tamil tycoon Allirajah Subaskaran of Lycatel & Lyca Productions, the film may still have fresh legs two decades on. Lets see what the future has in store for Marudhanayagam.
We leave you with this film still of Kamal riding a bull! Not sure if PETA will allow this scene from the film to be re-enacted!