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Is Priya Prakash Varrier’s Sridevi Bungalow based on the bizarre death of Sridevi?

The teaser shows Varrier playing a woman named Sridevi who appears to die in a bathtub, like the late actress. Director Prasanth Mambully says they have already got a legal notice from Boney Kapoor.

Mayur Lookhar

All it took was one wink to make young Kerala actress Priya Prakash Varrier an internet sensation. Now, her maiden Hindi film is likely to create more controversy.

Titled Sridevi Bungalow, the film features a young actress named Sridevi (Varrier) who, perhaps, dies in a bathtub, just like the late film star.

Varrier’s character is a celebrated actress but a loner. What intrigued us is the scene in which she has some beverage and is then seen bawling in the bathroom. Towards the end, we see the feet of a woman lying in a bathtub. Is that Sridevi or someone else? 

The teaser leaves you wondering whether director Prasanth Mambully's film is based on the death, if not the life, of the great actress. Sridevi died in February last year in Dubai after drowning in her hotel bathtub.

The teaser is not very impressive and Mambully’s Sridevi comes across as a self-obsessed, disconsolate figure.

If the film is indeed based on Sridevi, Varrier doesn’t look the part. Sridevi Bungalow is a Hindi film, but the only dialogue we hear in the teaser is in English. 

The late actress’s fans and family are likely to find the teaser in poor taste. What was the motive behind making such a film? Mambully wouldn't say.

"I cannot talk about the film," the director told Cinestaan.com. "That is something you will know when the film is released. Sridevi is a character, an actress, in my film."

Asked if the film was based on the late actress, he said, "The character's name is Sridevi. Anybody can be called Sridevi. The story can have certain incidents which happened in Sridevi's life. This is a suspense thriller. I can't talk more about the film."

Given the title and based on the teaser, does he not worry that Boney Kapoor and family may seek action against the film? Mambully disclosed that the producers have already got a notice from Kapoor. 

"We received a legal notice from Mr Boney Kapoor last week," he told Cinestaan.com. "And we will face it. I want to  My film is a suspense thriller. I told him [Kapoor] that Sridevi is a common name. My character also happens to be an actress. We will face it [the legal case]."

The director further stated that they have completed the first schedule and shooting will be wrapped up in February. Sridevi Bungalow is being shot in London.

While Priya Varrier was unavailable for comment, her father Prakash Varrier told Cinestaan.com, "When going through the script, we didn't think whether it would create a controversy." He, however, refused to comment on the legal notice, saying that was for the director and the producer of Sridevi Bungalow to address.

But does the film have anything to do with the late actress’s life? “There is nothing to reveal now," he said. "That is to be decided by you after you see the film.”

Given its bizarre subject, Sridevi Bungalow is only likely to court more controversy in the days to come. Meanwhile, watch the teaser below and let us know if you would like to watch Sridevi Bungalow.