Tamil leader M Karunanidhi was so enamoured by a Malayalam movie in the 1980s that he got it remade into Tamil and even wrote the screenplay for it. The late Cochin Haneefa, probably Karunanidhi’s closest friend in Kerala, was persuaded by the DMK leader to remake his 1986 movie, ‘Moonnu Masangalkku Mumpu’, into Tamil.
Karunanidhi, a reputed script writer himself, liked the Mammootty-starrer so much that he wanted Haneefa to shoot it in Tamil as well. Haneefa agreed on one condition: ‘Kalaignar’ should write the screenplay in Tamil. Karunanidhi agreed right away. The result was ‘Paasa Paraivagal’ in 1988.
The movie was mostly shot at the AVM Studio in Chennai. The movie includes a cameo from Alappuzha native A Kabeer, who had gone to the AVM Studio to work on another project by director Alleppey Ashraf. Haneefa cast Kabeer as an airport officer in ‘Paasa Paraivagal’.
Another Karunanidhi film has a Alappuzha link. One of his movies was shot in the backwaters of Kuttanad in 2008. ‘Uliyin Osai’, written by Karunanidhi and directed by Ilavenil, features Alappuzha in one of its songs.
Karunanidhi, then the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, was expected to visit Alappuzha for the shoot but the plans were later changed.