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August 1998 Edition
Yet to name it!
When they heard about the name
"Padiyappa", many people around Rajini did not like that name for his next
movie. However Rajni was initially very firm on that name. When suggested to change it,
his reaction was
"Even for a name like Arunachalam people were very
skeptical. But Arunachalam became a big hit to prove them all wrong. Like
"Arunachalam", Padiyappa would also do wonders, reminding you of "Arupadai
Vedu" of Lord Muruga."
While saying this, Rajni did attach religious sentiments to
"Padaiyappa". But for many, the same name in Tamil has direct connotation
to a scratchy skin disease.
Fortunately for now, Rajini is said to have understood the nuance
of the name "Padaiyappa". So it might be dropped, probably in favor of an
earlier choice "GIRI" or altogether a different title.
A report from Chennai says both Meena and
Simran are back in the race for the heroine slot of the movie. Sources also say that
Shalini too was approached for a stronger role in the movie. Besides, contrary to the
earlier reports, Tollywood queens Soundarya or Ramya may not find a place in this venture.
With details turning so mercurial, it might be
wiser not to believe any news on the movie, until we hear something concrete from Rajini
The major gripe of music director Sirpy these days is how Alisha
Chinai, popular Indian Pop star, lifted his "Azhagiya Laila" tune for her new
album. But sources close to him say Sirpy himself stole the tune from an Arabian Music
album, in the first place.
So in this world of copycats like Devas, Anand Milinds and Anu
Maliks, Sirpy is no exception! May be his inspiring sources are untraceable.
The girl next-door
Whenever someone knocks at
Devayanis house, the actress
herself comes out to receive her guest. Naturally, her fans are thrilled by the
down-to-the-earth behavior of this leading actress.
Threatened by her competition, Devayani consulted an astrologer.
Since the soothsayer reported everything is going strong with her career, Devayani is
happy and much relieved now.
Currently Devayani is pinning her hope on "Unnakkum
Yennakkum" a Livingston starrer, in which she has taken more pains to deliver a
wonderful performance. In this movie, Devayani plays the role of a music-student, who is a
Interestingly, once Devayani wanted to opt out of this
movie, due to some undesired interference from its hero Livingston. But with his
recent hit "Sollaamale", don't be surprised, if Simran too signs a movie
The national award winning cinematographer Ashok Kumar is back on
the limelight with 'Jeans'.
Talking about Ashok Kumar, his obsession towards girls is well
Interestingly, Ashok is the first cameraman to hire girls as his
As a cameraman, he is also accused of concentrating only on the
Once while working for a Hindi movie, Ashok placed the light
meter on the chest of the heroine (Juhi Chawla) and got slapped instantly.
Ashok directed two Tamil films -- 'Andru Paeitha Mazhayil'(Tamil
version of 'Fatal Attraction'), which had 'Silk' Smitha in her most seductive role, and
'Kamagni' in Hindi with Tina Munim, again in an erotic role.
Now this tinsel town "Vathsayana" is directing yet
another soft porn in Tamil, 'Kama,' with new faces. "An erotic poem on
celluloid," says Ashok for his new venture, when asked to elaborate on its theme.
On its way to
Sarath Kumars movie "Natpukaga" is said to be a
run away success. For both Sarath
and Simran, who are paired for the first time together, the movies success should
have been a great relief. Particularly for Simran, when her reign in Tamil is questioned
by flops like "Kondattam" and "Poochudavaa", the movie happened at the
right time to consolidate her number one position.
Like his other hits "Nattamai" and
"Suriyavamam" of Sarath, "Natpukaga" is also slowly making its way
towards Andhara Predesh. When Super-star Rajini saw the movie, he immediately recommanded
Mohan Bubu to remake it in Telugu.
Dr. Rajasekar also approached its producer A.M. Rathnam to buy
its story rights for Telugu. Besides Venkatesh and Chiranjeevi were the other Telugu stars
who wanted to be in its Telugu remake. But the final winner is Mega-star
"Chiranjeevi". K.S. Ravikumar who directed the Tamil original, will direct its
Telugu version too.
Incidentally, since K.S. Ravikumar is preoccupied with this
movie, he will start his work on Rajinis next movie only after completing this
venture. However some sources say this could happen as early as coming December.
Director Cherans new movie "Desiya
Geetham" hit a minor snag. The problem was Parthiban had already registered the name
"Desiya Geetham" as a probable title for his future release. But when requested,
Parthiban magnanimously relinquished his registered name for Cherans benefit.
Speaking of Cheran, Director Bharathi Raja is said to be miffed
with him. Charan gave an interview somewhere boasting that his movies will always be
remembered unlike his predecessors Bhararthi Raja and Balachanders works. Infuriated
by Cherans statement, Bharathi Raja is reported to have dropped Cheran from one of
his future projects. Cheran is successful indeed with both of his ventures "Bharathi
Kannama" and "Porkaalam" being roaring hits. But it does not warrant him to
undermine the efforts of his seniors,
A little girl in tears
The movie "Sandipoma" was made with
RS 2.5 crores and "Dharma" with even bigger budget. But
of them bombed in the box-office, Preetha is almost in tears now. With the failure of both
her initial movies, she is afraid it would affect her career adversely.
But this lucky girl has an array of movies in
production with leading heroes like Satyaraj, Parthiban, Pandiya Rajan and Livingston.
Hope one of those movies clicks for her soon.
However other heroines must be a bit relieved
by her set-back, because right under their noses, Preetha bagged many prestigious
projects, entirely due to the clout her star-family has in Kodambakkam.
Story of an actress
She is the elder of the two star sisters from
Kerala, who once ruled Kollywood with their looks and accomplished acting prowess. During
early eighties, she was the dream girl of Tamil Movies with many memorable performances,
paired opposite many leading heroes like Rajini, Kamal, Mohan etc. But now her current
plight is very deplorable.
Earlier she married a non-resident Indian living, in
the US. But soon she missed her star status and returned back to Kodambakam. Desperate for
any role, she tried hard to make a come back in Tamil. But with several younger girls
around, obviously there were no takers for this aged woman.
Frustrated, she soon resorted to wooing several
richer men around the industry to maintain her standard of living. The latest victim in
her list is a popular comedian hailing from Madhurai. Interestingly, often the pair is
spotted in many high-priced restaurants of Chennai, arriving by an expensive import car of
the comedian. With an outright "D " in his looks, the comedian is said to
be hardly a match for this ex-kollywood queen. As to this odd couple, people in the
industry wonder what made the heartthrob of yesteryears to stoop down to such an
The tantrum queen
Finally the heroine for Vijayakanths next movie
"Kallazhgar" is decided as Laila, a popular actress in Telugu.
was doing modeling in Mumbai, it was the veteran comedian Mahamood, who introduced her as
heroine in the Hindi movie "Duniya Dushman ki". Despite its attractive
star cast of Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan, the movie bombed badly in the box-office.
However, soon she moved to Tollywood and became an instant success in Telugu with several
hits to her credit.
Well... is Laila new to Tamil?
No... she is not new to Kodambakkam.
Actually, when it comes to Tamil movies, Laila has a very bad
If you recall a little, Laila is the same the girl who was
supposed to debut in Kalaipuli Danus "V.I.P". However due to her tantrums
she was thrown out of "V.I.P", paving the way for the sizzling Simran to storm
into Tamil movies.
Though Danus version could be different, in an interview
Lailas version on V.I.P was:
"I did not know Danu before I signed the movie, but because
I liked the story, I signed it. But when I landed in Chennai, I was shocked by the
producer's behavior. To start with, Dhanu put me up at a cheap hotel in Egmore and asked
me to purchase my own clothes and pay for my hair dresser. Apparently, he had earlier
signed a girl called Pooja Kumar as the heroine and had printed the invitation cards, but
then she walked out. So Dhanu asked me to change my name to Pooja because he did not want
to print another set of cards. Then, at the muhurat, I met Rambha who turned out to be the
other heroine in the film. But the strange part was that they had told me that I was to be
the only heroine in the project. The last straw was when they honored me with a silk shawl
at the function, but took it back later. I immediately returned their money and walked
Besides V.I.P, Laila has also rejected K. S. Ravikumar's
'Dharmachakram' and Pavithran's infamous 'Kathal Palli'. According to her, Ravikumar's
story was not very good and as for Pavithran, his behavior with heroines is supposedly not
After walking out of three movies, it is surprising that the
tantrum queen is once again turning towards Tamil. Let us hope making of
"Kallazhgar" has a smooth sailing with the controversial Laila in it.
Return of the Mogul
The movie Mogul K. T. Kunjumon's is
known for his inimitable extravaganza in movies produced with astronomical budgets.
After his big-ticketed shows like "Gentleman",
"Kaadalan", "Kadal Desam" and his most recent "Ratchgan",
KTK is currently producing a movie called "Kodeeswaran", a launching pad for his
son Aby as hero. Not surprisingly, the current glamour sensation Simran is the
heroine of "Kodeeswaran".
However what is surprising is the current Bollywood Queen
Karishma appearing for a single song sequence in the movie. Looks like she earned a huge
sum for just doing that number.
As per the story, Karishma descends from a spaceship, to entice
Aby in the song sequence. Reportedly, Karishmas space-alien costume cost a whopping
one million rupees. And the landing zone for the alien craft -- a special set erected in
Ramoji Rao's studio in Hyderabad -- cost uncounted millions more.
Shilpa finds her
Bollywood sex siren Shilpa Shetty, who
debuted in Tamil with "Mr. Romeo" is seen extremely happy these days. Because she is in love with Boolywoods
Casanova Akshay Kumar and to her utter delight they have already engaged formally.
Akshay, a former superstar in Hindi with a mega hit like
"Mohraa", is known for his affairs with Bollywood girls like Pooja Batra and
Raveena Tandon. Notably, at one point of time, Akshay-Raveena pair looked inseparable. But
due to one reason or other that relationship is history now.
Bollywood insiders say that this new love story of Akshay-Shilpa
is much stronger. Because, unlike his earlier engagement with Raveena, which was a big
hush-hush, this time Akshay came out openly to announce his engagement with Shilpa.
Interestingly, the hunk is also reported to learn the South Indain language
"Tulu", the mother tongue of Shilpa.
"Padaiyappa" - another
It has been quite a while, since we last saw
the superstar Rajini in Arunachalam. Particularly, it is traumatic for his ardent fans,
with no sign of their idols movie anywhere nearby. When both Deepawali and Pongal
passed without his presence in the marquee, their frustration grew even more.
everyone was eager to know more on Rajnis next venture, there were always rumors.
Initially, they said it would be called "Alex", reminding you of Alex pandian in
"Moondru Mugam". Later they claimed that "Ramakrishna" would be his
next movie directed by Suresh Krishna. For this movie both Simran and Meena were tipped to
be the heroines.
Now the current news in this vaporware sequel is
"Padaiyappa". This one would be directed by K.Ravikumar for ARRs music
score a reunion of the successful pair from the legendary "Muthu".
Surprisingly, Simran wont be the heroine of
"Padaiyappa". As of now, the lucky girls for the heroines slots are
Soundarya and Ramya. A strange combination indeed, because Ramya is a non-entity in Tamil
and Soundarya is like an infrequent visitor to Tamil movies. However both these girls do
enjoy a great deal of popularity in Telugu. Ramya was almost number one in Telugu and
Soundrya is the current number one. With them around, probably the strategy is to make
"Padaiyappa" more acceptable in Telugu,
where there is a considerable demand for the movies dubbed from Tamil.
"Padaiyappa" is said to be Rajini's effort
to help certain close friends of him. Besides, a portion of the returns from the movie,
would be donated to an educational foundation, meant for poorer children.
And the winners are...
Recently, popular Bollywood magazine "Filmfare" hosted
their award ceremony for the South Indian movies.. Normally Chennai is the center for this
gala event. However last year due to the movie industry strike, the focus was shifted to
Hyderabad. Once again the festivities came back to Chennai at the mammoth Kamraj Hall.
Sarath Kumar was the hero of
the day, winning his second Filmfare trophy for the Best Actor for his performance
Meena, the Best Actress for Bharathi Kannamma was notably
absent for the function. Actually she was in Japan for the premier of her movie
"Muthu" a Rajini-starrer, screened for the first time in that country with
Japanese sub-titles. In her absence her father received the trophy on Meenas behalf.
S Janaki, the playback singer, who in her four-decade-long career
has rendered as many as 14,000 songs in various languages received the coveted
"Lifetime achievement award".
It was his eighth Filmfare award for AR Rahman for his
"Minsaara Kanavu". When asked to sing a stanza or two, the ever-bashful Rahman
merely said, Vande Mataram and scampered off the stage.
Cheran won the Best Director Award for the Tamil film Bharathi
Kannama and cinemotographer Santhosh Siven got the best technician award for his work
The irrefutable winner of the Best Newcomer Award for the whole
South was Simran. Within a short span, Simran stormed into Southern screens with her Tamil
hits like VIP Nerukku Ner etc. Interestingly, her forerunner, Naghma, who
had also made a similar transition from the Mumbai to the South films, presented Simran
Wrath of a father
son of thespian Sivakumar, was once in garment business at Thirupur. When director Vasanth
and Mani Ratnam approached Sivakumar with an offer for Surya in "Nerrukku Ner",
Surya had reluctantly accepted the offer, despite his fathers approval.
Unfortunately the father is repenting on his decision to allow
his boy to act in movies. The reason is the Tamil film 'Sandhippoma' in which Surya is
paired with Preetha, daughter of the Vijaykumar-Manjula couple. The girl is reported to be
virtually chasing Surya and making blatant overtures to the young man. She is also
reported to have cajoled the director into including a kissing scene in the film. Even
before the director could shout "action," the imp was said to be fondly at it,
smooching Surya all over. Not content, the girl also insisted on several retakes. This
news soon reached Sivakumar and he was already out of control. But one night when Preetha
rang up Surya, his dad picked up the phone and severely reprimanded the girl at the other
It is known already Manirethnams "Dil Se" in Hindi is soon
to be released in Tamil as "Uyire". Here are some less known facts on the movie.
In Tamil Aravindsawmy has lent his voice Sharukh Khan, while Suhasini was dubbing her
voice for Manisha. Like his earlier movies "Roja" and "Bombay",
"Uyire" is also based on a real-life story, woven with the backdrop of
terrorism. This time, it is said to be inspired by a students agitation happened in
Assam and a particular terrorist group of that state. Besides, an interesting love story
is interwoven elegantly.
One more news about "Uyire" is, there is this special
song in the movie. It was shot bravely at Indo-Pak border under very hostile conditions,
where exchange of bullets between the troops is very common.
The movie also has the former Liril girl Preethi as the second
heroine of the movie.
The ace singer of Indian movies Hariharan is
said to be extremely busy in South these days. Whenever he visits Chennai, he has to work
for Illaya Raja, ARR and other popular directors, all under a tight schedule. Hariharan,
one of the outstanding singers of Tamil movie songs is reported to claim Rs 25,000 per
song. Though producers find this to be on the higher side, they dont mind paying him
so much to include his magical voice in their movies.
Like S.P. Bala who writes his Tamil songs in Telugu and sings,
Mumbai born Hariharan also transliterates his Tamil songs in Hindi.
One more feather on her cap!
It is well known that Suhasini Manirathnam is
hosting her personal site on the Net at http://www.suhasini.com.
It is a great site and by far it could be the best Indian star site on the Net, hosted by
a movie personality herself. The latest news
is, multifarious Suhasini hosts yet another web site at http://www.tamiltalkies.com. Recently, this new
site was officially launched by the Boolywood idol Shahrukh Khan.
In Suhasini's own words, the purpose of this new
site is to bring the exciting world of Tamil films to theaters all over the world. As the
first step towards that direction, she is currently promoting through her site, the
forthcoming Tamil movie "Uyire" starring Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala (a
sure-fire Bollywood combination!) Preity Zinta and others. The story screen play and
direction for "Uyire" is in the able hands of Suhasinis husband
Manirathnam (for a change let us qualify him like this!) . Unlike his other movies, which
went dubbed from Tamil to Hindi, "Uyire" would be the first movie originally
shot in Hindi (Dil Se) and dubbed into Tamil. A.R. Rahman scores music for the
movie, tuned with Vairamuthus lyrics.
"Uyire" is scheduled for global release on
14th August. So if you are one of those distributors who wants to screen "Uyire"
in your country, be in touch with Tamil Talkies soon for further details. Otherwise
also, you can just visit them to view a nice collection of still photographs and a
synopsis on the movie.
This edition of Star-tracks is tracked from
various Internet Sources.
Copyright © 1997-98
Minnoviyam. All rights reserved