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December 1998 Edition


Sour Grapes

Glamour girl Simran had always hoped for the heroine’s spot in Rajini’s next movie "Padiyappa". But when she came to know that she is not part of this distinctive project, there were reports that she was awfully disappointed and did express her grief openly.9812_simarn.jpg (17427 bytes)

Looks like she has recovered from it now! Otherwise why should she be spreading the story that it was she who rejected the role? According to her the reason for her declining is the age of the heroine in the movie.

For most part of "Padaiyappa" this role demands a middle-aged woman’s appearance with gray hair. To top it all she should appear as the mother of Shalini, her teenage daughter. Besides she would also be the mother-in-law to Abbas in the movie. Learning this story, the foxy beauty calls the grapes sour now!

Well, thanks to "Natpukkaaga" and "Kanedhire Thondrinal", both being commercial hits, Simran is still in demand staying securely at the top. And to avoid hassles with her schedules, the girl who once sacked her earlier manger for his date mix-ups has three managers to take care of her busy schedule now.

Speaking on the middle-aged lady role, the Padiyappa heroine Soundarya too is bit miffed and she said that she wouldn’t accept such elderly roles in future.


The happier people

By no means either Karan or Prakashraj is regarded as crowd-pleasers. But their recent releases "Kannaathal" of Karan and "Guru Parvai" of Prakashraj are claimed to be box-office successes. Understandably, both the men are in the seventh heaven now.

The "Kaadal Kottai" girl Indhu who is the common factor of both these movies is also thrilled with the fruitful outcome. Subsequent to her performance in "Guru Parvai", Indhu for the first time is offered the role of primary heroine in a movie. Indhu unlike other northern imports, who do pantomime for someone else’s voices, this Tamil girl delivers her own lines on the screen. Notably, Indhu a TV-star-turned movie-heroine does not have problems with her long dialogues.

Besides, Easwari Roa is also happy that her controversial bathing scene in "Guruparvai" showing her transparent bosom in a wet saree did not turn out to be vulgar after all.

Speaking of "Kannaathal", the movie has become a devotional sensation among the rural masses. Particularly some ladies who watched this movie in the villages are said to have danced in the middle of the movie, as if they were possessed by "Kannaathal" a form of the powerful Hindu Goddess Shakthi.

Nina who is the heroine of "Kannaathal" now has second thoughts about her school and studies. Though she is yet to sign up for a new role in Tamil, Neena apparently works in a Malayalam venture.


Marudhanaayagam Stalled

The dream project of Kamal, "Marudanaaygam" for now is put in the back burner. The reason quoted for this decision is its astronomical cost. "Marudanaayagam" which is expected to eat up six times the budget of "Devar Magan" is temporarily out of gas now.

9812_kamal.jpg (23815 bytes)Kamal who has completed the scenes with his long hair and drooping beard has shortned both of them. As per him the episodes involving him with long hair is already complete. Some 23 days of shooting alone is done so far, with Kamal’s own money. But nearly 170 days of work is still pending. Money is the grave concern here and so Kamal is approaching certain foreign financiers to resume his work.

Contrary to earlier rumors "Marudanaaygam" does not have either Rajini or Sathyaraj in its cast. Popular character actor of Hindi movies Om Puri, who was present for the movie’s preview before the queen Elizabeth, is still there. Vishnuvardan, Naasar and the inimitable Nashurudin Shaw (from Boolywood) are also expected to play major roles in "Marudanaayagm". As to its heroines Kamal is still in the process of screening the girls from France and England. Besides he is also on the look out for a bold Indian actress who accepts a role with scope for brief nudity. One interesting aspect of the movie is Isai Gyani Ilayraja, who scores music for a Kamal's movie after a very long hiatus.

Before he could resume his venture, to make his fans happy Kamal would act in a quick  low budget movie, presumably directed by the popular Malayalam director Priyadarshan.


Another Kaamasuthra

Popular cinematographer Ashok Kumar’s "Kaama" is progressing at full tilt. In line with its title, Ashok Kumar who is obsessed with pretty girls has chosen sex as the central theme of "Kaama".9812_asha_mehra.jpg (22815 bytes) Ironically he has made his own son Vishal as the hero of the movie with many luscious scenes.

Asha Mehra an import  from Mumbai is the main heroine of "Kaama". Being an extrovert herself, initially Asha did not have any quarrel with the story of Kaama. But when she was asked act in scenes that almost amounted to soft-porno, Asha felt humiliated and returned back to Mumai. She claimed that it was too much for her to take. So the director found another lass Uravashi, who was equally sexy but extremely co-operative in all aspects, and continued the movie with her.

Meanwhile Asha who felt that she was missing a rare opportunity is back in "Kaama".  Now it is said that both these femme fatales vie with each other in many seductively demanding scenes of the movie. According to the grapevine for one such scene Ashok Kumar has employed his skills to the maximum to show  one of his heroines nude in an episode. This is normally a big no-no for movies made in India, but the lighting for the scene was handled so dexterously that it would hardly look vulgar on the big screen. However will such scenes ever escape the eyes of our conservative sensor-board is the big question.


Splendid Performance

The forthcoming movie "Pooveli" is almost ready for release now. It is from the renowned Kavithalaya banner of K. Balachander, produced by his wife Rajam Balachander and his daughter Pushpa Kandaswamy. Karthik, Kaushalya and Abbas form the central characters of Pooveli, directed by Selva.

As to its story it deals with a couple living in a joint family played by Karthik and Kaushalya. Kausaliya is the daughter of a rich man Radha Ravi. Once Radharavi presents his daughter with a very expensive silk saree on her birthday. She is very moved by the gift. But when Karthik learns about it, he was totally outraged. He insists that nobody should give any gift to his wife other than him. In his ire he ends up burning the saree too.

Looks like "Pooveli" is a sentimental melodrama with ample scope for acting. It is reported that Karthik particularly has done his role very convincingly. Balachander when he first saw the preview of the movie he was so much moved by Karthik’s performance and called Karthik immediately over phone to congratulate him for his wonderful work in "Pooveli".

Bharadwaj who created waves with his earlier work in "Kaadal Mannan" is the music director for "Pooveli" too. He has scored music for six songs for the movie and people who heard those songs swear that it would be yet another hit for Bharathwaj.


Superstar's Birthday

Talented character actor Nassar plays an important role in Rajni’s next movie "Paddiyappa", slated to hit the theaters for the coming Tamil New Year in April. Interestingly both Rajini and Nassar are from Balachander’s camp, but for quite sometime both of them have never acted together.

9812_rajini.jpg (16236 bytes)In "Padaiyappa" Soundarya does the role of Rajni’s wife and Preeta his daughter. Popular director-turned comedian Mannivanan is Rajini’s uncle. Naasar is a powerful politician who appears as a State Minister in the movie. Ramya comes as his daughter and Abbas his son. Besides Prakashraj plays the part of a senior official in police.

The schedule for "Padaiyappa" in Mysore is complete and the crew has moved back to Chennai, in time for Rajini’s 49th birthday celebrations. Actually Rajni missed few of his past birthdays because during those days he was out of Chennai. That way this year it is really a grand occasion for his fans. Thousands of them gathered before his residence right from early morning to have a glimpse of their Thalivar and wish him on his birthday. At his residence Rajni celebrated his birthday with his wife Latha and his two daughters.

Several political figures like Kaliangar Karunanidhi, Muppanar and others personally called Rajni to wish him on his birthday. Besides Rajini celebrated his birthday also with the entire "Padaiyappa" unit in A.V.M studio. During this occasion Rajni had a heavy garland made up of rose flowers weighing around 125 Kilos. Interestingly Rajni did not have problems in wearing such a heavy garland which demanded five people to carry and present it to Rajini.


Testing time for Prabhu Deva

Professionally speaking,  this year has not been kind enough to Prabhu Deva. Early this year both his Tamil movies "Naam Iruvar Namaku Irruver" and "Kaadala Kaadala" turned out to be box-office debacles. Bedsides his more recent Telugu film "Love Story 1999" with Ramya Krishna and Ramba too is a flop.

However presently he has promising projects like "Time" and "Nee Enaku Uyirama" up his sleeves to jumpstart his stalled career.

Of his forthcoming movies "Time" particularly is more important for him, as it is touted to be a big budget film. "Time" is directed by Geetakrishna a popular director in Telugu hailing from "Sangarabranam" fame K.Viswanath’s camp. For him "Time" would be his maiden venture in Tamil. The movie has Prabhu Deva in the lead paired opposite two Mumbai imports Menaka Senail and Radhika Chowduri, both of them being commercial models.


9812_menaka.jpg (23444 bytes)

Menaka Senail

9812_radhika.jpg (28212 bytes)

Radhika Choudry

"Time" is a bilingual made simultaneously in both Tamil and Telugu. Karan, Prithvi, Nazar, SP Balasubramaniam, Manivannan and the Rexona ad-man Bobbu Poonai would form the rest of the cast for the movie.

What is all about this name "Time"? Well Geethakrishna explains:

"Time is like Fate, for it alone knows what lies in store for lovers. And my film has a message in it for those in love. Prabhu Deva plays the lead but the dances in the film were not added as after-thoughts with him in mind. Nonetheless they serve to develop the plot."

Interestingly the movie has a Tamil hero, heroines from Mumbai, Telugu director and an English title.


Change of Scene

Normally music director A.R. Rahman would visit some exotic places for seclusion to get inspired for his compositions. Now the veteran Ilayaraja too has joined this club with his recent visit to Maldivis for the movie "Time".

With Raja around the musical sittings for the film "Time" were held for four consecutive days in the Maldives. When asked to comment on his new numbers in the film, director Geetakrishna says that their efforts have yielded excellent results. He also adds that Ilayaraja has come up with great tunes for "Time" that would be an asset to the film.

Incidentally Ilayaraja is also the music director for Agathian’s movie "Kaadal Kavithai". For one of the songs in the movie, Raja who normally never sits for his recording sessions after six in the evening took special interest and waited till midnight to complete the song. Later Raja said he was so involved in the song and its situation in the movie, he lost count of time.

New temptress in the block!

Few years ego the former Miss-Madras Kasthuri was a strong contender for the top spot  in Tamil. But her success was short-lived, chiefly because of her own behavior. 9812_kasthuri.jpg (30231 bytes)Being a law graduate herself she started imposing rules and questioning her directors. In the process she  eventually lost her ground in Tamil. So she shifted to Malayalam and Telugu for survival. To compete with other sex-sirens, particularly in Telugu she acted in roles that demanded too much of exposing. Unfortunately due to strong competition from the girls like Saakshi Sivanand, Rakshana etc., Kasthuri’s sensual appearances could not help her stay long in Telugu.

So the determined Kasthuri is heading back home with "Kaadal Kavithai" a Prasanth starrer directed by "Kaadal Kottai" fame Agathian. Though she would play second fiddle to its lead lady Isha Khoppikar, Kasthuri too has a meaty role in "Kaadal Kavithai". In the movie she appears as Prasant’s seductive secretary, who is all out to woo him. Like Priyaraman who surprised everyone in her "Pudumai Piththan", Kasthuri too is expected cause sleepless nights for many who watch the movie.

Ajeet's ailment

Before joining movies Ajeet was a professional motorcycle racer. In one of those races he got his spine injured. Though he recovered from it soon, sometimes he still suffers from severe back pain. Recently he had one such outbreak of pain that led him admitted into a famous hospital in Chennai. While he was in the hospital he had a surgery to reduce the pain. Besides the surgeon told him to have complete rest for a month.

So to have some rest Ajeet is currently in the U.S, visiting his brother. Interestingly for this trip his beau Hera has also accompanied him. But some mischievous people question that how on earth could he have any rest with his girl friend around! Well while he recovers in the U.S., Ajeet definitely needs someone to comfort him. So if it happens to be his sweetheart Heera herself, what else could bring him a faster recovery!

With his sudden departure to the States, the movies of Ajeet have come to a complete halt. Because only after his recovery, Ajeet would resume his work on his movies "Vaali", "Thodarum" and "Unnai Thedi".

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