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September 1998 Edition
The final word
After sixteen months of expectations, predictions and confusions,
finally Rajini is out of his self-imposed hibernation. Recently he made an official
announcement on his next movie "Padaiyappa". Yes
it is still Padaiyappa and
his leading ladies in the movie would be still Soundarya and Ramya Krishnan, the
matinee-goddesses of Telugu screen.
Totally enthralled by his announcement, Rajinis fans are
already in action. Similar to
"Arunachalam" days, when sacred beads of Lord Shiva were used in place of dots
over Tamil consonants of the name "Arunachalam", this time "Vel" the
divine spear of Lord Muruga would adorn over the Tamil letter "P" in the middle
of "Padiayappa". This is because the name Padaiyappa is related to the Tamil God
Muruga and His famous six hill temples. Besides Rajini maintains that
"Padaiyappa" also means "The commander-in-chief" in Tamil.
Well if the name relates to Muruga, is it a religious movie?
says the Super-star. It would be a social movie with a rustic touch. Unlike his
earlier movie, "Padiyappa" will not have any dig at the current political
situations. Actually whenever someone utters the word politics, these days Rajini avoids
him like a plague.
As expected the new movie is financed by some of his very close
friends and part of the proceeds of it would go to his new charity organization meant for
meritorious but economically backward students.
Padiyappas director is K. S. Ravikumar and A.R. Rahman
scores music for the movie. Vairamuttu would pen its lyrics. The works on this venture
would start only in early November, because Ravikumar is currently busy with the Telugu
version of "Natpukkaga" starring Chiranjeevi, the Telugu Mega-star in the lead.
However the good news is "Padaiyappa" would hit the celluloid right on the Tamil
New Years day April 14, 1999.
Another interesting aspect of the movie is Thespian Sivaji
Ganesan. Sivaji is expected to perform the role of Rajinis father in
"Padaiyappa", a rare combination, which repeats after a long time, since their
earlier movie "Viduthalai".
Interestingly, it is reported that Simran is totally disappointed
with her exclusion and she openly expresses her grief to everyone. But Devayani, whose
name was shortly in the news for the movie, has taken her rejection lightly and never
talks about it to anyone.
The Success story
In "Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen" Ajeet appeared in a
guest role. Subsequent to that, he is chosen as the main hero of a new movie produced by
the same company. Besides Ajeet, the new movie also has Karan as the second hero.
Probably, encouraged by the success of "Unnidathil Ennai Kodhuthen", Ajeet these
days is very eager to act in two hero subjects.
Talking about "Unnidathil Ennai Kodhuthen", Roja is
another person who is ecstatic about its success. In fact, during her college days, Roja
was a fan of Karthik. Those days, though she could not understand Tamil, she would watch
Karthiks movies with her friend who was fluent in Tamil. After almost seven years
since her debut, Roja says it is a great feeling to appear opposite her favorite star
Karthik. So she generously thanks Vikraman for providing this opportunity.
After making her presence felt in the south, Rambha, who moved to
Bollywood has now started saying what a big
difference acting in Hindi movies has done for her career. The actress who charges Rs 25
lakh per film says that it is only after taking to Bollywood that her image improved. The
scale adopted by Ramba in this connection is the increase in her fan mail. Earlier she
used to get a mere 200 letters per day while now it has catapulted to 2,000.
Having seen Ramba in those micro-minis, it is going to be a
different experience for her fans to watch her in her forthcoming movie ""Desiya
Geetham", directed by Cheran. In "Desiya Geetham" Ramba appears as a
village belle fully clad in a traditional half-sari.
Cheran who has kept everything about his project secret until
now, reveals that the movie is about a village, where people have aspirations and
technical awareness comparable to any modern city. They can talk about computers, cellular
phones or even about Indias recent nuclear test, all with a relative ease. Such a
village in India is a dream and Cheran believes that his movie is the first step towards
that direction. With its unique theme, Cheran feels his Murali-Ramba starrer, scheduled
for this Deepawali, should be another hit among the masses.
Screening them for the screen
Recently Sarathkumar celebrated his birthday
in Chennai. During the
occasion he nostalgically remembered Nagma his ex-girl-friend, who left him high and dry
and went back to Mumbai.
"I could have given her all the happiness and anything she
wanted from me," rued the poor guy, his voice choking.
On a different note, Sarath is said to look more confident
after his recent success in "Natpukkaga". In a span of few weeks, the actor has
contacted seven popular directors to discuss on the possible stories for his next movie,
spending as much as an hour and half for a story. From the slew of stories he heard,
Sarath has short-listed two of them for now. According to him both those stories, if
filmed, would become unparalleled box-office hits.
In "Natpukkaga" both Soundaya and
Keerthi Reddy were the names considered for the heroine slot. Since neither of them could
perform the role, Simran became the third choice.
she was approached, Simran was busy to the teeth with no dates to spare for the movie.
However after considering the rare combination of the producer A.M. Rathnam, director K.
Ravikumar and Sarathkumar, she wasted no time in reshuffling her other dates to
accommodate the new offer. One could say it is a great judgement on Simrans part,
because "Natpukkaga" turned out to be a smash hit.
Similarly as per the grapevine, in "Mudan Mudhalaga"
Boolywoods top lady Karishma Kappor is out due to some unspecified reasons and
Simran would replace her as the lead opposite Aravindswamy.
Roja's new strategy
After losing heavily with two of her home
productions, Roja is now working hard to earn enough to pay back the debts. It was precisely for this reason she also postponed
her wedding with Selvamani to the next millennium.
After a considerable absence due to vicious rumors related to her
health, Roja is once again back on the center stage with many movies up on her sleeve.
What is the reason for her sudden demand? The actress is said to have slashed her former
price by one third. During these lean days of Tamil movie industry, the offer by Roja has
received a great response from her producers. Also, other heroines are upset with Roja,
because due to her actions, they too are forced to reduce their rates to remain in
Though she is busy in the Tamil film industry, Roja is not
finding too many takers in Telugu cinema. The current opinion there is if she keeps
experimenting the way she did with a set of contact lenses to enhance her beauty as in the
recent Telugu release "Prema Pallaki", she may even lose the little standing she
has now in Telugu.
Back to shape
For sometime Ravali was very popular in Telugu movies. With few
of her initial hits, she even managed to bag a prestigious project opposite Krishna, the evergreen hero of Telugu
industry. But due to excessive happiness or so, Ravali started bloating suddenly to look
as round as a dumpling in that movie. As a result of it, she soon lost her momentum in
Telugu and forced back to concentrate more on Tamil, where obese women do not have any
problem in surviving.
Since both of her earlier Tamil movies "Abhimanu" and
"Peryamanusan" did not provide her the much-needed break, currently Ravali
counts largely on her forthcoming movie "Maravade Kanmani".
In "Maravade Kanmani" Ravalli is paired opposite
Vinnet. During the start of the movie people jeered at the corpulent girl, saying she
looked like an elder sister to Vineet. Infuriated Ravalli, immediately went on severe diet
and work-out programs. Result? She has pretty much slimmed down soon to look great in the
"Maravade Kanmani" has a new music director Maha Kumar.
For a rookie, Maha Kumar has done a wonderful job in the movie with couple of melodious
songs like "Yellora Oviyam" sung by Unnikrishnan with Anuradha Sriram and
"Koo Koo Kuyilamma" by Sujatha.
Kamal is always famous for making into headlines with his unique
adventures. Earlier he got none other the Queen of England, Elizabeth to inaugurate his
dream project "Marudanayakam", Later a famous special-effects man from Hollywood
was brought in specially for his "Chaachi 420" in Hindi.
This time Kamal is reported to perform another rare feet by
including Kate Winslet, heroine of the Hollywood blockbuster Titanic, as one of the
heroines of Marudanayam. Not surprisingly, news about Kate Winslet acting in
"Murudanayagm", has already generated a ton of excitement among Kamals
fans. Moreover with this kind of sensational star-cast, many distributors are also said to
be rushing to reserve the screening rights of the movie.
There is a general rumor that Simran does not have that many
movies in hand. When asked about it, she strongly disagrees and gives a big list of her
Her movie with Prasanth, "Kannedire Thondrinal" made by
Shivashkti movie makers is almost complete and ready for the release soon. "Vaalli" is another movie
in which she is paired opposite Ajeetkumar. In Kunjumans movie
"Kodeeswaran", the producers son Abi is her hero.
She also pairs with Vijay in an unnamed "Super Good
Films" venture. Besides she does a movie with Telugu superstar Balakrishna and one
with Govinda in a Hindi movie called "Annari Number 1"
With these many movies in hand, Simran wonders how anyone could
say she ran out of movies.
Meanwhile Simarns sister Monal is already signed for a new
Tamil movie directed by C.Sundar. But her other sister Jothi, who is an eighth-grader
studying in Mumbai, is viewed by Simran to be too young for movies. However she does not
rule out the possibility of Jothi joining her profession in future.
Last year, A R Rahman, the whiz-kid revived
the almost forgotten 'Vande Mataram' with his video and brought it back into peoples
This year it looks to be the turn of his rival Illayaraja. For
this years Independence day, Ilayaraja and his family decided to go the Rahman-way
by producing a music video titled 'Freedom.'
The maestro's daughter, Bhavadharani, did the composing for this
video album and also did a jig on it. It was almost similar to Rahman's one, but for the
aerial view of the Rajasthan desert and other richer backdrops. But then, Rahman and his
video producers had the backing of the mighty Sony Corporation behind them.
In pursuit of a dream
After his "Kaadalaa Kaadalaa", Kamal was away from
Chennai, visiting France. Meanwhile there were rumors that Kamal had shelved his dream
project "Marudanaayagam", due to some financial crisis.
But the truth is Kaml is still
hell bent on completing his Magnum Opus. Actually he and his wife Sarika spent nearly two
months in France to select people for some French characters of the movie.
A lady for heroines role, important villain character,
"Jackzha" a historic character and an old man character are some of the items in
his list. According to Kamal he has already short-listed three French girls for the
heroines role, from whom he would decide on the final one.
Since many characters of "Marudayagam" are supposed to
be French speaking, Kamal had specially approached and got John Claude Carrier (the person
who translated "Mahaabharat" in French) to write French portion of the script
for the movie.
With a massive budget of RS 20 Crore planned for the movie, Kamal
feels it is definitely a mammoth amount for him.
Recently Kamal has purchased 40 acres of land near Kaaraikudi to
create the backdrop of colonial India. They have already made 40 tanks, 2000 armors, 1500
swords and 1000 spears, all of them being intended for use in a war scene.
Interestingly, Kamals armor alone weighs 20 Kg. Besides
some 400 horses, 40 elephants and 6 hunting dogs are being used in the movie.
Since the story happens during pre-electricity era, Kamal has
taken special pains to avoid electric lamps for the nocturnal scenes. It is reported a
hill temple near the shooting spot had some electric lamps burning at a distance.
soon Kamal made the temple authorities switch off their lights!
"When it comes to script, my lines would not sound like
Manohara or Veera Pandiya Kattabomman" claims Kamal. He feels
it would be totally a novel effort on his part to perform his dream role.
A stellar conjunction
After his grand success of "Kadalukku Mariyadi", Fazil
is extremely busy at his home state of Kerala. He is directing a new Malayalam movie
called "Harikrishnans". For Malayalam move-goers this one is a treat, because
the movie's heroes are none other than the mega-stars Mamooty and Mohan Lal., arch-rivals
of Malayalam movie industry.
"Harikrishnans" is a comedy oriented movie, in which
Mamooty and Mohan Lal appear as two lawyers. Interestingly Juhi Chawla from Bollywood, is
the heroine and in the movie both the heroes go bananas behind this beauty.
Suvaluxmi has completed her Bachelor of Law degree
from Calcutta University. One would think she must be very happy that she could pursue and
obtain her long cherished goal of becoming a lawyer. On the contrary, the Bengali beauty
is worried. This is because, she needs to practice as lawyer in a local court.
Unfortunately with many of her movies being shot at outdoor locations, Suva wonders how
she could be regular with her newfound profession.
Waiting is the name of the game
Ace director Shanker, with four successive hits to his credit,
finds it difficult to get top heroes to act in his new home-production. The reason being
Shankers demand for bulk dates from his heroes. Last time when working for
"Jeans" poor Prashanth was forced to devote a year of precious time for Shanker
alone. This type of setting aside a schedule of six months to one year exclusively for a
single movie is a big no-no for many leading stars. The latest one to refuse Shanker is
the current sensation Vijay. The final news is, Shanker has selected his old
"Gentleman" hero Arjun for his next venture. Good for Arjun, whose career
incidentally is heading south now with a row of flops.
Talking about Arjun, he always recommends Vidya Sagar, a man from
his home state of Karnataka, to score music for his movies. But this time, since Shanker
has already decided to repeat Rahman for his next movie, Arjun could not help Vidyasagar.
Apparently in this connection, Vidyasagar is said to be a bit upset with Arjun.
Recently superstar Rajini, conducted a mass marriage for a number
of poor couples. Rajini being a Good Samaritan, normally no one would suspect this
commendable gesture. However some sources report that the entire episode had an ulterior
It all started when Rajinis astrologer told him that the
heavenly stars are not auspicious for him and so he must do penance. Immediately Rajini
summoned his fans and told them to arrange for this mass marriage function.
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