[Star Tracks]

Marquee News from
Kodambakkam - the Tamil Tinsel-town

Tracked By Chandra Gobichetipal

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Track 19 - Tracked on May 24, 1998

Costly costumes, but where are they?

Normally director T.Rajendaran’s movies would be of very low budget. Only emphasis on his movies would be on his own style of dialogues, delivered with rhyming Tamil words. t19_mumtaj.jpg (21683 bytes)But this time he has become more liberal for his current venture "Monisha".

"Monisha" is touted to be a Mega budget movie with four heroines. Unlike other big budget movies in which the exotic outdoor settings hog up most of the money, a large chunk of the budget for "Monisha" is said to be spent on the costumes of its heroines.

Interestingly, the heroines of Monisha are found to scantily clad in all its still pictures. Viewing those snaps, one wonders how on earth could they spend so much on the costumes, while all these girls are scarcely covered!

Earlier for his "Kadhalan", director Shanker once built a bus made with glass. Now on the same lines, T.Rajenderan has a chain of train compartments in glass for a song sequence in "Monisha".

Mumtaj, another import from Mumbai is one of the lead ladies of "Monisha". Incidentally, Mumtaj’s original name is Nagma Khan. To avoid possible confusions with Nagma, she was christianized with Mumtaj as her new name for Tamil movies.

Image Problem

After his successful role in "Swarnamuki" nowadays, Prathiban is busy with his "Pudumai Pithan". For this movie he has started sporting a special beard. Thanks to this beard, he had a great time in Ooty with his family, without being recognized and bugged by his fans.

"Puthumaipithan" was earlier called as "Gyana Kirukkan". But since his wife Sita did not approve of that title, he later changed it into "Pudumaipittan".

Pudumiaipittan has a crowd of three popular heroines, Roja, Devayani and Gouthami.

One startling news about "Pudumaipittan" is, Roja plays the role of a whore in the movie, shedding all the fears associated with the so called "Image Problem" in doing such an off-beat role.

May be Roja wants to carve a niche for herself in acting like Sabana Ashmi and late Sumita Patel in Bollywood.

It is rose season again!

t19_roja.jpg (15809 bytes)Last year was Meena’s year with three of her four movies proving to be box-office hits. May be this year could be Roja’s one!

Nowadays Roja, the dusky beauty with a magical smile is signing movies after movies. Her astounding list of movies under production includes, "En Assai Rajave" with Murali, "Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen" and "Chinna Roja" with Karthik, "Valli" with Ajeeth Kumar, "Chinna Durai" with Sarath Kumar and "Pudhumaipittan" with Parthiban.

When asked about the sudden increase in the number of movies, Roja sighs and maintains that finally time has come for Tamil directors to recognize her talent.

Also she wants to postpone her looming marriage with Selvamani to next millennium, because she suddenly enjoys the fact that she is still in great demand in Tamil.

The Saga Continues...

With Nagma and Sarath around, there is always no dearth of sensational news in Kodambakkam.

The previous rumor was Nagma has personally contacted a highly placed political source in Tamil Nadu for police protection for her house. This was due a scene created by Sarath in front of her residence.

As an aftermath of this incident, it is believed that Nagma was removed out of Sarath’s movie "Simma Rassi".

But the latest on this saga is, the pair has patched up again!

According to Sarath , "It's human to get heated up after a squabble. Nagma got a bit emotional. But let me tell you that what was written about us in the media was highly exaggerated."

Rani Hindustani

Kodambakkam is certainly facing a tremendous pressure from Bollywood beauties posing a formidable competition to our heroines. t19_karishma.jpg (24790 bytes)Success stories of Kushbu, Nagama and now Simran have attracted more and more Bollywood belles to try their luck in South.

While Madhuri has been recently taken in Engineer, Karishma has also joined the gang with "Mudal Mudalaga" directed by Perumal, an erstwhile assistant to Mani Ratnam.

"Mudal Mudalaga" with Aravind Swamy and Karishma in the lead roles, will be dubbed in Telugu and Hindi too. A R Rahman is composing the music.

Once again Aravind Swamy proves to be the lucky man acting with numerous pretty gals, all of them being Bollywood Queens like Sridevi, Madhuri, Kajol, Manisha, Juhi Chawla and now the "Rani Hindustani" Karishma Kapoor.

So much for the popularity of this hunk, even Kushbu in a recent interview revealed, how much she longs to be paired with Aravind Swamy!


After the grand success of 'Bharathi Kannamma' and 'Marumalarchi,' Pankaj Production's Henry has signed Vijayakanth to play the lead for his next Tamil movie, 'Kallamukkar,' directed by "Marumalrchi" fame Bharathi.

Cinematography by Thankar Pachan, music by Deva and lyrics by Vairamuthu are the other main credits for the movie.

Earlier Vijayakanth was asked to play the lead for "Marumalarchi". However due to his busy schedules with "Ullavuthurai" Vijayakanth had to say no for it. But when "Marumalrchi" with a different plot became a real hit, Vijayakanth later repented over his decision.

Now with "Kallalagar", Vijayakanth is happy that he could work with such a successful producer like Henry with revolutionary ideas.

Mismatch or a matchless match?

t19_dharma.jpg (27054 bytes)

In "Dharma" Vijayakanth has really a younger heroine for his age, Preetha Vijakumar. After seeing the stills from the movie, many feel Preetha looking like his daughter, is no match for Vijayakanth.

However from Preetha’s point of view it is a great opportunity for her to act with a leading hero like Vijayakanth.

These days, Preetha is thrilled of her sudden success. In her family, both her sisters had to return and stay at home just after a couple of movies. But in Preetha’s case, she has more than ten movies in hand both in Tamil and Telugu.

Simran's Insurance

Simran, the current sensation of Tamil movies is t19_simran.jpg (21760 bytes)supposed to be a good Piano player. She claims to have learned this art from her grand father.

Jyoti, Sonu are Simran’s two sisters. Besides she has a brother named Sunit. Except Simran and her mother who stay currently in Chennai, the rest of her family lives in Mumbai.

Simran’s birth day is on April 4. But she does not celebrate her birthday. Reason? Incidentally April 4 is also the same day when her grandfather passed away.

Another interesting news about Simran... she has already insured her beautiful pair of (hey... do not let your imagination run wild!) legs.

Swathi's new role

Since it was from Balachander’s Kavithalalya, initially Swathi did not mind dancing for a single glamour number in "Thulli Thirinda Kaalam". While doing that role, she was promised by Balasekaran, the director of the movie, that Swathi would be the heroine for his next venture.

Swathi feels disappointed now, because Balasekaran did not keep up his word. Besides, Swathi is even more fuming, especially when she is getting invitations from several directors just to do a single dance number with revealing costumes.

Star brother

"Pooniyavadi" is one movie that has been in the making for more than a year now.

In "Pooniyavadi" Sangeeta is paired with Maaveeran, a new comer. Interestingly, Sangeeta’s brother Ameetkumar is also making his debut in Pooniyavadi. Ameet who used to escort his sister is ready now to act in more movies.

Since Sangeeta has very few movies in Tamil, she is slowly shifting to Kannada. In Kannada, Sangeeta makes her debut with the leading hero Ravichandran.

1999 Love Story

Prabhu Deva is doing a bilingual called "1999 Love Story", directed by K. Raghavendra Rao.

Predictably, Raghavendra Rao’s favorite girl Ramya is the heroine of this movie, made in both Telugu and Tamil.

Of shrunken Jeans

Finally the Mega movie Jeans is here with the fabulous Aishwarayas and youthful Prashanths. t19_jeans.jpg (28720 bytes)Undoubtedly, the music of A.R. Rahaman is creating waves all over the Tamil world.

But on the flip side, commercially Jeans is considered to be a box-office failure.

Many blame on its light story line with no great plot. But the actual reason is... its cost. Astronomical amount of money is spent on the making of this movie. But when viewing the movie, one wonders where is all that money gone!

It is reported that a popular producer famous for his mustache, jeers at the movie saying "The Jeans is new, but its Zip is old."

Also a popular Tamil weekly dubs the movie as "Zipless Jeans".

The production cost for the movie is so high, people say it should run packed houses for several months to recover its cost! But unfortunately that is not what is happening.

Well, a hit or miss, people who watch the movie return satiated with the mere presence of the beauty Aishwarya, a former Miss World.

But Aishwarya, you certainly deserve more than that! Yes, you need a hit, a definite hit... that too very badly.

This edition of Star-tracks is tracked from Kumudam, Anandha Vikatan, Cinema Express and other Internet Sources.

Copyright 1997-98 by Chandra Gobichetipal. All rights reserved