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January 1999 Edition

Blame it on Deepti!

These days, popular heroines appearing for a single song sequence has become a normal occurrence. Particularly Mani Rathnam is well ahead in this game with northern girls like Sonu Walliya in Dalapathi (appeared for the "Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu" song), Anu Agarwal in "Thiruda Thiruda", Sonali Bandere in "Bombay" and Pooja Bhatra in "Aasai"... all of them spicing up his main story.

On similar lines, Ramba appears for a single dance number in Kathir’s "Kaadalar Thinam", in which Sonali plays the lead. Also in "Ethirum Pudhirum" the current heartthrob Simran just does a song sequence, saying it is just a friendly appearance. Now the latest one to join this growing list is renowned model cum Bollywood actress Deepti Bhatnagar. In Ashok Kumar’s lustful "Kaama", voguish Deepti appears for an erogenous dance number.

9901_deepti.jpg (39032 bytes)In this unbelievably erotic number, scantily clad Deepti gets bathed with milk, rosewater and mud of sandalwood. To top it all... finally she is drenched with honey. With the enticing music from Adhittyan in the background and drops of honey tickling all over Deepti, it is certain that she would be blamed for many sleepless youths.

For those of you who wonder... who the heck is this Deepti... she is the same girl who played the part of second heroine in Vijayakumar’s "Dharmachakkaram"

Besides Deepti’s breathtaking appearance, "Kama" also has two newcomers Asha Mehra and Uravashi as its main heroines. Ashok Kumar’s own son Vishal is the hero of Kama and the movie is simultaneously made in three different languages viz. Tamil,Telugu and Hindi. With both Asha Mehra and Uravashi excelling each other in revealing outfits, not surprisingly the rights for the movie is fully sold out all over the country. Particulary in Tamil Nadu, next to Rajini’s "Padaiyappa", "Kama" is the one, which has the earliest sell-out. Though the movie is yet to arrive at the box-office, based on its popularity, the director has already announced his next movie "Kaamini" with shapely Shilpa Shetty as its heroine. Interestingly, it is reported that after its unprecedented demand the producer of the movie has already changed his name to "Kaama Jagadeswara Reddy".


Cheran’s waterloo

The failure of his recent movie "Desiya Geetham" has silenced Cheran a lot. After his earlier successes like "Bharathi Kannama" and "Porkaalam", understandably the director was in high spirits. However soon success went too much into his head and he started making several controversial statements about his seniors. Eventually his lack of respect for others made him extremely unpopular. So not surprisingly, many in the industry secretly laughed at the recent box-office mishap of Cheran.

Now the controversial director is back in the news with his new venture "Inniya Kaadalargale".  However this time he prefers to keep a low profile. As to its story, unlike his earlier movies,  this one would not deal with any social theme. Instead it would be a love story intended mainly for commercial success. But according to Cheran, though it could be viewed as yet another love story, "Inniya Kaadalargale" would have a definite message to the audience.

The current favorite of Tamil movies Prasanth is the hero of "Inniya Kaadalargale", paired opposite to Shivani a newcomer. Interestingly there are rumors that the new girl is none other than the sister of Rajeshwari, the dumb girl in Cheran's "Porkaalam". Besides Cheran himself plays an important role in the movie, one which has more scope for his acting skills  than his earlier one-scene appearances.


Acid Test on Surya

When Surya, son of veteran actor Sivakumar was signed in for "Nerrukku Ner" , expectations on this young man were running high. Particularly in "Nerukku Neer" he had a much meatier Role than Vijay the other hero of the movie. Besides at that time Surya was paired opposite Simran the most popular girl of the industry. And when it comes to looks, youthful Surya does have an edge over many other Tamil heroes. In all it was a dream-come-true debut for this star-son! Nonetheless when the movie hit the marquee, Surya’s performance in "Nerukku Ner" was widely criticized by everyone. His poor dialogue delivery and sloppy dancing skills in the movie made his critics doubt about his future.

9901_surya.jpg (25676 bytes)Later things got really worse, when both of his next two movies "Kaadale Nimmadi" and "Sandipoma" spelled disaster. Subsequently for quite sometime there were no takers for this lad. Even when someone considers giving him a second chance, the stories about  constant interference from his star father kept everyone away.

Fortunately for Surya recently he has got an offer for a new movie called "Periyanna". Ironically it is directed by Vijay’s father S.A. Chandrasekar. Because during "Neerukku Ner" Vijay was evidently unhappy with its director Vasanth for giving more importance to Surya than him. Also from then on Vijay also decided that he would never do such two-hero projects. With this background information, it is really surprising to learn that Vijay himself had recommended Surya to his father.

Looks like the story of "Periyanna" was originally written with Vijayakanth and Vijay in mind. However the meteoric rise of Vijay as Numoro Uno in Tamil, has made S.A. Chandrasekar reconsider his casting, because he does not want his successful son to play a secondary role. So it was cleverly handed over to Surya that too with a strong recommendation from Vijay himeself.

In "Periyanna" though Vijayakanth is the main hero, Surya too has an equally important role.  Besides Vijayakanth and Surya the cast for the movie includes Meena, newcomer Tanuja (Easwari Rao’s sister), Manivannan, R. Sunderrajan, Manorama and others. Music credit for the movie is attributed to lesser-known Bharani, who presumably makes his debut in Tamil.

Interestingly Meena, who has done several challenging roles in her career, for the first time in "Periyanna" appears as a village belle with her top covered with sari alone and with no blouse on. With this unconventional role Meena believes that "Periyanaa" would become yet another milestone in her illustrious career.


Go for Granite!

"Padiyappa", the most awaited movie of  Rajni is almost complete except for few songs still waiting for A.R. Rahman. Thanks to its expeditious director K.S. Ravikumar, had they wanted it they could have released it well in time for this Pongal. However they would like to stick with their original schedule of releasing it on April 14th, the Tamil New Year. May be speedy Ravikumar needs to direct some Hindi movie to learn how to slow down his pace and delay his projects, for in Bollywood they usually take years and years to complete a movie.

9901_padiyappa.jpg (37049 bytes)Since Rajini’s announcement on "Padiyappa", there have been several speculations and titbits floating around on the movie. The latest one from the gossip mill is the story of "Padiyappa" itself. It goes somewhat like the one given below:

After his graduation Rajni from a rural background leaves his small town and reaches the nearby city for greener pastures. There he happens to meet Ramya, daughter of Radha Ravi. Soon Ramya falls in love with the hero, paving the way for the inevitable dream-song sequences. Meanwhile, back home Rajini’s father Sivaji becomes very sick and calls Rajni back. Once he goes there, before Rajni could realize he was forced by his father to marry Soundarya. Besides before he dies, the old man also decides to split his properties between his two sons Rajni and Nassar.

Nassar being a tricky crook, he gets the good part of everything and leaves the sediments to Rajni. In the process Nasser gets the fertile land, but Rajni is left with rocky barren land. However as a hard-worker, Rajni never gives up and toils on the hostile land to turn it useful. All his hard work eventually pays him back, when he hits a jackpot in the form of Granite stones found in his land. That way from innocent Arupadaiyappa he becomes a very wealthy philanthropist, known popularly as "Padiyappa"

Meanwhile Nasser joins with some bad company and enters the wanted list of Police. However being a Good Samaritan Rajni rescues Nasser from all his troubles. Finally ashamed Nasser realizes his mistakes and joins Rajni.

Well the above is the current version of the story. But as with other gossips on Rajni movies, between now and Tamil New Year, be prepared to hear as many modifications as possible to get an altogether different final version.


Musical Milestone

Not surprisingly, last year music director Deva scored music for maximum number of Tamil movies. With 23 movies to his credit he was way ahead of others with Ilayaraja scoring for 12, S.A. Rajkumar for 5 and A.R. Rahman for 2. Though he has the dubious distinction of being branded as the copycat, Deva is phenomenal in delivering several melodies that too many of them turning out to be indisputable chart-busters.

Deva made his debut as music director In 1989 with "Manasuketha Maharasa". Since then the "Thenisai Thendral" has scored music for several movies in different languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. Now the veteran composer is all set to cross an important milestone in his carrier. With "Kallazhager" a Vijyayakanth-Laila starrer released for this Pongal, Deva completes the 250 movies mark. Besides composing music for films, Deva has also rendered music for thousands of devotional songs.


Celestial encounters

9901_ash.jpg (26698 bytes)
This news is especially for Aishwarya’s fans. The former Miss World would soon be paired opposite Nagarjuna for a Telugu film. Incidentally it will be Ash baby’s first complete Telugu film, barring her Jeans which was actually dubbed from Tamil.

The film is going to be a musical love story. Aswani Dutt, who gave the super hit Telugu movie "Choodalani Vundi" a Chiranjeevi starrer last year, is producing the movie with Jayanth being its director.

Interestingly for Nagarjuna it would be another celestial encounter. Earlier he was paired with the Miss Universe Sushmita Sen for his Tamil Debut "Ratchgan". Now the lucky guy gets to play opposite the ravishing Aishwarya.


Wounded tigress

Simran who is disappointed for not being considered for "Padiyappa" is all set to prove her worth to Rajni. Now she is after Kamal, the traditional rival of Rajni for his next flick. Not ready to lose this opportunity, she is desperately after both Kamal and A.M. Ratnam the producer of the movie. She also told A.M. Ratnam that she was not particular about her remuneration and she was willing accept whatever the producer would give her.

Meanwhile Kamal is said to have already written the story for his movie, happening in the backdrops of London and he wants to direct the movie all by himself. But A.M.Rathnam is of the opinion that Kamal should stick with his acting alone and leave the directorial task to Priyadharsan.


Double standards

When Meena appeared scantily clad in "Naam Iruvar Namakku Iruvar", she did create waves among the Tamil audience. Despite her unshaped looks, there are people who still want more dosage of her oomph. However the pretty faced girl, for reasons known only to her, has decided against such roles.

9901_meena.jpg (41199 bytes)For her forthcoming movie "Mannam Virumbuthe Unnai", when the director asked her to appear in swimsuit for a scene, she relentlessly refused to settle for such a revealing outfit. So the director finally made a compromise of showing her doing workouts in a tight aerobic dress.

While one could applaud Meena for her new decision, we should also point out her double standards. When it comes to Telugu, she gets extremely liberal. For example in her recent Telugu movie "Sneham Kosham", the girl has really freaked out. Actually "Sneham Kosham" is the remake of the Tamil blockbuster "Natpukaga" and Meena plays the role of Simran in Telugu. In it she is paired opposite Telugu Megastar Chiranjeevi. Surprisingly Meena, who makes us believe that exposing is a big taboo for her, went on a glamour spree in "Sneham Kosham". In the movie she consciously attempted to look like Simran in its Tamil original. But the latest news from Tollywood is… "Sneham Kosam" is a damp squib. May be Simran, who once was peeved at K.S. Ravikumar for not repeating her in Telugu, has one more reason to be happy now!

Not surprisingly, there is a news that Meena has signed a Hindi movie opposite Mithun (who else?), the king of "C" grade movies from Bollywood. Earlier Mithun had Ramba, Mantra, Swathi, Vinneta, Senbaga (she calls herself Sneha in Hindi!) and Sangavi in his movies. So be prepared to watch Meena dancing with Mithun for some lewd number, just like all her predecessors did in the past.


The choice is unclear!

Prabhu Deva has not given any hit for a while now. However when it comes to his choice of heroines, the elastic-ensemble seems to have his own way among his directors.

During the inaugural function of his new movie "Time", it was announced that Menaka Senail, a model from Mumbai would be its main heroine. But while the shooting was in progress, the dancing Romeo thought the new girl would not be a match for his speed. Besides being not ready to take chances with unfamiliar faces, he insisted that an established heroine in the industry should play the role. So Menaka was packed and sent back to Mumbai. Later names of many popular Tamil heroines surfaced for that role, including Kousalya. But the latest news is… Simran would be paired with Prabhu Deva again in "Time". This would be the second time Prabhu Deva and Simran are paired together since their earlier appearance in "V.I.P"

A Hard lesson to learn

Speaking of Prabhu Deva his other movie "Nanaivirukkum Varai" is reported to be progressing well. Interestingly its heroine Keerthi Ready seems to have turned a new leaf by shedding most of her tantrums. Being a girl from a rich family, during outdoor shootings Keerthi insisted that she should have a room with amenities comparable to her own luxurious home. So the unhappy directors started spreading stories about this pretty girl and her hang-ups. Since then, Keerthi lost many promising roles, that too despite her classy looks. Seems like she has learnt her lessons now! So to the delight of everyone around, Keerthi has become very friendly and cooperative. If she continues to sustain this behavioral modification, there is no doubt Keerthi soon would become a major contender for the coveted top spot.

Another hit in the making

It might be too premature to call Prasanth’s new movie "Kaadal Kavithai" a hit. 9901_prasanth.jpg (40145 bytes)However as per certain reliable sources the movie has drawn an exceptionally high initials. Indications are that it would be yet another success for the Prasanth.

Prasanth, who was almost forgotten earlier, staged a dramatic comeback with "Jeans", paired opposite the classic beauty Aishwarya. Then his next movie "Kannadhira Thondrinal" with Simran too is a grand success. Now his latest "Kaadal Kavithai", with Isha Khoppikar (that is how they spell her name in Bollywood!) seems to become another sensational hit. Interestingly all his three heroines are from North, whose names are well known in the modeling world.

Based on his renewed popularity, Prasanth has already signed up for three new movies. They are Cheran’s "En Inniya Kaadalargale", Super Good films movie "Poomagal Urvalam" and yet-to-be-named movie directed by Selva. Prasanth, who is discreet in choosing his roles, believes all these future movies would become hits and thereby sustain the momentum of his enviable hit parade.

The Ramya riddle

Rajni has planned his scenes in "Padaiyappa", in such way that scenes involving him and Soundarya are taken first and the ones with Ramya are kept aside for future. This news item has made people wonder if Rajni is miffed with Ramya, for she often messed up her "Padaiyappa" dates, favoring her Telugu movies. So it is possible that eventually Ramya could be replaced by Simran or Meena or Devayani the earlier aspirants of the role.

But there is also a view that Ramya’s portions are delayed because she is paired opposite younger Rajni (who is the son of Padaiyappa in the movie) and the parts of younger Rajni is expected to kick in only latter in the game. Yes… you read it right!  In "Padaiyappa" Rajni would play two different roles as Arupadiyappa and his son.

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