Mumbai Express

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The problem about writing a preview for a Kamal Haasan's movie is that even if you have all the pre-release details, it is impossible to fore-capture what is in store for the viewers.

Kamal always has something magical on screen. Take the case of Vasool Raja MBBS. Every one knew the story and the script from its Hindi original. Yet, what one got to see in the Tamil remake was something special and spontaneously more hilarious than the original.

That's the famed Kamal effect.

We have a surfeit of information on Mumbai Xpress. But we all know it is just a teaser. For to fully understand and appreciate his efforts one has to wait till the film's release.

Yet, for what it is worth, here we go: Mumbai Xpress, as the title implies, is also about a train. The climax involves this train.

But the film is at the core about a kidnap and the ensuing mirth. 'It is not a typical mixed-up identity story', Kamal hastens to assure. He says the comedy in the film will be of very high order.

But there will be plenty of stuff for your heart too. As the story centres on a young kid, it will have a special attraction for young boys.

A 23-yeard-old comical horse Charlie and the bit-part of Munna the monkey --- will be very appealing to youngsters.

Kamal plays the dare-devil motorbike stuntman Avinashi. He has taken every sort of risk possible for the film. He drove bikes at break-neck speeds, dangled from high-rises, walked on tight rope perhaps he just stopped short of walking on water.

Giving him company on the acting front will be Ramesh Aravindh, Manisha, Nasser, Sharad Saxena, Pasupathy, Kovai Sarala, Vaiyapuri.

Jumbo jets, which come in and out of scenes as if in a conjurer's trick, make you wonder how they filmed it all.

Well, Kamal, just precisely for this reason, had wanted the slum set to be got up near the airport.

In short, the film is an effort of Kamal to give qulaitive entertainment to the discerning public.

Samir Chadha handles art and his assistants, Nitin Waple and Subroto, have been introduced for erecting huge sets.

Siddharth has made historical impressions in digital camerawork.

Ilayaraja's music is already being talked in high terms.

The quality of Kamal's screenplay will stand over that of Michael Madana Kamarajan, director Singeetham points out.

The entire cast and crew deserve plaudits for completing the films in two languages in 60 days flat.

The film is being released all over India in two languages. Of course, a dubbed version in Telugu is also being released.

Mumbai Xpress is slated for April 14th release.

It is about a train ---- the train here is Kamal's train of thought.

Needless to say, it is faster than any bullet train.

 

Malai

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Remakes and Ravi have become inseparable. After the back to back Telugu remakes Jeyam and M Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi, Ravi is busy with Mazhai, yet again a remake of Telugu hit Varsham.

In Mazhai, Ravi is  paired with Shriya, a busy actress in Tollywood these days. The actress made a vain attempt to enter Kollywood through Ennakku 20 Unakku 18. A steamy kiss scene between him and Shriya has also kept the film rags agog for some time.
   
Playback singers S P Balasubramaniam and his son S P B Charan produce the film. The duo had earlier produced Unnai Charan Adainthen last year.

Newcomer Rajkumar, who had a stint with directors like Vasanth and Charan, is directing Mazhai.

Music is by  Devi Sri Prasad with cinematography by Rajesh Yadhav and editing by Anthony.

Venkat Prabhu, Kalabhavan Mani, Vadivel, Charlie and Ambika are also in the cast.

The movie is said to be an action-packed romantic entertainer, says Rajkumar. It's all about a hero falling in love with a young girl. Enters the villain and the rest is all action. A typical formula film. But pictured in a poetic manner, he adds. Interestingly, rain plays an important role in this movie.

The film has shades of Hindi hit Tezaab starring Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit.

The Telugu version titled Varsham starring Prabhas and Trisha set a new trend in Tollywood. The movie not just collected huge revenue but established Prabhas and Trisha as successful artistes to reckon with there. It was almost a cult movie there.

Will Mazhai repeat the magic of Varsham?

Jeyam Ravi surely thinks so.

 

Chandramuki

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After almost a couple of years, Rajnikanth returns to silver screen with Chandramukhi. And naturally the expectations are enormous. The trade is agog and the figures being bandied about are mind-boggling. There is also a concerted effort to capitalize on Rajni's brand equity.

There is a huge expectation among Rajni fans, as it is the Super Star's first movie in three years since his Baba.

Rajni is very careful that he should not repeat the mistakes of Baba. He has taken enormous effort to work out a comprehensive package of entertainment for his fans.


P Vasu directs the movie produced by Sivaji Productions to commemorate the golden jubilee year of their production firm.

Prabhu joins hands with Rajnikanth after almost a decade and it's for the fourth time - after Guru Sishyan, Dharmathin Thalaivan and Mannan, the duo is coming together on screen.

According to P Vasu, "Rajnikanth sports a fresh look in the movie and Malayalam actress Nayanatara playing his ladylove has given an astounding performance. It is a clean family entertainer".

It's no rehash of Malayalam hit movie  Manichitrathazhu or his own Kannada movie Aptha Mitrhrudu, Vasu says. It has the same story line, but the treatment is unique and suited to Rajni's image.

Vasu adds the songs have been received well by the masses and the audio is having a whopping business in the market.

It's a hilarious entertainer sans big heroism and would be an treat for all sections of the audience, he opines.

Rajni plays a psychiatrist professor named Saravana in the movie, while Vadivelu and Prabhu play his friends. Rajni helps to cure his friend's wife who is possessed by a spirit.


An elated Nayanathara said, "I am thrilled to get an opportunity to act with Rajnikanth at an early stage of my career."

Jyothika, who plays a classical dancer, says she too is thrilled to be part  of the venture starring Rajnikanth. In Malayalam, Shobhana played this role and won herself a National Award.


Though Simran was slated to play this role, Jyothika replaced her at the last moment.

The movie has a huge star cast that includes Vijayakumar, Vadivelu, Vineeth, Sheela.

Vidyasagar's music has already been the talk of the town.

At the audio-launch, Rajnikanth himself expressed his satisfaction in working in the movie and said he has a lot to say after the movie's release.

A major portion of the movie was shot in Mysore besides a couple of songs in Turkey.

The film is certainly expected to be good.

 

Oru Naal Oru Kanavu

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Fazil who gave memorable hits like  Varsham 16 to Kathuluku Mariyathai is now back after a gap of four years with Oru Naal Oru Kanavu. It has  Srikanth and Sonia Agarwal in the lead.

 I was never in a hurry to direct films. In the past 25 years I have done only 22 films. When I do a film it should do good for everybody.
 
 In my present film the two lead actor Srikanth and Sonia will benefit said Fazil.
 
 He said that for the first four days he found it difficult to get the lead pair to act the way he wanted because each actor has their own style and it takes time to change gears and come to what the director wants. 
 
 Initially I felt that I made a casting mistake especially with Srikanth. But later on he picked up and soon we became thick friends.
 
 In fact if he does not come on the sets even when not required I would ask him to come. To tell the truth I don’t mind working with him again confesses Fazil.

 The film is a love story. Srikanth is a postgraduate. Even though a postgraduate he does not mind doing any odd jobs.

 He goes to pay electricity-water bills or do any jobs in Governmental departmental for the neighbors.

 He ekes his living from the money he gets  from the people for whom he does the odd jobs. Sonia is a collegian. They meet each other and are good friends. Sonia asks Srikanth as to what his definition of love is. He says that love is a compatibility of the heart and not just physical beauty. Sonia challenges that she would make Srikanth fall in love. Will she win or lose?

 Fazil points out that Vijay before doing Kathaluku Mariyathai was afraid whether he would be able to do an emotional role but he did it with ease.  He has power in his eyes and that made me sign him. See him in Ghilli. Without any great body he has been able to act like a tough guy . Rajni- Vikram- Vijay are actors who have got a place in public minds because of their talents. They deserve it commented Fazil.

 Fazil’s regular music director Illayaraja scores the music while yet another Fazil regular Andakuttan cranks the camera. Lakshmi Movie Makers produce the film.

 

Sachin

After a series of movies playing the angry young man, Vijay returns to romance in Sachin, a movie directed by debutant John (son of veteran director Mahendran).

A mega-budget film, Sachin stars Genelia D'Souza, the girl who made her debut as Harini in Boys and sex siren Bipasha Basu trying her luck in Kollywood for the first time.

In the movie, Vijay plays a carefree youth who does everything according to his wish.

A fashion technology student, he comes across Genelia in the campus and falls in love with her.

Bipasha Basu plays a lecturer in the movie. She does perform an item number too in the movie.

A major portion of the movie was shot in Ooty and the rest in Campa Cola sets in Chennai. A couple of songs are being shot in Iceland and Switzerland.

John says, "it is an interesting campus love story with Vijay playing a character never attempted before. Interestingly, a major portion of the movie has been shot using a soft lens. It means all scenes would have a rainy or a cloudy backdrop."

In some sense, it will be reminiscent of the days of John's father Mahendran who made soft-focus, dew-kissed emotional drama like Mullum Malarum, Uthiripookal and Nenjathaiy Killathe.

For Vijay it is a return to the days of Kadhalukuu Mariadhai. And obviously he has been enjoying every minute of it.

The music is by Devi Sri Prasad, and he knows the pulse of the modern generation very well.

Producer Kalaipuli Thanu has spent a huge sum to complete the movie. The movie will be released on 14 April along with the likes of Rajni's Chandramukhi and Kamal Haasan's Mumbai Express.

The name Sachin has also evoked huge expectations. Apparently, the hero's name in the film is Sachin.

Now the question is will this Sachin hit a sixer at the box office.

Ghajini

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The next flick from the ‘Kakkha Kakkha’ cop will be an action thriller. Sri Saravanaa Creations has roped in the successful Surya to be cast in a dual role for the movie ‘Ghajini’ which will be directed by the successful director A.R. Murugadoss whose earlier ventures include ‘Ramana’ and ‘Dhina.’ Talking about his film Murugadoss says, “My last film was couple of years back. I wanted an interval between my ventures as I want my films to linger in the thought process of the public for sometime. With ‘Ramanna’ bagging the State Award, it is the right moment to begin the next venture. This will be an action thriller with a message. But there will be a romantic angle also.”

One of the roles to be played by Surya is of an angry young businessman berthing a place among top 5 richest men in the world while the characterization of the other is yet to be finalized. Talking about the movie the actor said, ”Murugadoss is a very nice person and is a very talented director. I was very impressed with the story and the title also is an interesting one. It depicts Emperor Mohammed Ghazini’s tireless efforts to conquer.” 

Asin the current heartthrob of the youth plays heroine and hunt for another heroine is going on while Prakash Raj plays bad element. Incidentally Asin’s earlier venture with Surya ‘Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kalam’ was washed out, but now she has been lucky to bag the coveted role. Fresh from the success of ‘M. Kumrana s/o Mahalakshmi’ she says,”I am so happy to be working with Surya and Murugadoss. The story is very promising and it has shades of romance also. I am sure there is lot of scope for me.”

Music is by Harris Jeyaraj and R.D. Rajasekar will be canning the camera for this film to be produced by Salem Chandresekar. The film is to be shot in Chennai, Goa, Bangalore and Mumbai. Another noteworthy fact about the film is originally the film was offered to Ajith as ‘Mirattal’ but could not take up the project due to clash of dates with Bala’s next film. And thereafter Surya was roped in. Ironically Ajith took up Surya’s debut film ‘Nerukku Ner’ initially but later backed out unhappy over his characterization. It proved to be a good opening for Surya; hence ‘Ghajini’ also should be another hit muse industry watchers.

Karka Kasadara

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 It' seems it's the season of veteran directors to make a comeback with romantic flicks.

Just as S A Chandrasekhar is ready with Sukkran, R V Udhayakumar is coming out with Karka Kasa Dara.

Once a sought after director in Tamil filmdom with successive hits in Yejamaan, Chinna Gounder, Kizhakku Vaasal and Singara Velan, Udhayakumar went into an inexplicable oblivion after that.

He now makes a popular comeback in Kollywood through KarkaKasa Dara.

Besides directing, he is producing the movie, which is a triangle love story set in a village.

Udhayakumar says, "with youngsters especially students thronging to theatres, I wanted my comeback film to be colorful and youthful and thus happened Karka Kasa Dara.

"I think Karka Kasa Dara will suit the time and I have moulded myself to suit the change".

Vikraanth, a visual communications student of Loyola College and a cousin of actor Vijay, is making his debut in the movie.

The movie has two heroines, a newcomer Laxmi Roy and Kurumbu- fame Diya.

"I am introducing in my Tamil a new music composer Prayog, whose debut venture in Kannada fetched him a State award," says the director.

The movie is about a research student who ventures to a southern district in Tamil Nadu where he comes across the heroine (Laxmi Roy) and falls in love. Enters Dhiya who has a soft-corner for the hero. The rest has been narrated in an entertaining way, the director says.

Jack Rassee, a member of American Media Association, is cast in a negative role in the movie.

Also in the cast are Charuhaasan, Manorama and Vadivelu.

Besides directing, Udhayakumar has penned the story, screenplay, lyrics and dialogues.

Vikraanth, who resembles Vijay very much, says, "when Udhayakumar offered me the role everybody including Vijay encouraged me to take it up. It was challenging and thanks to Udhayakumar's guidance, I was able to do it well."

Udhayakumar makes a special mention of Vadivelu. "His comedy is surely a highlight of the movie".

The entire movie has been completed and is ready to rock theatres this month, Udhayakumar says.

Alai Adikuthu

 A new production house has launched ‘Alaiadikkathu’ with Sindhu Thulani in the lead and to be produced by the duo N.Mohammed and N.Fazil. New face Naveen Dhanush is making the debut while Akhil Kumar is acting in a crucial role. Kalimuthu who has worked in several Super Good Films ventures as Assistant and Associate Director is directing this film, which also has Sindhu Thulani’s sister Neha Thulani in a glamorous character.

Sindhu after a sensational introduction in ‘Sullan’ and significant portrayal in ‘Manmadhan’ is said to have rejected a telugu offer for the sake of ‘Alaiadikkuthu.’ The film is about a girl’s vengeance on those who have ruined her life and said with lot of conviction apart from apt doses of glamour. With lot of scope in acting as well as glamour, Sindhu had been very impressed and readily agreed for the same. “I was very awed with the story and this film will need good acting from my end. I even denied to give call sheet for a Telugu film as it clashed with this one,” said the Kadhal Vandichi star. Another new face Prabha Reddy also has been cast in a glamorous role.

Talking about the film on the sets, director Kalimuthu, “When I narrated the story to the producers they immediately agreed and started production work. They also accepted the artistes whomever I wanted for the characters. I am sure to keep up to their expectations.” Others in the cast are Rami Reddy, Kasan Khan, Vijayan, Yugendran, V.A. Murthy, Gilli Sekar and Super Good Laxman. The film has been shot in Chennai, London and France for which music has been composed by Bharani and cinematography by Pavan Sekar. The production team is expecting to create a big stir amongst the audiences of all types and the director is sure to reap a big reputation after this film.

Amirtham

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Kannan who had scripted the super hit film ‘Vedham Puthithu’ has undertaken a new venture ‘Amirtham’ whereby he is handling the story, screenplay, dialogue, direction and production. The film being produced under the Ezuthu Pattarai banner has new face Ganesh as hero while ‘Azhagiya Theeye’ fame Naavya Nair as the heroine. 

Talking about the film, Kannan says, “this is a story with contemporary values shown in a conservative manner. It is much needed for the society and is a film for the entire family.” The hero with lot of modern ideas transforms the traditional heroine belonging to a deeply rooted bramhin family, to an empowered girl like a Kalpana Chawala.

Rajiv, Rekha, Girish Karnad, Ranjitha, Anuradha Krishnamoorthy, Yugendran, Mathura, Singamuthu, Aranthai Manian, Ganesh Babu form the rest of the cast. A very different story depicting taken in a traditional manner has been shot in Melakottai, Mysore, Pathrasalam in Andhra Pradesh, Aalapedu and Belur in Karnataka.

Kannan having worked with greats like Bharathi Raja and K.Balachandar has shown several shades of his masters’ famous directorial touch. This film has K.V.Mani to handle the camera, V.T.Vijayan to do the editing, G.K. to do the sets and upcoming music wizard of the music family Bhavatharani Ilayaraja is composing the music. The film is expected to be released in theatres.

London 

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 Following the success of Winner, Prashanth, Vadivelu and Sundar C team up once again for their next London.

And not surprising the aim is again for your funny bone. It will be fun movie, out and out, says Sundar C.

As the title suggests, the entire movie happens in London.

Tollywood actress Ankitha acts opposite Prashanth.

Prashanth, a middle-class youth from Chennai goes to London for a job. Unfortunately he loses his job there. He goes around London for his livelihood. He meets a group who wants to rob a bank. He meets another group who wants him to commit a murder for money. Whether Prashanth accepts these offers for his survival or not is narrated in a humorous way in London.

Vadivelu plays a lawyer in the movie. The beautiful locales of London including bridge, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Museum, Busy Market places have been shot in the movie.

Manivannan plays a baddie and Mumtaz, Pandiarajan, Vijayakumar, Srividya, Nalini, Delhi Ganesh, Mayilsami, Viswanathan are also in the cast.

Imman has scored the music. K S Shiva cranks the camera while stunts are by Thalapthy Dinesh.

Prashanth says that he is happy to act under Sundar C as he has a flair for comedy. "It is a pleasure to work in such films," he points out.

Sundar C has been on a filmmaking spree of late. His last one was Giri, which was yet again a success in the B & C centres.

In fact, he has emerged as the director for the masses.

Now he wants to win over the urban audience through London.

 

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