Monday, June 30, 2008

Don’t call ‘Jaane Tu…’ my launch vehicle, says debutant Imran Khan

Imran Khan, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s nephew, is set to enter Bollywood with his uncle’s home production “Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na”, but he doesn’t want to call it his launch vehicle. “Please, don’t look at it as my launch vehicle… Abbas (Tyrewala) didn’t want to make a hero-heroine-oriented film. He took a lot of care to ensure that my co-stars are not relegated to side roles, you know,” Imran, who was here ahead of the release of his film, told IANS.

Apart from Imran, the film also stars Genelia D’Souza, Manjari Fadnis, Ratna Pathak, Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan, Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah and Anuradha Patel. The romance saga, releasing Friday, also marks the directorial debut of Bollywood scriptwriter Abbas Tyrewala.

Imran says he never thought he will become an actor.

“I never thought of becoming an actor. I had gone to New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and trained as a director. I had always wanted to become a director. Only because Abbas wanted me to act in the film that I decided to act,” he said.

Talking about the film, made with a campus backdrop, Imran said that it was a film made by young people for young people.

“We made this film keeping in mind that young people should connect with it. The older crowd will get nostalgic… their first crushes, their first break-ups….”

As for his experience in his maiden acting venture, he said: “It is always inspiring to work with people who put in a lot of effort.”

He added that his uncle Aamir’s role in the film was purely limited to being the producer and nothing more. “He was too busy directing ‘Taare Zameen Par’ when this film was made.”

Regarding the music of ‘Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na’, Imran said that A.R. Rahman has given a very young treatment to the score.

“Music is exceptional and I feel it is some of Rahman’s best work,” he said.

Asked about his expectations from the film, he said: “I don’t have expectations, just hopes. We have made a film from our heart, a purely light-hearted film, which we hope people will come and watch. I hope the film touches the viewers’ hearts. Please don’t watch the film from an intellectual’s perception.”


Jaane Tu’s release stressing out Aamir ‘perfectionist’ Khan

The ‘Mr Perfectionist’ Aamir Khan is completely stressed out these days, all thanks to the hectic promotional activities for his second home production ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. Aamir for sure, being the doting uncle he is, is putting in all possible efforts to make his nephew Imran’s debut a success.

The tension is palpable, Aamir wrote in his blog: “Release time and the going gets really rough. I’m shooting to complete the last few days of work on Ghajini, and alongside working on the release of ‘Jaane Tu….” So many things to be done and such little time left. Oh God!

The poor soul has also fallen ill because of his jam packed schedules and hasn’t been finding time to do anything else. The actor mentioned his state in his blog: “Have also fallen ill. Extremely untimely but there it is. There is so much I have to share but I guess I’ll do that once I can breathe a little easy.”

But, Aamir, being what he is, work is still on top of his mind. The actor is hoping for a positive response to ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ and says “I’m awaiting keenly your response to ‘Jaane Tu…’ it’s the first film from my production house which I am not acting in, and I hope we’ve done ok”.

Here’s hoping that the audience is going to second Aamir’s faith in ‘Jaane Tu…’ by accepting it just the way they accepted ‘TZP’, in the meanwhile we have a suggestion for the actor- Hey Aamir… take it easy dude, the wait is almost over!


Aamir Khan Busy With The Last Days Of ´Ghajini´ & The Release Of ´JTYJN´

Actor perfectionist Aamir Khan is presently busy with the last few days of 'Ghajini' shooting and also with the release of his nephew Imran Khan's 'Jaane Tu Ya... Jaane Na'.

Says Aamir on his official blog : -

Hey guys my sincere apologies for not posting more frequently. Release time and the going gets really rough. Am shooting to complete the last few days of work on 'Ghajini', and alongside working on the release of 'Jaane Tu'. So many things to be done and such little time left. 4 days to go! OH God!

Have also fallen ill. Extremely untimely but there it is. There is so much I have to share but I guess I’ll do that once I can breath a little easy. Ok ok I know how you guys will now give me the obvious tip on how I can breath easier. I get it.

So this is just a short note to say hi.

Am awaiting keenly your response to JT, it’s the first film from my production house which I am not acting in, and I hope we’ve done ok.

Meanwhile the TZP DVD release is very close. Will keep you posted on that one.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Unification of the Superstars

For the past two years or so everyone has had something to say about the feuds of Bollywood. Shahrukh vs. Amitabh Bachchan was everyone’s favorite. The media was perennially busy looking into the various facets of the so called cold war between two of the most powerful figures of Bollywood. The latest high point in this cold war series was the blog that the Big B had posted comparing the TRP ratings of Kaun Banega Crorepati under him and SRK. Talking of blogging reminds us of the infamous Aamir Khan blog of a pup named Shahrukh. Aamir Khan vs. Shahrukh Khan has been second only to the Big B-SRK rivalry in scale and popularity.

Meanwhile, the stars who have been made the main players in this rivalry drama have been repeatedly denying the existence of any such rift. They are, in their own words, ‘very good friends’. Well, come this weekend and they will have a chance to prove that their claims are right by appearing together at an event. One wonders what event could bring all of them together when even the IIFA failed to do so. The event is the premiere of Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Naa, the debut vehicle of Aamir Khan’s nephew Imran Khan.

Reports are that Aamir Khan has left no stone unturned to ensure that the premiere is a star studded affair. The list of invitees include apart from many leading figures of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan. We don’t know as yet whether this dream get-together will happen but it is heartening to see an effort being made and that too by Aamir who is generally considered a bit skeptical about big functions which he had reiterated with the very simple audio release of his movies. Amitabh, SRK and Aamir have had goes at each other in the recent past; at least the media has interpreted various things that way. Let’s see whether the hatchet can be buried.
The biggest surprise is that there are reports of an official invite for the premiere also being sent to Superstar Rajinikanth. If he turns up too then it will be nothing short of a dream come true.


Battlefield of Marmayogi

Credible sources from Kollywood say that Kamal Haasan’s Marmayogi is based on the 6th century scenario. It is said that a war scene with the aid of graphics would be shot extravagantly in Switzerland. Also, for the first time in Kollywood Red One camera would be employed to film this scene. It is now official that A.R. Rahman will score the music for Marmayogi. It is worth mentioning here that just a few days when A.R. Rahman received that Lifetime Achievement Award at function held in Chennai Kamal Haasan, through video conferencing facility congratulated the maestro and parted with the words “Marmayogiyil meendum santhippom.”


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Who’s Rahman’s favourite?

The singer and composer on B-town’s changing sounds and the magic of MICHAEL JACKSON

AR Rahman, who has composed for around 100 films and has won numerous awards, insists that even after spending over 15 years in the industry, he has a ‘hunger’ for good work.

“I want to set new benchmarks through every film. I’m not competing with anybody but myself. Each time I push myself a bit more. I like challenging myself with every project.”

Rahman, who is in town for his new film Ada, says he loves all the songs of the album but his favourite remains the title track Ishq ada hai and Hawa hawa.

Interestingly, the composer has been singing at least one song from each of his albums ( Tere bina in Guru and Khwaja Mere Khwaja in Jodhaa Akbar more recently). Rahman explains that he happens to sing songs that are left to be sung. “I normally don’t choose my tracks. I take what is left over. It’s funny that these tracks become hits,” he says. “With a leftover track I get the freedom to sing it the manner I want to. Maybe, it stands out because I work so much on it,” he laughs.

Ask him why he isn’t venturing into the international scene. “Why should I?” he questions. “I wanted to at one point of time. Something was shaping up but it didn’t work out. Right now, I’m very happy with the domestic scenario. I’m part of a change,” he says.

He adds, “Our industry is growing bigger and better. There is more fun composing now. The filmmakers are trying to do different things. It’s great living and working here.”

Ask him whose music he likes the best and Rahman reveals, “I love Michael Jackson’s music and style. He is a great artist. I love listening to him the most,” he signs off.


It's A R Rahman vs A R Rahman this weekend

With the music of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na doing well A R Rahman is on cloud nine. He was recently at the unveiling of Tanvir Ahmed's Ada not to promote his music, but to introduce debutant actor, Ayaan Ahmad, to the big world of Bollywood.

Ayaan is starring in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na as well.

And when asked what was so special about the young lad, this is what the ace music composer had to say.

"He's perfect for the character that he is playing in the film. It's good to see new actors who have different nuances than main stream actors."

Rahman who's also composed the music of Ayaan's film Ada is confident that the music will hit the polularity charts. It took him almost seven years in the making and has competition from his own film, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

"Some of the tracks for Ada were composed way back in 2001, some of the tracks were done in 2005 then everything stopped for a while. I composed the last song, Meherban, this year," says he.

Ayaan adds, "The music of both films is poles apart. Both the albums are great in their own right and they won't be affected from each other at all."

His co-star in Ada, Nauheed Cyrusi adds, "You can't compare an A R Rahman to an A R Rahman. He's a fabulous music director, but I still say Ada's music stands out."

The musical genius meanwhile, has also roped in his favorite singer - Rashid Ali of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na fame - to do a track in Ada as well.

Congrats, A R Rahman

In the video film, Chithra said Rahman took Tamil Film Music across the oceans. S P Balasubramaniam said it was Rahman's father Sekar who gave him his maiden opportunity, in a Malayalam film. Vaali was at his best when he suggested that Rahman should never forget his Tamil roots even when he is experimenting with Western music.

It is great to win a Lifetime Achievement award at forty. And yet, Rahman was, as usual humble. "What are you going to teach your children?". And he said, "My wife will teach them." "And what will you teach your wife?". "Oh, she is teaching me a lot", said the one and only Rahman. Incidentally, his wife was there too.

What music does he like to listen to? All kinds, especially those of the early sixties. "There are times when I cut myself away totally from music", said the prodigious composer and song-writer.


He was born on January 6, 1966., in a musically inclined family. At four, he started learning piano. At nine, his father died, leaving on his young shoulders, the burden of supporting the family. He cut his musical teeth at eleven in Ilayaraja's orchestra, as a keyboard player.

With Ilayaraja and subsequently with other troupes, he travelled around the world. In between, he won a coveted degree in Western Classical music from the Oxford University. He has worked with internationally reputed artistes and groups.

This Asian Mozart's music had sold millions of copies worldwide. This melodic genius has brought about a freshness to film music. Apart from Carnatic classical, he is an amazing master of Western Classical jazz and rock. Who else could be a bigger representative of Indian Music?

It all started with Roja in 1992.. He has never looked back. He started redefining contemporary Indian music and continued his colossal stride with memorable compositions like those in Bombay, Dil Se, Taal, Lagan, Kathalan, Indian, Duet, Minsaarak Kanavu.....the list is unending.

His Vande Mataram is unforgettable. His collaboration with the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber created history with their �Bombay Dreams'.

Padma Shri Rahman is highly philanthropic and that made him an honourary Rotarian. He has many decades of music still left in him and we wish him many more years of immortal compositions.

Rajinikanth on top of India

Rajinikanth has been adjudged one of the top 50 powerful men in the country by '4 Ps', a business and marketing fortnight magazine.

The survey was conducted using various methodologies by ICMR (The Indian council for Marketing Research) and the 4Ps team.

Rajinikanth was chosen based on his visibility in the media over the last year, leadership qualities displayed and positive actions taken by actor.

Apart from Rajini, music genius A R Rahman has also managed a place for himself in the elite list.


Rahman's double whammy

The music maestro A R Rahman talks about two of his upcoming music releases of the movies 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na' and 'Ada', as both are setting the music charts ablaze.

Commenting on the music of both the movies, Rahman stated, "Ada is closer because of its melody and 'Jaane Tu' reflects young, experimental kind of thing, which I'd wanted to do for a long time to re-assure the crowds, that I'm still capable of doing the scores for the youth."

Rahman also added, "I'm really overwhelmed by the success of both the sound tracks, both the albums have reached the number one slots at different times, and I'm really grateful to God for that."

But ask the music maestro to declare his favourite track amongst the two charts, and the title track of 'Jaane Tu' gets his stamp of approval.


Aishwarya officially signs for Robot

Finally actress Aishwarya Bachchan revealed how much she is getting for her role in the forthcoming magnum opus of Indian Cinema Rajinikanth's Robot. Produced by Ayngaran International, the dream project of super star Rajinikanth and director Shankar's script is getting final shape now and the shooting date will be announced soon, once the director will get nod from Rajinikanth.

Aishwarya Bachchan plays as Rajini's lead lady for the first time and last week the actress has signed the dotted lines for a whopping 6 crores. According to sources, Shankar has paid Rs.2 crores as advance. This is said to be the highest ever salary paid to an actress for an Indian film.

Yesterday, the actress also revealed her meeting with Shankar and hints about how much she is getting for this film


ARR, Hema in Marmayogi

Kamal Haasan has selected A.R. Rahman to compose music for Marmayogi. This film is written and directed by Kamal Haasan.

The film will also have Hema Malini. It is said she has confirmed her involvement in the film and even confirmed the dates. She had acted with Kamal Haasan in Andha Kanoon, a Hindi film and she also acted with him in the bilingual Hey Raam

Kamal Haasan and A.R. Rahman had worked together in Indian and Thenali. The music of those films was a hit. Therefore expectations will be higher this time.


‘Jaane Tu… is definitely autobiographical’

As he gears up for the release of his debut film as a director Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na, Abbas Tyrewalla sits down for a free wheeling chat with us. Not known to mince his words, we ask Abbas about Jaane Tu, working with a producer like Aamir and whether Pappu Can’t Dance is really a dig at Salman Khan!

What was the inspiration behind the film?

I wrote this film quite a while back… this happened right after Main Hoon Na and Maqbool. There was a time when I just couldn’t find any interesting director to work with. And that’s when I decided to write Jaane Tu… and then sometime in 2005 I realized that I wasn’t as happy and interested in writing as I was earlier. That’s when I felt I needed a new ambition, a new direction and so I decided to take up direction. And at that time the only script that I had on hand which was most viewer and producer friendly was Jaane Tu…and so I decided to direct this film.

How difficult is it to change roles from script writer to director?

In life I have never thought and said I won’t be able to do something. When I take on something I have no doubt that I will be able to handle it. But sure my friends who are directors like Vishal Bhardwaj and RGV told me that you think direction is about creativity. But direction is about people – their emotions, their feelings and to manage all that while motivating them to work better for you. So while writing is 100% creativity direction is 100% people management. So for years as a script writer I used to work independently all alone. I wasn’t dependent on anyone but now I was in a job where if 100-150 people didn’t do their job then I wouldn’t have been able to do my job. So the big challenge for me was to learn to rely on people again… to learn to motivate and inspire them to do their job better so that my work turned out better. And I think that was a major shift for me.

Speaking about Jaane Tu… it’s your first film, you have a newcomer in it and you have an Aamir Khan backing it. So if there any pressure on you?

The pressure would have been there had Aamir Khan been a producer who had come to me saying that I want to launch my nephew and you write a film for him. And if I was making the film to make him happy then there would have been pressure. But that was not the case… the film’s original producer was Jhamu Sugandh and when we cast Imran it was because he fit the role and not because Aamir was my producer. In fact by the time Aamir got involved and became the film’s producer by that time I was accustomed to my role of director. Also Aamir never threw his weight around or said that my nephew is here so pay more attention to him. All he said was make the film based on what you have written or what you see the characters in your mind like.

You’ve scripted films in different genres… from Maqbool to Main Hoon Na. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am someone who pays a lot of attention on life… I enjoy analyzing and studying people and circumstances. And the other thing is that I am also very fond of stories… so I love making khyaali pulao. I also love reading stories and watching films and all that helps. I don’t travel too much or really research my stories as such. I try and give life to different characters based totally on my thinking.

Not only as his director but as someone who has interacted with the best in the industry how would you describe Imran to us?

Imran has this quality in him that woh abhi tak filmi nahee hua hai…He is very normal… like any guy his age would be. He is naughty yet hard working. So I feel if he doesn’t lose this innocence about him once he becomes a part of this industry then I believe I will be giving a very big gift in the form of Imran. I think he is a great actor and great person.

What do you as the director expect from this film? What would you say is its USP?

I won’t say that don’t go with any expectations because if you don’t have any expectations then you won’t go to see the film. So I want them to go with this expectation that they are going for a good film… for a fun time. I have one suggestion that when you go to see the film go with your friends because I have seen that the more the number of people who see this film together the more they enjoy. So I won’t say don’t keep expectations from my film – please have them because I have spent 3 years trying to fulfill your expectations. And I think when you give the audiences a little more than what they expect it only helps!

A R Rahman’s music for the film has received good response. How was it collaborating with him? Did you leave it up to him entirely?

No not at all… you can’t work like that. No matter how superior or famous your music director is… I mean A R Rahman is world famous but all that is to one side and your story is on the other side. Only you know what you want to convey through it… so therefore it wasn’t like I left everything to Rahman to do everything just because he is world famous. I knew… I hoped that he would do a good job but it was all done with my inputs because the story, the characters, its people and their thoughts are all written by me. So who knows this better than me? Therefore my inputs were definitely there because I wrote the script… I even wrote the lyrics so my inputs were there every step of the way. And ultimately it wasn’t that I had to make Rahman happy …. Ultimately Rahman gave me that much izzat because it was my film. His behaviour towards me was always that he had to make me happy.

Recently there was gossip about your song Pappu Can’t Dance being a dig at Salman Khan….

When we wrote this song Aamir Khan wasn’t even anywhere close. I wrote this song with Rahman in Chennai and so for them to say that Aamir said write a song that makes fun of Salman Khan is totally out of our imagination. Aamir is a professional… so am I. and if we are making a film with so much money and enthusiasm and passion I don’t think we are doing it so that we can make fun of Aamir’s friends. There is no way that we can make fun of Salman bhai in this song which says Pappu Can’t Dance when all of us know that Salman is one of the best dancers of our industry. So how can we say something like this and how can people believe it? This is just a fun song and the kids are just singing this song on their graduation party… that’s all there is to it.

The film is based on kids in college… so does it find inspiration from your college days?

When you will see this film you will know exactly what my college days were like! This is absolutely inspired from my life and my friends at that time. Each and every character does in some way find its inspiration from some memory of a friend or a relationship. And that’s in this film. For the first time there are some shades of an autobiography in this film… till date all my films have been fictional… the character of Jay in this film is a lot like me – sure I don’t sing for a girl! But things like not being a fan of violence or being quite naughty or being friend with his mother… these are all things that I find stem from me. And similarly every friend of his in this film also finds inspiration from my friends in my life…and I think that’s why whoever has seen this film till now have always found that connect with people in their lives. They always say that some or the other character reminds them of someone in their life…and I think that’s the special part of Jaane Tu…


AR Rahman: The master in his element

When it comes to composing music or being modest, not many can match A R Rahman.

The Mozart of Madras on Tuesday proved why he continues to be loved by one and all even after almost 16 years after he first burst into the music scene with Roja.

Receiving the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from Rtn. Indra Subramanyam, president of the Rotary club of Madras, the music director, in his typical inimitable style, said," Ella pugallum Irraivanuuke." (To God be all glory!) after saying, "It's an honour to receive this award. However, I still think that nothing has happened. I am like a slate that is yet to be written. There is so much to be done, not only in music but also for humanitarian causes."

The award was conferred on the music director, by the Rotary club of Madras which sought to salute "the consummate composer who makes music the language of the heart and the soul".

Rahman was posed a few questions on the occasion to which he replied in his trademark style. Needless to say, his brief replies were laced with wit.

When asked what kind of research he did to recreate the effect for period films like Jodhaa Akbar, he said," We did a lot of research for Jodhaa Akbar and finally did not use anything we found."

It required a carefully- worded question to corner the musician, someone in the audience asked, " In addition to God (We know that you will attribute your success to God), what is the source of inspiration that gives you melodies?"

Rahman replied," There are two things I follow. When I know that I'm confident, I know I'm wrong. When I'm insecure and when I feel I'm going to be humiliated, that is when something special comes up."
When asked to name a few of songs he wished he had composed, the director initially tried to sidestep the question, but then responded," I would love to do something on the space that is there on the music of the 60s."

Disclosing what he preferred to listen to, the music director said, "I like Carpenters and old songs. Songs of Kannadasan, M S Viswanathan-Ramamurthy, K B Mahadevan and P Susheela are good. I like listening to Hemanth, Mandolin Srinivas and Kishore."

When pointed out that he had already reached the peak and that there was nothing left to conquer, the ace musician said, "I don't think benchmarks should be set. So much more has to be achieved. That is why I have started my music school."

When asked what he would like to teach his children, he replied, "I think their mom is a better teacher." And finally, when asked what he would like to teach Saira, he shot back,"She is teaching me."

The taste of music
Rang De Basanti was good but not good enough to beat Maah Tujhe Salaam. Thiruda Thiruda was much better than Rangeela. However, it was Zubaidaa which won the honours hands down on Tuesday at the Taj Connemara, where a function to felicitate musical genius A R Rahman was organised.And boy, were they all delicious!

For those of you who still haven't been able to comprehend what we are talking about, Rang De Basanti, Maah Tujhe Salaam, Thiruda Thiruda and Rangeela were the names of delicacies and dishes served to the dignitaries who attended the function organized by the Rotary club of Madras. While the Shahjahani badam ka shorba soup was called Jodha Akbar, the salad bar with dressings was called Satrangi re... and the main course comprised Maa Tujhe Salaam... (Tiranga Mirch Aur Paneer Jalfrezi), Rang De Basanti (Zaffrani Khumbh, Mutter Aur Makai), Kuchi Kuchi Rakkama... ( Kathrikai Rasvangi), Thiruda Thiruda (Kaikari Kothmali Korma) and Ahe Udi Udi... ( Urlai Vepudu).
The Lucknow Dum Biryani with Burhani Raita was called Zubeida and steamed rice was known as Sathiya. Dal Panchmela was called Rangeela while assorted Indian breads were called Lagaan!

In the dessert section, Chum Chum was called Chaiya Chaiya and finally, Chocolate Desire was aptly named Chinna Chinna Aasai..., reminding us the fact that the song continues to be one of the sweetest songs ever made.


Ash gets the highest ever salary!

Aishwarya Rai is very much a part of Shankar’s Rajinikanth dream project Robot, being produced by Ayngaran International.

Sources close to the deal said that last week the actress finally signed on the dotted line.

She was reportedly paid a whopping advance amount for the film.

Aishwarya is rumoured to be getting Rs 6 Crore to be the heroine of Robot. This is said to be the highest ever salary paid to an actress for an Indian film.

She has agreed to give bulk dates for the film as and when required.

As per original plans, Shankar was supposed to start the film in the first week of June. Due to various hitches, the shooting of the film will start now only in the last week of August after a low key ‘pooja’ in Chennai.

The dates have now become very convenient for Ash. She had kept the entire month of July and August for the Bachchan’s “Unforgettable World Tour”, a series of shows across continents organised by Wizcraft and starring the Bachchans (Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya) along with a host of stars.

After Aishwarya finishes her world tour, it will be time to start Robot. As of now Shankar is said to be planning to start the shoot with a song to be picturised across the world. So Ash once again goes around the world with the one and only superstar!


Big B to share screen with Rekha again

'Marmayogi' may be yet another dream project of Kamal Hassan, but it will also be a dream realisation for all those film lovers who wished to see Amitabh Bachchan sharing the screen with one of his best co stars Rekha.

The film also has Kajol in an important role.

In the 1970's the pair of Big B and the ever graceful Rekha was considered as one of the best screen couples that India has ever seen and the chemistry between them and their filmy romance turned out to be just like an epitome of passionate burning love for the youth of that time.

No one thought that after the sensational super hit film 'Silsila' this screen couple will never come together again.

All these years the vintage hot pair have never been seen together in public functions or for film awards but the media never got even a word out of their mouth which could hurt the feelings of each other.

Rekha has even admitted in a Television interview about the way Amitabh influenced her life and how she has learnt a lot from him and Big B recently told a newspaper that he would be interested in acting with Rekha again if an appropriate role is offered to him.

What more than 'Marmayogi' can be the right vehicle for recreating the magic of this golden pair of Hindi Cinema and show to the younger generation of actors that for some couples growing old have only increased the magic.

'Marmayogi' is a period film produced by Walt Disney.


Mozart of Madras in 'Marmayogi'

A R Rahman will team up with Kamal Haasan for 'Marmayogi' and the mega movie will hit the floors next month in Mumbai. The film is written and directed by Kamal Haasan.

This period film set in the sixth century AD features Kamal Haasan in the lead role.

According to a confident Kamal Haasan, 'music would be the mainstay of the movie. I will be joining hands with Rahman for the project. We are sure of creating wonders'.

Kamal Haasan and Rahman had earlier worked together in ‘Indian’ and ‘Thenali’. Both the movies went on to become smash hits. The songs in the films topped the audio charts.

Both Kamal Haasan and A. R. Rahman are known for extensive research in order to get things right. Their combination might just work wonders with rich entertainment value.


Rare honor conferred on Rahman

Noted music composer A R Rahman was conferred the Life Time Achievement award by Rotary Club of Madras for his contribution to Indian music.

Stills and Videos from the Function

Stills and Videos from the Function

A man of simplicity and nobility, Rahman said, ' I still have a long way to go'.

The man who carved a niche for himself coming out with back to back hits ever since he was introduced in Mani Ratnam's Roja was at his usual best.

'If you can start playing the piano at four, you can accept a Lifetime Achievement Award at 40,' said Indra Subramanyam, President, Rotary Club of Madras, summing the musical lifespan of the genius, thus far.

A God-fearing individual, Rahman said, ' Whenever I'm confident about something, I know I am wrong. It is when I'm insecure that I produce something special.'

Rahman said he listens to music from different genres, from The Carpenters to M S Vishwanathan and compositions of Kannadasan and Naushad.

The music genius added that he did a lot of research for ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ and didn't use any of it in the end.

'I wasn't looking to recreate a ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ or to better the compositions of Khayyam or Naushad. I wanted to do something that hadn't been heard before.'

The award ceremony also included a documentary which featured some of the biggest names from the Tamil film industry showering praises on Rahman. Special mention was also made on Rahman, the human being.

K Balachander, Mani Rathnam and Kamal Haasan among others spoke on the audio-visual highlighting the contributions of Rahman.

Watch A R Rahman Honored


‘Varanam Aayiram is a conservative film’

AFTER your comments about hating Bheema, you seem to be getting notorious for your frank opinions.

There was such build-up for Bheema! Director Lingusamy, Vikram and I keep running into one another. And Harris Jayraj, who did the music, kept saying, ‘It’s such a brilliant film.’ But when I went and watched it, I was so disappointed that I just had to say something about it.
But doesn’t this rub people the wrong way?

Yeah. I think Vikram hates me now and Vijay had a problem with what I said (about his giving me DVDs of his films so that I could incorporate elements from them into a script for him). But I don’t care. They can talk about my film too. That’s the way it should be. If Vikram and Vijay are not going to work with me because of this, I think it’s their loss.

So you don’t think you’re cutting off avenues?

I don’t think so. I’m making a film with newcomers - four boys. I don’t know how well the film will do, but at least I’m enjoying myself. These boys give me everything. Even Surya worked for me like that in Varanam Aayiram. I said, ‘At 17, I need you to look like this, at 21, like this and at 31, you’re a tough guy; so can we have a six-pack?’ It’s only for one scene. And for four months, he went off everything! He’d eat only boiled vegetables and chicken with no salt. And he was going through all that just for a film. I can always do a film with Surya, Karthi and with so many youngsters. But I’m hoping others will come around.

Tell us about Varanam Aayiram.

It’s the story of a young man on the verge of life. The film traces his life from the time he is born up to a point where he realises he’s made it in life. We see his first love, whether he gets to marry the girl he fell in love with and the equation he had with his father - an inspiration at every point in his life. It traces parts of my life and the lives of everybody I know.
So is it a sort of biopic of Gautam Menon?

It’s a very personal story. But what I’m hoping is that the guy next to you in the theatre will say, ‘Hey this has happened to me!’ Of course, there’s a little bit of fantasy.
Let’s shift gears to Chennayil Oru Mazhaikaalam.

Varanam Aayiram is a very conservative film in terms of what Surya thinks about women; but this is a very in-your-face sort of film with four boys and three girls. We wanted to cast only newcomers. Then the co-producer said, ‘We need somebody in this film other than Gautam and AR Rahman.’ So we pitched the idea to Trisha. She was looking forward to working with us.

There’s been a lot of talk about the switch from your regular - Harris Jayaraj.

I am doing a film with Harris in December which stars Ajit. I always wanted to work with Rahman right from when Minnale happened. Harris knows that too. Even Rahman was saying ‘You have a great record with Harris. They’ll think I’ve done something to that!’

With Ajit, will you attempt to tread a middle path between an Ajit film and a Gautam Menon film?

The only time that happened was with Vijay. I narrated bits of Varanam Aayiram to him. He said he loved it but then he said, ‘Can you bring some of my elements into the film?’ I said it wouldn’t work in a film like this. I don’t want to do that kind of compromise. I did that with Pachaikili Muthucharam. That was a mistake; and I don’t want to do that again.

Ever thought of doing films in Bollywood?

I don’t want to make the mistake I made with Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein. Nobody knows me there; so I want to go with a big actor that the crowd will come for. I am pitching something with Abhishek (Bachchan) right now. I’m also thinking of a remake of Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu with Amitabh, taking out the love angle.


Imraan’s movie catches eyes before release

The millions' heartthrob Imran Khan of 'Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na' -was in Delhi. This new kid in Bollywood is making raves even before the release of his movie. Aamir's cousin - Imraan Khan - is all set to step into the tinsel world with his film 'Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na'. The music of the movie is already topping the charts. Even a perfectionist like Aamir, Inraan's brother, is optimistic about the fate of the movie at the box office.

The story of 'Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na' is about Meet Jai Singh Rathore - 'Rats' (Imran Khan), the most non-violent Rajput either side of the Aravallis. He meets the passionate Aditi Mahant - 'Meo' (Genelia D'Souza). Aditi thinks that Jai is the biggest coward she has ever encountered. There is nothing Rajput-like in him. Jai and Aditi are perfect for each other: everyone knows this but do Rats and Meow know? You will know only when the movie will hit theaters. While 'Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na' arrives under the banner of Aamir Khan Productions and PVR Cinema and Produced by Mansoor Khan and Aamir Khan with director Abbas Tyrewala at the helm. The film, which has music by A.R. Rahman and lyrics by Abbas Tyrewala, also stars Naseruddin Shah, Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan, Arshad Warsi, Ratna Pathak and Paresh Rawal in a special appearance.


‘Marmayogi’ - Fund raiser for ‘Maruthanayagam’?

Every passionate filmmaker has an innate desire to express himself or herself with an ideology or thought that is close to the heart. Everyone who is oriented with Tamil cinema knows that Kamal Haasan has been thirsting for quite a while to make a film called 'Maruthanayagam'. The only reason this film is still waiting in the wings is due to the fact that it involves production costs no other Indian film can ever fathom.

Knowing Kamal Haasan and his precision skills for perfection, the film would involve state-of-the-art technological gizmo and exuberant artistes, technicians, Computer Generated Imagery and sets that do justice to the period film that Kamal Haasan has in mind.

The film did manage to take off some years ago in the presence of Queen Elizabeth but then 'the still to come to terms' Indian film industry was not ready for a trend setting cinematic adventure that Kamal Haasan is very capable of. The venture being called off brought many traits of the film industry into question. The most appalling reason being no production house, not even a conglomeration of production houses wanting to involve themselves in a trend-setting mission and that too having a tried and tested stalwart in Kamal Haasan by their side.

Would all these developments simmer down Kamal Haasan's passion for filmmaking? The answer is an emphatic NO. The maverick in Kamal Haasan was bound to take over and the result could be simply spectacular. He seems to be taking on the 'traditionally adhered to production values' all by himself.

Taking on the mantle of producing ‘Marmayogi’ on a first copy basis, the writer, director, actor is hopeful of cashing it big with this project. No guesses again as to where all the money would go. Obviously to realize his dream of making 'Maruthanayagam' come true.

Despite Dasavatharam's mixed reviews, the film is running to packed houses. This is testimony enough that the film has indeed penetrated and is permeating within the hearts of general audiences. A huge boost for the lone war that Kamal Haasan is fighting.

With general audiences by his side the versatile actor could very well come out on the winning side. If that happens a trend would have been created. A trend that would put Indian Cinema firmly on world screens.

Way to go Kamal….keep fighting….


Friday, June 27, 2008

Marmayogi postponed!

The latest news from the stable of Marmayogi suggests postponement! No, not the film, but the inaugural pooja. The inaugural pooja of Kamal Haasan's Marmayogi, which was earlier scheduled to be held on July 13, 2008, has now been postponed to July 25, 2008. It is rumored in Kollywood that Pyramid Saimira expressed its inability to conduct the inaugural pooja, as they would be distributing the film worldwide. But Kamal insisted on a grand function and managed to organize one himself. Incidentally, Marmayogi, a joint venture between Kamal's Rajkamal Films and Pyramid Saimira, is produced on a first copy basis by Kamal. Marmayogi, touted to be a mega budget film, will be shot in various important cities across the world.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Costly selection mistake that Kamal made!

It took five years of hard work, sweat and dedication to make a movie, which is bound to make every Indian proud, and take tamil cinema to a different horizon. Sadly though, the musical score sounds as if it has been done in a jiffy. There has been no thought process that has gone into the songs. When a music director gets an opportunity for such a film, he must buckle up and give a album that is never heard so far.

Ilayaraja elevates himself and his music for people like Mani Ratnam and Bharathiraja; Rehman does miraculous music for Mani Ratnam and Shankar. The crux is that when a larger than life director gives you a chance to compose music for his film you give music that is larger than life too. But Himesh, sadly though, remains the same old Himesh giving tunes that are not any different than the tunes he composes for the many low profile Hindi film, which stars people like Emran Hashmi. The songs are heavily inspired or rather borrowed from the many A.R. Rehman classics and the only original tune Oh… Oh… Sanam fails to impress. The orchestration instrumentation and the sound quality are amateurish. We are left wondering how such a great thinker like Kamal, who chose all this resources for the film in a proper way, got the wrong idea of choosing Himesh for the songs part. When here in south there is such raw talent, it was fate that it had to go to someone in the north and that too to some one who did not deserve it. I hope that we can get to hear better music from someone with a richer talent for Kamal`s next magnum opus


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sanjay grabs an offer from Mani Ratnam

Mani Ratnam has announced his next project and the star cast is what the fans are eager to know about. And to make matters even more interesting Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Bachchan have been signed up as the lead pair. The director was scouting for another popular face to star in the film. And the hunt came to an end recently with
Mani Ratnam zeroing in on Sanjay Dutt. In fact, Sanjay had juggled his dates, which he had given for T-Series earlier, to accommodate this project. A few years ago, Sanjay and Aishwarya starred in a film titled Shabd but unfortunately the filmed bombed at the box office.


Marmayogi locations

Kamal’s Dasavatharam has lived up to its hype and the film has already been declared a blockbuster. The thorough professional that he is, Kamal is reported to have already commenced work on his next project Marmayogi.The project is touted to be a period one and the latest buzz from Kamal’s camp is that majority of Marmayogi will be shot at Ramoji

Rao Film City at Hyderabad. Though there are rumors which suggest that the official launch may be held on the 13th of July, there are also talks which point to the direct commencement of shooting without the same. Script is ready and Kamal will be handling story, screenplay and direction. The cast is not yet finalized except for a small hint which was thrown during Dasavatharam audio launch that Hema Malini may be featured with shades of grey. Keep visiting this site for more information.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Chennai Sangamam in China

The Chennai Sangamam Festival took place in January and February in Chennai, then it went to China as well, where it was a grand success. The festival showcased everything about Chennai and Tamil culture. People in China got an idea of how rich Chennai culture is. It made them curious about this city, which is the perfect mixture of traditions, culture, and modernity.

Yesterday, a function was held to celebrate this and to release a DVD which comprised details and footage (of the troupe’s performance in China as well) of folk dances of Tamil Nadu. The DVD is named “Ey Aa O!” This DVD not only focuses on the folk and traditional arts of Tamil Nadu, it showcases folk arts from different parts of India.

Rajya Sabha M.P. Kanimozhi and music director A.R. Rahman presided over this function. The first copy of this DVD was released by A.R. Rahman and received by Kanimozhi.


Rockstar no longer happening?

Imtiaz Ali's mega project Rockstar that was to have cast John Abraham has been apparently sent to the backburner.

The story revolved around a bored businessman who takes the subway daily to his work place. Then he is suddenly transported to the world of rock n' roll music where he becomes a rockstar. The project was initially supposed to have been produced by UTV but now they are not doing the project.

Following this composer A R Rahman also opted out of the project. "Rahman was very interested since he could have done something different in this film but when UTV backed out, so did Rahman," says a close aide to the composer. Our reliable sources say that the project may not take off at all.

Incidentally, Imtiaz is busy with Saif Ali Khan's project with Deepika and another with Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor.
John has Nagesh Kukunoor’s Aashayein and Karan Johar-Tarun Mansukhani's Dostana to look forward to. The latter has cast him opposite Priyanka Chopra.


Jiah Khan Hit with Aamir

What is it about the sultry and sensuous Jiah Khan that is making her such a hit with Aamir on the set of Ghajini? The Nishabd actress appears to have woven her charm over the mighty Aamir to the extent that he has taken the time out to help her find a new house in Mumbai.

Jiah is an international girl, having been born in New York but raised in the fashionable district of Chelsea in London. Jiah has not always had it easy. Her father was absent for most of her childhood and she has often faced poverty. Her mother, former Bollywood actress Rabiya Amin, works for the BBC. Her next movie is a role in Akshay Kumar’s Houseful and she will also be seen opposite Shahid Kapoor in Ken Ghosh’s next.

Talking of her extremely sensuous role in Nishabd, Jiah has said, “I remember RGV telling me that the character was one of a cat. Her sexiness was more from inside than from outside. She need not be wearing shorts. She would be wearing a pair of jeans and still sit the same way as she would be wearing a skirt and sit. And luckily for me I have a cat at home. I noticed her for a week. So it was not anything that special. From the institute (Jiah trained at the Strasberg Institute in New York) that I come from, we are taught method acting. Method acting is just about taking your past experiences and putting all the emotions from it into a scene. So that was what I did.”


Interview: Producer and Chachu Aamir Khan on 'Jaane Tu'

Aamir Khan with nephew Imran Khan. Photo Credit: Sawf News

June 22, 2008 (Sawf News) - Aamir Khan wants to be identified with quality cinema, whatever is his association with it: actor, director or producer, so he exercises due diligence. However, once he is satisfied he minds his own business and lets his team members bank on their own creativity.

Known to be reclusive earlier, Aamir readily interacts with the media and his fans now. He is currently busy promoting his production Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, which is to be released in theaters on July 4. The film marks the Bollywood debut of Aamir's nephew Imran Khan.

Aamir answers questions about the film, his own future plans and friend Shahrukh Khan, the actor, not the dog, with endearing forthrightness.

So you are launching your nephew Imran Khan…

Actually, it didn't start that ways… Jaane Tu was being produced by Jhamu Sugandh, along with two other films. Unfortunately there was a financial crisis and Jaane Tu… was without a producer. When Imran Khan and Abbas Tyerwala narrated the script to me I just fell in love with it. As a producer or an actor, rather wherever, I put my name, I want the audience to identify that the film will be a quality cinema. After, I decided to produce the film, I went through all the auditions to check if they were perfect for their roles… only then did, I approve. But now that the film is ready it brings back emotional memories of Chachajaan, launching me in QSQT. Our families are very close and we all have grown up together, Mansoor, Nuzhat, Nikhat, and me. All my formative years were spending at their house itself….

What do you think of Abbas Tyrewala, as a director?

Abbas Tyerwala is very talented and that is reflected in his earlier works. He has written scripts for Munnabhai, Maqbool… I really like his sense of humor. When he approached me, I had asked him to shoot 5 scenes based on which, I decided to produce the film. He did a commendable job and I was confident of him.

Imran Khan in a still from Jaanu Tu…. Photo Credit: Sawf News

Having mentioned about QSQT, heard you had gone around to places, taxis and stuck posters, stickers of your movie?

Yes, I have done that; you see earlier newcomers faced a lot of difficulties. Unlike today we never had platforms where we could promote our films. In fact, I remember Juhi and I hardly gave any Interviews and the few that we gave never got any coverage…but, now the awareness has become a lot more and there are lot many platforms…. (He laughs)

So you mean it has become easier for Imran Khan ?

Yes, it has, as compared to my time things have really changed a lot. These young actors like Imran, Genelia don't require doing all that…

You are accused of interfering with your films…

Actually, to the contrary, I was not there for a single day of the shoot of Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. I was shooting for Taare Zameen Par at the same time as the Jaane Tu… was being shot. In fact there was a very funny incident that I recall. I was traveling or rather passing by Bandra Bandstand and I saw a shooting happening there at Bandstand. Curiosity got better of me and I stopped to see who was shooting in middle of night at Bandstand. When, I got down, I was surprised to see Mansoor Khan, Abbas Tyerwala and Imran Khan shooting for Jaane Tu…; that was the only day, that, I was on sets of Jaane Tu…, and that too accidentally.

What do you think of the Music of the film?

I love the music… AR Rahman is one of the big talents in the music world. After a long time, he has come up with a youthful, light album. He has basically followed the style of the film very well.

Aamir Khan, we have seen different facets of yours in your movies.

I have actually lived a full life as an actor. I have always tried learning and growing with each role that, I play. And I have felt the change in my personality with every movie. In fact more than me, I'm sure you all must have noticed that.

Genelia in a still from Jaanu Tu…. Photo Credit: Sawf News

Your blog keeps you in news…. Especially about SRK blog?

You know, what Shah Rukh Khan and I keep joking with each other...we have such a comfort level with each other, that we can understand a joke as a joke…That's the strength of our friendship and the understanding we share. He has made fun of me several times in past and I have understood that as a joke. However most of our fans didn't appreciate the humor, so I apologized to them for hurting their feelings… In fact, we spoke couple of days back… I had called him to invite him for the premiere.

For the premiere of the movie, you have called both Amitji and Shah Rukh?

Yes… it was an emotional moment for the family and I know that, Chachajaan would have wanted to call the fraternity. I have called all my friends and colleagues from the industry.

Is the song "Pappu can't dance" hinting at Salman Khan?

No…How can that be? Firstly, Salman is a very good dancer…

So what are the plans for Aamir Khan Productions…

Jaane Tu…releases on July 4… As an actor, I have Ghajini releasing this year then in production, I have two films. Delhi Belly and one more untitled film by Anusha…after, I complete Ghajini, I would be starting Raju Hiran's next film.


Shriya - Success from Shivaji to Mission Istanbul

Shriya is currently one of the hottest young actresses around - wait until you see her appearance in Mission Istanbul. She also made a big impression last year in Shivaji, alongside Rajnikanth.

This Delhi girl has a touch of class and a beautiful smile that would warm any male heart. She is very modest about her performance in Shivaji, "To be honest," she says, "Rajini sir's heroines can piggy-back ride on his popularity. Thanks to him, I got so much attention and respect from the masses and the industry."

Shriya is multilingual and is currently doing two English movies - The Other End of the Line with Desperate Housewives' Jesse Metcalf and the Deepa Mehta directed What's Cooking. About the Jesse Metcalf movie, she says, "I play a call center girl in Mumbai who goes to San Francisco in search of my love played by the obnoxiously handsome Jesse Metcalfe in The Other End of the Line. I had great fun doing the film!"

It's rumoured that Shriya, who has just finished the much-anticipated Mission Istanbul, has been picked by Kamal Hassan for his next big movie Marmayogi, which will also have an English-language version.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rajinikanth in comics

The superstar’s fame is reaching sky high. He was on T-shirts (in U.S., it is a rage to wear T-shirts with depicting Rajni after a pop artist started this trend few years ago; it is catching up again now), footage related to his film were featured in foreign films (French film PrĂȘte-moi Ta Main), so many film personalities acted as his fans in their films, and so many heroes declared they are his fans and modelling their lives after him. It is needless to mention his fanfare throughout the world. Soon, he will be in COMICS!

Yes! This is the idea of a Chennai-based artiste Gaman, who heads a publication company called Krea Comics. Earlier, Gaman conceptualised a project and created some designs and illustration based on Sivaji’s Rajinikanth and discussed this idea with the producers of Sivaji, but the project did not take off. Now, he has created another prototype of his project and is in touch with the makers of Robot. Pretty soon, the results will be out. And it looks like this time, it is going to be a positive result.

So, pretty soon, we will get to see our superstar in comic books. This is a very rare and incredible achievement for any star. Though films are bigger than comic books and video games, an actor’s fame is considered to have reached its highest point if he or she is featured in a comic book or a video game or a cartoon. It shows their iconic status. In the West, only the likes of Arnold Schwarzenneger and Bruce Willis have achieved it. In Asia, Jackie Chan had been featured in a cartoon called “The adventures of Jackie Chan”. In India, Neetu Chandra (she acts alongside Madhavan in Yavarum Nalam) is featured in a 3D mobile game which is a tremendous achievement by her.


GHAJINI: Aamir's 'low waist' Western dance!

Though he may not be as flamboyant a dancer as a Hrithik Roshan or have the charisma of a Shah Rukh Khan or may be even the 'latkas' and 'jhatkas' of an Akshay Kumar, when it comes to dancing, Aamir Khan is one of the most accomplished and spontaneous dancers that the industry has ever produced. The proof of that is the immense popularity of his dance numbers right from DIL ("Khambe Jaisi Khadi Hai"), MANN ("Kaali Nagin Ke Jaisi"), GHULAM ("Aati Kya Khandala"), RANG DE BASANTI ("Masti Ki Paathshala") and the recent TAARE ZAMEEN PAR ("BUM BUM BOLE"), to name a few.

However his fans have missed seeing him in an out and out commercial, masala, Western dance number. But here is good news. Aamir Khan has shot for a Western style dance number for his upcoming flick, GHAJINI. The choreographer Ahmed Khan was all praise for Aamir's classy dancing skills and said that he was sure that the number would turn out to be chartbuster.

Aamir's sports an in-vogue, 'low-waist' jeans and tight fitting t-shirts, where his recently acquired well-toned body too will be highlighted! The perfectionist that Aamir Khan is, he worked really hard on his dance steps and gave such a rocking performance that he had the whole unit up in applause.

Well, we are already looking forward to GHAJINI and our expectations are now sky-high after hearing what Ahmed Khan has to say!


Kamal ki cast!

Kamal Haasan’s Dasavatharam may not have done too well as far as box-office collections are concerned, but this has not dampened the superstar’s spirit.

He is ready with his next film Marmayogi that goes on the floors in August, a reliable source says.

To be shot in Hyderabad, Marmayogi is a period drama set in the 17th century. The film will see Kamal fighting adversity that poses a threat to him and the people around him. The film will again be a mega budget venture with lavish sets and costumes.

The most important news about this film is that Kamal has approached Hema Malini and Kajol to star in the drama. He has apparently already signed Shriya Saran.

“Kamal wants to start off with Marmayogi at the earliest. We are starting the shooting schedule latest by August,” the insider says. “It is going to be a feast for the eyes as huge amounts of money will be spent on the visual effects as in Dasavatharam.”

About the ensemble cast the source says, “Kajol may star opposite Kamal if things work out. Hema will be seen in a very different role in this film.”

Rumours suggest that the filmmakers of Marmayogi are also planning a grand function when the film hits the floors in August. Significant delegates of the Indian film fraternity will be called in to attend the event.


Aamir Khan fida on Jiah

Jiah Khan who made her debut with a controversial film Nishabdh is making the right moves. Her bold attitude and friendship with co star Amitabh Bachchan during Nishabdh was enough to get a lot of publicity for this new actress. After working with Amitabh her next film is with Aamir Khan and this time too she has managed to weave her charm on Aamir.

This sensuous actress is working with Aamir in his forthcoming film Ghajini and it seems Aamir is completely bowled over her personality. It is believed that Aamir is not only impressed by her personality and acting, he has helped her find a new house in Mumbai. According to an insider Jiah was going trough the pain of finding a house for herself. Since the time she shifted to Mumbai with her mother she is staying in a rented flat. While Aamir who was concerned about his co star decided to introduce her to an estate agent and finally she has managed to get her new flat.

Apparently Aamir has always been supportive to his female costars. Recently he helped his other star Asin to find a manager. Now which actress will not wish for a costar like Aamir!


Kamal to start Marmayogi?

After all the hype and hoopla surrounding Dasavatharam, Kamal Hassan has quietly started work on his next film Marmayogi.

The 'pooja' of the film will be held in Mumbai on Sunday, July 13, 2008, exactly a month after the release of Dasavatharam!

What's special about Marmayogi ?

1. The film is being produced and directed by Kamal on first copy basis.

2. It will be the costliest Kamal film ever (figures tossed around are Rs 100 crore +?) made and likely to be funded and distributed by Pyramid Saimira.

3 The Tamil film is being made for an international audience and will also have versions in Hindi, Telugu and English.

4 As of now Hema Malini is the only actor signed for the film. Kamal is trying to get Kajol or some other Bollywood star to play his heroine in the film.

5. For the first time in South Indian films, Kamal is said to be using a Red One camera, the new craze among the cinematographers. As per available details on the internet- "Red One camera, is capable of recording at resolutions up to 4096 horizontal by 2304 pixels directly to flash or hard disk based digital storage".

‘Puli’ regular shoot begins in Hyderabad

The Pawan Kalyan-starrer ‘Puli’ directed by SJ Surya and produced by Singanamala Ramesh on the banner of Kanakaratna Creations with Hansika playing the female lead would go for regular shooting from June 21. It is learnt that the schedule was planned at an old building in Dilsukh Nagar. It is worth mentioning here that ace music director AR Rahman is going to score music for this flick.

Mani Ratnam hands over script

Many speculations have been doing its round regarding the next project of India’s numero uno director Mani Ratnam. After his last film Guru in 2007, Mani will now be doing a bilingual in Tamil and Hindi where Vikram and Abhishek Bachchan will be doing lead roles in their respective languages. Aishwarya Rai will be their co-star.

For this untitled venture, Mani’s favorite cinematographer P C Sreeram will be wielding the camera. Sreeram who had worked with the ace director in many films like Nayagan, Thiruda Thiruda will be teaming up with him after their last venture Alaipayuthey in the year 2000. P C Sreeram had given new dimension to Mani Ratnam’s screen play and his choice of camera angles to convey the mood of the scene was a trendsetter for many films. It has been reported that Mani has given the first part of the script to the cinematographer. Official announcement regarding other details about the film is expected soon.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Movie Preview : Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

An Aamir Khan production JAANE TU...YA JAANE NA is a beautiful young love story. Aamir Khan's good looking nephew Imran Khan debuts with this movie. After MERE BAAP PEHLE AAP this is another big film for Genelia D'souza since she plays the solo female lead in this young romantic musical film. The exciting promos with the, music maestro, A R Rahman's good music which adds on to the quality quotient of the film have already in the buzz among audience. Directed by Abbas Tyrewala and produced by Mansoor Khan JAANE TU... is the story of youth, The age where we first get to know the secrets of the heart. The loves, friendships and jealousies that seem so earth-shattering, so life-altering at the time and years later, so laughably gentle and innocent. Of course, the film goes off on its own journey including some song-and-dance, a talking portrait, a corrupt cop and a couple of horse-mounted Rajput cowboys. It even has the quintessential airport climax.

But ultimately, the movie is m
ade to remind each one of us what it felt like when we first started falling in love.

The film is slated to release on 4th July.

Synopsis :

view JAANE TU YA JAANE NA movie stills

view JAANE TU YA JAANE NA movie stills

Our story begins at the airport,With a story.

When Rotlu, Jiggy, Bombs and Shaleen offer to tell Mala the tale of Jai and Aditi - a match made in the pastry shop of heaven - Mala is convinced that she is in for yet another cliched love story with joys and sorrows, happiness and heartbreak, laughter and songs, fights... and a climax at the airport.

And indeed, JAANE TU... YA JAANE Na is all of that. And more!

Meet Jai Singh Rathore ('Rats'), the most non-violent Rajput either side of the Aravallis. And meet, if you dare, the violent and passionate Aditi Mahant ('Meow').Whatever you do, do not pick a fight with her. She scratches. And abuses. If you do get into a scrap, take cover till Jai arrives, as he alone can calm our snarling wildcat.

Never was there a less likely couple. Jai thinks Aditi's parents should have rinsed her mouth with soap when she was a child. Aditi thinks that Jai is the biggest coward she has ever encountered. Heaven, it seems, has mixed up its apples and oranges.

More nuts in this fruitcake scenario: Rotlu weeps secretly for Aditi. Bombs' heart explodes for Jai. Jiggy applies golden mascara to his hair. Shaleen... well, she's probably the only one who doesn't seem a few notes short of a concerto.

So, to come back to our story: Jai and Aditi are perfect for each other (in some odd, distorted way, impossible to understand). Friends know this. Parents know this.
Everybody knows this. But do Rats and Meow know?

Can two people ever, truly, know the secrets of their hearts? And how do you know it's the real thing?

When do you know it's love?

Add to this quandary a quarrelling portrait, strange dreams of a desert warrior, a dope-head brother and his pet mouse, two Rajput 'cowboys', three ancestral conditions, a fateful night in jail, a climactic ride to the airport...... and there, you have it! JAANE TU... YA JAANE NA. The coolest, warmest, hippest, funniest musical-romantic-comedy of the decade.

Well, at least of the last few years.

This finest, the coolest, warmest... etc is set to release on 4th July 2008.


All about Kamal's next project

Exactly one month after the release of his magnum opus Dasavatharam (June 13th 2008), Kamal Haasan will start working on his next project Marmayogi on July 13, 2008. This film's inaugural pooja will be held at the Grand Hotel in Mumbai. As like Dasavatharam, Marmayogi will also be made in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu simultaneously.

Sources close to Kamal say that Marmayogi will be made on a stupefying budget of Rs. 120 crores and the actor will produce the film on a first copy basis for production major Pyramid Saimira. It is believed that Pyramid Saimira was in the race to procure the all India distribution rights of Dasavatharam but could only obtain the rights for Coimbatore area. Perhaps Marmayogi will soothe the ruffled feathers of Pryramid Saimira!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Marmayogi movie launch in Mumbai

It is said that the movie launch function of Marmayogi will take place on July 13, 2008. Kamal Haasan has decided to hold the function at Grand Hotel in Mumbai and Pyramid Saimira, who will aid Kamal Haasan in producing this film, have also agreed with him.

Pyramid Saimira bought the rights to distribute Dasavathaaram in Coimbatore and were so happy with the results that they decided to fund the next project of Kamal Haasan.

By holding his next project's launch in Mumbai, Kamal Haasan has ensured that he will become more noticeable up North, where his fame is reaching unprecedented heights after Dasavathaaram. It looks like it will not be long before he will taste super stardom in North as well, where he is a much respected actor.

Also, Kamal Haasan's idiosyncrasy (which is very healthy) is very evident from his selection of dates to launch a film or to release it. Now he is launching a film on July 13th (the number 13 is considered as highly unlucky), while he released his magnum opus, Dasavathaaram, on June 13, 2008. It also shows how rational the actor is.

A bungalow for Rajinikanth

Yes, as the title suggests, a bungalow is being bought, but not for the personal use of Rajinikanth; it is for the film Robot. This sprawling bungalow on the East Coast Road will be featured as Rajni’s residence in Robot.

The producers (Eros Multimedia and Ayngaran International) thought it would be costly to lease a bungalow for two years, considering that shooting will take place in there only sporadically. Besides, erecting a massive set and maintaining it for two years is even costlier. All this, coupled with the fact that a property on ECR is a big-time investment, has compelled them to think about buying the bungalow. It is said that the deal has been sealed and the bungalow will soon belong to the producers. It sure is a wise move by the producers.

Robot is the costliest Indian film so far. The budget allocated for this film is Rs. 120 crores. Aishwarya Rai will pair up with Rajinikanth in this film and her schedule problem (she is simultaneously acting in a Mani Ratnam film) has been sorted out with director Shankar, announcing a 2-month break during which she can prepare for and act in Mani Ratnam’s film.


Finally, 'Dilli 6' crew gets a flavour of real Delhi

After shooting a major portion of his film Dilli 6 in Rajasthan, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is finally shooting some scenes of his film in the capital city.

Rakeysh, whom we know well as a stickler for authenticity, surprisingly chose to shoot much of his semi-autobiographical film ‘Dilli 6’ in a sleepy Rajasthani town called Sambar rather than old Delhi.

Reason? The director is well aware that shooting a movie in Chandni Chowk area of Delhi often attracts fans in droves. So he opted to shoot the movie, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor , in Sambar, which looks pretty much like old Delhi.

But now, for the sake of some authenticity, the crew of the film is in Delhi to shoot a few important scenes. Shooting has been going since last few days in Chandni Chowk, Kashmere Gate, and the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station.

And as expected, Rakeysh’s fears are coming true. There has been no respite from the eager fans and onlookers who have been flooding the shooting locations like bees drawn to honey.

To make matters more complicated, it has been raining in Delhi since last few days.

But all this has left Rakeysh undeterred. Amid the commotion you can catch him munching on his favourite chaat and bhalle of old Delhi. Sadly, Sonam being the film’s svelte leading lady has to observe abstinence.

Dasavatharam reignites Kamal

KAMAL HAASAN, who cast his spell on viewers with his ten different avatars in Dasavatharam,Now, has a dream. It is seeing all the Hollywood and European actors coming down to India and receive a big award from the Indian public.

"Indian and Chinese population together amounts to one third of the world’s population.I hope that day is not far away," said the actor.

He was in Hyderabad along with director KS Ravikumar as part of the promotional campaign of the film. Now Dasavatharamis over.

Now he sets his eyes on his next avatar,Marmayogi his next project.His new makeover sporting beard tells one that he has already got into the mood.

Some of the interesting aspects he shared: First compliment you received It’s from my guru Balachandar. I don’t want to make it public. It’s bigger than any award or reward for us.

Even make up guru Michael Westmore told me that cash boxes will keep ringing like the films of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. I told him though it is not true, it sounds good to listen.

Which role did you like among ten different roles? Is it right to ask a mother such question? The simple but yet difficult role in the film is Govindaraju. Because he is always on the run.

Inspiration for the film Dasavatharam It didn’t happen in one or two years. It’s decades of work. If you analyse Balaram Nadar character in the film, the dialogues evolved over a period of time.

The world is interconnected.You can’t say there is no connection between one and the other though they happen in different locations.

Do you know I am the descendant of Ashoka the Great?Can you tell us where did you make mistakes in the film? We did make mistakes.Are you asking a magician to show where the rabbit is. You can’t open the door before you get dressed up.Those are the things not to be made public.

Does the characters in the film have similarities of Vishnu’s Dasavatharas? Yes.You can relate. Investigator Balaram Nadar character can be likened to Balarama avatar which is investigative in nature. Japanese character Shingan Narahashi can be likened to that of Narasimhavathara because he surfaces from nowhere. Fletcher can be regarded as Kalki.

Any apprehensions about the possible failure of the film in the beginning? In the beginning we had. But after the first three shots of 12th century sequences there was nothing like that. I and director used to shoot for few sequences and pat each other.

Your comment on the suit in the court We were sued that the film has sequnces stamping Bhagavadgita and Om. Did you find any such sequences. We kept quiet hoping that the law would help us. It did.

Where does Dasavatharamstand in your career graph? It collected the biggest revenues in my career.It has created much hype. Now the problem is I have to live up to that hype.

What inspiration for the impressive Japanese character? I aspired to learn Japanese martial art Aikidi.And this is inspiration for the Shingan Narahashi character in the film.

Your take on Oscar awards? They are meant for American films.They view it as competition between the US and the rest of the world. If we send our film to Oscars, at the best we may get the best foreign film award. So If I have to get an Oscar it will be for an American film.

Your foray into politics? It’s not at all in my agenda. I can only see my next project Marmayogi Interesting facts about Kamala Haasan Kamal speaks Telugu but can’t write and read.He has more fans in Andhra Pradesh than in Tamil Nadu. He knows Sri Sri’s Mahaprasthanam by heart. He is a good poet and can recite the verses of some of the Telugu poets.

With the film’s impressive show at BO, the actor is hoping to complete his dream project Marudanayagam.But the project will take off after his Marmayogi. ‘‘We are humbled by the success of the film.

As the film runs in the sixth century backdrop of a topless society the film’s crew are clueless about the kind of costumes to be worn.

We can’t show as it is. I believe we will have to take cinematic liberties,’’ signs off the actor.

Raring to go Genelia

With three Bollywood films on hand, Genelia has been away from the Tollywood arc lights of late.

All her fans though will have a reason to rejoice as her film Ready gets ready to hit the screens this week. Ram is playing the lead in the film being directed by Sreenu Vaitla.

Coming right on the heels of two consecutive hits like Bommarillu and Dhee, the expectations are surely riding high on the film.

All that remains to be seen is whether her great run of luck continues to make it three in a row. Genelia will next be seen opposite Aamir Khan’s nephew Imran in Abbas Tyrewala’s romantic comedy, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. The music of the film, composed by AR Rahman is already topping the charts in Bollywood.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na - Trailer


Love Story 2050 - a super flick?

Bollywood's new kid on the block, Harman Baweja is going to make a super-hyped debut in his dad Harry Baweja's Love Story 2050.

The film, releasing on July 4, is one of the most talked-about movies in tinsel town. The film is a typical sci-fi adventure musical love story about a youngster (Harman Baweja) and his girl friend (Priyanka Chopra) along with her brother and sister getting into a Time Machine of his 'mad' inventor uncle (Bomman Irani) and travelling to the Mumbai of 2050!

What they see is futuristic Mumbai, a spectacular city with flying cars, 200 storey buildings, sky rails and robots which control the city. “It’s a love story spread across two time zones,” said Harman in a recent interview. But what has caught the media attention is that this newcomer looks like a spitting image of Hrithik Roshan and seeing the promos of the film, people are asking whether he is his twin brother! The buzz is that the film is "inspired" by the Steven Spielberg classic Back to Future.

Anyway there is a Kollywood angle to Love Story 2050. The buzz in Chennai is that the Hindi film's story line looks suspiciously similar to the rumoured plot line of Rajinikanth's Shankar sci-fi action film Robot. As per the postings on the internet, Robot is about a scientist (to be played by Rajinikanth) who invents a time machine that takes him to a futuristic Chennai 100 years from now, where robots rule! The rumour mill has it that the story, written by Shankar in association with the late writer Sujatha, had been narrated during the last five years to many Bollywood producers and actors as Shankar had planned to make it in Hindi. Shankar, who has gone location hunting for Robot, was unavailable for comment.

The 50-crore Love Story 2050 is said to be a visual treat as far as special effects and graphics are concerned. Harry Baweja, the films director had boasted that his film is going to have “ten times more FX than Krissh.” The film has futuristic music composed by Anu Malik with new interesting sounds. There is a song in the trailer where Harman dances with robots!

The latest we hear is that Adlabs is planning to dub the film in Tamil and release it along with the Hindi version. The film has great potential as Hrithik Roshan's debut film Kaho Na Pyaar Hai was a super hit in Tamil Nadu when it released nine years ago due its freshness and music. Priyanka Chopra, who debuted in Tamil in Tamizhan, might also bring in the crowds. Kollywood eagerly awaits Love Story 2050, to find out if it has a resemblance to Shankar’s proposed plot for Robot.

Sonam Kapoor on the sets of Dilli 6

One of the most anticipated films of this year is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Dilli 6 starring Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor in lead roles. While not much is known about the film or its premise, we came across this interesting picture where director Rakeysh and Sonam share a light moment on the sets of the film.

Wonder what Sonam is giggling about? Maybe they were planning to pull a prank on AB Jr. What say?

Marmayogi to go to sets in August

Directed by KS Ravikumar and produced by V Ravichandran under the banner of Aaskar Films International, Dasavatharam with Padma Shri Kamal Hassan playing 10 different roles was released simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil languages and was running successfully. After this film, Kamal Hassan is planning to direct and produce a film on his own in which he is again playing the hero.

The film, titled Marmayogi, has the story that dates back to 17th Century. Kamal Hassan has decided to launch the shooting of the film in Hyderabad during August. The film has Bollywood stalwarts like Hema Malini and Kajol in key roles.


A. R. Rahman begins composing for 'Robot'

A. R. Rahman has begun composing songs for the Rajini starrer 'Robot'.

Sources close to the music composer say that work has already begun in earnest as director Shankar is keen to start filming this August.

The director is on a location hunting spree while Rahman is busy composing the tunes. With Rajinikanth having completed the shooting for 'Kuselan', it looks certain that 'Robot' will begin this August.

'Robot', produced by Ayngaran International, will have Aishwarya Rai playing the heroine. The mega-budget movie will be shot in various locations across the globe.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Shankar goes global trotting

Director Shankar known to be a perfectionist when it comes to finalizing locations with the grandeur element is reportedly on a three-week world tour to choose the right locations for his film ‘Robot’ starring superstar Rajinikanth.

Shankar has planned on beautiful Vienna in Austria for a spectacular song sequence. The ace director accompanied by cinematographer Ratnavel, will be going to Austria first and then will scout for locations in Rio de Janeiro, the second major city of Brazil.

Starting off a film by shooting a spectacular song sequence has been Shankar's habit over the years. The 'Vaaji, Vaaji' song was shot in Hyderabad in an extravagant set before proceeding with the rest of the ‘Sivaji’. Similarly, 'O Sukumari' was picturized first for ‘Anniyan’. Going by the same trend, one can expect ‘Robot’ to be kick started with a song sequence featuring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai in Vienna.

Hanoi in Vietnam would be the duo's final destination in their location hunting spree.

The shooting for the film is expected to begin sometime in August.


'Sakkarakatti' audio release on July 11

The much awaited audio release of the movie 'Sakkarakatti' with music by one of India's finest talents A. R. Rahman is slated to take place on the 11th of July.

The Tamil film industry is abuzz with excitement with the fact that extensive graphics are being created for the movie's song sequences, which is literally running close to a year.

Reports also suggest that a crore of rupees have been spent for picturizing just one song. The intensity and effectiveness of the songs composed by A. R. Rahman is said to be the reason behind the filmmakers' going through such an effort.

Another interesting piece of information is that A. R. Rahman has hummed for a song titled 'Maruthanni' which has been rendered by Madhushree. It can be recalled that all the songs that have the musician's humming have gone on to be huge chart toppers like 'Chinna Chinna Aasai' in 'Roja' and 'Sanda Kozhi' in 'Aayutha Ezhuthu'.

'Sakkarakatti' has Santhanu, son of writer, director, actor K. Bhagyaraj as hero and yet another film personality's (Kalaipuli Dhanu) son Kalaprabhu as the director.

Ishita and Vedhika play the leading ladies and the film is produced by Kalaipuli Dhanu.


I went missing for six months: SJ Suryah

ECCENTRICITY never eludes SJ Suryah. Proverbially turning adversity-into-opportunity, he calls himself a rare breed it’s hard to ignore. “Tell me who has thought of doing movies like New and Vaali here,” he challenges.

But those will be history now as the actor says he will not make such movies again. “I would never call my movies vulgar, but a section of the society seems to have found it that way. I’m not going to hurt anybody, anymore.”

In fact, he ponders over it for a minute and even confesses saying he did go overboard. “In New, I think I went overboard with Kiran’s character. It was my mistake.”

SJ is currently working on Newtonin Moondram Vidhi (NMV), an action flick directed by Thai Muthuselvan. “It’s my last movie as an actor in another director’s movie,” he declares. The movie is slated for an August release.

Call it insecurity or meticulous planning, Suryah says he has decided what he what he needs to do for his next ten years. Six months before he agreed to do Newtonin Moondram Vidhi, he went ‘missing’.

“I decided I had to chalk out a plan for my future. For six months, I lived in a farm house in a remote village in Tamil Nadu and eked out my plan for the years to come,” he reveals.

And the result of that is the list of movies he has already decided for himself. With his Tamil movie Vil being shelved, all focus shifts to Telugu where SJ Suryah is directing Pawan Kalyan in Puli, a cop story.

“I will be doing the Tamil remake of Puli once I’m done with NMV and the Telugu version,” he says. Cop Puli, it seems, will be the story of a Gandhi in Khakee or a Christ in Khakee.

The other movies of his tenyear- plans include Isai, a musical thriller, and an animation movie for kids. “There’s novelty in the theme of Isai with it being a musical thriller. Meanwhile, the animation movie will have me feature along with animals.”

While he hasn’t finalised on the cast for his movies, one person will constantly accompany him: AR Rahman. “We’ve worked together in Ah Aah and New and I’m glad with what he gave my movies. He will be with me in Puli and Isai, in which music plays a very important role,” he explains.

In an industry where you are only as good as your last movie and movie plans happen one at a time, SJ Suryah has a long list of movies pending. But whoever said SJ is just any other hero/director?


Asin is elated!

Asin is on a high.

“I am very happy with my work in Dasavathaaram,” she says. “It’s a very special film for everyone who worked on it. So I’m anxious to know how the audience accepts it.”

But while she’s blazing a trail down south, she’s also bagged big films in Bollywood. It’s even being said that she has moved to Mumbai for good. “I’ve had an apartment in Lokhandwala for over a year. It was only in December last that I moved there because my present commitments — both films and endorsements — require me to be in Mumbai,” she explains.

In Dasavathaaram, she plays not one but two characters. “It’s very exciting. I play Kodai, an Iyengar girl from the 12th century and Andal, an Iyengar girl from the present day. Though both are very traditional, religious characters, they’re different in their own ways,” says Asin.
And while Gautami is responsible for getting both looks right, it was Kamal Haasan who ensured that Asin perfected her Iyengar Tamil diction. “He’d come to the sets, listen to my dialogues and make all the corrections to get the grammar and the diction just right,” says Asin.

Neither of the characters gets to romance Kamal Haasan’s characters, she adds. “There is a whiff of love somewhere, but no visible romance. In fact, Andal and Govind (Kamal Haasan’s modern day scientist character) can’t stand each other,” says Asin.

But despite not romancing the legend, Asin has no regrets: “It was just wonderful working with him. That’s what counts. He’d do his stunts himself so we would do ours as well. Also, having a team of international experts do all the computer graphics was an added experience.”

As for her tryst with Bollywood, Asin is busy working on the remake of Ghajini with Aamir Khan. “It’s slated for a Diwali release and I reprise the character I played in the original. But it’s not a scene-by-scene remake. We’ve incorporated some changes in the script, which will make for a better movie. Even the songs are different with AR Rahman’s music.

“ What’s most interesting is that we’re shooting in sync-sound and Aamir was impressed that I don’t have the typical ‘Madrasi accent’,” she chuckles.

Even after Ghajini, Asin will be busy in Bollywood. Reports suggest she’s signed London Dreams opposite Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan and a film with director Priyadarshan.
She confirms that she’ll be doing more Hindi projects, but refuses to divulge more.
“I’d prefer that the filmmakers make official announcements before I go to town about my roles,” she avers.