Friday, August 28, 2009

Reinventing Roja magic in English

Mani Ratnam's all time great classic Roja(1992) is going for a digital makeover and is getting dubbed in English. K.Balachandar’s Kavithalaya the original producers are going to dub it in English.
Remember Roja is the debut film of A.R Rahman, and the buzz is that the Oscar winning music director is going to redo all the songs and background score in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.
The original music of the film was recorded in mono at a make shift studio near Kodambakkam bridge in the then Madras (Chennai).
Rahman’s new found international fame will give the English Roja, a fantastic reach.
The English Roja will have a different title and will be a shorter version. A source close to the development of the project said: “The subject is evergreen and relevant even after many years after its release. Please note that the original soundtrack is among the "10 Best Soundtracks” of all time listed by “TIME” magazine.”


Prabhu in Mumbai for Raavan shoot

Prabhu, one of ace director Mani Ratnam's favourite heroes, has left for Mumbai for the shooting of the director's upcoming bilingual RaavanAshokavanam, in which he plays a vital role, similar to Ramayan’s Vibheeshan. The shooting begins on August 28 in Khireshwar village near Malshej ghat, about 90 km from Pune.
Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Govinda and other film personalities will visit the village for the shooting. Meanwhile, the shooting of the film recently ran into trouble once again, with the forest authorities in Maharashtra slapping cases against 14 people from the crew for trespassing into forest property at Khireshwar village near Malshej Ghat.
According to reports, the crew, with the help of some villagers, erected two sheds and dumped materials used for erecting sets on forest land without obtaining permission. The crew's version is that they had applied for permission, which was under consideration.
This is not the first time that Raavan is running into trouble. Earlier, the Kerala Forest Department stopped Mani Ratnam from filming Raavan in the jungles of Malayathur, after it was found that the crew had constructed huts inside the forest, which comes under protected and reserve areas.


Lagaan is listed among top 100 Albums

Here’s news that is bound to make Bollywood proud. The soundtrack of Lagaan, composed by double Oscar winner AR Rahman, has been listed among 
Still from Lagaan
Still from Lagaan
the 100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time by a popular website. 

Incidentally, Rahman’s Roja was earlier listed among the Top 10 soundtracks of all time by Time magazine. Lagaan is listed at No 44 in the current list.

Other Indian albums in the list include The Ravi Shankar Collection: Live — Ravi Shankar At The Monterey International Pop Festival (No 20), singer Asha Bhosle’s Precious Platinum (No 37) and sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan’s Traditional Music of India (No 38).


A R Rahman Liked IshQ Bector’s Works

The Aye Hip Hopper star ishQ Bector was on his way to meet A.R. Rahman for a new project from Oshiwara to Mahalaxmi. And since he was called on such a short notice he decided to take the train, little did he know that this wasn’t going to be a good idea. He was pick pocketed on the train and before he could block his stolen credit card, the thief had bought booze worth Rupees 50,000 Now that’s one drunkard thief.

“But the day was still worth it”, says ishQ. “Rahman Sir really loved my work and it was such a nice feeling to see him head-banging to some of my tunes on the iPod.”
Great work ishQ But we would suggest you to stay away from local trains from now, what say?

Vikram wants to be ‘Captain of the Ship’


‘Kanthaswamy’ – Vikram's big film of the year has finally released with a record breaking ticket sales. The film is getting great reviews. We catch up with Chiyan Vikram who talks about his movie Kanthaswamy, his dream of working with Mani Ratnam and more... 

Tell us about Kanthaswamy? 
Vikram: It’s the earnest hard work of the entire team that had really urged me to put more and more efforts for perfection. For sure, this would be a special film for all the Tamil Cinema buffs. 

Looks like your dream of working with Mani Ratnam has come true? 
Vikram: Definitely, it’s a blessing to work with such filmmakers. Mani Ratnam and Bala are the best in tinsel town, who don’t compromise with certain things at any extent. Working with Mani Ratnam was a blissful moment. We shot across locales of Ooty, dense forests of Kerala, thickly-populated areas of Kolkata and cold-climatic area of Madhya Pradesh. 

Your experience of shooting for ‘Raavan’... 
Vikram: Mani Ratnam can be best ennobled as a warrior on battle ground, when he’s on the shooting spots. He has everything pre-planned in his mind and knows the limit of reality to be delivered on the screens. He never allows exaggeration to preponderate in the final take. Abhishek and Aishwarya were contrastive in their nature. Abhishek was so jovial who would remain on the sets even after his portions are finished. When it comes to Aishwarya Rai, she’s so professional and encouraging. 


How do you manage to portray the all the different characters in your films with such excellence? 
Vikram: I inhale the traits of every character I perform in each film. I live deeply under the skin of characterization even during non-shooting periods. That precisely helps me out in elevating the roles’ traits. 

How about your Bollywood dreams? 
Vikram: Many say that Language isn’t a barrier. Possibly, I would say an actor must understand the language first and that would alone get them right into the feel. All my focus is in South Indian films as I have good linguistic skills in all the languages. 

We hear you are planning to get into direction soon? 
Vikram: Naturally, I am very interested in direction. Every actor has his dreams of achieving the designation of ‘Captain of the Ship’. Working with so many filmmakers Shankar, Bala, Mani Ratnam, I have gained unique experience. Within next 5 years, I am sure to direct a flick. 

Tamil film industry is hero-oriented. What’s your take? 
Vikram: Maybe, but according to me, I solely believe and act as per the director’s taste and requests. 

What will be your dream role? 
Vikram: I am performing a role that is close-to-my-heart in Selvaraghavan’s next film. I am curiously waiting for the film’s shooting to commence. 

Are you an ardent believer of God? 
Vikram: Definitely, I put all my trust in God and he has gifted me with success. Hope, he makes me an actor in next birth as well. 


Kandhasamy betters Sivaji, in 18 city theatres

Vikram-Shriya starrer Kandhasamy, it seems like, has overtaken the opening collection and release records that the superstar set with 'Sivaji The Boss'.
'Kandhasamy', which finally hit screens on Friday, created a record in Tamil cinema by being released in 18 theatres in Chennai alone. It also had a huge international release, covering over 900 theatres world-over (in Tamil and Telugu)!
Such a theatrical release, coupled with the overwhelming opening revenues it has generated, has so far remained the preserve only of Rajinikanth. It is for the first time that a Vikram film, despite the actor not having delivered a hit after 'Anniyan' in 2005, has received such a response. Produced by Dhanu’s V Creations, 'Kandhaswamy' is a superhero flick directed by 'Thiruttu Payale' fame Susi Ganeshan.
“For the first time in Tamil cinema’s history, a film has been released in 18 theatres in the city. The film which came closest to this was Rajini’s blockbuster 'Sivaji The Boss', which was released in 17 theatres in Chennai,” says popular distributor Abirami Ramanathan, who has bagged the city distribution rights for the film at a whopping Rs 4 crore. He had earlier bought the rights of 'Sivaji The Boss' as well, which also starred 'Kandhasamy’s heroine Shriya, along with Rajinikanth. 'Kandhasamy', which is being released extensively abroad as well, in Malyasia, USA, Dubai and Sri Lanka (in that order of importance), has been released with an eye to quickly retrieve the money spent on it.
Speaking to Express, producer Dhanu says “The distribution pattern is such that we can recover our production amount in two-and-a-half weeks.” Ask him for the money spent on making the film, and he says “It is definitely a higher budget film that Rajini’s 'Sivaji The Boss', where biggies like Rajinikanth, Shankar and AR Rahman were involved. We didn’t spend so much on the cast or technicians, but the film has been shot lavishly in Mexico,” Industry sources say the film has been made at a budget of over Rs 40 crore.
For Vikram fans, who’ve been a disappointed lot with no hit from him after 'Anniyan', it was a red lettered day. Though their actor couldn’t make it to Chennai at the time of the release, the fans let their adulation known by creating a record in the advance booking. “We opened bookings on Sunday for the film and in the next 12 hours, 1,40,000 tickets were sold, generating Rs 95 lakh. This is also a record in Chennai,” Ramanathan says. But the similarity and comparison with Sivaji seem to have extended to the audience too, who thought 'Kandhasamy' was pretty much like Sivaji, the story of a hero playing Robinhood.
For the producer, who says the film has been booked for a week, the next project is on: to release the film in Spanish, Italian and English, after trimming the movie to 1.5 hours.


Raavan embarks for last schedule, gears up for Apr-May'10 release

With Mani Ratnam now back in action, Raavan is certainly seeing a strong push for itself as far as it's shooting stint is concerned. Come 27th August and this epic film would be embarking on the last shooting schedule.

Informs a senior crew member from Raavan, "Yes, we all would now be traveling to a place near Mahabaleshwar which would be the last shooting schedule for us. It would last for 40 days."

40 days? Isn't it too much considering the fact that quite a few movies are entirely shot in such a huge span of time? "Why are you forgetting that the movie is a bilingual and is being simultaneously shot in Hindi and Tamil? Every scene is shot twice with a change in actors taking place as well. You have to factor this as well before jumping to conclusions around the film being over shot", he explains.

Total shooting days for the film would read 110-115 days. "This is normal because it comes down to around 60 days a shoot for a single movie. For a movie of this scale, budget, canvas and subject, it is but natural to have an extended shooting schedule. Moreover, there is a lot of outdoors required in the film as well that includes rock climbing and some rough terrain", he divulges, "All of that comes with its own challenges; something which wasn't surprising for any of us at all. We knew what we were getting into the kind and the kind of dates that would be required from us".

Since this is the last shooting schedule for the film, Raavan would get into post production soon after the wrap is announced in early October. "Yes, the entire post production is going to be an intense exercise as well. The film is being readied for an April/May 2010 release", he reveals.

With music by A.R. Rahman, the Hindi version of Raavan stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Vikram, Govinda and Nikhil Dwivedi.


Rahman's great day in Greece

Oscar award winner and ace music composer A R Rahman had a special meeting with Vangelis, a world renowned music wizard in Greece on Tuesday.
According to sources, Vangelis had personally invited Rahman to his place and met him. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, and scores for the films like Blade Runner and 1492: Conquest of Paradise.
During the meeting Vangelis admitted that he was a great fan of Rahman and liked his score in Slumdog Millionaire.
In a career spanning 47 years, writing and composing more than 40 albums, Vangelis is generally regarded by music critics as one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gautham wants to work with Rahman and Harris

Time and again one question that director Gautham Menon faces is if there are any chances of working together with music director Harris Jayaraj again. And this time too, the director has maintained that the decision not to work together was not his but Harris’.
Gautham adds that his dream to work with AR Rahman came true in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya and this paved way for signing him up for his other projects as well. However, the director maintains that he prefers to work with Harris as well as Rahman in future.
Wonder what Harris has to say about this!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rahman to give fresh touch-up to ‘Roja’

The music maestro is coming back to his first movie. AR Rahman might be having his hands full with Indian and international projects. But that doesn’t make him neglect this project.
It is said that Rahman will be re-recording the music of the well-acclaimed movie, ‘Roja’. The music composer started his musical journey with this movie and it was the same movie which rocketed him to success skies. ‘Roja’ has been planned to go abroad. Meaning, it is going to be released overseas and so it will be dubbed in English.
This Mani Ratnam’s movie had received several prestigious awards and its songs are considered as the most memorable ones till date.
An honourable opportunity to see this movie touching the English shores!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Forest troubles Ravana again!

Like how Lord Rama underwent troubles in forest, the cast and crew of ‘Ravana’, a film apparently inspired by Ramayana, too is undergoing trouble after trouble in forest areas.
A few weeks after a rouge elephant killed a man during the film’s shoot in Kerala following which the Animal Welfare Board of India sent a notice to Mani Ratnam- the director of the movie. Shooting of the flick once again ran into trouble, this time in a village near Pune, as the forest department has registered complaint against the villagers for illegally erecting two sheds, and dumping materials used for erecting sets on forest land without obtaining permission.
However, reports have it that Mani has not been booked in the case as he cannot be held liable for the acts done by the villagers as the local coordinator of the film did not obtain permission on time to use the forest land for shooting.
"The forest department had handed over some parts of the land to the irrigation department in 1992. As per the law, the land remains a reserved forest. The dam water is used for irrigation. Besides this, no other activity is allowed unless permission is obtained from the competent authority," Forest Officer Sadashiv Raut was quoted as saying.
He added: "Mani Ratnam had visited the village sometime back and had decided to shoot a part of the film here as the location had resemblance with the ancient setting he had in mind for the film."
This ambitious project of Mani, Ravan has Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vikram and Priyamani in lead roles. Musical score is by A R Rahman.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who is Raavana’s Mandodhari?

Mani Ratnam’s ‘Raavana’ steals a lot of attention, both for good and the dark reasons. He is busy churning out ‘Raavana’, the bilingual project, in spite of lay-backs.
The director had at times remade epics into modern day stories ever since ‘Thalapathi’ (story of Karna from Mahabharata). And inspired by ‘Ramayana’, he is working on ‘Raavana’ with lots of diligence to bring it out as a masterwork.
As per his plan, for the Hindi version the characters based on Rama and Seetha is played by Abhishek and Aish while Vikram would play the shades of Ravana. On the other hand the Tamil version will have Vikram replacing Abhishek’s role and would pair up with Aish. Prithiviraj would play the baddie in this version. We are also aware that Priyamani is roped in for the role of ‘Surpanagai’ for both the versions.
But, for quite some time there is a delay in fixing up an actress for the role of Mandodhari (Ravana’s wife). As most of us know, the gorgeous Nayantara has refused this juicy offer from the maverick movie maker. It was said that she turned down the role of Mandodhari as there was no glamour quotient. Guess what? A small birdie says that Mani Sir is now eying Reema Sen, for the same role. The ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ girl is still busy with the project’s patch work. But Suhasni Mani Ratnam had directly approached Selvaragavan and had asked for his permission to hire the lady for her husband’s project just for ten days.
Be it ten days or fifty days, will Selvaragavan allow Reema to cross his territory?


AR Rahman unveils first glimpse of underwater action film 'Blue'

Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman unveiled the first glimpse of first underwater action adventure extravaganza 'Blue'.
 Anthony D Souza's directing the film produced by Dhillin Mehta.

Film stars Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue, who has sung two songs in the film, along with the Indian cast comprising Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Lara Dutta, Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan.

 Resul Pookutty who won the best sound-mixing award at the Oscars for the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' said that for the first time underwater sound was captured for the film.

"We are going to explore the audio of this movie, something which has never been done in Indian cinema," he added.

D'souza said that his idea was to make an international looking film.

"As far as the looks go we had a plan in mind to make it a western international looking film and we hope that the people like to see Hollywood kind of film with Bollywood actors in it that has been our endeavor in making of this film," he added.


Rajinikanth in Murugadoss’s movie?

Superstar Rajinikanth is busy with the shooting of mega budget “Enthiram”. He is also featuring in “Sultan – the warrior” which is an animated movie. Now the buzz in Kollywood is that Murugadoss is planning to cast Rajinikanth in his movie.
According to sources, Murugadoss has prepared a script especially for Rajini and even the superstar is impressed with it. Currently Murugadoss is busy with his Bollywood venture with Shah Rukh Khan. This is his second Hindi venture after the highly successful “Ghajini”.
If all goes well then it will definitely be a great movie for Rajni fans.


BBC Radio's special Tamil programs to launch with A R Rahman Special

BBC's special Tamil Language programming tailored for India's FM market will now be also available to audiences of Radio Hello 106.4 FM across Tamil Nadu following an agreement signed between BBC World Service and Radio Hello 106.4 FM.

The BBC would launch its availability on Radio Hello with A R Rahman special, which would include an exclusive interview with the composer, who won two oscars awards for his Slumdog Millionair music, according a BBC release here today.

According to the agreement, Radio Hello would rebroadcast the content produced by BBC World Service's Tamil FM team, including regular as well as topical programming. 


Rahman waits for Farhan to sing!

Shooting for Kartik Calling Kartik and hunting for exotic locales for Don 2 is keeping Farhan Akhtar so busy that he is unable to find time to record a song for Blue with AR Rahman. 
The song will be filmed on Zayed Khan. Rahman, who is scheduled to return to India from the US next week, has the option of scrapping the song or recording it with a different singer. But the composer is willing to wait as he is keen to work with Farhan. He says, “It’s not just his voice.

It’s the attitude that he extends to his vocals. I thought Farhan sounded terrific in Rock On!!. But the song I have in mind is totally different. I am against talking about something which is uncertain. What if the time factor plays villain? No point in jumping the gun.” 


Hollywood keeps Rahman too busy for Bollywood

So full are Rahman’s hands with current assignments in the West that he has decided not to accept any new films. “

At the moment, I’m racing against time to complete the Indian projects I’ve on hand and that includes Mani Ratnam’s Raavana, Rajnikanth’s animation film Sultan and Tony D’Souza’s Blue. The last new assignment I accepted was 
Abbas Tyrewala’s 1:800-LOVE. I’ve stopped taking on anymore for now.”

Rahman is going through a schizophrenic phase. He says, “In the studio, my outer self has to be completely switched off. But when I’m at international public events, I’ve to be all there, shaking hands, making friendly talk. I’ve to ensure that I am saying the right things. I’ve to prepare myself physically, look into the mirror and make sure my hair and tie are in place.”

Rahman doesn’t mind letting his ‘outer self’ look dapper. But people around him don’t seem that comfortable with his upgraded look. Chuckles Rahman, “My south Indian friends say, ‘Oh look at him 
...he’s changed!’ And that makes me uncomfortable. I realise I have to go out there with a certain amount of dignity and even style. I know I’m representing my country and everyone is watching.”

It’s not easy being India’s brand ambassador in the West. And Rahman, shy and reclusive at the best of times, finds it tough to assume his new gregarious, well-groomed persona with international brands vying to dress him up from head to toe.

“It’s all new to me. I’ve just begun to get a hang of it. But I’m not uncomfortable,” he says. At the moment, Rahman is fighting off the temptation of taking on too many international assignments. He explains, “I take on what is physically possible. Money is not the main criteria. If I did anything for money, everything will fall flat. I want to do only those assignments to which I can give my fullest.”

However Rahman admits money is important. He says, “Money is not my dream. But it fulfils my dreams. The way I travel and accompanying expenses are costly. It is, for me, my family and my children’s future.”

With success, come the riders. He says, “My wife dreamt that one day I’d win an Oscar which I did. But after that I’ve been constantly traveling. The kids are growing up now and one of us has to look after them. I’m spending as much time with them as I can. Or trying to make them part of what I do so they can be with me.”

At the moment, Rahman has only one ambition. “I want to be happy.” 


The Endhiran truth!

Looks like the buzz about Endiran releasing for this Diwali are nothing but rumors. A source close to the Endhiran stable revealed that although 85% of the movie is wrapped up except for a few scenes, the major chunk of the task, the post-production work is expected to extend for a year.

Made at a whopping budget, Endhiran’s graphics and visual effects are the highlights and will go on for about a year before the movie is ready to embellish the movie screens.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rahman signs MoU

AR Rahman’s K M Music Conservatory and Middlesex University have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct a three-year music course. According to Rahman, this initiative is to bridge the gap between the western and Asian music.

According to the Middlsex University press release, “The two organizations have agreed to explore the possibilities for collaboration in music and education and to support one of A R Rahman's pet projects, that of blending Asian and Western musical styles.”

It is worth mentioning here that Rahman was honored with the honorary doctorate degree by the University recently.


Endhiran songs on the net

Two songs from the Rajinikanth-Aishwarya Rai starrer Endhiran has found its way to The footage, which runs to about four minutes, is of good clarity and shows Rajini and Ash rehearsing with a host of dancers at the backdrop. With both sound as well as visual clarity, the two songs are creating waves among the movie buffs. YouTube is said to have recorded over 13,000 hits so far. It is worth mentioning here that Oscar winner AR Rahman had scored the music for Endhiran.

Since it is not a copyright infringement, the Endhiran team cannot ask YouTube to remove it from the site, sources say. Rajinikanth and Shankar are furious over this leak and it needs to be seen if the songs will be replaced.


Rahman’s free concert

Expressing his anguish over the racial attacks on Indian students, AR Rahman has decided to hold a music concert in Australia. It is said that Rahman will not charge for staging this concert.

Rahman reportedly told the Daily Express that: “Considering the recent hassles that have created a bad vibe, I thought this concert would be a statement of peace. I hope it will do what ever it can to reunite culturally and spiritually.”

The concert is scheduled to be held on January 10th. We hope Rahman’s efforts will bear the desired results.

AR Rahman

Talks are on with Rajini for his next film : Soundarya

Soundarya Rajinikanth
Rajinikanth’s daughter Soundarya is working on the final touches of Sultan – The Warrior, the animation flick which has Rajini in the lead the role. Happy over the way this film has shaped up and directing her dad for the first time, Soundarya has plans to release Sultan – The Warrior worldwide.

Though the lady has her hands full with projects like Goa, which her production house Ocher Studios producing the film, she is discussing with the super star about a full length feature film that will have him in the lead. Soundarya also plans to wield the megaphone herself! The project is still in discussion stage and more details are awaited.

Sources say that with Rajini busy with Endhiran and Soundarya with Goa, the new project could begin only after their respective commitments are completed.

There are talks in the tinsel town that Rajini could star in a low budget film that is to be produced by Sun TV after Endhiran.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eeram audio launch: Endhiran special announcement

The audio release function of Eeram, produced by Shankar’s S Pictures was held today at the Sathyam Cineplex. An S Pictures’ productin always brings with it an expectation of being an exception from the regular commercial fare. The audio launch function definitely upheld these expectations by standing apart from other such releases. The event was attended by a lot of big names from the industry which included Superstar Rajinikanth, Subramaniapuram Sasikumar apart from Shankar. The audio was launched by Rajinikanth and was received by Sasikumar.

Three songs were played out in the theater, strangely without the accompaniment of any visuals. First, it was thought to be a technical snag, but later it was realized that the film makers wanted those present to enjoy only the music without being distracted by anything else. Music has been scored by recent debutante ‘Boys’ fame Thaman Sai. All th three songs that were played out impressed the audience. It can be said with confidence that Thaman Sai is one to look out for in Tamil cinema music.

Speaking at the function, Shankar recalled his earlier predictions about his productions. He was spot on about the success or otherwise of his films such as Kadhal, Imsai Arasan, Kalloori etc. Now, he said that he felt confident about Eeram’s chances at the box office saying that with the audience’s approval it would go on to become a superhit. He also said that debutante director Arivazhagan (his former assistant) had remained true to the title Eeram in almost every frame of the film.

Superstar spoke saying that this was the first function that he was attending in quite some time. He had received many invitations over a period of time but had refused them all but had immediately agreed to Shankar’s request because of the rapport that they shared. He said that working with Shankar in Sivaji and Endhiran has been a great experience and that they have become very good friends. Speaking about the film, he recalled what M.R. Radha had once said about the VGP brothers during the inauguration of the VGP beach. He had said that everyone works hard, toil like bulls in a field. But, some people choose to work like human beings, with intelligence and it is those people who make a difference’. Rajinikanth said that the team of Eeram had worked intelligently and that such smart work would definitely pay rich dividends.

On a finishing note, he gave good news to all his fans. He said that Endhiran was in its last lap of shooting, almost 85% has been completed and that we can expect the movie to release soon. That was a shot in the arm for all present.

Eeram stars Nandha, Aadhi (Mirugam fame) and Sindhu Menon. The film is expected to release by the end of this month.


Gautham Menon’s Azhagiya Kuyile`

Gautham Menon’s Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya with Silambarasan and Trisha as the lead pair has raked up enough attention already. With this film still in the making, it is being rumored that the ace director has already decided on his next project.

A buzz from Kollywood is that Gautham is keen on directing a film titled Azhagiya Kuyile, which he had penned when he was 19 years old. Sources say that Azhagiya Kuyile could be based on some of the real life incidents but this claim has not been substantiated yet.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Peter Hein for & on 'Sultan'

Action and stunts have always appealed the young and old. A good action sequence can help in a movie’s success. And movies like Murattu Kalai, Sathriyan, Captain Prabhakaran, Suriyan, Jai Hind, Sakalakala Vallavan, Satya, Dheena were well enjoyed by viewers and raised the movie’s status. The dhishum-dhishum responsibility is mainly shouldered by the action director or the stunt master. A movie’s action sequence is the outcome of sweat-pain and creativity efforts, of these stunt choreographers.
Coming to the current scenario, a name that stands tall amidst the action field is Peter Hein. He is the man who grabbed an important place in cinema for his unique way of presenting Hollywood fights in Tamil style. His action sequence in movies like ‘Run’, ‘Mazhai’, and ‘Bose’ stands testimony for his talent and impressed one and all. He directed the fights in Hindi for Aamir Khans ‘Ghajini’. In Telugu he gave ‘Chatrapathi’ and the recent ‘Maghadheera’ with Chiru's son Ramcharan Tej. Who can forget the astounding stadium action sequence of ‘Anniyan’? Well, it was choreographed by this brilliant mind.
Peter Hein might have directed many fighting scenes but he says the one movie which very close to his heart is ‘Sultan The Warrior’. This Soundarya Rajnikanth’s venture was very interesting and challenging for this ace stunt director. Even though movie is mainly based on animation, it includes stunts that look too real. Peter Hein along with Soundarya had traveled to France and Vietnam to capture the best shots of the martial sequences; as the best expertise were said to be found there. Worthy to be mentioned, Peter Hein had also directed our Superstar, Rajinikanth in ‘Sivaji’ before.
So people gear up to see Peter Hein’s creative fights in this Superstar’s animation flick.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Opportunity to record songs at Rahman’s studio

The music show Ooh La La La program, telecast by Sun TV, came to an end recently and six bands that participated in the show were selected after several elimination rounds. The six bands were Zinx, Oxygen, V3, Agam, Shristi and Madras Tunes. Apart from these six bands, three Telugu bands were also selected.

All the winners were honored at a function held at the Green Park Hotel in Chennai. AR Rahman was present at the event to congratulate the winners. Speaking at the function, Rahman said that all the singers have a distinct voice modulation and do not seem to copy from other sources.

He advised the bands to remain together throughout and achieve the best results in future. Rahman also announced that the bands will be given an opportunity to record one of their songs in his studio. Other film personalities that were present at the venue were Andrea, Gautham Menon and Shruti Haasan.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Feeling Blue: Will Rahman work miracles?

Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd is getting jittery about their next release 

Blame it on the shocking failure of their multi-starrer, adventure-caper Luck in which they had pumped in a reported Rs 35 crore. Luckily for them, the film was bought over from them by Studio 18 at the last minute. Studio 18 lost approximately Rs 15-20 crore on Luck.
But now, with Blue lined up for release on October 16, it’s unlikely that TV 18 or any other major corporate studio will come forward to buy this exorbitant underwater adventure.
A source said, “The budget of Blue has shot up to more than Rs 70 crore for various reasons, including Sanjay Dutt’s dates. It would require a miracle to recover that kind of money. So before the release, the producers plan to pump up the star value as much as possible.”
Apparently, the film’s makers are also planning to cash in on Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif’s collective star power in Blue, though the two are not paired up. Katrina only has a guest appearance, but she is considered super-lucky after the success of New York and her string of successes before that. Akshay Kumar has a negative role, but has been asked to perform an extra song for the film. In fact, the film’s music composer A R Rahman, who’s currently down in India, has been busy putting together a song for Akshay.
Director Tony D’Souza confirms this last-minute embellishment. He said, “We have a song to shoot with Akshay. We’re waiting for him to find time to shoot it. It will be played with the film’s end credits. Akshay prefers the British Bhangra band, RDB. But in Blue, we’re giving him a Rahman track to jive to. Now that’s an offer Akshay cannot resist.”
By the time Akshay returns from London, it will be too close the release date. So the star is expected to fly down to Mumbai for a couple of days this month, to shoot for the song and then return to London 


First promo of 'Blue' will be unveiled with 'Kaminey'

The coming weeks will witness the release of some hugely-anticipated films. The first promo of ‘Wanted’ has met with tremendous response, with the aam junta greeting the promo with rare enthusiasm. This writer is confident that the first promo of Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision's ‘Blue’, directed by Anthony D'Souza, will also be welcomed with whistles and claps. In fact, the first promo will be unveiled on 14th August with ‘Kaminey’.
While on ‘Blue’, a section of the industry feels that the film won't make it in Diwali since the actors have yet to dub for the film and also A.R. Rahman has not recorded the background score yet. It's far from true, since Akshay Kumar has already completed his dubbing, while Sanju and Katrina are expected to dub in the forthcoming week.
Also, the maestro, Rahman, has started recording the background score in Chennai. Sure, the CG work will take time, but the makers are 100% sure that ‘Blue’ will hit the screens on the scheduled date, on 16th October. That should put an end to all speculation vis-à-vis the release date of this biggie.


Gowtham Menon thrown out of Ajith's film

It was all termed to be a rumuor until Gowtham Menon himself confirmed about directing Vijay’s film. Director Gowtham Menon laid his hand on ‘resurgence of Tamil cinema’ by making Hollywood-inclined led flicks.

Indeed, he drew more inspiration from Hollywood films Kaaka Kaaka, Vetaiyadu Vilayadu (inspired from Bone Collector), Pacchaikili Muthucharam (Derailed) and Vaaranam Aayiram (Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump).

Gowtham Menon was signed to direct Ajith Kumar’s film that is produced by Sivaji Productions. But as he failed to deliver the final draft of his script, the offer was withdrawn. At the moment, he is busy shooting for three projects simultaneously- Simbhu-Trisha starrer Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya, Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikalam and an untitled film featuring his manager and hottie Sameera Reddy in lead roles.

Amidst these busy schedules, Gowtham has confirmed that he will direct Vijay’s film very shortly and they’ve been discussing the script.


Rahman to compose world artiste album

AR Rahman is now busy with the compositions for Blue and Couples Retreat. His next assignment is composing an album for some internationally acclaimed artists.

Though, Rahman didn’t spill the beans yet, he says “It is one of my biggest international challenges.”

Rahman has taken two weeks break from his busy schedule to be with his family.

He is very proud of his son Ameen’s singing a song in Couples Retreat. But as a loving father, he leaves the choice of taking up singing as a career up to the little one’s choice.

Rahman is now dividing his time between Chennai to Mumbai to London to Los Angeles.


'Shock' troubled ‘Endhiran’

Be it a small budget or big budget project, every film has its own behind-the-scene stories. It is not all about team work and co-ordination. The movie crew have to be equally prepared for any untoward accidents and delays.
The much awaited project ‘Endhiran’ had its schedule disrupted due to a ‘shock’. This Sun Pictures banner had spread itself on OMR road for a shooting, comprising a huge set of a hospital. Amidst the preparations, a crew member was unfortunately hit by an electric shock and was immediately rushed to a hospital in Adyar. The incident happened early in the morning and since the shooting was hindered, it was postponed. Sources reveal that though the victim (still in the hospital now) is out of danger, his condition is yet to be confirmed.
Hope all goes well after this…


"Rajini is my Bro"- Director Shankar

There is something which we would have noticed right from the first production venture of director Shankar. Our 'Super Star' who seldom shows up for any other movie functions, will be there to shower his wishes on the ace director for all his projects. Why so? Is there are any reason in particular?
When quizzed, here is what Shankar had to say, "Do we carry out any important function in our homes without our dear ones? I’ve been treating Rajini sir just like how I treat my own brother. So, whenever I am having a function related to my films, I want my brother Rajini to be there. When he is around I feel a great support and satisfaction".
So why are we talking about this here now? Well, Director Shankar’s S Pictures forthcoming project is titled ‘Eeram’. The film’s audio and trailer will be released on August 9th at Sathyam Cinemas. As always, Super Star Rajinikanth is going to grace the function. The first copy of the audio will be released by our ‘Super Star’ while it will be received by Director Sasikumar.
It is said that "Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero". But we have to say, our Super Star does the role of a super hero and a brother at the same time exceedingly well!


Monday, August 03, 2009

A R Rahman speaks his heart

The Anna University honored A R Rahman by conferring a doctorate on the master musician on Saturday at a function at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium.

Speaking in this function, Rahman said that he has been avoiding attending functions in Tamil Nadu keeping in mind the pathetic living conditions of the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Mozart of Madras though was confident that the Sri Lankan Tamil issue will be resolved amicably.

The Oscar winner further added that he was invited for a number of felicitation functions soon after he received his Oscar, but did not take part in any function. He also apologized for hurting the sentiments of the organizers but was firm on his stance not to celebrate when his fellow human beings were suffering in the island nation.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Rajini hails Vairamuthu

Kaviyarasu Vairamuthu is truly a magician of lyrics. His abundant literary works and countless musical compositions are priceless treasures of Tamil cinema.
Recently the great poet and lyricist had impressed our Superstar Rajinikanth. Vairamuthu has penned the lyrics for few songs in Rajni’s ‘Endhiran’. Endhiran, meaning Robot, tells the story of a man who invents a robot. To suit the situation, Vairamuthu had written that as the robot is invented by a man, it has ‘father tongue’ and not ‘mother tongue’. Rajnikanth was bowled over this and wondered at Vairamuthu’s intelligence. A humble Vairamuthu said that even the director Shankar and Superstar were to share the appreciation for this line.
Well, we all are highly impressed with you sir, for all the memorable songs you have given so far.


Did Nayan say no to Mani Ratnam?

Raavan the grand project directed by Mani Ratnam is still in the process of introducing new characters and it is believed that Suhasini Mani Ratnam had called Nayanthara to be part of the prestigious project. It is also said that the role of Mandodhari was created keeping Nayan in mind.
Nayan, who is in South Africa right now for Aadhavan was keen to be a part of the project but was unable to allot dates, as she is already booked in Telugu and Malayalam.
Inside sources reveals that Nayan wanted a glamorous platform to make an impression in Bollywood and hence opted out of the Mani Rathnam’s project.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

AR Rahman is lonely in LA

This Chennai-based music composer who has been dividing his time between Chennai, Mumbai, London and Los Angeles, has now begun to miss the time he used to spend at home with his wife and children. So Rahman took a totally unscheduled break from his assignments in LA and was back in Chennai on Friday for two weeks.

Confirming the news, Rahman said, “The kids were always there with me when I worked regularly from home in Chennai. Now I get to spend less time with them. Even now when I’m here in Chennai, work for my pending Hindi films like Blue has to be taken care of. I’ve come at a time when I cannot afford to take a break. My first Hollywood soundtrack for Couples Retreat has to be ready because the film is releasing on October 6.”

Not that Rahman is complaining. He is used to being rushed. “I always liked to work at my own pace and that hasn’t changed. But now the volume and profile of the workload is so eclectic that I need to find more time to focus on the individual assignments more carefully. Yeah, it’s a tough balancing act. But I’m enjoying myself. After I finish the soundtrack of Couples Retreat, which is 80 per cent complete, I’ve an artistes’ album coming up. It is one of my biggest international challenges. It’s too early to talk about it. But yes, it will involve musicians from all over the world and I’ll be composing the music. Recently, I also got to work with the John Williams Orchestra and that was a dream-come-true. I guess my dreams are coming true,” gushed Rahman.

Rahman wants all his children to be adept at music. In fact, Rahman’s son, Ameen, who has sung in Couples Retreat, attends Rahman’s music academy in Chennai. Commenting on Ameen’s early start, Rahman said, “It’s just a small part of a song in Couples Retreat. We found his voice to be suitable for it. And that’s it. My son is certainly not embarking on a singing career at that age. He’s just a child. He has so many things to do and achieve before he decides on a career. I think he should be allowed to do what he likes. The final call will be his. No peer pressure.”

Rahman returns to LA in the second week of August. Tease him about being Dr Rahman and he says, “You will have to say the ‘Doctor’ thrice,” referring to the three doctorates that he has received since the Oscar triumph.