Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rahman's Grammy

AR Rahman met the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to discuss about the theme song that he will be composing for the World Classical Tamil Conference. The World Conference will be held in Coimbatore in June and the CM has penned the lyrics for the theme song for which Rahman will set the tune.

The Mozart of Madras also thanked the CM for recommending his name for the Padma Bhushan award. He is also reported to have told the CM that one of his songs have been nominated for the Grammy awards and he would travel to Los Angeles to participate in the awards event. The CM wished Rahman to bring home the top award.

Couples Retreat Score nominated for International Film Music Critics Association awards

A.R.Rahman’s Couples Retreat Score has been nominated for International Film Music Critics Association awards for Scoring Excellence in ‘Best Score in a Comedy Film’ category. This is really very significant considering that there was no buzz whatsoever about this score even in the hardcore Hollywood film score magazines and websites. Winning is highly unlikely though.


Rahman denies film role!

Mozart of Madras A R Rahman, who, reported to have agreed to do a film, denied the news to a tabloid recently. He clarified that it is only a documentary he stars in and not a full length feature film. The documentary titled ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ is about the life and times of the Grammy award winner P J Morton, who is a successful singer, songwriter and producer.

Rahman appears as himself in the documentary that features his interview on Morton. He also worked with Morton in the 2009 Hollywood romcom Couples Retreat, for the song Sajna from the soundtrack of the movie. Rahman’s interview will focus on his association with Morton during the film’s music composition.

Gautham Menon and the Kalaignar brothers!

It seems to have become a tradition associated with Gautham Menon movies since Vaaranam Aayiram. While his Vaaranam Aayiram was distributed by Dayanidhi Azhagiri for his Cloud Nine movies, his Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa will be distributed by Red Giant Movies, owned by Udhayanidhi Stalin – both of which belong to the Kalaignar family.

The Trisha – Silambarasan starrer Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa is slated for a February (possibly Valentine’s day weekend) release. Scored by Rahman, the movie’s tracks are already a hit on the airwaves of Chennai.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ilayaraja and Rahman get Padma Bhushan

The most prestigious civilian awards – the Padma awards 2010 were announced today. 130 awards will be given at a grand function at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi in the month of March/April. Of the total 130 awardees, 6 are Padma Vibhushan, 43 Padma Bhushan, and 81 Padma Shri.

The awards are announced every year and handed over to the individuals who excel in the field of art, medicine, literature & education, trade and industry, sports, public affairs, civil service, journalism, science and engineering and social work.

In the field of Arts some of the prominent personalities who will be presented with the high status awards are popular music directors, Ilayaraja and Oscar winner A R Rahman who will be awarded the Padma Bhushan. Bollywood star Aamir Khan also will be bestowed with Padma Bhushan while Rekha (Bollywood) and Saif Ali Khan will receive Padma Shri.

Awards for the sports category include, cricketer Virendra Shewag, badminton star Saina Nehwal, boxer Vijendra Singh and racer Narain Karthikeyan who will be awarded the Padma Shri.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Endhiran music in April

As the D- day is nearing we have more on Endhiran coming out. Now it is about the theme music. AR Rahman who is working on Endhiran songs from London has completed the theme music first at the behest of director Shankar. The theme music comes where ever the Robot Rajni appears. Shankar will plan and film the visual sequences based on the music. The story boards for the sequences are being readied at a frantic pace by the team of Shankar.

Apart from its music Endhiran is also is special for its choreography by Prabhu Deva, lyrics by Vairamuthu, art direction by Sabu Cyril and cinematography by Ratnavelu. Another specialty will be the exclusive sound effects crafted by the Oscar winner Resul Pookutty. Pookutty creates the unique metallic sound effects for the Robot charcter.

Other than the Endhiran team there is one more person who very closely following Endhiran developments right from its scratch. That is the chief minister M. Karunanidhi. He had already enquired about the release date to Rajnikanth many times.

With plans perfect Shankar has allotted six months only for the graphics, animation and other special effects. So the release may be pushed little further than previously expected. Our sources tell us the music will rock in April and the film is a Diwali pleasure.

Endhiran Story Revealed

Robots have been a thing of Hollywood films for long. Among the films which had Robots as central characters Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence is considered the best by World Science-fiction Forum. But director Shankar confidently says once his super star Endhiran is released even that will join the club of best films with Robots.
So what is the story of Endhiran? People who have been following each and every moment of the film’s progress have put together all the pieces and made a story. It is this.

Rajni plays dual roles in Endhiran. One is a scientist and the other is a Robot. Scientist Rajni creates a Robot with artificial intelligence – like that of sixth sense in humans – to help human beings and to the development of the country. But its silicon heart falls in love with Aishwarya Rai. Writes romantic poems and the Robot behave just like a human being. Knowing about the extra ordinary intelligence of the Robot the villains try to get control of the Robot. Scientist Rajni fights to save the Robot falling into the hand of the enemies and destroys the evil forces using the Robot itself.

Wow!!! We just cant wait any longer Shankar Sir!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gautham's plans for VTV

The song Aaromale in Vinnaithandi Varuvaayaa has gained immense popularity already and has been topping the charts. Due to this, the film's director Gautham Menon has decided to shoot the song with the lead pair - Silambarasan and Trisha.

With the director deciding on filming the song, Trisha has given a call sheet to facilitate an early release of the film. VTV is slated for a February release and with this song the shooting schedule is expected to come to an end.

Another Oscar for Rahman?

"AR Rahman could win yet another Oscar award! It is well known that the music director had composed music for the Hollywood film Couple’s Retreat. Of the six songs in the film, one song has been nominated for the Oscars. This was disclosed by Rahman during the background score launch of Couple’s Retreat in Chennai.

The Mozart of Madras has also revealed that a Tamil song going by the lyrics Kuru Kuru Kangal is a part of this Hollywood film. Interestingly, Rahman had penned the lyrics for this song."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not a youth anymore after Endhiran?

We must have learnt that Rajini is donning the role of a Scientist in Shankar’s ‘Endhiran’, but actually we will get to see a never-seen-before, young and smart Rajini. Shankar who made Superstar as fair as a European is working on boosting the youth factors of our Superstar in ‘Endhiran’.

But, it’s the last time that we will enjoy it all…

As Rajini has decided to take up roles that will suit his real age after the release of ‘Endhiran’, he wanted to be showed as young and smart as possible. So, he had asked Shankar to pay extra attention towards his looks. And only after this, Shankar has modified his character as a scientist student.

We might have been shocked by Rajini’s unexpected choice of doing roles that suits his age; however, his close friends say that it’s been a long since our Superstar had decided this. Looks like he had shared the same with his buddy Amitabh Bachchan, while he was working for ‘Endhiran’ in Lonawala.

So, after ‘Endhiran’ we can see Rajini doing dignified character roles like Amithji…

Goutham thanks Silambarasan

When Goutham Vasudev Menon was asked to express gratitude to a person whom he really wanted to thank at a television chat show on Sunday, the filmmaker's choice was Silambarasan, the protagonist of his forthcoming movie 'Vinnaithandi Varuvaya'.

"Silambarasan performed extremely well in 'Vinnaithandi Varuvaya'. He delivered what I exactly expected from him. In short, he lived the character he played in the film," the director said, while thanking the actor.

On his part, Silambarasan said, "thanks could not be the exact word to convey my gratitude to Goutham. The film is totally different for me and audience would see a new Silambarasan in 'VTV'. It is all because of Goutham."

He added: "Though I have already done many romantic films, I always wanted to do something like 'Minnale'. 'Vinnaithandi Varuvaya' happened thankfully. It is going to be one of the important movies in my career."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Excerpt from A R Rahman Jai Ho Sydney

Shankar pens on ‘Endhiran’

Endhiran"Rajinikanth-starrer ‘Endhiran’, is going to be a visually wowee and technically super rich film. Get ready for an ultra-technical film that will be simply spellbinding. Yes, what do you say about a film, which some renowned technicians of the world-famous Stan Winston Studios have called as a movie that has made maximum use of the animatronics technique?

Director Shankar, in his blog, recently stated that the film makes use of the aforementioned technique and that its use is effective in Endhiran. 'Endhiran is the first Indian movie to use Stan Winston Studio’s Animatronics technology. We all are proud and happy to be associated with the number one Hollywood studio who did a great job in movies like Jurassic Park, Predator, Terminator, Ironman and the recent Avatar,' Shankar wrote in his blog.

Around 22 scenes of the movie have been shot using the technique. It reportedly took 30 months of planning and conceptualisation for a group of technicians, who came to Chennai's Sun Stuios to work for a period of 4 months to execute it. Gasp!

In his blog, Shankar has even put some of the exclusive pics where we see him with the Hollywood technicians, Rajini and others."

‘Endhiran’ 90% ready


Endhiran - Gallery

It’s official that 90 percent of ‘Endhiran’ is complete and the film will soon hit the screen. Also we have some news on ‘Endhiran’ previously unheard. Though the stills released or leaked so far didn’t give a clue to the film we come to know that it will be a treat to all fans with Rajini doing two things he knows best. Comedy and action.

The first part is said to be very humorous in the inimitable Rajini style. Santhanam gives company to Rajini in ‘Endhiran’ the way Vivek did in ‘Sivaji’. Punch dialogues are left to Santhanam as in ‘Sivaji’. So expect some clean high class hilarious moments. And we know how good the super star is in comedy scenes. If the first half is light the second half will compensate for it with pulsating actions. ‘Endhiran’ is going to be a wholesome entertainer.

Also the new young look of the Super Star is making news. The latest pictures released show Rajini and Aishwarya in vibrant costumes with the help of Hollywood technicians who worked for films like ‘Batman Returns’ and ‘Men In Black’. It is thrilling to see an absolutely handsome Rajini as we have seen in films like ‘Gayatri’ and ‘Billa’ in those days. Two songs were picturised in never been to locations in Hawaii Islands and Brazil.

‘Endhiran’ film has strengthened the relationship of Rajini and Shankar much stronger. It has moved beyond Actor-Director levels, one reason could be the similarity between them.

Shankar also has deviated from a usual Rajini film happening with ‘Endhiran’. Usually all Rajini films in recent times were shot either out of Tamil Nadu or overseas. But to the joy of Rajini fans Shankar shot a lot of portions in and around Chennai.

More to come.

Rahman's treat with 'Retreat'

"Get ready Rahman fans, especially those in India. The Oscar winning music maestro's performance in the Hollywood venture 'Couples Retreat' is all set to reach you soon.

For, Sare Gama audios would launching the album in India on January 18, that too at a function in Chennai, the hometown of the music composer.

This is Rahman's first Hollywood film after wining Double Oscar for 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Interestingly, the sound track is one of the nominations for Oscar Awards this year.

Directed by Emmy nominated Peter Billingsley, the movie has reportedly crossed the 100 million dollar mark at the North American box office.

It stars MTV winner Vince Vaughn, Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman, Golden Globe nominated Kristin Davis etc. Producers are Vince Vaughn and Scott Stuber."


‘Ravana’ is talking Tamil in Chennai!

"Oh yeah! The dubbing process of ‘Ravana’ Tamil version is up and happening from Jan 4th in Chennai. Mani Ratnam’s favourite editor Srikar Prasanth had prepared a rough cut of 2 hours and 50 minutes for the dubbing purpose.

The first schedule of dubbing over as Prithviraj and Priyamani are done with their part. On the other hand, dubbing process for the crowd voice and other supporting characters are also ready, say the sources.

So, the remaining portion is of Aishwarya’s voice and Govinda’s voice and sources from Madras Talkies are busy hunting for VIP voices for them. As of now, there are no solid denials or confirmation when it comes to the rumours about Superstar’s daughter dear Aishwarya Dhanush giving voice for the ex- world beauty. Likewise, gossip mongers had it that Mani Ratnam has approached Suriya to give dubbing for Govinda. Sources in the know had it that famous dubbing artist Savitha was seen in Prasad Studio, where the dubbing process of ‘Ravana’ is on.

Once the dubbing process is over, the process for Ravana’s sound effects will start immediately. After this the re-recording works will start of in Rahman’s AM Studio in Chennai by February second week. Then the final mixing of the project will also be done in Rahman’s studio, say the sources close to Madras Talkies."


Suriya’s hunt for love!

It looks like the ‘Ghajini’ team is getting ready to rock the floor with their next project.

Romantic hero Suriya and his lucky charm director A R Murugadoss will start the work for their next by March 8th, say the sources close to the actor. This one will be a trilingual made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, they say. The director had made it clear this time that, he is not making any remake of any script that is influenced by some other film. So, its time to look out for an original script from Murugadoss.

As of now Suriya is with the last schedule of ‘Singam’ but then we heard that the actor is longing for something that is missing in his career now. That’s a sweet romantic film… And so, Suriya is engaging himself in the process of listening to fresh romantic scripts. As a result, associates of successful directors are in Suriya’s house these days with love subjects.

Well, now we can see him romancing after a gap, filled with commercial films…

Michael Jackson wanted to work with A.R. Rahman

‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson had expressed a desire to work with composer A.R. Rahman just two months before he died.

The ‘Mozart of Madras’ who won two Oscar awards for the soundtrack to the hit movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ revealed that the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker was keen on making music with him, The Daily Telegraph reported.

“I met him two months before he died and he expressed an interest in working with me,” Rahman said.

“Meeting him was everything and changed my life. He loved stuff I did and I loved stuff he did. He was such a nice person,” he added.

Jackson was planning to collaborate with Rahman for a unity anthem that the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker wanted to use in his planned O2 concert series, the musician had earlier said in his blog.

“He was praising the chord progression of Jai Ho’s chorus. He asked me to compose a unity anthem on the lines of ‘We are the World’ for him. I nodded in awe,” Rahman had written in his blog while paying tribute to the pop icon after his sudden death in June last year.

Rahman who has also been nominated for this year’s Grammys’ is set to perform to about 80,000 people at his free concert on Saturday at Parramatta Park, as a part of 34th Sydney Festival.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Matthew Hayden bats for AR Rahman

AR Rahman’s world tour concert in Australia that takes place tonight is growing from strength to strength.

Known for his immaculate consistency with the bat on the field, Hayden wants to prove that he is equally at ease as an anchor too. So he has been researching on Rahman and his works for over a week now.Former Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden has been roped in to host the mega song-and-dance extravaganza that will have an attendance of about 70,000 people. Hayden will partner ABC presenter Miriam Corowa for hosting the Parramatta Park (near Sydney) concert that will be telecast live to 44 countries. Interestingly, both of them have a strong Chennai connection. While Rahman is known as the Mozart of Madras, Hayden plays for the Chennai Super Kings cricket team. A source says, “They are like brothers from Chennai. Hayden loves Indian music, especially Rahman’s, and he is very excited to host the event for him. He is gathering as much information as possible on Rahman, his music and styles.” Hayden was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Australian Embassy in Delhi: “I am honoured and thrilled to be a part of AR Rahman’s unique outdoor extravaganza and the Sydney Festival. Rahman was born in Chennai, a city that I have come to love and a part of India that is very special to me for many reasons. I am excited that many Australians will be able to enjoy what millions of people around the world have come to love and appreciate, the incredible Mozart of Madras and the amazing Indian musicians and Bollywood dancers.” Rahman is performing with 40 Indian musicians and dancers and he will promote peace and harmony in Australia.

Media should build bridges: Rahman

Australian and Indian media have a responsibility to build bridges between the two countries, rather than breaking them apart, Bollywood superstar AR Rahman says.

The killing of Indian student Nitin Garg, 21, stabbed to death in Melbourne earlier this month, has sparked outrage in India.

The murder followed a spate of violence against Indian students in Melbourne over the past 18 months.

Indian authorities have urged local media to show restraint when reporting attacks on students in Australia, which have remained a sore point over the past year.

Rahman, a two-time Oscar winning composer, is visiting Australia for the 2010 Sydney Festival.

He says media in both countries have a propensity to incite anger between the two cultures but also hold the key to helping to stop the problem.

"First of all we need more responsible media," the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire composer told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

"Media is a great tool, but grossly misused and can provoke people.

"Just one comment can kill a thousand people - that has happened in the past. You have to be extremely careful and strict about what (you write)."

Mr Rahman will give a free live performance to up to 80,000 people at Parramatta Park in Sydney west on Saturday, as part of the festival.

He said he never considered cancelling his trip in light of the recent furore over the student attacks.

Acting Premier Carmel Tebbutt said she was hopeful the concert would promote peaceful relations between the two countries.

"It's an opportunity ... to promote our city and to send a very clear message that we're a multicultural, diverse city, we're a multicultural diverse country, and we're very proud of that," Ms Tebbutt told reporters.

Asked by reporters whether they were expecting any disturbances, police said they were prepared for the worst but hopeful the event would be peaceful.

"We'll have sufficient police and security there to deal with any contingency," NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Denis Clifford said.

"If anyone wants to go there to try and disrupt the activities or the enjoyment of others, they'll be quickly dealt with."

The president of the Federation of Australian Indian Association, Vish Viswanathan, said he wasn't worried about the potential for violence at the concert.

"In fact, I am sure we are looking for an enjoyable concert and we hope this concert brings harmony to Australia," he said.

A R Rahman Disappointed Vinnaithandi Varuaaya

It is really a big disappointment to all AR Rahman fans.. Yes, we are talking about his latest Tamil album after two long years, Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya! Indeed, he had kept everyone awaiting this musical album for the past one month ever since the audio was launched in London. But, the musician has disappointed us and the songs in the album are not up to his 'level'!.
"The music wizard seems to be very adhered to Hollywood and western music. Apart from ‘Omana Penne’ and ‘Hosanna’, none of the songs seems to be having 'Rahman standard', set by the legend earlier . The lyrics also not catchy. Most part of the lyrics are not clear and almost everywhere the beat is dominating.

He has tuned all the songs somewhat like a background score for Hollywood. Lots of fill-ins and instrumentals does diminish the lyrics. He hasn’t come up with commendable tunes at least the halfway of mediocre Hindi compositions like ‘Blue’.Maybe, the brand ‘A.R. Rahman’ may help the producer to cash CDs, but surely this was not we expected from our 'Mozart of Madras!'"

Vinnai Thandi Varuvaaya audio creates history!

"Maestro AR Rahman and Gautham Vasudeva Menon has created audio history as there has been a terrific advance booking for their Vinnai Thandi Varuvaaya (VTV) audio!

A spokesperson of Sony Music said: “For the first time ever even before the release of the album, has overwhelming pre-release response for CD orders of VTV audio. The CD has already been marked as number 1 in the category of “Music > World Music > Far East & Asia. It clearly means before the release it is already the top seller in Far East and Asia category. No other product has got such a response on Amazon.”

VTV is ARR’s first composition after the success of Oscar Winning Slumdog Millionaire. The album has combined seven songs in voices of Karthik, Naresh Iyer, Benny Dayal, , Blaaze, Devan Ekambaram,Vijayprakash, Shreya Ghoshal, Chinmayi, Suzaane, Alphonse, Kalyani Menon and Rahman himself. The album's lyrics are penned by Thamarai. The album features six songs in Tamil and one in Malayalam plus a theme track by the academy award winner himself.

Meanwhile the first ever rocking song from VTV, Hosanna… sung by Blaaze, Vijayaprakash and Suzaane will break over all FM stations in Tamil Nadu today (January 9). On Tuesday (January 12) AR Rahman, GVM and Sony Music will be having the Indian audio launch of the film at a popular multiplex in Chennai."

Blogging bug hits director Shankar

"Blogging has gained massive popularity in India and now noted Tamil director better known as Steven Spielberg of India has been bitten by the blogging bug.

He has started his own blog, in his website. This will also be a promotional tool for Enthiren, his new film with Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai in the lead.

This is good news for millions of Rajinikanth and Shankar fans who will now get to see and read the making and pictures of how Enthiren is made.

His first posting was on Jan 1, 2010 and it says: “This is Shankar. All the movies I direct demands 24 x 7 attention and I don’t get enough time or opportunity to interact with my audience, the film lovers who seek and wish to know about my movies, myself, my likings, my thoughts etc, I hope blogging will serve the purpose'.

“Just back from Pune and Lonavala after finishing an action sequence with both my stars and with this I finished 90percent of Endhiran”.

Anyway let’s invite director Shankar into the blogosphere with open arms. What say?"

Komaran Puli to shoot the climax

Pawan Kalyan is playing the hero in Puli directed by SJ Surya and produced by Singanamala Rameshbabu. Nikisha Patel is making her debut as heroine in Telugu with this film. The film had recently completed its talkie shoot.
Pawan Kalyan
"Producer says, “This film is coming after a long gap in the combination of SJ Surya and Pawan Kalyan, which was proved a successful combo with Kushi. We are sure that the film would attract all classes of audiences. The story and its movement would remain a highlight. We are yet to picturise the climax and few songs. AR Rahman is scoring the music for our film.”

Manoj Bajpai, Charan Raj, Nazar, Jyothi Krishna, Saranya, Brahmaji, Kovai Sarala and others are in the cast. Camera is by Binod Pradhan, art is by Anand Sai, while S Satya Rama Murthy is the presenter of the movie."

A R Rahman steps into Salman’s shoes

"Music maestro A R Rahman has left an indelible mark as a musician across the globe. His great inclination towards churning out nothing but the best is known to one and all. However, not many are acquainted with generous and super-professional side of his.

Often Salman Khan is associated with generosity. But one of A R Rahman’s close associates discovered the same in the genius which amazed her to the core. Exclaims singer Sadhana Sargam, “It was my first ever song with Rahman sir titled ‘Chanda Re’ from Sapnay. And soon after the recording when the music was released, I was surprised to see the credits given to the keyboard player, Pianist, drummer and guitarist on the cover of audio cassette who usually are neglected or not felt worth mentioning by other musicians even today.”

“I was moved by this gesture and salute Rahman sir for what he is,” she signs off with a smile.�"


Why Kamal Haasan avoids A R Rahman?

"Kamal Haasan and A R Rahman have been the greatest icons of Tamil film industry. But the entire tollywood remains flummoxed as the duo don’t get along with each other. Take a glimpse on Kamal Haasan’s films, barely couple of films– Indian and Thenali had A R Rahman scoring music.

Kamal Haasan opted for Shankar-Ehasan-Loy to score music for Aalavandhan while his magnum opus Dasavatharam had Bollywood’s Himesh Reshammiya. Well with Unnai Pol Oruvan, he introduced his elder daughter Shruthi Haasan to score music and she’ll wear the same cap for his upcoming flick Yaavarum Kelir.

Kamal Haasan’s international project 19 Steps was supposed to have A R Rahman. But then, the project was shelved for unknown reasons."

Penelope Cruz puts her money on Shekhar Kapur -

Looks like film-maker Shekhar Kapur has managed to charm Penelope Cruz immensely.

The Spanish actress is so impressed by Kapur that she is ready to produce a film if the Indian is willing to direct it.

Kapur said, “It is true that Penelope is ready to produce a movie and wants me to direct it. We have had meetings about it and she is very excited to start this film as soon as possible. It will obviously have her in the lead.

"Unfortunately, I cannot tell you much about the film since we haven’t even started shooting. However, the movie will be an experimental one and will see Penelope in a never-before-seen image.”

Cruz stars in Kapur's forthcoming film Paani. She has a plum role in the film that is reported to be a futuristic one set in Mumbai. Sources said the film narrates the tale of a forbidden romance between an elite woman and a man who is a revolutionary of sorts.

“She [Cruz] has a great role in my film," Kapur said. "Penelope is one of the most talented actors in the world today. She gets into the skin of any character effortlessly. It will be a pleasure to direct her again. She is very spontaneous and adds depth to her characters.”

Though Kapur was tight-lipped about the film Cruz wants to produce, a source said it is a period film with a dash of fantasy.

“Both Shekhar and Penelope are extremely busy to start anything new," the source said. "Besides acting in Sex And The City 2, Penelope is looking after her maiden production venture Haunted Heart.

"Meanwhile, Shekhar is directing two big-budget Hollywood movies — Larklight and The Sadhu. Only after finishing these will the duo be able to get together for another movie."

The source said the script for the film is being worked upon. "Penelope will have grand costumes and the canvas of the film will be huge," the source said. "It won’t be before the end of the year that you would get to hear anything more about the project.”

‘Endhiran’ almost complete, is full of surprises: director Shankar

Director Shankar, who has been tight-lipped so far about his action-packed sci-fi Tamil film “Endhiran” starring superstar Rajnikant and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, reveals that the movie is almost finished and has lots of surprises in store for the audience.
“‘Endhiran’ is almost complete. 90 percent of
the shooting is over,” Shankar wrote on his blog

“I have just finished the action sequences of the film ‘Endhiran’ in Pune and Lonawala. both the leading artists of the film were present during the shooting,” he wrote.

Shankar has also uploaded some of the stills of the film on his blog. This is said to be the first official release of the stills of the movie.

A year ago some pictures taken surreptitiously during the shooting of a song in Peru in South America were released and Shankar had protested, saying it was a pirated work.

Shankar launched the blog Jan 1 in a bid to interact with his fans.

The other sections of the blog that will update fans about the progress on the film have not been activated yet.

“While (his last blockbuster) ‘Sivaji’ was about black money and corruption, ‘Endhiran’ is about an andro humanoid robot Prem. The first half of ‘Endhiran’ is full of surprises. The second half is a roller coaster ride,” he wrote.

The director also promises to share information about the making of his magnum opus “Endhiran”.

Being made on a budget of Rs.125 crore, the film has hogged the limelight since it was launched. Sun Pictures is producing it.

Shankar, whose “Sivaji” was released on June 15 in 2007, may screen “Endhiran” in April or June this year.

Govinda experiments with seriousness in 'Raavan'

You have spent more than 25 years in the industry. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being here?

I’m actually a second-generation actor, so for my family it’s been a total of 58 years. My dad was a hero in the ’40s and mom was a classical vocalist. There aren’t any disadvantages since it always gets the best out of you.

You are currently working on as many as five movies.

I’m shooting four movies; after all of the experience, it’s just another day at work for me. I don’t need to manage time or need extra energy. I’m shooting for Naughty @ 40 now. My other movies are Run Bhola Run, Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai, Chai Garam and Raavan.

Tell us about the much awaited film Raavan and your role in it.

My role is very different from the movies which I generally do. The film is inspired by the Ramayana. The characters in the movie have traits similar to that of the people in the epic. I was offered a cameo but after looking at my work Mani Ratnam offered me an elaborate role.

You play Hanuman. How different or similar is your character from the mythological character?

This being commercial cinema you shouldn’t compare it to the Ramayana. Even though certain characters are based on the epic, it isn’t a mythological film. The character in the movie has certain traits of Hanuman but it’s a modern-day movie.

Working with Mani Ratnam must have been an experience.

Mani Ratnam is one of the best directors the industry has seen. I hope this is the beginning of a great association.

But you have never been associated with the Mani Ratnam kind of cinema?

I have done all kind of roles but this is a new experience for me.

You continue to be paired opposite younger heroines. How do you still manage to do so?

I have been on a very balanced exercise and diet regime since the past couple of years.

David Dhawan and you have been an inseparable team. When do we see Partner 2?

David and I are very good friends but it’s not like we are inseparable professionally. We’ve both worked with different people. But we have been very lucky for each other. Whenever the team is ready everyone will know.

Do you want to do more issue-based cinema or are you happy entertaining the masses?

I’m not political when it comes to movies so I do roles which suit my personality, appeals to the audience and where I can deliver my best performance.

When is your daughter getting into movies? Do you have any plans of launching her?

She will get into movies when she gets a good subject. We will see how things turn out to be but my support and blessings will always be with her.

Rahman decides to go ahead

AR Rahman has decided to go ahead with his concert in Sydney despite attacks on Indians there. Speaking at the press conference, the Oscar winning musician said that he hoped his concert will help pave way to bring in peace and harmony in the country.

The concert is scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at the Parramatta Park in Sydney.

He was quoted as saying, “"First of all we need more responsible media. Media is a great tool, but grossly misused and can provoke people. Just one comment can kill a thousand people - that has happened in the past.”

Rahman requested the media to be more responsible while reporting the recent killings. He also appealed to the Indians living in Australia to be safe by not venturing out alone in the nights and to places that are frequented by drug addicts and alcoholics.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya: Vintage Rahman

No other album has raised such high expectations or created quite this much frenzy among eager fans like Escape Artists' Motion Pictures' Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (Will You Cross the Skies for Me?).
The Tamil movie has everything going for it namely Gautam Menon as its director, Academy Award winner A R Rahman as its composer, and lyricists like Thamarai, Kalyani Menon and Kaithapram.
With Simbhu and Trisha as the lead pair, VTV has been making headlines ever since it was launched as a touching love story with music set to blitzkrieg everyone's heart.
Add to that is the fact this is the composer's return to Tamil after his Oscar success. So, does the collection live up to the hype? Let's find out.
A guitar strums lazily, reminding you very faintly of the old Wild West, and then morphs into something that might be an ancient native Indian chant -- that's Aaromale, sung by Alphonse. The lyrics in Malayalam seem to form a neat accompaniment to the general structure of the song. There's a soothing, gentle feel to the number, an experience that lets you sink into it. The song proper starts some time later, with a faint strain of violins somewhere far off. Even as Alphonse's voice rises to higher octaves, the refrain hugs the original depths, supplying a many-layered experience. An intense number, this.
You sit blinking when you listen to Anbil Avan as you're transported straight to a church choir until you realize that the song, rendered by Devan Ekambaram and Chinmayi, is actually a conglomerate that describes two kinds of religious weddings. The lyrics are all about eternal bonding, unending love and essentially the basics of wedding vows. It's got a peppy feel, full of happy anticipation, an eagerness to seek out the next heady experience, supplemented by synthesized instrumental arrangements. It seems a little like the Ibiza number -- but you're too carried away by its zeal to notice that until the end.
On a half romantic, half mournful note, with a flute interlude begins possibly the most publicized number of the album: Hosanna by Blaaze, Vijay Prakash and Suzanne. The musical arrangement somehow takes you right back to the early days of ARR until you realize which number the refrain, Hosanna, bears a striking resemblance to: Only Time, by Enya. The rap segment closely follows the tune as well; the lyrics celebrate the lover pining away for his beloved until his world shrinks to just her. There's no denying that it's romantic what with church bells pealing, complicated violin arrangements and a chorus which all reach a crescendo in the finale. It's a pleasant listen but still seems "inspired."
The violin rendition in the first few seconds of Kannukkul Kannai is enticing and the number itself, rendered by Naresh Iyer in a fast- and almost breathless manner that aims to bring the heady feeling of being in love. Aside from the violin segment, though, you feel like this is a musical arrangement you've heard often in Rahman's earlier albums, and faithfully mimicked by others following in his footsteps. In terms of ARR numbers, it's pretty run-of-the-mill.
Shreya Goshal's melodious voice begins Mannippaya with anguish, and it morphs gradually into a more gentle melody. Remorse and forgiveness are the prevalent themes of this number, and the soothing tones suit the sentiment, with ARR himself providing the accompaniment. Appealing, yes, but the lyrics have precedence in this song and the tune seems to have been composed to accommodate it. Even the flute segment reminds you of the signature tune of Titanic. Thekural couplets that suddenly appear take you by surprise. They're a pleasant listen -- and then it's back to the meandering tune.
Kalyani Menon and Benny Dhayal begin Omanappenne, which seems like a fusion between western and classical music with a violin suddenly launching into a classical melody at certain points. And that's the essence of the whole song: a gentle composition which attempts to crossover from one genre to another, while a nadaswaram makes a not unwelcome appearance to add a different flavour to the proceedings. Having said that, we've heard many such numbers from ARR himself, and with more variation.
Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, accompanied by guitar strings and rendered by Karthik, comes in a different fashion altogether. It's slow, introspective, and the general tone doesn't seem to care much whether it hits the highs and lows of notes in an approved manner, which is actually a plus. The tune moves from contemplative to contentment to interrogative, and that seems to be the essence of the number itself: all the different emotions encompassed in one question.
It isn't possible to toss an opinion of an A R Rahman album based on just one listen. This composer has a talent for coming up with numbers that grow on you.
Lyricist Thamarai stands out, as well. Having said that, it doesn't look like VTV is one of her best efforts.
Blame the post-Oscar hype or the burden of too many projects but aside from a few moments of brilliant heights, ARR pretty much sticks to his proven template.
In this collection, he's gone more for the western crowd, it seems and there's little space for experimentation. A discerning music-lover might be left yearning for something more. For diehard ARR fans though, it's a musical treat.
Rediff Rating:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Harris made me responsible: Rahman

Mozart of Madras A R Rahman was in his hometown Tuesday to launch the music album of his first post-Oscar film 'Vinnaithandi Varuvaya', directed by Goutham Vasudev Menon.

"There was great responsibility on my shoulders top deliver a hit album as in the past Harris Jayaraj and Goutham combo has delivered chartbusters," Rahman said in his short speech.

A group of singers including Karthik, Sreenivas, Benny Dayal, Chinmayi and Alphonse sang the numbers live on stage. Three songs were also screened on the occasion, for which Kamal Haasan was the special guest.

Speaking about his experiences working with Rahman, Goutham said, "It is my eighth film and first with Rahman. It was a great experience working with him".

"VTV is a romantic entertainer with Silambarasan and Trisha in lead roles. It is a feel-good film sure to enthrall audience," he added.

Gautham's change in mind

Although it was a gangster story, Gautham scripted for Ajith, looks like he had a change in mind now - or so it is speculated. In effect, the Gautham Menon – Ajith flick will not be a gangster story since the former has completely readied a fresh script. This will be a cop tale and Ajith’s latest looks (that he sported during the Asal audio launch) corroborates this.

The change seems to have happened since Ajith’s Asal is touted to be a gangster flick and two movies of the same genre back to back might make the fans lose interest. The actual storyline, however, will be known only when Gautham himself confirms it.
Gautham Menon
With Ajith free of Asal’s commitments and Gautham of VTV, the new project is expected to go on floors anytime soon.

VTV - on what Gautham did to Silambarasan!

Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa
Rest assured Gautham is poised to make a romantic blockbuster in 2010 with his upcoming Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa. If the footages shown at the audio launch held today at Satyam cinemas are anything to go by, Gautham has created a visual treat – both pleasing and tantalizing. Silambarasan looks fresh and Trisha is in her usual somber self.

VTV, by all means, could become a career breakthrough for Silambarasan for he’s portrayed in a never seen before role. He oozes refinement and is blissfully devoid of all his usual flamboyance. Besides, everything from his dialogue delivery, body language and voice modulation is attuned to suit the movie’s tone - a complete makeover of sorts.

Three beautifully shot songs; Kannukkul Kannai, Hosanna and Omana Penne were shown during the event all of which received standing ovation at the auditorium. Of this, Omana Penne song could well become the chartbuster right away and stand testimony for the unspoken and often pent-up love between lovers.

All the songs from the album were performed live on stage and the first copy of the album was released by A R Rahman and received by Kamal. Kamal lauded Silambarasan for his efforts and expressed his desire to watch the movie very soon. Rahman, who spoke at the event, mentioned that he’s leaving it to the fans to decide on the music. Trailer of the movie was also screened at the event.

Silambarasan plays an Asssistant Director who falls for a Malayali Christian gal played by Trisha. A leaf out of Gautham’s real life? We really have no clue. But he did agree that Vaaranam Aayiram was indeed semi-autobiographical though.

VTV is all set to hit the screens on Valentine’s Day in 2010.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vaaliban Silambarasan - Nayan love story?

Silambarasan has completed Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya and is moving on to Ko, as announced earlier. However, there is buzz in the tinsel town that his proposed directorial venture Vaaliban is based on his brief fling with Nayanthara in real life.

Reacting to this, the actor has said that he was disturbed about reports that Vaaliban is inspired from his love life. He says that while the world knows about the love he shared with Nayan and the subsequent rift, Vaaliban is all about one-side love. So where is the similarity, asks Silambarasan.

He reveals that the heroine in the film will never love the hero, so the question of touting the film as a real life love story does not arise.

Shankar trying to match AR Rahman's work

Shankar and expensive sets have always been synonymous. We have seen it before in Anniyan and Sivaji. So, will Endhiran be left out? No!

Endhiran team is planning to create an extravagant set to shoot a song. What is so special about this song is that director Shankar and art director Thotta Tharani have made extra efforts. The Shankar - Thotta Tharani combo has worked exceptionally well and Thotta Tharani is also behind the the fascinating, dream-like set created for the song 'va ji va ji' for Sivaji.

Rumor also has it that AR Rahman has plans to rope in about eight top Bollywood singers to croon for his music. So the set will be a complement to the song, we hear.

Rahman-Shankar for Tamil Conference

Musical Storm A R Rahman who did the fabulous musical album ‘Vante Mataram’ to celebrate the 50th year of Indian Independence has been roped in to do similar theme songs for the World Classical Tamil Conference. Chief Minister Karunanidhi who liked the suggestion of bringing in A R Rahman into the promotional plans immediately sanctioned all the requirements to get the best for the conference.

The song will also be visualized for videos and it is none other than director Shankar who would be doing them. The musicals will be seen in all the media during the conference period.

When two giants join for a cause it is fireworks time.