Saturday, April 30, 2011

What Happened To Ponniyin Selvan?

Rumormongers in Kollywood say that Ponniyin Selvan may be dropped. Though the reason for this is not out, the rumors are getting strong day by day. At a stage when all the actors and actresses were said to be finalized, this comes as surprise to many. Also director Mani Ratnam went on a tour recently to scout for locations to shoot this trilingual.

Vijay and Mahesh Babu were roped in to play the male leads while Anushka and Priyanka Chopra were touted to be their onscreen pairs, it may be recalled.

Sources close to the director say that Ponniyin Selvan may be postponed and that the director has already conveyed this message to Mahesh Babu. Let’s wait for an official announcement on this project.

Rajini Is Perfectly Ok

Soon after the news of Rajinikanth being admitted in hospital hit the media, fans were praying for their Superstar's well being and demanded for more news on his health. Rajinikanth's near and dear ones were bombarded with questions about the actor's health and finally his son-in-law Dhanush has given the good news that everyone has been waiting for. Dhanush addressed all the Rajini fans and said, "He is perfectly ok. Just dehydration. Nothing to worry at all. He will be home tonight itself!"

We can definitely take the son-in-law's word for this and looks like the Superstar will be back on his feet in no time. With this, we hope the schedule for Rana will go without any delay. It is known that the muhurat and pooja of Rana took place today at the AVM Studios and the shooting was off to a flying start with director K.Balachandar filming the first shot.

Rajini Admitted To Hospital

Rajinikanth has been admitted to St Isabel's Hospital in Chennai after he reported some uneasiness in the sets of Rana. The Superstar was immediately rushed to the hospital where the diagnosis revealed food poisoning.

The star was at the AVM Studios this morning where the pooja and first shot of Rana took place. He reportedly ate his lunch after which he complained of uneasiness. The doctors attending to Rajinikanth have advised him to take a few days rest. Looks like Rana shooting will be postponed until Rajini gains his health back.

Rana: The Journey Begins

The shooting of Superstar Rajinikanth’s Rana, directed by KS Ravikumar and produced by Eros International, began today. Producer, Panchu Arunachalam sounded the clap board, RM Veerapan switched on the camera, and K Balachander directed the first shot in an auspicious ritual that was held at the Pillaiyar Temple in AVM studios today at 9.45 am.

The Superstar was looking dashing, dapper, and about half his actual age in a warrior’s costume. Leading Lady, Deepika Padukone looked lovely in a gorgeous blue sari with a maroon and gold border. Latha Rajinikath and daughters Aishwariya and Soundarya were also present.

The VIPs present at the momentous occasion included Muktha Srinivasan, SP Muthuraman, RC Sakthi, R Thiagarajan, Kavignar Vaali, Mahendran, AVM Saravanan, Sivaji Ramkumar, Prabhu, RB Choudhary, SA Chandrasekar, P Vasu, Suresh Krishna, Dhanu, Vairamuthu, CV Rajendran, A Jaganathan, and Cho Ramasamy.

All About Rana Is Here!

Want to know all about Rana? Here is the news that you’ve been looking for! The film will go on floors tomorrow, 29th April, 2011. Rana, which is being directed by KS Ravi Kumar, will begin after the customary pooja.

The film will have Rajinikanth playing the hero while Deepika Padukone and Ileana D’Cruz are his onscreen pairs and Sonu Sood is the baddie who will fight Rajini in Rana. Speaking about this film, KS Ravi Kumar has said, “Rana has a strong story, a very interesting ensemble cast of actors coupled with super star Rajinikanth in a triple role and promises to have some stunning visual effects that will surely take Indian cinema to the next level.”

The press note from the producers states, “Eros International along with NextGen Films, will produce the film through Rana Production Ltd., UK.”

Music for Rana will be scored by Oscar award winner AR Rahman. Rathnavelu will wield the camera and editing by Anthony. The technical director is Soundarya Rajnikanth, of Ocher Visual Effects UK, a subsidiary of Ocher Studios Pvt Limited. Emmy award winner Charles Darby of Eyeqube Studios, will be the creative and special effects director on the film.

Rajini Decides On Rana Comedian

Rajinikanth has opted for Ganja Karuppu to be his comedian in Rana. There were widespread speculations about who would be his comedian. This speculation has now come to an end with Ganja Karuppu finding a place onboard.

Sources in Kollywood say that Rajini is upset with Vadivelu’s election campaign that he did not want him to be a part of Rana. He has conveyed this to Rana’s director KS Ravi Kumar and he recommended Ganja Karuppu which Rajini immediately agreed to.

It may be recalled that Vadivelu played an important part in Chnadramukhi and Kuselan but did not find a place in Endhiran.

Rajnikanth prays for Rana

Rajnikanth was spotted in the Kaligambal temple in Parrys, offering prayers for his upcoming project 'Rana'.Â

'Rana' under K.S Ravikumar's direction is a period film, a joint venture produced by Eros International and Ocher Pictures. The movie features Rajnikanth in three avatars, with Deepika Padukone being one of the leading lady.

A.R.Rahman is scoring music for this mega budget movie being produced at a whopping budget of 100 crores. 'Rana' is a film very close to Rajini's heart being Soundarya's joint production and it is a movie with more of visual treat to be done at her studios.Â

Rajnikanth has his sentiment of visiting Kaligambal temple for the success of his films. And its wise for the Superstar to have visited for 'Rana' which is scheduled to go on floors shortly.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hrithik Roshan has no time for Shekhar Kapur's Paani

Shekhar Kapur who had approached Hrithik Roshan to play the lead in his film titled Paani, hasn't got back to the star yet.

Hrithik had expressed to the Elizabeth director that he was interested in the project, but with Shekhar not getting back with the script, the actor seems to have moved ahead with the projects on hand.

Now he is busy with Agneepath, then he has Krrish sequel and won't be able to make time for two years. Meanwhile it is learnt that the acclaimed director just completed scripting and is ready to proceed. Let's see how the director manages to squeeze time out of Duggu.

Ram In Gautham Menon's Next, Bellamkonda Suresh To Produce


Bellamkonda Suresh, who is currently producing Kandireega starring Ram and directed by Santosh Srinivas, is planning another film with Ram this year. Presented by Sravanthi Ravi Kishore, the film in question will be directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon and will star Samantha as the female lead. AR Rahman will compose the music for the movie.

Bellamkonda Suresh says, "Gautham Menon has come up with a wonderful concept. It is both interesting and thrilling. After Ram heard the script he immediately gave his nod. AR Rahman's music score will be an asset to the film. We have already recorded two songs. However, the regular shooting of the film will begin only in June. This will be a prestigious project for our banner [Sri Sai Ganesh Productions Pvt. Ltd.]."

Ranbir Kapoor rushes to Chennai for the recording of climax song of Rockstar

Like Dad Rishi Kapoor's imperishable climactic number Ek haseena thi ek deewana tha in Subhash Ghai's Karz which was shot in front of a live audience ....That's the specification in Ranbir's mind for the stadium-rock track that Rahman is composing for the climax of Rockstar.

We've had many stars in the past who have been so avidly involved with the recording of their songs that they've spent time personally in recording studios. But the much-delayed climactic song for Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar has got Ranbir Kapoor in a different far more heightened state of anxiety.

The climactic song in Rockstar has raised Ranbir's anxiety level to such an extent that he rushed last week to Chennai to be with A R Rahman for a week. So concerned is he about the way the number sounds before it is filmed next month that Ranbir wanted to be physically present for the recording with Rahman.

Not just that, when the Rahman had to fly out of Chennai for a concert in Dubai, Ranbir stayed on to complete the song with Rahman's assistants in his studio in Chennai.

Says a friend of Ranbir, "Enough delay has already happened. Now when the climax song which will be shot on May 15 in a stadium with Ranbir performing live on stage, any further delay would be lethal. Ranbir flew to Chennai for the whole week. He said he wanted to be near the song, to feel it imbibe and absorb it so that when he finally performs it on May 15, the song would be an extension of his personality."

Apparently, Ranbir who has a fabulous music sense has actively contributed to the final shape of the rock number that will reverberate across the stadium when Ranbir takes to the stage for the grand finale next month.

Says Ranbir's friend, "Rahman even suggested that Ranbir sing the number himself. But Ranbir knows he doesn't have a singing voice. He was just content watching this very important song come to life during his week-long stay in Chennai in Rahman's studio."

Apparently, Ranbir only went to his hotel in Chennai to freshen up.

Says Ranbir's friend, "All his time was spent at Rahman's studio. Ranbir wanted to make sure the song took a final shape before Rahman left for Dubai. And since Rahman works only during the night, Ranbir stayed up nights caught up with a subtle snooze in the morning and joined Rahman's assistants for more music sessions during the day."

Ranbir confirms, "Yes, I was in Chennai. Just returned. I had gone for the recording of the climax song. Watching Rahman at work is such an exhilarating experience."

RGV to make Rangeela sequel with Rahman | MAARS News

In this Bollywood’s era of remakes and sequels there is one more film that will add to the list soon. Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is very keen on recreating the Rangeela magic on-screen with music composer AR Rahman.


After 16 years of success of the chart-buster film Rangeela, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is planning ti work on the sequel of the film with Rahman. This idea struck RGV during the launch of Rahman’s biography. At the launch, the Mozart of Madras thanked filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Subhash Ghai, Ashutosh Gowariker, and Ram Gopal Varma, for their individual contributions to his successful career.

He even mentioned the name of only one film Rangeela which was a turning point in his career. RGV told to Mid Day, “When Rahman mentionedRangeela, I was deeply moved. The fact that he feels it was a significant film in his career is something I agree with. I was flooded with memories of the music of Rangeela.”

He went on to add, “I was terrified of the music Rahman had created for Rangeela. The songs were so awesome, I felt I wouldn’t be able to do visual justice. If we work together again, it has to be on something that would do justice to Rahman’s music. Of course I want to work with him again, but I have to come up with a script that won’t let him down.”

Ram Gopal Varma recalled the old memories of the days when Rahman was working on the musical scores of the film. He said that Rahman has no arrogance and his music always comes from his heart. Reportedly, Varma has already started working on the script for the sequel of Rangeela, however he restricted from revealing anything further.

Subash Ghai & Rahman Team Up Again? - Subhash Ghai - Ar Rahman - Tamil Movie News -

Most of the Subash Ghai’s films have been musical hits and his combination with A.R. Rahman in ‘Taal’ was a tremendous success while ‘Yuvvraj’ was lauded for its musical grandness. It looks like the duo will come together again, this time for a musical animation film. Recently Subash Ghai collaborated with Ketan Mehta’s Maya Digital to make 3D and animation flicks.

With Subash Ghai close on the heels of completing the script work and other preproduction works, the filmmaker is keen about signing A.R. Rahman as music plays a vital role in the film.

Right now Subash Ghai and Ketan Mehta are planning to recreate Sholay in 3D and have already completed the test shoot.

7aam Arivu might break records set by Endhiran

Young super star Suriya and musician turned actress Shruti Haasan starrer upcoming movie 7aam Arivu is in the verge of completion stage. Veteran director AR Murugadoss is wrapping it up at fast phase. Like block buster movie Endhiran, this movie also demands special effects and the director feels that it will be the most important element in 7aam Arivu.

So Murugadoss has roped in Stan Winston Studios for doing special effects in this movie. Notably this is the company which has done the special effects for Endhiran movie too. Sources close to the unit confirms that the director planned to work with the technicians of the Stan Winston Studios closely for about two months. This show that the audiences are again going to have another visual treat after the mega movie Endhiran. Its also considered to be a mega budget movie .

Like Endhiran, 7aam Arivu is also a mega budget movie produced by Udayanidhi Stalin’s Red Giant Movies. Lets wait and watch how this movie is going to break the exiting records in Indian film industry.

Ra. One - A 150 crores affair? The real picture

Ever since Ra.One was announced, there have been speculations galore around its scale and budget. Though the makers never went on the records when it came to the budget spent on the film, insiders from trade did peg this Shah Rukh Khan starrer to be costliest ever with the making costs comfortably crossing the 100 crores mark. Now that the First Look of the film is out, all doubts around the film being the most expensive ever have been quashed.

"The film hasn't become costly during the process of its making; it was always supposed to be expensive right from the time film's script was being written. Later when the process of storyboarding started, Shah Rukh and Anubhav realised that Ra. One would require much more than just 100 crores. As things stand today, the making itself has cost over 125 crores. This doesn't include Shah Rukh's remuneration as he is the film's producer as well and hence is a partner in all profits that come along", confirms an industry source on condition of anonymity.

Given the fact that even on a conservative side Shah Rukh's fees wouldn't be less than 25 crores, the cost of making Ra.Oneelevates to a good 150 crores. This would be notches above Rajnikanth's Endhiran/Robot (132 crores) which is the costliest India film ever made and Bollywood's Blue which was pegged at 100 crores. Going by the super-success of Endhiran which was a regional film and had a limited market in Hindi speaking circuits, the makers of Ra.One are confident though that they would not just recover the amount but also make neat profits, courtesy the huge market that Shah Rukh commands.

"Not to forget the scale at which the film has been made", says Anubhav Sinha who has invested half a decade into the making of this film, "The kind of VFX that would have seen in the film belong to never seen before variety. Also, when we claim that the film is big, it is big in all regards. It was all planned though."

Continuing in the same vein, he adds, "We invested as many as two years into the pre-production of the film, the actual filming was spread through one full year and then the post-production has been a year long process as well. Don't forget thatRa.One is not one of those films where only the shooting days consume money."

When asked to quote the exact money that has gone into making the film, Anubhav just smiled it all away. "Please ask Shah Rukh about it. All I can say is that the amount of money Shah Rukh has pumped into the film is unimaginable. Trust me, it will all show on screen. I can see how passionate Shah Rukh is about this film and he has taken it upon himself to makeRa.One the biggest of them all."

We hope the claims are indeed worth it Anubhav.

Rana Did Not Take-off

Rajinikanth’s Rana was scheduled to take off today, April 20th. 2011 but this did not happen. The pooja of this movie was supposed to take place at the AVM Studios. Enquiries reveal that a huge set is being erected at the AVM Studios and since this work is still in progress the pooja had to be postponed.

Earlier, it was announced that Rana would begin with a pooja at the AVM Studios and then the team will leave for a foreign location to shoot the songs. But it looks like there is a slight change in the plans. Rana is to be directed by KS Ravi Kumar and will have Deepika Padukone playing the female lead.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rajini’s ‘Raana’ to be kick-started

On April 20, Rajinikanth along with Team ‘Raana’ will perform a puja for the Ganesh statue in AVM Studios. The place is considered to be lucky for the superstar.

Following this, Superstar along with his lead-lady of the movie, Deepika Padukone will leave abroad for the shooting of a duet song, with which, the shooting of this much-awaited movie will be kick-started! Early this year, it was reported that Deepika was in a dilemma to sign the movie due to an issue with dates; however, the actress has chosen this big-flick to make her grand entry into Kollywood. Sources say that the actress expressed a great deal of enthusiasm about the project and claimed that her long-term dream of acting with the Superstar has finally coming true…

The music will be scored by AR Rahman and Ratnavelu will handle the cinematography. The film will be produced by Eros International and Ocher Studios, the latter is owned by Soundarya Rajnikanth.

The movie will be directed by KS Ravikumar, who had previously delivered two super hits with the superstar, ‘Muthu’ and ‘Padayappa’. ‘Raana’ will be a period film, and will have Rajinikanth sporting a whole new look! Rajinikanth will play a triple role and the movie will be a tri-lingual, in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The movie is scheduled for release on early 2012. Now we all know what to look forward to in 2012, don’t we?

Saturday, April 09, 2011

AR Rahman turns producer

AR Rahman is taking his love for cinema and music to another level. The Oscar winning music director is now turning producer with a musical. He has even launched a production company called YM Movies.

A source informed Mumbai Mirror, “Rahman wanted to start producing films for a long time but his busy schedule has always prevented him from doing so. He has now finally decided to take the plunge. His banner is called Y M Movies."

It appears, his first film would be made for the South.

Rahman"He plans to make films for the South to kick start his career as producer.”

Well we hope Rahman makes films for Bollywood as well!

Priyanka Chopra to star in Mani Ratnam’s 'Ponniyin Selvan

Buzz is that B-town’s diva Priyanka Chopra is being considered for the genius Indian helmer Mani Ratnam’s 200 crore budget mega blockbuster ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, starring Vijay, Mahesh Babu, Aarya, along with Anushka Shetty.

The beauty is said to be leaving to south to meet the master director Mani to hear the script very soon. The movie is in pre production stage and it’s a period saga set in 1500 BC. Stars like Suriya and Vikram are also considered for important roles for the film.

If all goes well Priyanka will be paired opposite Mahesh Babu in the film.

Priyanka is very much excited to be working under India’s highly acclaimed director Mani Ratnam, however, for now the actress is tight lipped. But we tell you that she is visiting Mani Ratnam to hear the script in totality in a few days from now.

Rahman's biography launched

The story of music maestro A R Rahman's life the official version was out this week, released at one of those functions where celebrities cluster like moths about a particularly bright lamp.

It was Mani Ratnam, director and long-time friend of Rahman, who officially launched the book, A R Rahman The Spirit of Music, a the Novotel Hotel in Juhu, Mumbai. The book was the result of a series of conversations with documentary filmmaker and writer Nasreen Munni Kabir.

Before getting around to actually launching the book, Ratnam recalled on how they first met at Rahman's tiny studio. It was about one-fourth the size Ratnam was used to but the melodies he heard were simply beautiful.

But Ratnam says there is more to Rahman than mere music.

'As much a fan I am of his music I am a larger admirer of him as a human being,' Ratnam said of his friend.

The book took four years to come together, during which Nasreen spoke to Rahman some times in person, at others via a video conferencing facility.

Image: Nasreen Munni Kabir, A R Rahman and Mani Ratnam

Anushka To Romance The Superstar

Anushka is on cloud nine these days. After loads of speculation, it has been confirmed that she will be doing an important role in Rana, with Rajinikanth. Leading ladies like Vidya Balan and Ileana were considered for the role but it fell right into Anushka’s lap.

The beautiful lady who made it to the big league with Arundhati is happy that she will be working with the Superstar. Currently, only Deepika Padukone and Anushka have been finalized for this project so far, though the buzz is there are still more female characters that are just waiting to be snapped up. After all, everyone wants to be a part of a Superstar film. Watch this space for more.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Priyanka has no time for Mani Ratnam

Mani Ratnam may be on the wishlist of several B-Town stars. But busy actress Priyanka Chopra has no time for him.

Busy gal
The actress has been shooting round-the-clock for two films Karan Johar's Agneepath and Anurag Basu's

Going Tamil
Apparently, the Raavan director plans to cast her in Veerudu, a Tamil period flick.
A source confirms that Mani's people want to meet PC, but she's unable to commit because of time constraints.
Doing justice
The source offers details, "Ratnam's period film is set in 1500 BC and he feels that the Saat Khoon Maaf actress would be able to do justice to the character."

A source close to Priyanka confirms that she's quite kicked about the offer. "She plans to meet to him personally as soon as possible. This would be her first Tamil film, and it's believed to have a huge budget allocated to build huge sets and also use some exciting SFX."

The project will also feature south actors Vijay, Mahesh Babu and Arya and Anushka Shetty.
Hope it is not the fate of Ratnam's last offering Raavan that is making PC not find time for the veteran director.

The film is based on a Tamil novel Ponniyin Selvan and tells the story of the courageous warrior Vallavarayan Vandiyatheyan and King Aditha Karikalan which will be played by Vijay and Mahesh Babu. Anushka will play Vijay and Mahesh Babu's younger sister.

‘Jai Ho’ India for winning World Cup: Rahman

Music composer A.R. Rahman, whose Oscar-winning song ‘Jai ho’ was on everybody’s mind Saturday after India beat Sri Lanka in the cricket World Cup final, hopes many such successes to the country in every field.

‘Jai Ho, India for winning the World Cup! We are getting all that we want… May we always ‘want’ the best things that build our country as the most noble nation in the world,’ Rahman posted on his Facebook page.

The ace musician, whose version of patriotic song ‘Vande Mataram’ was played many times at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai during the match Saturday, will launch his biography in Mumbai Wednesday.

‘I am on my way to India (Mumbai) for my book launch!’ he added.

The book, ‘A.R. Rahman: The Spirit of Music’ has been penned by renowned writer Nasreen Munni Kabir. It will be launched by filmmaker Mani Ratnam, with whom Rahman has worked in many projects like ‘Guru’ and ‘Raavan’.

Chef arrested for trespassing into A R Rahman's studio

Chennai city police on Friday night arrested a 30-year-old chef on charges of trespassing into music maestro A R Rahman's studio in Kodambakkam.
Afrose Rasel Khan (30), a native of Loria Bazaar in Bediya district of Bihar went to Rahman's studio on Fifth Street, Dr Subbarayan Nagar, Kodambakkam at 11.30pm on Friday, police said.
He knocked on the door and told the security guards that he wanted to meet Rahman immediately. The guards alerted Rahman's assistant H Faizuddin. Khan claimed he was the the original composer of the 'Jai Ho' song which won Rahman the Oscar award.
Police said Khan threatened to burn Faizuddin alive if he was not allowed to meet Rahman. Faizuddin said he was being threatened by the man for the last three days. He called the police who came and took Khan into custody. He was slapped with charges of verbal abuse, criminal intimidation and trespassing.
Police said Khan was employed as a chef in a private catering agency in Mahim, Mumbai. Khan was remanded in judicial custody after being produced before a magistrate court in Chennai.

Mani gave my career a boost: Rahman

AR Rahman’s mentor Mani Ratnam whom he fondly calls “Mani sir” will launch the music maestro’s first-ever official biography, written by Nasreen Munni Kabir, on April 6 in Mumbai, along with some high profile actors and directors. A source informs Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan and filmmaker Rak yesh Omprakash Mehra are some of the people likely to grace the occasion.

Nasreen reveals that in her book Rahman talks about working with Mani’s cousin Sharada and her husband Trilok on an ad and eventually meeting Mani through them. The director-composer duo went on to first work together in Roja(1992) and continue to work together even after their 20-year-long association. Rahman says, “I felt a kind of vacuum when the production of Roja ended and told Mani Ratnam, ‘I am not going to work on another movie or another director. Working with you has been so satisfying.’”

Rahman also says Mani prodded him to not limit his music to his films or him. “It should be for the whole world,” director had told him.

Nasreen says the success of Roja helped him gradually overcome doubts over his abilities. Mani Ratnam believed in him from day one and gave his ego and talent a huge boost till Rahman started believing that he could do something. Rahman also credits Roja’s success for giving him “a kind of status”.

Time Magazine listed his music for Roja among the ten best soundtracks of all time in 2005. He says, “People started to respect and take me seriously.”

However, Rahman disagrees when asked if he gives his best compositions to Mani. He says, “I don’t need to impress Mani sir with grand ensembles and elaborate arrangements. Sometimes, he likes simplest melody. He doesn’t think twice about experimenting. That’s a great quality.”

Published by Om Books International, AR Rahman The Spirit of Music offers foliomusic of The Bombay Theme and Cry of the Rose by Rahman and a CD containing unreleased sound recordings.

‘Rahman is a genius’

She has been voted as one of the most beautiful people in New York and is currently on her toes across the globe promoting her latest flick The Lincoln Lawyer, but Russian-American actor Margarita Levieva is gaga over double Oscar-award winning Indian music composer AR Rahman.

“He is a genius. The other day, I was listening to the soundtrack of the Danny Boyle movie (Slumdog Millionaire) and I was spellbound with the sheer versatility in one movie’s soundtrack. He was brilliant in 127 Hours as well, but unlucky to miss out on an Oscar this time,” she says.

Levieva plays a prostitute, Reggie Campo, in the crime drama and talks about her role and what it was like working with Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillipe. “One of the things that drew me to this role is that I got to play twin sides of a female persona. She’s this very sexy, predatorial creature doing her job. Towards the end of the film, we see another side of her — a beaten down, open female who is fighting for her life,” says the 31-year-old, who thoroughly research for her role.

“The age of technology was very helpful. When I searched the web, I saw that there were tons of websites that have all of these girls, and it’s almost like going into an agency site that has actors,” she says.

Talking about her co-actors, Levieva says, “I’m super grateful that I got to work with them. They’re great actors and partners to act opposite to,” says Levieva, who is yet to read Michael Connelly’s novel, on which the movie is based.

More abou Levieva...
Name: Margarita Levieva
Age: 31
Place of Birth: Soviet Union
Debut: Billy’s Choice (2004)
Known for: The Invisible, Adventureland, Spread
Fututre projects: For Ellen, Knights of Badassdom, The Stand Up

Is SRK trying to be Rajni?

As the trailers of Ra.One hit the screens, people are comparing SRK's superhero act to that of Rajni's...

Shah Rukh Khan seems to be treating his 'Ra.One' with much passion, so much so that he strategically released its promos during the semi-final match between India and Pakistan in the ICC World Cup.

Though the first rushes seem polished enough, this super hero flick is being compared to any Rajni film, and his super hero acts are being likened to that of Rajinikanth's especially in 'Robot'/'Endhiran'.

It can be remembered, that when 'Robot' released, Shah Rukh held a meeting with his creative team, and set 'Endhiran' as the standard. Wanting his 'Ra One' to be an even better product, SRK even suggested a few changes in the script.

However, a friend close to SRK, and a unit hand of Ra.One reveals, "It's silly of anyone to compare SRK and Rajni. The similarities end at the genre of cinema. Ra.One is a sci-fi superhero film, Robot was similar. However, the storylines are different, and Ra.One is as competent a film, and SRK is a good actor. A superhero will be stronger, faster and do the impossible. That's what SRK is doing in Ra.One, that's whatRajinikanth has done in Robot!"

Will Rajini retire after Endhiran Part II?

RajniRathinavelu who is fondly called by one and all as Randy has handled the camera for Endhiran and now he has been signed to handle the camera for the film Raana which has Rajnikanth and Deepika Padukone in the lead role.

When asked Randy that there was news that Rajni would retire after Endhiran and how come he has agreed to act in Raana, he said," What? Rajni to retire. There is no chance at all. In fact Rajni will be doing Part 2 of Endhiran.

Talks are going on with regard to this. Once we complete Raana and after Shankar completes Nanban the work connected with Endhiran Part 2 will commence. Rajni, Shankar, A R Rahman and I will be the part of this film. Sun Pictures which produced the Part 1 will produce the second part also.

The friendship among people will normally not be there till the end while working in such big projects. The friendship will break even before the audio launch. But Endhiran has kept us all together. This will continue in Part 2 of Endhiran also."

Mani promises magic in Ponniyin Selvan

Mani promises magic in Ponniyin Selvan

Mani Ratnam may have had a disappointing outing in Raavanan. The much-hyped movie failed to make an impression with the masses, though it was critically acclaimed. Now Mani Ratnam is keen to maned for it.

Sources close to the ace filmmaker says, ' he is ready and raring to go. Known to comemnce shooting only after compiling the script, Mani Ratnam is determined to ensure that he hits the bull's eye with Ponniyin Selvan'.

Since the movie is based on historical novel by eminent writer Kalki, the director doesn't want to take chances. he is keen to getting on board a talented crew and cast. Almost the entire selection process is over that includes the likes of Arya, Mahesh babu, Anushka and Sathyaraj forming part of the cast.

Rahman, Mani's lucky mascot would be scoring the movie and most likely P C Sreeram would crank the camera. The latest is that location hunting is on and most likely he would commence shooting in a couple of months.

Rahman fought suicidal thoughts

The world knows about the genius of Oscar-winner Allah Rakha Rahman but very little is known about the enigmatic musician’s private life. Now, his first-ever official biography, A R Rahman The Spirit of Music, published by Om Books International, promises to let fans the world over know what makes the reserved Rahman tick.

The biography, written by Nasreen Munni Kabir, will release on April 6. It talks about how he approaches work, and more importantly, how he understands his own life. The book also talks about how his spiritual leanings have helped him develop a balance and how his irrepressible spirit fought demons of suicidal thoughts. He says in the book, “I live from day to day now. I believe that everything will be taken care of. It gives me a sense of stability instead of me feeling that I need to act or react to everything around me.”

However, this sense of tranquility and faith didn’t come overnight. In the book, Rahman gives a detailed account of how at one time he didn’t want to live and how 1989 was the turning point in his life when his mother sold all the gold jewellery kept aside for the marriage of his younger sisters.

Rahman says, “With that money I bought my first Fostex 16-track mixer/recorder. In those days, film music in Chennai was recorded on single mono track and here I had 16 tracks. All those years of struggle, humiliation, being ordered around by other people, seeing worry on the faces of my family, remembering the feeling of being overwhelmed by an inferiority complex, the lack of self-esteem, and even at times, fighting suicidal thoughts – all that seemed to fade away. Sitting in the music studio that night, and staring at my new recorder, I felt like a king. The new me was born and the future seemed glorious.” Nasreen says she was shocked when Rahman spoke of suicidal tendencies and asked him if he really meant it, and he told her, “It felt so hopeless and I often wondered how I was going to get out of all that.”

It took several meetings and interactions on Skype over a period of three years before the book was compete. The biography also talks about Rahman’s mentor Mani Ratnam, how he met wife Saira, and going through a depressing phase, as he was disturbed by 9/11, and the Iraq war. Rahman reveals this is when he met his spiritual teacher who also wrote the song Khwaja mere khwaja...(Jodhaa Akbar) under a pen name, Kashif.

“My teacher made me think in my small and humble way, that I could be a bridge between the two divided worlds,” says Rahman. When asked if he still suffers from self-doubt, despite all the fame, Rahman says in the book, “I have tried to develop a balance over the years. Whether people praise my work or rip it apart, I trust the possibility that a few months later they may like it.”

Things you may not know about Rahman

* At age five, he was a loner and stayed at home most of the time. He would lock himself into a room and play the harmonium for hours.
* His father R K Shekhar was a composer, arranger and conductor and worked in over a hundred Malayalam films.
* His paternal grandfather was a bhajan singer in a temple in Mylapore, South Chennai.
* He met Saira, his wife on his 28th birthday. His mother and sister Fathima saw her at the shrine of Sufi saint Moti Baba in Chennai.
* Rahman hopes to release an album with all his family members who are into music.
* When alone, he likes to go for walks in The Regent’s Park, London. In India, he spends his alone time in a 5x7 meditation room at his music studio.
* Whenever he dreams of home, he sees his old house at Habibullah Road where he spent 20 years. The house had a leaking roof.
* Him being called the Mozart of Madras isn’t his favourite label and says, “Poor Mozart should be left alone.”

Rahman`s biography in April

Music maestro AR Rahman's fans will get a treat on April 6, 2011. The award wining composer's biography 'AR Rahman: The Spirit of Music' written by renowned author Nasreen Munni Kabir will be launched by filmmaker Mani Ratnam, says a source. The book opens a window into Rahman's life and his rise in the trade as recorded for three years by Nasreen. It holds promise of inspiration to many artists, as they celebrate the journey of the Mozart of Madra. The first edition of the book comes with a free CD of Rahman`s composition, according to sources from publishing house Om Books International. Rahman is renowned for his work in 2008 blockbuster 'Slumdog Millionaire' for which he won two Academy Awards. The 45-year old's career started by composing commercials for cinema and television. He got his big break in Ratnam's 'Roja' in 1991.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Breaking news: Rajini to start ‘Enthiran-2’

Good news awaits Rajini fans even before the start of their Thalaivar’s next venture ‘Rana’. Yes, the Superstar is preparing himself for a sequel to ‘Enthiran’, his biggest blockbuster till date.

This has been revealed by none other than cinematographer Rathnavelu, who picturised ‘Enthiran’ and now getting ready to wield the camera for ‘Rana’ too. “Talks are currently on,” he says.

Shedding more light, he says, “Rajini sir, Sun Pictures, Shankar, Rahman and myself will come together for Enthiran-2 too. Most members of Enthiran team will be retained. Shankar is currently making the script ready.”

Saying that the movie would go on floors once Rajini completes ‘Rana’ and Shankar completes ‘Nanban’, a remake of ‘Three Idiots’, Randy says he would soon leave for Scotland to zero in on locations for ‘Rana’.

Mani Ratnam, Rahman, Sachin together

A R Rahman is the Sachin Tendulkar of music and Sachin is the Rahman of cricket. And ace director Mani Ratnam has brought these two legends together, for a short film.

The film shot for Shakthi Foundation, which works for the rights of the differently abled, has Sachin in front of the camera, with Mani Ratnam wielding the megaphone.

The Oscar-Grammy winner has taken care of the background score and he has provided soul-stirring music, we learn. "The short film is a shot in the arm for the physically challenged who successfully cross all hurdles in front of them," sources say.