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VOL 03 | ISSUE 07


APRIL 2012

Tollywood’s Mantra:

RACHA! Ram Charan Teja is all set to VHWWKHVFUHHQRQ¿UHZLWKWKH most-awaited Racha

‘I wouldn’t even call

Salman Khan a great friend’ - Shriya Saran

‘Flops keep you going’ - Naga Chaitanya

‘Who are you to sit in a room and talk about legends?’ - Gautham Vasudev 0HQRQEUHDWKHV¿UH

April Showers A look at some of the biggest blockbuster releases for Tamil New Year’s Day

April’s here! If it weren’t for the heat, this would easily qualify as the best month of the year. Holidays, idling away, hill stations, mangoes and best of all, movies – with April, it is literally the season for everything! After 3, there aren’t any Tamil releases with big stars for April. The reasons are several, and known to all. But that does not mean the scenario is even remotely dull in Tamilnadu. Interesting ¿OPVDUHEHLQJPDGHDQGLQIDFW the entire industry is smiling after striking gold when the National Awards were announced recently. Telugu has some awesome releases that fans simply can’t wait to watch. Racha, Dammu, Gabbar Singh‌ that’s how summer rolls, baby! Our April issue is all about celebrating some of the most fascinating tinsel towners in south India. Southscope wishes you a super summer. Read on and enjoy! Aruna R Krishnan

Managing Editor

Bridal collection A treasure of inventive designs, faultless artistry, and a varied culture. Come over to South India Shopping Mall, today!

Managing Editor

Aruna R Krishnan

Founder & Advisor

Allu Sirish

Editorial Consultant

InkWell Publishing

Editorial Coordinator

Maureen Fernando


Aravind G Shivakamal Pavithra Srinivasan R Richard Mahesh Unni R Nair Radhika Rajamani Martina Niranjini Nandini T Reddy Vijayalakshmi Sridhar

Cover & Star of the Month

Design Marketing Manager Publication Consultant Printers

Photographer: Avinash Gowariker, Styling: Leepakshi Ellawadi, Makeup: Vipul Bhagat, Hair: Aalim Hakim Whoa Mama Design Praveen Kumar +91 9841973090

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Southscope takes no responsibility for unsolicited photographs or material. ALL PHOTOGRAPHS, UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED, ARE USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE 385326(621/<5HJLVWHUHG2IÂżFH6KLYD6DL6DQQLGKL'ZDUDNDSXUL&RORQ\3XQMDJXWWD+\GHUDEDG$OOULJKWVUHVHUYHG5HSURGXFWLRQLQZKROHRULQSDUWRIDQ\RIWKH contents of this magazine or any pages thereof in any manner without our express written consent is prohibited. Southscope assumes no responsibility for the veracity and authenticity of the advertisements published herein. Readers are requested to make appropriate enquiries before incurring any expenses or acting on medical recommendations or otherwise in relation to any advertisement or article published herein. Views in articles are those of the respective authors only. Southscope does not necessarily subscribe to these views. PUBLISHED FOR THE MONTH OF April 2012 RNI NO.: APENG/2009/29389

PREVIEW A whisper here, a rumour there, our Roving Eye is always near! Get the low-down on everything that’s happening in WKHVRXWKHUQ¿OPLQGXVWU\ZLWKRXUµH\HIRUGHWDLO¶

Sharmila Mandre






Gautham Vasudev Menon



Udhayanidhi Stalin






Naga Chwaitanya µ)ORSVNHHS\RXJRLQJ¶


12 ~ 39


Husbands in Goa The story of three husbands, who are thick friends too, and on a trip to Goa


Shiva 7KHVWDNHVDUHKLJKDV6KLYDUDMNXPDUJHWVVHWWR scorch the screen for the 101st time!

Ram Charan Teja-VV Vinayak’s XQWLWOHG¿OP





Tollywood’s Mantra: RACHCHA!


PREVIEW Are the comic scenes as funny when said in English? Read on







Topiwala Upendraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stunning new look in his upcoming movie, Topiwala has become the talk of Sandalwood.



A look at some of the best Tamil New Year releases, followed by a meeting with three National Award winning directors

74 ~ 76



Dhanush to romance Sonam Dhanush is keen on making the best of the current surge in his popularity. His Bollywood debut Raanjhna, directed by Anand L Rai will have Sonam Kapoor as the lead lady, we hear. In fact director Anand has resolved the date quandaries with Sonam and is all set to get down to work. Sonam’s hot QHZORRNZLOOEHWKH863RIWKH¿OP'KDQXVK¶V springboard to Hindi also factors in the HindiGXEEHGYHUVLRQRIKLVODWHVW¿OPDVZHOO After this, Dhanush is said to have given the nod for a Tamil comedy caper to be directed by Chimbudevan.


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Privyet, Kajal! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Russian on Kajalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lips these days! The gorgeous girl, who has not been seen on Tamil screens for a while, is betting big on Maatran. She has taken lessons in Russian for her role in the much-awaited bilingual. The buzz is WKDW.DMDO$JJDUZDOÂśVUROHLQWKHÂżOPUHTXLUHVKHUWR DSSHDUĂ&#x20AC;XHQWLQ5XVVLDQ,QRUGHUWRJLYHDUHDOLVWLFORRN to her character, the actress took lessons to perfect her diction. A tutor from Russia was employed to teach her the language and the 20-something beauty is said to have picked it up at a surprising pace. As the major part of Maatraan has been shot in Russia, she will be seen belting GLDORJXHVLQ5XVVLDQWKURXJKYDULRXVSDUWVRIWKHÂżOP The movie is directed by KV Anand and stars Suriya in the lead role.

Shriyaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evergreen charm At one point, she had it all. But we will never quite understand why the sensuous Shriya Saran with her smouldering good looks DQGVFUHHQSUHVHQFHKDVQÂśWKDGDGUHDPUXQLQÂżOPV$VIRUQRZ WKHEHDXW\KDVDFWHGLQWKHURPDQWLFFRPHG\7HOXJXÂżOP1XYYD Nena, directed by debutante Narayana after quite a long break. She apparently found the script of Nuvva Nena very entertaining and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind acting with a fairly fresh cast including Allari 1DUHVK ZLWKZKRPVKHDFWHGEULHĂ&#x20AC;\LQWKHÂżOP$%HOO\)XOO2I Dreams, some years ago) and Sharwanand (with whom she has VKDUHGVFUHHQVSDFHIRUWKHÂżUVWWLPH )RUWKLVRIIEHDWFDVWLQJ Nuvva Nena seems to have had a decent run. And needless to say, 6KUL\DKHUVHOIORRNVJRUJHRXVLQWKHÂżOPWRR

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


ANDREA IN A RELATIONSHIP? Casting aspersions is a regular affair in movie town. Andrea who has almost always remained a recluse has once again come under the spotlight. She is rumoured to be back in a close relationship with fashion photographer Sunder Ramu, her alleged one-time boyfriend and longtime friend. Andrea who is shooting for Kamal Haasanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vishwaroopam has chosen to brush it aside as just baseless gossip. Will this trail of VPRNHOHDGWRDVPRXOGHULQJÂżUH"

Sunder Opens Up The man in question, Sunder Ramu, plays Dhanushâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friend LQWKHÂżOPVDQG0D\DNNDP(QQD6XUHHQRXJKKHKDVEHHQ hogging a lot of attention recently for his friendship with some of the most well-known celebs in Kollywood and of course, his alleged romance with Andrea. When we quizzed him about this, Sunder says,â&#x20AC;?Many people want to know about my friendship with Kamal and Rajni sirâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daughters. I have known Aishwarya from our younger days; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always called her Ice. Similarly, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve known Shruti from the time she was a schoolgirl, and she has even posed as a model for me. Now she is all grown up and has become a heroine! Since I am a fashion photographer, I have photographed many actors like Suriya, Vikram, Sameera Reddy, Andrea, Richa Gangopadhyay, etc. Naturally, I know all of them quite well. But am I in love with $QGUHD":HOO,KDYHNQRZQKHUVLQFH,KDYHEHHQDFWLQJ in stage plays. We became friends and our relationship is a respectful friendship.â&#x20AC;?


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Ajith not in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Raceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Contrary to popular speculation, Vishnuvardhan will not come together with Ajith for the remake of Race. Instead, the successful director who has already proved himself ZLWK%LOOD  LV\HDUQLQJWRJHWEDFNLQWKHER[RIÂżFH race by bringing Thala (Ajith) and Arya together in his next project. After Panjaa (2011) with cult hero Pawan Kalyan, 9LVKQXLVOLNHO\WRLQIXVHWKHÂżOPZLWKDORWRIVWDUSRZHU And interestingly, there are whispers that Panjaa itself is on the Tamil remake track.

Maddy DINES WITH SURIYA Maddy is known to be one actor who is impervious to both failure and success. His well documented switchover from Kollywood and his rise through the ranks in Bollywood has been a great success. Maddy has now built a rather robust FDUHHULQERWKWKHVHÂżOPLQGXVWULHV$IWHUDORQJVWLQWDVDQ DFWRUWKDWKDVVWUHWFKHGRYHU\HDUV0DGG\KDVÂżQDOO\WDNHQD EUHDNIURPDFWLQJDIWHUKLVODWHVWÂżOP-RGL%UHDNHUVFUDVKHG DWWKHER[RIÂżFH5HFHQWO\KHZDVDW6XUL\DÂśVKRXVHGLQLQJ with the star and his wife Jyothika. Now thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what you call a cool head, indeed!


A pril 2012 | Southscope

More delays for Alex Pandian The FEFSI problem has been hotting up, and all of Kollywood is feeling the heat. However the movie Alex Pandian produced by Gnanavel Rajaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Studio Green starring Karthi, was the worst affected by this state of affairs. Recently, the shooting of Alex Pandian was stalled, since the light men refused to work. When Southscope contacted Gnanavel Raja, he gave a clear explanation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The problem started on the 5th when the workers refused to resume work after the lunch break. They asked me to speak to their Union Head, which I was not willing to do. At 2.30pm, after an hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s break, the men came back to work. Again on the 6th, they refused to work and asked me to speak to their Head. The issue between Ameer and me is in the court, and I am waiting for a solution. Since I wanted to approach this problem with the correct procedure, I elevated the matter to the Producersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Council.â&#x20AC;? The skirmish had started again on the 11th, a second Sunday, which is usually a holiday for the labourers and unit hands. However, as is the common practice, Gnanavel Raja had paid a fee of 25,000 rupees on the 10th and taken permission to employ the workers on the second 6XQGD\Âł%XW´KHVWRSVWRSRLQWRXWÂł,WUDWWOHGXVWRNQRZWKDWWKUHHPRUHÂżOPVKDYHEHHQJUDQWHGSHUPLVVLRQWRVKRRWRQWKHVDPHGD\2Q 10th we had planned for a schedule with 250 people, but problems cropped up again. At 7am, out of the 23 crafts, crucial workmen like the camera operators, light men, and crane operators staged a non-cooperating strike. They stood outside the compound, but did not participate in the shoot. At 10am, they resolved it with their Union Head and were ready to start work and I could not go ahead with the shoot since half day was lost in debate, and we had planned to wrap up at 4pm. So I went ahead and paid everyone, except the non-cooperating twenty.â&#x20AC;? With that, Gnanavel Raja decided to shift the shooting to Hyderabad and requested the Council to probe into the issue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were bugged by the fact that Ameer was using FEFSI to trouble us continuously. Meanwhile the Producersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Council raised the issue with the Labour Union &RPPLVVLRQHU´7KHPHHWLQJKDGHQGHGLQDÂż[ZKHQ5DMDÂśVVLGHZDVDVNHGIRUDQLPPHGLDWHVHWWOHPHQWIRUWKH3DUXWKLYHHUDQFDVHDZDLWLQJ FRXUWGHFLVLRQ7KH3URGXFHUVÂś&RXQFLOPHPEHUVKDGFRQVHTXHQWO\ZDONHGRXW*QDQDYHO5DMDDOVRFODULÂżHV6WXGLR*UHHQÂśVVWDQGRQKLV Paruthiveeran problem with Ameer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our intentions are quite transparent and we have given in to his demands,â&#x20AC;? he asserts. The shoot in Hyderabad too did not go on for more than two days. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They complained that we had ill-treated the workers. Even then I was ready to pay the compensation. But when the Hyderabad shooting was stopped, I paid the workers for food and accommodation and brought them back to Chennai,â&#x20AC;? he tells us. Gnanavel also points out the problems and discriminations in wages for the labourers that are currently rampant in the industry need to be sorted out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because of high wages, small-budget productions are forced to source labourers from other states like Kerala,â&#x20AC;? he remarks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The current status is that the Producersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Council is not ready to let this go, as this is not a healthy trend,â&#x20AC;? he informs us. However as things stand now, a happy ending seems next to impossible.


A pril 2012 | Southscope


Superstar Croons for Kochadaiyaan Superstar Rajinikanth has sung a song after 20 years. The star, who last lent his singing voice for Mannan, way back in 1992, has now agreed to sing a song composed by Oscar Award winner AR Rahman. The number has been penned by poet-lyricist Vairamuthu. The VRQJHODERUDWHVWKHWKHPHRIWKH¿OPDQGOLQNV6XSHUVWDU¶VFKDUDFWHUWRWKH¿OP6RXUFHVVD\WKDWERWK5DMLQLNDQWKDQG$55ZHUH most excited to record the track together.

A sensational wave Maatran directed by KV Anand was caught in an Internet foible. Recently some sensational pictures with Suriya tagged as the Maatraan pictures had decorated pages of the web world. But team Maatraan does not want to admit to the goof-up. The team claims that those undisclosed pictures were from Vaaranam Aayiram. It must be noted that such unauthorised releases and retorts are not new to $OLVW¿OPV:LOOWKHWHDPVKDNHRIIWKLVSDVVLYHQHVVDQG ORRNIRUWKHFXOSULW":H¶OOKDYHWRZDLWDQGVHH


A pril 2012 | Southscope

The Au pair Both Taapsee Pannu and Lakshmi Rai are busy exploring Bollywood. Taapsee has wrapped up WKHÂżUVWVFKHGXOHRI&KDVKPH%DGGRRUDQGLV eager to begin the second schedule and dubbing. Meanwhile, Lakshmi Rai is trying to sign yet DQRWKHUÂżOPZLWKGLUHFWRU$QNXVK%KDWW:KLOH Taapsee has been put to the test by ace director David Dhawan, Lakshmi Rai has got to win a sexy challenge with Mallika Sherawat to land a role. Will the experience help hone both Taapsee DQG/DNVKPLÂśVHUPÂŤDFWLQJVNLOOV"

Arid summer for Tamil cinema 6XPPHUÂśVXSRQXVDQGZKDWRQFHXVHGWREHWKHPDLQVWD\RIÂżOPV everywhere, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite seem to be the case, anymore. What with the ,3/DOUHDG\OD\LQJVLHJHWRYLHZHUVLQ$SULODQGELJVWDUÂżOPVVFKHGXOHGWR UHOHDVHRQO\RQVSHFLÂżFIHVWLYDOGDWHVLWGRHVQRWUORRNOLNHWKHÂżOPLQGXVWU\ ZLOOKDYHPXFKWRORRNIRUZDUGWRWKLVVXPPHU2UGRHVLW"Âł2IFRXUVHLW does,â&#x20AC;? declares G Dhananjeyan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, I know that problems exist between WKH7)3&DQG)()6,EXWLQWKHHQG,DPFRQÂżGHQWWKDWWKLQJVZLOOZRUN out.â&#x20AC;? That certainly is the need of the hour, as the TFPC has now launched a new attack: they have decided to form the Tamil Thiraipada Thozhilaalargal $PDLSSXDVDJDLQVW)()6,DQGWKRVHZKRZLVKWRZRUNLQÂżOPVPXVW be registered with this new organisation. This will begin functioning on 0D\QRQHZÂżOPZLOOEHDOORZHGWREHJLQXQWLO$SULO$VDSURGXFHU in both Tamil and Telugu, and scheduled to release Masala CafĂŠ in May, 'KDQDQMH\DQLVTXLWHFRQÂżGHQWÂł8OWLPDWHO\QR,3/RUDQ\WKLQJZLOO LQĂ&#x20AC;XHQFHÂżOPVLIDQ\WKLQJSHRSOHDUHNHHQHUWKDQHYHUWRZDWFKQHZÂżOPV´ he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the end, good movies will always win.â&#x20AC;?

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


Vijay behind the camera After lending his voice for a song in the upcoming action adventure 7DPLOĂ&#x20AC;LFN7KXSSDNNL,OD\DWKDODSDWK\9LMD\KDVWXUQHGFDPHUDPDQ IRUWKHVDPHÂżOP7KH9HOD\XGKDPVWDUKDQGOHGWKHFLQHPDWRJUDSK\ for a sequence in Mumbai. The latest buzz is that Vijay switched on the camera and acted for the scene as per cinematographer Santhosh Sivanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice. It was shot on the busy streets in Mumbai on March 11 and was wrapped up within a few minutes in order to avoid unwanted public attention. Planned and executed by director AR Murugadoss, the shoot was supervised by Santosh Sivan. Vijay completed the entire sequence in a single take. Thuppakki, which also features Kajal Aggarwal is produced by Kalaipuli S Dhanu.

Alphonsa attempts suicide Actress Alphonsa, popular in Tamil cinema for her item numbers, is believed to have attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills. She took this drastic step following the death of her boyfriend. According to sources, Alphonsa was living with her lover Vinod Kumar Virugambakkam in Chennai. Earlier this month, she returned from Dubai and reportedly had a TXDUUHOZLWKKLP:KHQVKHZRNHXSWKHQH[WPRUQLQJVKHZDVVKRFNHGWRÂżQGKLPKDQJLQJ from the ceiling. Following this, she informed the police who rushed to the spot and sent the body for post-mortem. Vinod Kumarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents are said to be claiming that the actress is responsible for the death of their son and Alphonsa was taken to the police station for questioning. A distressed Alphonsa returned home and decided to end her life by consuming tablets. Fortunately, she was rushed to a nearby hospital immediately and is said to be out of danger.


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Divya Spandana repenting? Divya Spandana (Ramya) does not have any qualms about acting with unknown and upcoming male leads in Kannada. Her liberal attitude, it seems, was taken for granted by the struggling and largely unproven DFWRU<DVK7KHGXRKDGDFWHGLQDÂżOPWLWOHG/XFN\DQGDSSDUHQWO\<DVK did not like the fact that Divya was hogging the limelight at promos for the movie! It is just natural that Divya, who has spent close to a decade in WKHÂżOPLQGXVWU\JDUQHUVPRUHPHGLDLQWHUHVWWKDQDQXQNQRZQIDFH$Q irritable Yash supposedly asked the TV anchors to focus on him and not on Divyaâ&#x20AC;Ś A red-faced Divya was forced to tweet about her co-actorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attitude: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;In fact he even wanted my name out of the posters!! Every time the producer wanted it back, he would instruct the designer to remove it!! All this behind my back! And I like a fool took up for him, little did I know I would face this myself! Be nice and see what you get!!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Subsequently, an annoyed Divya kept away from promotions for the ÂżOPDQGWKHPRYLHDVH[SHFWHGĂ&#x20AC;RSSHG

Kollywood bats for Tamilians Kollywood has always batted for the cause of Tamil Nadu and Tamilians. In issues such as Cauvery and Mullai Periyar, the K-town actors, directors and others have rallied their voices for the rights of the Tamils. With the war crimes committed on Tamilians in Sri Lanka coming to the fore now in the form of video clippings, the voices from Kollywood are also growing stronger. STR wrote on his microblogging SDJHÂľ,QDVWDWHRIVKRFNDIWHUZLWQHVVLQJWKHKXJHFU\DQGJHQRFLGHRINLGVDWNLOOLQJÂżHOGVLQ6ULODQNDZLVKLWHQGVVRRQ0\YRLFHLV for Tamilsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A cruel world again. May the innocent rest in paradiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; tweeted â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jayamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ravi. Kushboo said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The videos of Tamil killing ÂżHOGVHQGVDFKLOOGRZQ\RXUVSLQH<RXJRQXPEIRUIHZPRPHQWVDQGWKHQDQJHUVHHSVLQVHHWKLQJDQJHUÂś$FFRUGLQJWR3UDVDQQD Âľ&RXOGQÂśWZDWFKWKH/DQNDQNLOOLQJÂżHOGVYLGHRPRUHWKDQWZRPLQXWHV+RUULEOHLQKXPDQKHDUWOHVVFROGEORRGHG'HHSO\VDGGHQHG for my Tamilsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Venkat Prabhu said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Really disturbing visuals! Is God really watching this!!!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lyricist Madhan Karky echoed â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Shocked DQGGLVWXUEHGVHHLQJWKHNLOOLQJÂżHOGVÂżOP2QHRIWKHPRVWLQKXPDQDFWV,ÂśYHVHHQLQOLIH7KHZRUOGVKRXOGVD\12WRZDU(YHU\VLQJOH SHUVRQEHKLQGWKHNLOOLQJÂżHOGVZDUFULPHVVKRXOGEHEURXJKWWRMXVWLFHÂś VLF 


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Amala THRILLED WITH KSY Must say, Amala Paul is one happy chick, these days. On her latest ¿OP.6<œVVXFFHVVWKHVH[\DFWRUVD\V³,KDGJRQHWRDFLQHPDKDOO LQ+\GHUDEDGWRZDWFK/RYH)DLOXUHDQGDVVRRQDVWKH¿OPHQGHGWKH entire theatre gave a standing ovation. Tears started rolling down my FKHHNV:KDWHOVHFDQ,DVNIRU"´,QGHHG

SudeepDivya Spandana patch up Have Sudeep and Divya Spandana buried their animosity WRZDUGVHDFKRWKHU"$SSDUHQWO\WKHWZRDFWRUVZHUHQRWRQ talking terms following differences of opinion during the shooting of their 2010 romance movie Just Math Mathalli. 7KH\EDUHO\H[FKDQJHGJUHHWLQJVHYHQDWÂżOP\HYHQWV%XWWKH duo are now exchanging old pictures on Twitter and following each other. If industry sources are to be believed, all is truly well now between the two. Could we see another movie IHDWXULQJWKHKLWSDLULQWKHIXWXUH"


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Tamannaah upstaged A little known actor and model Akshara literally shocked Tamannaah by claiming WKDWVKHZRXOGUHSODFHWKHVWDUDFWRULQ0DKHVK%DEXÂśVQH[WÂżOP7RPDNHPDWWHUV ZRUVHDOHDGLQJÂżOPSXEOLFDWLRQDOVRDQQRXQFHGWKDW$NVKDUDKDGEHHQVHOHFWHGWR SOD\WKHIHPDOHOHDGUROHRSSRVLWH0DKHVK%DEXLQKLVQH[WÂżOP%XWLWGLGQRWWDNH more than a day for Tollywood to realise that Akshara was back to playing her games. Bengaluru-based Akshara often hogs the spotlight with the fantastic claims she makes. Two years ago, she had claimed that she was dating cricketer Yuvaraj Singh. And now, this announcement allegedly replacing Tamannaah. We wonder what Aksharaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next claim to dubious fame will be!

Honours for Deiva Thirumagal Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s turning out to be a heavy downpour of praises for Deiva Thirumagal across the JOREH7KHÂżOPKDVJODGGHQHGWKHKHDUWVRILWVPDNHUVDQGSURGXFHUVE\ZLQQLQJ two prizes in the Osaka Film Festival: The Grand Prix Award for Best Film and ABC Award for Best Entertainer. Director AL Vijay, in the midst of a busy shoot, is understandably excited about it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m delighted, frankly,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was such a ZRQGHUIXOKRQRXU2XWRIWKHÂżOPVWKDWHQWHUHGZHUHVKRUWOLVWHGDQG'HLYD Thirumagal was chosen as the Best Film. I feel itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect reward for our hard ZRUN´:KDWDOVRLQWHUHVWHGWKHDXGLHQFHVDWWKHÂżOPIHVWLYDOZDVWKHXSFRPLQJ 9LNUDPÂżOPGLUHFWHGE\9LMD\7KDDQGDYDPZKLFKLVFRPSOHWHO\GLIIHUHQWIURPWKLV DZDUGZLQQLQJÂżOP7KH7KDDQGDYDPFUHZZLOOEHĂ&#x20AC;\LQJWRWKH86$QH[WZHHN for the second schedule, while composer GV Prakash Kumar has almost completed working on the songs.

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KV Anand close-lipped Cinematographer-turned-director KV Anand is careful not to divulge anything about his proposed project ZLWK5DMLQLNDQWK7KHÂżOPPDNHUFODLPVWKDWKHLVIXOO\IRFXVHGRQKLVXSFRPLQJSURMHFW0DDWUDDQ Reacting to rumours, KV Anand has said that it is every directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream to work with Rajinikanth and he is no exception, but as he is fully occupied with Maatraan, he is concentrating only on this project. A ZKLOHDJR.9$QDQGQDUUDWHGDVWRU\WR5DMLQLNDQWKDQGWKHFRQWHQWRIWKHÂżOPLPSUHVVHGWKH6XSHUVWDU 7KHDFWRULVDOVRVDLGWRKDYHJLYHQKLVYHUEDOFRQVHQWWRDFWLQWKHSURMHFW,WLVVDLGWKDWWKHÂżOPZLOOEHD commercial entertainer, which is what the Endhiran starâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fans expect from him.

Nayan is a changed person Insiders are already chirping gleefully about how the sexy Nayan is friendlier than ever before and has a kind word for everyone. With accolades pouring in for her wonderful portrayal of Seetha in Sriramarajyam, Nayan is also on a signing spree, in Telugu FLQHPDDWOHDVW6KHKDVVLJQHGGLUHFWRU'DVDUDWKÂśVQH[WÂżOPZLWK Nagarjuna, another with Gopichand, and is scheduled to join the shoot of Krish Jagalamudiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum opposite 5DQD'DJJXEDWL$ÂżOPZLWK3DZDQ.DO\DQDOVRVHHPVWREHRQWKH cards. So, Nayan has a busy year ahead! But Nayan, we are so done with your â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sitaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hangover! So lose the sterotypical sarees quick, girl, and start wearing clothes to suit your age.


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Rakshita too joins the league :KDW¶VZLWK.DQQDGDJODPJLUOVDQGSROLWLFV")LUVWLWZDV'LY\D6SDQGDQDWKHQ3RRMD*DQGKL:LWKJHQHUDOHOHFWLRQV in Karnataka only a year away, Sandalwoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading ladies are making a beeline to political parties in search of power! After Divya Spandana and Pooja Gandhi joined the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) respectively, actor-turned producer Rakshita joined the lesser known BSR party, led by mining baron and former minister B Sriramulu. A successful PXOWLOLQJXDODFWRU5DNVKLWDLVEDFNHGE\KHUKXVEDQG3UHPDKLW¿OPPDNHU6D\V5DNVKLWD³,WZDVERXQGWRKDSSHQ I had been toying with the idea of entering politics for a while. Over the past two weeks, I gave it a serious thought and GHFLGHGWRWDNHWKHSOXQJH´+PPPVKDOOZHVD\5DNVKLWDGLGQRWZDQWWREHOHIWRXW"


Billa 2 soaring in the skies Expectations from Billa 2, which may now be released in June, are soaring higher with each passing day. Any piece of information about HLWKHUWKH¿OPRULWVVWDU$MWK.XPDUJHQHUDWHVKXJHK\SH0RVWUHFHQWO\.WRZQZDVDEX]]ZLWKQHZVWKDWWKHDXGLRDQG79ULJKWVRIWKH¿OP DUHEHLQJVROGIRUUHFRUGDPRXQWV7KHODWHVWDERXWWKH¿OPLVWKDW7KDODKDVGRQHDIHZPLQGEORZLQJVWXQWVLQWKHXSFRPLQJ7DPLOPRYLH According to reports, Ajith Kumar will be seen doing stunts, which he has not done till date. A world-class company is involved in the planning RIDFWLRQVHTXHQFHVDQGWKHVWXQWVKDYHEHHQFKRUHRJUDSKHGZLWKVRPHVWXQQLQJ¿JKWVFKDVHVDQGJXQ¿UHVFHQHV

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not the reason for delaysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: STR STR is back in the hunt after a couple of months off in the United States, where he was caught up with technicians and musicians for his music album, the Love Anthem. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes I am back,â&#x20AC;? STR says and adds: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will now start working on Poda Podi, Vettai Mannan and Vada Chennai.â&#x20AC;? Giving VSHFLÂżFGHWDLOVKHVD\VÂł7KHHQWLUHWDONLHSRUWLRQRI3RGD3RGLLVRYHUDQG we will soon shoot for songs. Also, I am leaving for Brazil to shoot for my other venture Vettai Mannan,â&#x20AC;? he adds. On Vada Chennai with Vetrimaaran, he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am happy to be associated with the National Award-winning director for Vada Chennai. I will start working on it after completing Poda Podi and Vettai Mannan.â&#x20AC;? He further says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am not the reason behind the GLVUXSWLRQFDXVHGWRWKHVKRRWLQJVFKHGXOHVRIP\ÂżOPV7KHZKROHLQGXVWU\ was suffering for more than a month due to the strike and only during that time I went to the US for my music album.â&#x20AC;?

Vetrimaaran gets Cloud Nine again With STRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s return from USA on February 19, the shooting of Vetrimaaranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 9DGD&KHQQDLLVDOOVHWWRJRRQWKHĂ&#x20AC;RRUV:KLOHWKLVÂżOPLVSURGXFHG by Durai Dhayanidhi Azhagiri of Cloud Nine Movies, the director has managed to pull STR in for his other project as well. Vetrimaaran has recently launched his production house â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Grass Root Productions, with NH 45 that marks the directorial debut of his long-time associate Manikandan. An interesting fact is that Vetrimaaran had planned to make his own debut through this movie, but was stalled due to various reasons. Very impressed with Vetrimaaranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s script, the young Dhayanidhi Azhagiri has now decided WRFRSURGXFHWKHÂżOP


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Ilayaraja offers prayers at Chidambaram Noted music composer Ilayaraja is a well-known spiritualist. In the past, KHKDVFRPSRVHGWXQHVIRUPDQ\GHYRWLRQDODOEXPVDQGKLVÂżOPVRQJV set on the Almighty have become big hits. Indeed who can forget his VRXOVWLUULQJUHQGLWLRQRIWKHPDJQLÂżFHQW7KLUXYDVDJDP"(DUOLHUWKLV month, Ilayaraja chose to visit the famous Sri Chidambaram Nataraja temple and offered prayers. He was accompanied by temple authorities DQGZDVRIIHUHGDVSHFLDOGDUVKDQ2QWKHÂżOPIURQWWKH,VDLJQDQLLV currently busy working in Gautham Vasudev Menonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Neethanae En Ponvasantham, besides a couple of Telugu movies.

Chakri might direct Kamal? $DVFDU5DYLFKDQGUDQÂśVWDONVZLWKÂżOPPDNHU6KDQNDUWRGLUHFW.DPDO+DDVDQÂśV next movie seem to have failed, as the Endhiran creator has reportedly opted out of the project. The latest buzz is that the producer has approached young director Chakri Toleti, who is directing Ajith Kumarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Billa 2, to helm the Ulaga Nayaganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s project. If reports are to be believed, Aascar Ravichandran DQG6KDQNDUKDYHEHHQWDNLQJGLIIHUHQWURXWHVEHFDXVHWKHÂżOPPDNHUZDQWHG WRKDYHKLVRZQVFULSWIRUWKHÂżOPUDWKHUWKDQXVLQJWKHVWRU\SHQQHGE\.DPDO Haasan himself. Even after holding several rounds of talks, the producer could not bring his plan to fruition. It is Chakri Toletiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s association with Kamal Haasan through Unnaipol Oruvan that seems to have brought Aascar Ravichandran to approach the Billa 2 director.

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A pril 2012 | Southscope

Absolutely handsome :HFDQÂśWJHWHQRXJKRIWKHDEVROXWHO\KDQGVRPH5DQD'DJJXEDWL$QGZKHQKHĂ&#x20AC;DXQWVWKRVHZDVKERDUGDEVLQKLVODWHVWVL[SDFN avatar, we simply canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop staring! Here, he scorches our pages with his co-star Natalia in RGVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Andham. The hunky Rana has already had his share of alleged link-ups with glam dolls, including Trisha and Bipasha Basu. For his part, he SDWLHQWO\GHQLHVWKHVHUXPRXUVÂł7ULVKDLVSUREDEO\RQHP\ROGHVWIULHQGVLQWKHÂżOPLQGXVWU\6RWKLVUXPRXUDPXVHVPHÂŤ%XW I know that we are good friends, and the media wants stories,â&#x20AC;? he laughs. With the gorgeous Nayan being paired with him in his forthcoming Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum, we wonder what rumours are next! That said, Rana shrugs off stories surrounding his personal life. Of late, he has been seen attending a lot of events and interacting ZLWKKLVIDQVDQGDXGLHQFHV)RULQVWDQFHKHĂ&#x20AC;HZGRZQWR%HQJDOXUXIRUWKHSURPRWLRQRI1DD,VKWDPZKLFKLVDQLQGLFDWLRQWKDW the actor has found acceptance in new markets like Karnataka.

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Genelia disappoints 7KHVHGD\VZKHQDFWRUVJHWPDUULHGWKHÂżOPVWKH\FXUUHQWO\KDYH in hand seem to take a backseat in their priorities. This may have EHHQWKHFDVHZLWK*HQHOLD'Âś6RX]DUHFHQWO\,VVKHDYRLGLQJÂżOP\ HYHQWVSRVWPDUULDJH"7KHDFWRUZDVQRWVHHQDWWKHDXGLRODXQFK of her Telugu movie Naa Ishtam opposite Rana Daggubati. More than 15,000 students had turned up for the event. But the actor GLVDSSRLQWHGHYHU\ERG\LQFOXGLQJWKHFUHZRIWKHÂżOPE\PLVVLQJ the launch. Tch Tchâ&#x20AC;Ś In any case, her absence was certainly not a setback for the event, as tVictory Venkatesh along with Rana added enough star power and elegance to the ocassion. The audio launch was held at the Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering & Technology.

Jiivaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mask and his lidless nights Jiiva has turned into a nocturnal creature for the past couple of years thanks to his involvement with a host of projects. His enthusiasm and positive energy have even impressed the younger league of actors in K-town. The actor recently completed shooting DVFKHGXOHIRU1HHWKDDQH(Q3RQYDVDQWKDPDQGKDVUHVXPHGWKHÂżOPLQJRIGLUHFWRU0\VVNLQÂśV0XJDPRRGL6LQFH-LLYDVWDUVDVD superhero, the director felt that night would be the best time to shoot a few of the sequences. Apparently, the actor and his entire crew including Narain have been spending lidless nights, well past dusk. It is noteworthy that Jiivaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specially designed superhero costume weighs a massive 11 kgs and he had to wear it through 60 days of training and shooting!


A pril 2012 | Southscope


Going Global Backed by the success of Nuvvila, Tanish is all set to woo audiences with Mem Vayasukku Vaccham. Vijayalakshmi Sridhar talks to the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive producer Haritha Medishetty to get all the info you need on the plot, release date and more For those who want to go back to the eighties for a dose of romantic entertainment on screen, Mem Vayasukku Vaccham is the perfect choice! The plot revolves around a love affair between a young Hindu and Muslim couple and has a lot of vintage value in terms of the story it has chosen to explore. +RZHYHUFODULÂżHV099ÂśVH[HFXWLYHSURGXFHU+DULWKD0HGLVKHWW\Âł:HKDYHFKRVHQDWUHQG\DQJOHWRSUHVHQWWKHVWRU\7KH UHOLJLRQVDUHMXVWDEDFNJURXQGWRWKHOHDGFKDUDFWHUV7KHXQGHUFXUUHQWVDUHQRWPDJQLÂżHGLQDQ\IURQWDQGDUHGHDOWZLWK subtly. Against this tried-and-tested formula, the couple who fall in love take their families into consideration and are happy accommodating their cultural and value-based demands and decisions. The balance struck between the two different generations and their contrasting attitudes, is sure to steal audiencesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hearts.â&#x20AC;? 3RVW1XYYLOD099ZLOOFUHDWHDUHIUHVKLQJIDQIROORZLQJIRUWKHÂżOPÂśVKHUR7DQLVK$FFRUGLQJWR+DULWKDKHKDVEHHQWUDQVIRUPHG LQWRDVW\OLVKKHURDQGKLVRXWÂżWVDUHGHVLJQHGNHHSLQJLQPLQGWKHGLIIHUHQWDVSHFWVRIKLVFKDUDFWHU)XUWKHUVKHDGGVÂł$Q\ \RXQJVWHUFDQHDVLO\FRQQHFWZLWKKLPLQWKHÂżOPDQGWKLVLVWKH863RIWKHÂżOP1LWL7D\ORULV7DQLVKÂśVGHEXWDQWHSDLUDQG0DGDOD 6KDUPDLVGRLQJDFDPHRLQWKHPRYLH´+DULWKDLVHTXDOO\XSEHDWDERXWYHWHUDQDFWRU%KDJ\DUDMÂśVUROHLQWKHÂżOPÂł+HSOD\VD SLYRWDOUROHDURXQGZKLFKWKHÂżOPÂśVVWRU\LVZRYHQ7KLVVHQLRUDFWRUDSSHDUVLQWKHYHU\ÂżUVWVFHQHDQGFDUULHVWKHUHVWRIWKHPRYLH LQKLVVKRXOGHUV+HWRRFRXOGUHODWHWRWKHÂżOPLQVWDQWO\DQGFRPSOLPHQWHGXVRQLWVUHOHYDQFHKHLVWRWDOO\LQYROYHG in the making.â&#x20AC;? 7KHÂżOPÂśVPXVLFE\6KHNKDU&KDQGUDUHOHDVHGWKLV)HEUXDU\LVWRXWHGDVDELJSOXVIRU0997KHUHVSRQVHKDVEHHQSDUWLFXODUO\ encouraging across AP and the Telugu-speaking populace living in US, U.K, Australia etc. All the six tracks belong to different genres and will be a career-booster for Shekhar Chandra. Vellipoke has quickly made its way to the top of the charts. Haritha assures, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Both the story and the music complement each other to a great extent.â&#x20AC;? The theme song choreographed by Swarna was UHFHQWO\ÂżOPHGLQ*RD Haritha waxes eloquent about the tall plans the team has for marketing the movie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are planning to visit colleges in Hyderabad DQGSURSDJDWHWKHLQWHQVLW\RIWKHOHDGFKDUDFWHUV´VKHVPLOHV7KHWUDLOHUÂżUVWORRNDQGSRVWHUVKDYHOHGWRDVXUJHLQH[SHFWDWLRQV DPRQJVWWKHDXGLHQFHV%DQNLQJRQWKHEX]]WKDWWKHÂżOPKDVDOUHDG\NLQGOHGLQFRXQWULHVDEURDG+DULWKDGLYXOJHVÂł:HDUHKRSLQJ for a simultaneous release in India and abroad. We are already contacting distributors.â&#x20AC;? Working on a tight, planned schedule, the VKRRWLQJIRU0HP9D\DVXNNX9DFFKDPLVFRPSOHWHDQGWKHÂżOPLVDOOVHWIRUDQ$SULOUHOHDVH

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Shocking change in Saguni Karthiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forthcoming movie Saguni has undergone a shocking change in the cast well after the shooting was completed. Actor 6DOLP*KRXVHZKRKDGFRPSOHWHGÂżOPLQJIRUKLVUROHKDV been replaced by Prakash Raj. The buzz is that Karthiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family including his father Sivakumar and brother Suriya did not like the portions with Salim Ghouse. They reportedly told director Shankar Dayal that the portions between Karthi-Salim have not come out well and that Salim looks dull in front of the Siruthai star. Following this, the director decided to chop Salimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scenes and rope in Prakash Raj. The movie bosses plan to re-shoot the scenes very soon in Hyderabad. Produced by Antony Xavier, Saguni also features young actress Pranitha.

Radhika Pandit upset Multiple award winner Radhika Pandit, who maintains a low SURÂżOHDQGVWD\VDZD\IURPWKHPHGLDJODUHUHFHQWO\IRXQG herself in the middle of an unexpected controversy. Her alleged linkup with upcoming actor Yash suddenly became the toast of Sandalwood especially because Radhika has not courted any trouble so far, by dating anyone from the industry. Leading newspapers have even ventured that the two actors would tie the knot shortly. Radhika, who was shooting abroad when the news broke out, was apparently quite upset. Should we say this is yet DQRWKHUWULFNE\WKHVWUXJJOLQJ<DVK"


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Bridging the Gap International School of Film + Media is the perfect place to learn the ropes of various aspects of the film industry, straight from the stalwarts themselves. Radhika Rajamani with the update 7KHUHLVDOZD\VDQHHGIRUWDOHQWHGÂżOPPDNHUVDQGWHFKQLFLDQVDQG TXDOLW\ÂżOPHGXFDWLRQWRGD\7KH,QWHUQDWLRQDO6FKRRORI)LOP Media (ISFM) aims to bridge this gap by providing the much-needed education and exposure to aspirants. Situated in the sprawling Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad, equipped with a world class faculty (comprising ÂżOPPDNHUVDVZHOO DQGVWDWHRIWKHDUWWHFKQRORJ\EHVLGHVZKROHVRPH LQIUDVWUXFWXUH,6)0LVWKHFRXQWU\ÂśVÂżUVWSULYDWHDQGQRQSURÂżWLQVWLWXWH VHWXSE\WKH$NNLQHQLIDPLO\ÂąRQHRIWKHSUHPLHUÂżOPIDPLOLHVLQ6RXWK India. Some of the biggest names in cinema â&#x20AC;&#x201C; be it in acting, direction or in other technical departments, are associated with the school. ,6)0LVDQRQSURÂżWLQLWLDWLYHDVWKHSURFHHGVDUHUHWDLQHGZLWKLQWKH school and ploughed back into the system. Also the resource mobilisation IRUWKHHQGRZPHQWIXQG WRZDUGVVFKRODUVKLSVIRUÂżQDQFLDOO\ disadvantaged students) is done by the school through various ways. :KDWÂśVPRUHLQGLYLGXDOVKDYHSOHGJHGWKHLUÂżQDQFLDOVXSSRUW$FKDULW\ DXFWLRQRIDUWLFOHVGRQDWHGE\VWDUVZLOOEHKHOGRQOLQHDQGRIĂ&#x20AC;LQHLQ June-July and the proceeds collected would be used for the scholarships. ISFM will soon have international academic accreditations. The school is introducing Government-recognised Bachelors and Masters, with University degrees being awarded to students. The curriculum will combine the best of Indian and global media education â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for instance, the BA (Film+Media) will include a mixture of liberal arts and specialisation LQÂżOPPDNLQJÂąGLUHFWLRQHGLWLQJFLQHPDWRJUDSK\DQGDQLPDWLRQ The BFA (Animation + VFX) students will be trained in all aspects of animation and visual effects, including high end software and the latest GLJLWDOZRUNĂ&#x20AC;RZPDQDJHPHQWWHFKQLTXHV6WXGHQWVFDQRSWIRU%)$LQ Dramatic Arts too. Two post-graduate courses of two-year duration are also being introduced namely MFA (Film + Media) and MBA (Media Management). A Feature Film Fund is being constituted, to sponsor the efforts of the IDFXOW\DQGVWXGHQWVLQPDNLQJÂżOPV&RQVHTXHQWO\VWXGHQWVZRXOGKDYH KDQGVRQH[SHULHQFHEHVLGHVÂżOPFUHGLWV3ODQVDUHRQWKHDQYLOWRPDNH ÂżOPV LQ+LQGLDQG7HOXJX ZLWKWKRXJKWSURYRNLQJFRQWHQW7KH,6)0 has entered into an agreement with RED company which has donated two cameras to the school. This is the only school to have these cameras and students will have the privilege of handling them, as part of their course! At ISFM, the exposure a student gains is enormous, as the veritable ZKRÂśVZKRRIWKHÂżOPLQGXVWULHVZLOOSOD\JXHVWIDFXOW\$IDEXORXV preview theatre within the studios will enable students to view cinema from across the world, since the curriculum is structured in an interactive way. The faculty goes through training too, before they embark on lecturing students. A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


When the press and the public began to whisper about her affair with restaurateur Shiv Karan Singh, like a typical actor, Reemma Sen tried to dismiss the news as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rumourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Her marriage to Shiv still looks like a dream sequence from one of her movies, as Reemma goes back to March 11, 2012, the day she tied the knot. In Vijayalakshmi Sridharâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words, Reemmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Big Fat Punjabi Wedding comes alive in these pages


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Building castles in the air Shiv and Reemmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love affair exudes a down-to-earth quality and had kicked RIILQWKHPRVWQRQÂżOP\ZD\1RVSDUNV Ă&#x20AC;HZLQWKHLUÂżUVWHYHUPHHWLQJWKDWZDV through a common friend, Riaz. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a huge misunderstanding which brought us together eventually,â&#x20AC;? recalls a still-smitten Reemma. It took them a year of avid courtship to became attuned to each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thoughts. Reemma explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since the day we realised our feelings for each other, Shiv has been keen on getting married. True to his word, he took care of all the arrangements and I did little in terms of planning or execution. A March wedding suited us, because the Delhi weather is at its tolerable best at this time of the year!â&#x20AC;? she smiles. Striking a chord 6KLYDQG5HHPPDÂśVHTXDWLRQGHÂżHV the romantic clichĂŠ. Both of them are Scorpions and echo each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thoughts right from the mundane to the most substantial. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The similarity is very uncanny,â&#x20AC;? exclaims Reemma. But that is what has indeed offered the couple more insight into their individual persona,

particularly while addressing differences. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know what bugs him and keep away from such facets!â&#x20AC;? she smiles. The only thing Reemma and Shiv donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t agree on is in his love of dogs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stand dogs, whereas he owns four canine pets!â&#x20AC;? she shrieks. Secret rendezvous Two days before the wedding, on March 9, 2012, the famous restaurateur and the gorgeous actor entertained their long-term friends with a lavishly planned prewedding party. Themed as a gangstersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; night, the party venue had cages, cut-outs and lap dancers to add to the amusing ambience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, there was a free-wheeling Sangeet and candid ten-minute takes...â&#x20AC;? reveals Reemma. Underlining the fact that having fun was the main motive behind their wedding, the actor says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our ZHGGLQJLQYLWHZDVLQD'9'IRUPDWÂżOOHG with pictures from an exclusive photo shoot.â&#x20AC;? Timeless trousseau When the duo decided to say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, they were clear that they wanted to choose their wardrobe independently. The colour co-ordination had happened only later, she

tells us. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I bought a homespun Jaipur kota work lehenga for the mehendi ceremony. For the pheras, it was a Sabyasachi bridal ensemble in red. For the reception, I wore a Suneet Verma piece - a yellow saree with DĂ&#x20AC;DPER\DQWEORXVH6KLYFKRVHDQRXWÂżW by Mannu Arya,â&#x20AC;? she elaborates. Precious accessories Reemma chose fully ethnic jewellery to go with her bridal costumes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I did not want to wear diamonds. Ethnic sets were my pick for the D-day,â&#x20AC;? she tells us. Her trousseau included a heavy kundan pendant and the kundan long chain, with a pendant studded with polka stones and emeralds, that went along with a tika. Incidentally, the bangles and earrings were bought in Chennai. Reemma also received a beautiful piece of heirloom jewellery as wedding gift from her grandmother. But what she cherishes the most are Shivâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family ornaments that she wore for the reception. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shivâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mom and sister had worn it on their wedding day,â&#x20AC;? she says, with a sense of pride. Mehendi medley Reemmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mehendi was an out-andout informal and an unusually lengthy affair. Demure in her lehenga, Reemma

joined the riotous party at about three in the afternoon. Talking about the off-beat arrangement, Reemma says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;There were DERXWIRXUWRÂżYHKXQGUHGSHRSOHDWWKH party! It was not an all-girl event. Even boys who had come were bowled over by the chudi shops, dholkis, a live DJ and the presence of a percussionist. The highlight of the evening was of course the dance performance. Marut Sikkaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s H[FHOOHQWÂżQJHUOLFNLQÂśIDUHDQG$NKLO3DXO Lakhanpalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fabulous dĂŠcor added to the magic of the evening.â&#x20AC;? Momentous moment Since Shiv is Punjabi and Reemma a Bengali, the love-birds decided to cut complexities and agreed on an abridged Hindu wedding. She sums up the goingson, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was indeed a clean-cut affair with hardly any doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ts. Despite the minute-to-minute planning, the couple JUDFLRXVO\VDWWKURXJKWKHVLJQLÂżFDQW rituals. Speaking about the most longwinding hour at their wedding, Reemma says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The sehra bandi was more like a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s party that started off at 11.30pm and stretched till 3.30am! We had to literally push the guests off to their homes.

The next day, when the tika ceremony was completed in one-and-a-half hours, I actually asked Shiv in disbelief, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Did you EULEHWRH[SHGLWHLWÂś"´VKHODXJKV Spouse sagacity Though her wedding was a curious affair to her movie fans, Reemma confesses that she was lost in the mind-boggling rituals and carrying on the business of greeting the 2,000-odd guests who had arrived to bless WKHP5HFDOOLQJWKHÂżQHVWPRPHQWRIKHU wedding, Reemma says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It took three days for the feeling to sink in. Shiv is simply great. We have decided to give each other space and trust, to keep this going strong.â&#x20AC;? She has no new-bride jitters in settling down with her in-laws. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know them well,â&#x20AC;? she says, adding that her parents are MXVWDRQHDQGDKDOIKRXUĂ&#x20AC;LJKWDZD\ from Delhi!â&#x20AC;?

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A pril 2012 | Southscope

It does not get bigger than this! When news that Racha was ÂżQDOO\JRLQJWREHUHOHDVHGLQ$SULOZDVRXWWKHH[SHFWDWLRQV from the fans and followers of Magadheera Ram Charan Teja reached an all-time high. If there is any indication about the frenzy surrounding Racha, it can be gauged from the number (thousands!) of people that thronged the audio release of the movie in Hyderabad. Not much is being revealed about the movie plot, because producer RB Choudhury believes in saving it as the surprise element for Ram Charanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fans. But we can be assured of a great combination of romance, dance, adrenalin-pumping action sequences and songs shot in amazing locations. No wonder then, that in every territory, the movie has reportedly bagged the highest offer from distributors. 5DFKDPD\ZHOOJRRQWRVHWPXOWLSOHUHFRUGV8QFRQÂżUPHG reports indicate that the overseas rights of Racha have been sold for a record sum of 2.75 crores to Hari Venkateshwara Pictures. Insiders contend that the movie cost a whopping 35 crores to make. The producers have already decided to release the movie in 2,400 theatres worldwide (another record!) to mop up the LQYHVWPHQWGXULQJWKHÂżUVWZHHNLWVHOI<RXFRXOGVD\WKDWWKLVLV

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


RQHRIWKHODWHVWWUHQGVLQWKH,QGLDQÂżOP industry. The concept of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;commercial VXFFHVVÂśKDVEHHQUHGHÂżQHGÂŤDQGWKH producers of Racha are following the trend. 7KHÂżOPLVEHLQJUHOHDVHGVOLJKWO\EHKLQG schedule, because of the injury Ram Charan suffered during the shooting of an action sequence, following which the actor was advised bed rest for two weeks. $VVRRQDV5DP&KDUDQZDVÂżWDQGÂżQH he completed the remaining portion of the shooting. Bolstered by the sheer excitement about Racha among fans, the entire production team is working round the clock to HQVXUHWKDWWKHÂżOPLVDEORFNEXVWHU The producers have chosen the most appropriate time of summer. The April 6 weekend is a long one and the exam fever will also be over in Andhra Pradesh for high school and college students, who are expected to turn up in droves for one of the biggest movies of 2012. The music has become the perfect launch-pad for Racha. The audio tracks composed by Mani Sharma have become a rage. The track, Vana Vana Velluvaye, which is a remix of the hit song from Chiranjeeviâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s VXSHUKLWÂżOP*DQJ/HDGHULVDUXQDZD\ success. Fans of Chiranjeevi and his son Ram Charan seem to have fallen in love with the song and it has become one of the most-searched tracks on the internet. The remixed version is as good as the original and is already a hot club favourite. The song is also supposed to be one of the highlights of the movie. Featuring the lead pair, the shooting of the song was hyped partly because of Tamannaahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stylish costumes. While some contended that the costumes were outrageous, the makers defended their choice. Whatever might be the contention, the song has indeed set the stage for bigger expectations from Racha. The other tracks in the movie are equally absorbing; the title song Racha


A pril 2012 | Southscope

is boisterous, while Dillaku Dillaku is a romantic number. The songs have been stylishly shot in several parts of the country and neighbouring Sri Lanka as well. In fact, the crew has shot various SRUWLRQVRIWKH多OPXQGHUYHU\GLI多FXOW and trying circumstances. We are sure all that effort will certainly translate on screen! Another milestone of Racha LVWKDWLWKDSSHQVWREHWKH多UVW,QGLDQ movie to be completely shot using the HD camera. From the performance perspective for actors, Racha is likely to change the course of the lead pair. Ram Charan is keen on turning Racha into another 0DJDGKHHUD7KH多OPKDVEHHQLQWKH

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


making for the last nine months, and is supposed to have evolved on expected lines. 7KLVLVDOVRWKH¿UVWWLPHWKDW7DPDQQDDK has been paired with Ram Charan Teja and all eyes are on this smouldering hot FRXSOHWRVHWWKHVLOYHUVFUHHQRQ¿UH The onscreen chemistry of the pair is supposed to be fantastic and one of the USPs of the movie. And if this sexy actor continues her winning streak in Telugu, she will remain at the top. Badrinath opposite Allu Arjun created thousands of fans for Tamannaah, and Racha could add to that following. The surprise package of Racha is the special song focusing on Ram Charan Teja. It is said that model-turned-actor Lisa Haydon has sizzled to the track, ZKLFKZLOORSHQWKH¿OP/LVDLVPDNLQJ her debut in Telugu with Racha and is expected to emerge as a star dancer (for item songs) in the coming days in Tollywood. Racha has power-packed performances by some of the biggest actors, including Prakash Raj. Ajmal Ameer, Parthepan and comedian Brahmanandam to complete the star cast. So, you can expect a combination of great acting and sideVSOLWWLQJODXJKWHU1HHGZHVD\PRUH" In order to take advantage of the hype, the makers of Racha also plan to release Tamil and Malayalam versions of the ¿OPDVZHOO To sum up the movie in Chiranjeevi’s words, during the movie’s audio launch, “Racha will be a complete entertainer and fans will be very happy. Mani Sharma has FRPSRVHGJRRGPXVLF,DPFRQ¿GHQW about Racha’s success.”


A pril 2012 | Southscope

‘I DON’T ACT JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT’ She grew up watching Superstar Rajinikanth on the sets of Bloodstone; she adored Aishwarya Rai when her family co-produced the Tamil movie, Jeans; she had access to some of the best Hollywood blockbusters which were distributed in India by her home banner... It was obvious that Sharmila Mandre was destined to enter showbiz! In conversation with Aravind G Shivakamal


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Âł:HOOOHWPHÂżUVWWHOO\RXKRZH[FLWHG,DPULJKWQRZ0\GHEXW7DPLO movie, Mirattal directed by R Madesh, will be released shortly and I am eagerly looking forward to it. You should ask me more about Mirattal, because of which my long-cherished childhood dream of acting in a Tamil PRYLHLVÂżQDOO\EHFRPLQJDUHDOLW\´6KDUPLODXUJHVEUHDWKOHVVO\ Her excitement is understandable. Her family has produced multilingual ÂżOPVWKDWKDYHEHHQPLOHVWRQHVLQWKHLQGXVWU\VXFKDV3URYRNHG5DPML Londonwaley, Minnale and Tropical Heat to name a few. But at that time, this school kid didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look even remotely close to being an actor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nobody believes me when I tell them I weighed 90 kilos when I was in school! I QHYHUHYHUWKRXJKWWKDW,ZRXOGEHFRPHDÂżOPVWDU7KHWUDQVIRUPDWLRQIURP 90 kilos to 60 kilos is a personal Guinness Book of World Records! And look where I am nowâ&#x20AC;Śrealising my dreams,â&#x20AC;? smiles Sharmila, grateful to her aunt, who prompted her to lose weight. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was easy coming down to 70 kilos. But losing the extra 10 kilos was a major challenge. Now, I am a KHDOWKIUHDN%HVLGHV,GDQFHHYHU\GD\WRVWD\ÂżW$QGE\WKHZD\,KDYH lost weight through the traditional way of exercising and a balanced diet,â&#x20AC;? she states emphatically. Okay, we get the point! Sharmila had a dream debut in 2007 with the Kannada movie, Sajni RSSRVLWH6DPHHU'DWWDQL7KHÂżOPZDVDVPDVKKLWZKLFKDQQRXQFHGWKH arrival of this new face on the big screen. And the songs composed by $55DKPDQIRUWKHÂżOPZHUHFKDUWEXVWHUV)ORRGHGZLWKRIIHUVIROORZLQJ the success of Sajni, her very next project, Krishna opposite Ganesh, who was at the pinnacle of his career, was also a blockbuster. This barely-17 newcomer was then selected for actor Darshanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home production, Navagraha, which went on to be critically-acclaimed, and what followed were several hits like Ee Bandhana, Venkata in Sankata, Kari Chirathe, Swayamwara and Dhan Dhana Dhan, opposite almost all the A-list actors of Kannada including Duniya Vijay, Ramesh Aravind and Diganth, as also upcoming stars like Prem and Murali, propelling her into the top league of actors in Kannada. Today, she has become selective. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t act just for the heck of it. Tell me, where is the scope for female-oriented roles in Kannada movies these GD\V",WLVYHU\KDUGWRFRPHDFURVVJRRGVFULSWVWKDWJLYHLPSRUWDQFHWRWKH female lead,â&#x20AC;? she argues. Is it true that Sharmila has been concentrating on KHU7DPLOGHEXWIRUWKHODVWRQH\HDUZLWKRXWDFFHSWLQJDQ\.DQQDGDÂżOPV" â&#x20AC;&#x153;I cannot afford to compromise on my debut Tamil movie. I wanted to focus on Mirattal before accepting any offers in Kannada. Now that Mirattal is complete, I will explore Kannada movies again. Yeah, there have been plenty of offers. Let me see...â&#x20AC;? she says, obviously betting big on Mirattal. Initially, Genelia Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Souza had been approached for the female lead role, EXWGLUHFWRU0DGHVKÂżQDOO\VHWWOHGIRU6KDUPLODZKRWKDQNVKHUOXFN\VWDUV for bagging the role. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The language was alien to me. I have worked very hard to pick up the accent and dialogue. My director did not approve of any prompting. Fortunately, my hard work has paid off, and already, there have been offers from several Tamil projects. But I am keen on the response to Mirattal, before signing any new ones,â&#x20AC;? she tell us. We are also pinning our KRSHVRQKHUGHEXW7DPLOÂżOP

Favourite Hobby: Dancing and singing (since the age of 3!)

Love: I am not interested in clichĂŠs. Love is about understanding one another, to ensure compatibility.

On screen idol: Audrey Hepburn; no one can replace her.

Passion: Wildlife photography; I have made a beginningâ&#x20AC;Ś

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


‘I DON’T BELIEVE IN SHOWCASING MYSELF AS A STAR’ The character, ‘loose maada’ in the smash-hit Duniya became so popular that people still remember 21-year-old Yogi by that name. In conversation with Aravind G Shivakamal, the actor talks about groping in the dark, but finding gold in the film world


A pril 2012 | Southscope

In 2007, when acclaimed director Duniya Soori started his maiden movie, he was looking for a fresh face to play the role of a teenage villain. It was sheer coincidence that Yogi (Yogesh), VRQRIWKHÂżOPÂśVSURGXFHU736LGGDUDMXFDPHWRWKHVKRRWLQJ location. His raw looks and rugged appearance prompted Soori to cast the 16-year-old college student in the character of a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;loose maadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, a bike-riding, knife-wielding killer in Duniya! â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fate brought me here. I did not know the ABC of acting, and was thrown in front of the camera. I never knew that acting would become my source of livelihood. Duniya created history, and I became an actor. It looks simple, but is quite complicated,â&#x20AC;? recalls Yogi, now 21, and with several blockbusters to his credit. Though he started his career with a negative role, from his VHFRQGÂżOPLWVHOI<RJLWXUQHGLQWRDIXOOWLPHPDOHOHDG +LVVHFRQGÂżOP1DQGD/RYHV1DQGLWKDZDVDVPDVKKLW establishing Yogiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name among the top actors of Kannada ÂżOPV,QWKHODVWÂżYH\HDUV<RJLKDVDSSHDUHGLQPRUHWKDQ ÂżOPVPRVWRIZKLFKKDYHEHHQKLWV 2011 was one of the biggest years for Yogi with all his three ÂżOPVGRLQJZHOODWWKH%2SDUWLFXODUO\+XGXJUX UHPDNHRI the Tamil hit, Naadodigal). His performance was so strong in the movie, that even veteran Puneet Rajkumar was admitted to have been overshadowed. But Yogi is modest, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am known for performing the roles of a slum boy or an uneducated guy. But, Hudugru proved to the world that I can play the funny guy with ease.â&#x20AC;? Yogi does not mind spending time with his IDQVLQDFULFNHWÂżHOGIRUKRXUVXQDVVXPLQJDQGGRZQWRHDUWK with absolutely no celebrity hangover. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No sir, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe in showcasing myself as a star. I never dreamed that I would EHFRPHDÂżOPVWDUVRPHGD\:K\EHSUHWHQWLRXV",ZDQWWREH as natural I am,â&#x20AC;? Yogi is candid in his admission. Without any formal training in acting, Yogi simply lapped up the opportunity in Duniya. The character, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;loose maadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, became so popular that people still call him by that name. But Yogi is least bothered with the nomenclature. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let me be honestâ&#x20AC;Śit was loose maada that fetched me instant fame and popularity. Why VKRXOG,VFRUQDWSHRSOHZKRUHIHUWRPHDVORRVHPDDGD"$WDQ\ given time, I feel happy to be called a loose maada.â&#x20AC;? And in order to cash in on the popularity of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;loose maadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, his home banner, Samy Associates is planning a movie with the same title some time later this year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want my mentor, Duniya

Photo Credit: Mahen Simmha A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


Favourite Hobby: Friends. My world is incomplete without my buddies.

Love: I am too young for a statement about love, but for me it means trust and mutual respect.

Role Model: Shivanna (Shivarajkumar).

Passion: I always wanted to be an automobile engineer. I am still pursuing it!

Soori sir to direct that dream project. Right now, both of us are busy with various commitments. Besides, the story for Loose Maada is not complete. We hope to launch the movie by this year end or next year,â&#x20AC;? says Yogi. The actor has performed a variety of roles, but interestingly, it is the role of a college dropout that he often excels in! Yogi is also referred WRDVWKH.DQQDGDÂżOPLQGXVWU\ÂśVÂľ'KDQXVKÂśSDUWO\EHFDXVHKHKDV acted in the remake of the Tamil starâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know why my fans compare me to him. But yes, I admire his work, and have spoken to him several times over the phone, and even met him recently in Bengaluru. It was fun getting to know him,â&#x20AC;? remarks Yogi. 2012 has begun with a big bang for Yogi with his movie, Siddlingu opposite Divya Spandana, declared a BO hit. Speaking of Divya


A pril 2012 | Southscope

6SDQGDQD<RJLLVH[FLWHGÂł(YHU\RQHLQWKHÂżOPLQGXVWU\NQHZKRZ desperate I was to act opposite Ramya (Divya Spandana). Even before ,HQWHUHGWKHÂżOPLQGXVWU\,DGRUHGKHU,WZDVP\GUHDPFRPHWUXH when she agreed to work with me. But I never felt overwhelmed by her presence, and the movie performed well.â&#x20AC;? In what is a true sign of a fast rising star, all the top heroines of the .DQQDGDÂżOPLQGXVWU\DUHQRZDFWLQJRSSRVLWH<RJL$IWHU'LY\D Spandana, the highly-talented Radhika Pandit was seen opposite him in Alemaari. Right now, he is shooting for Bangaari opposite Ragini Dwivedi. 'RHV<RJLKDYHDGUHDPUROH"Âł1R,ZDQWWRH[FHOLQHYHU\UROH,VLJQ for. Even if the director casts me in the role of a beggar, I will make sure that I deliver my best!â&#x20AC;?

‘WHO ARE YOU TO SIT IN A ROOM AND TALK ABOUT /(*(1'6"¶ Intense. Impatient. Irascible. Intelligent. Immediate. Intimate. Impassioned. All this he is. But there’s one thing he isn’t. Ignored. Pavithra Srinivasan in conversation with the much sought-after Gautham Vasudev Menon


A pril 2012 | Southscope

The man really needs no introduction: heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been touted as the successor to Mani Ratnam! Indeed, Gautham Menon has brought passionate romances back in vogue on screen; heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brought urban locales, men, women, and their problems into sharp focus; made it possible for emotions to be right out there; unapologetic, unashamed, and unafraid to wear your heart on your sleeve, while still being a macho man who could beat bullies. $QGEHVWRIDOOÂąKHÂśVKDGER[RIÂżFHVXFFHVV even if it was a little sporadic. Gautham Vasudev Menon is a rolling ball of energy, usually â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but these days, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not really keen on baring his soul to the general public or the media. He sounds impatient when I ask him for an interview. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What do I QHHGWRWDONDERXW",ÂśYHVDLGHYHU\WKLQJWKDW needs to be said.â&#x20AC;? But patience, and his own need to share his experiences eventually wins out, and what follows is an explosive conversation on his movies, music, fans, heroines and best of all ÂąKLPVHOI2YHUWRWKHFUHDWLYHVSLWÂżUH Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your state of mind right now? What project are you working on? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m good. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing a trilingual, Neethaane En Ponvasantham. &DQ\RXWHOOXVPRUHDERXWWKHÂżOP" Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no particular reason why â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I just think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the kind of story that needs to be told, in three languages. Also, I wanted to work with three actors (laughs). The whole process seems to be interesting. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing it. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t reveal too much about it, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a love story. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about two people, and about how they meet at various moments LQOLIH$QGÂżQDOO\GRWKH\JHWWREHZLWK HDFKRWKHURUQRW"7KDWÂśVKRZLWUROOV Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked with Harris Jeyaraj and A R Rahman in the past. Any reason why you have chosen music director Ilaiyaraja for your latest venture? (Pause) Is there any reason why anyone ZRXOGQÂśWFKRRVHWRZRUNZLWKKLP",PHDQ come on, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always wanted to work with

him; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve grown up listening to his music, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only reason. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always admired him. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a big fan of his work. Many PRPHQWVLQP\OLIHKDYHEHHQGHÂżQHGE\KLV music. Just like I wanted to work with Kamal sir at one point, I wanted to work with Raja sir as well. What happened with Ekk Deewana Tha? 7KHÂżOPIDLOHGDWDOOOHYHOV:KDWZHQW wrong? I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think people got the ÂżOP,WKLQN3UDWHLN %DEEDU ZDVDUDQN newcomer and people didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come to the WKHDWHUVWRVHHWKHÂżOPÂŤ There was some criticism that the dialogues didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work in Hindi the way they did in Tamil. That they were literally translated and made no impact. There was all sorts of criticism about the ZKROHÂżOPÂąQRWMXVWWKHGLDORJXHV3HRSOH didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the story; they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the simple idea of two people being that way with each other. I think Bombay and these Hindi critics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re generally used to FHUWDLQÂżOPVWKHLUZKROHOLIHLVEDVHGRQ WKHÂżOPVWKDWGRQÂśWVXEVFULEHWRWKLVNLQGRI UHDOLW\7KH\GLGQÂśWVHHWKHÂżOP$QGDERXW WHQFULWLFVNLOOHGWKHÂżOPDQGSUHYHQWHG people from coming to the theatre. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a Ranbir or a Shahid â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just Prateik, who ,WKLQNFRXOGQÂśWFDUU\WKHZHLJKWRIWKHÂżOP on his shoulders. Other than AR Rahman, ZHGLGQÂśWKDYHDQ\RQHWRVXSSRUWWKHÂżOPDV such, in terms of big names. I think people didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even come to the theatre to see the ÂżOPWKH\MXVWSLFNHGXSWKHWDON

Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked in three movie industries: Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Do you think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great deal of difference between them? No, I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a perception, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all. The working style and everything is just the same. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just that in Hindi theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very star-driven. I mean, here, I can make the same Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa with rank newcomers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and get away with it. But there, \RXQHHGVWDUVWRJHWWKHÂżOPDFURVVWRWKH audience. What about Nadunisi Naigal? People say LWÂśV\RXUZRUVWÂżOPHYHU'R\RXWKLQN\RX could have done something different? No, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m actually happy with the way the ÂżOPWXUQHGRXW,WZDVH[SHULPHQWDO,WZDV supposed to be bizarre and again, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a TXHVWLRQRIÂľ:K\GLG,PDNHWKLVÂżOP"Âś7KH audience here has this perception that I make DFHUWDLQNLQGRIÂżOPVDQGWKH\FRXOGQÂśW handle it. It worked against the movie and prevented most people from coming to the theatre. Which is why we slashed the budget ÂąZHPDGHWKHÂżOPLQFURUHODNKV:H WRRNDELJRSHQLQJGXULQJWKHÂżUVWGD\V actually, which made the money for us, with the satellite rights and everything. It was a VPDUWÂżOPLQWKDWVHQVHÂąLWZDVPDGHDWD very low cost; we knew it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work beyond a certain point and a certain section of the audience. It was just me trying to PDNHWKHNLQGRIÂżOPV,ÂśYHDOZD\VZDQWHG to make and not stick to familiar subjects. ,ÂśYHJRWDEVROXWHO\QRUHJUHWVDERXWDQ\ÂżOP Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made. We actually showed it to a lot of SHRSOHLQ%RPED\DQGWKH\OLNHGWKHÂżOP

Photo Credit: RITZ Magazine A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure 10 years from now people will actually say, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a part of a journey in ÂżOPPDNLQJ :KDWKDVFKDQJHGVLQFH0LQQDOH\RXUÂżUVW ÂżOP",WÂśVEHHQDORQJDQGHYHQWIXOFDUHHU Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m still learning the trade, learning the way the industry works, the way critics respond, and stuff like that. Nothing has changed, DEVROXWHO\:LWKHYHU\ÂżOP,OHDUQPRUHDQG ORRNIRUZDUGWRPDNLQJP\QH[WÂżOP But you have a reputation for being very forthright. 7KDWÂśVMXVWPH1RWMXVWZLWKÂżOPVEXWZRUN and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in life also. I think P\ÂżOPVDUHOLNHWKDWDVZHOO So whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best heroine youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked with, so far? I still havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t found her. I mean yeah, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve liked everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m still looking for that perfect leading lady. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve liked ZRUNLQJZLWK-\RWKLNDDQG7ULVKDGHÂżQLWHO\ Maybe if I get a chance to work with Kate Winslet, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll tell you. So far, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve shuttled between romance and action, mostly. Any reason why you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tried anything else, yet? :KDWRWKHUJHQUHFRXOG,WU\",JXHVV,ÂśPQRW too bad at comedy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Minnale and Neethaane En Ponvasantham do have their share of KXPRXU,WKLQNDOOP\ÂżOPVDUHODFHGZLWK some humour â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu had Kamal sir mouthing some funny lines. Other than that, I tried the psycho-thriller line with both Nadunisi Naigal and Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. :K\GRVRPHRI\RXUÂżOPVWDNHDORQJWLPH to make, while others are done quickly? I think the answer lies in your question. See, PDNLQJDÂżOPGHSHQGVRQWKHDFWRUVWKH situations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; like, Vaaranam Aayiram did take a long time because we had Suriya playing two characters; we wanted him to lose weight for one and put on weight for the other. We gave him the time, you know, to change. In fact, he played characters from 16 to 60 and we gave him three months to actually look different, between each of the characters. But Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa was done in 60â&#x20AC;&#x201C;75 GD\V0RVWRIP\ÂżOPVKDYHEHHQVKRWRYHU 70 days. When you work with people like Simbu, you know, he needs a little time to complete things. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get him every day


A pril 2012 | Southscope

and get him to work. Also, when you want music from someone like AR Rahman, you get the songs spread over eight months. You need to wait for the music to come. Speaking of Vaaranam Aayiram â&#x20AC;&#x201C; wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t WKHÂżOPDQRGHWR\RXUIDWKHU"+RZ LQĂ&#x20AC;XHQFHGZHUH\RXE\KLPLQ\RXUZRUN" Yes, it was a tribute to him. I was really inspired by my father, not just with my ÂżOPVEXWJHQHUDOO\LQHYHU\WKLQJOLIHORYH cricketâ&#x20AC;Ś He was a dear friend, and we had a very easy relationship. We always used to go to each other when things didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work out. :KDWDERXW\RXUÂżOPZLWK,OD\D7KDODSDWKL Vijay? Looking at the title, Yohan: Adhyayam Ondru (Yohan: Episode One) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is it a part a series? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s starting in June. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of our biggest ÂżOPVDQG,ÂśPUHDOO\ORRNLQJIRUZDUGWRLW $QG\HVWKHÂżOPZLOOKDYHVHTXHOV:HÂśUH going to set up a character that people will want to come back and watch, like a James Bond kind of thing.

Fair enough â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but why Yohan? Yohanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very popular Christian name. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another form of John, actually. In Christian FLUFOHVSHRSOHZLOOGHÂżQLWHO\NQRZZKDWLW means. We wanted something unique. 7KHUHÂśVEHHQDORWRIWDONWKDWWKHÂżOPÂśV SRVWHUVZHUHLQVSLUHGE\D)UHQFKÂżOP See, if you look at what people have done on the Net â&#x20AC;&#x201C; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve actually taken our posters, and put it on shots of Will Smith DQGRWKHU)UHQFKÂżOPV:HKDYHQÂśWGRQH WKDW7KHRIÂżFLDOSRVWHUVZHFDPHRXWZLWK the ones that appeared in the newspapers and magazines, are all original. The ones that appeared on the Net are what fans have pulled out and used on other images. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a remake or DQLQVSLUHGÂżOP,WÂśVRULJLQDOLQHYHU\ZD\ 3DXVHÂąDQGQRZKHÂśVTXLWHDQJU\ See, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to answer these questions. People write all sorts of things. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this online community thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very jobless. They sit in closed rooms and vent their feelings. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t respond to all these people, because

thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big hatred out there, towards certain people. Like this whole controversy about Ilaiyaraja and AR Rahman, because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m GRLQJDÂżOPZLWK5DMDVLU,PHDQVHULRXVO\" Who are you to sit in a room and talk about OHJHQGVOLNH,ODL\DUDMDDQG$55DKPDQ"7R compare them is really unfair. After a time, I decided that there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t any point in reading these and responding to them. Because these are frustrated, jobless people. And they do all sorts of stuff, sitting in their dark rooms, in front of a computer. It really doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter. This is a very small community, which reaches out to a small section of people. Internet penetration itself is very low in India. And even among those, there are very few people who actually browse and comment. I mean, how jobless would you have to be to DFWXDOO\FRPPHQWRQDWUDLOHU"+RZPDQ\ times have you or I commented on a trailer ZHÂśYHVHHQ",IZHVHHVRPHWKLQJRQOLQH we like it and move on. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit and comment on it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just not done.

directors. First, we need to establish a banner â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to be easy. I mean, WKHÂżUVWWKUHHÂżOPVGLGQÂśWDFWXDOO\PDNH much money for us. But weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re DFWXDOO\FRPLQJRXWZLWKWZRÂżOPVWKLV year. Apart from our own Yohan, there will EHWZRRUWKUHHPRUHÂżOPVQH[W\HDUÂą,ÂśYH actually asked a couple of big directors to do something for us. (Pause) Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been ten years in the industry and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high time we gave something back to it...

Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there some talk about a TV series with Parthepan? Yes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re starting it in a monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing a series of episodes based on a central character who happens to be a cop. It is set in Chennai and is about crime in the city and how cops handle it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also an emotional story about a cop who is a widower and with a daughter. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be very interesting. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to have music by AR Rahman, incidentally. 7KDWÂśVDÂżUVWLVQÂśWLW"%ULQJLQJ$55DKPDQ WRWKHVPDOOVFUHHQ"+RZGLIÂżFXOWZDVLWWR manage it? Oh, he was perfectly okay with it. Didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take any convincing at all, because he said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We really should improve the quality of programmes on TV. Television is so bad; we must do something to better itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It will be like the one hour episodes, hopefully Monday to Friday. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your journey been like, as a producer? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a journey thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just begun, actually. We know weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll come around and do much better ÂżOPV+RSHIXOO\ZHÂśOOPDNHPRUHPRQH\ DQGSXWWKDWEDFNLQWKHÂżOPV:HKDYHEHHQ meeting a lot of people. Now that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve PDGHÂżOPVDQGDQDPHIRU\RXUVHOISHRSOH ZDQWWRPDNHÂżOPVIRU\RX$OOWKHELJ GLUHFWRUVZDQWWRPDNHÂżOPVIRUWKHPVHOYHV and we want to work with smaller, new

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


‘I HAVE BETTER CHEMISTRY WITH SANTHANAM THAN WITH HANSIKA’ Udhayanidhi Stalin is all smiles and cheer this season. Pavithra Srinivasan finds out just why this produceractor is in such a bubbly mood


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a glorious day for the Oru Kal Oru Kannadi team at the Accord Metropolitan Hotel, Chennai. The lead cast, director DQGFLQHPDWRJUDSKHUKDYHJDWKHUHGSULRUWRWKHÂżOPÂśVUHOHDVH DVĂ&#x20AC;H[EDQQHUVDQGSRVWHUVGHFRUDWHWKHKDOOZLWKFDPHUDV Ă&#x20AC;DVKLQJDOORYHUWKHSODFH%XWGHVSLWHWKHRYHUZKHOPLQJ DWWHQWLRQRQHYHU\RQHEHORQJLQJWRWKHÂżOPIRFXVLVFHQWHUHGWR DODVHUSRLQWRQRQHSHUVRQWKHÂżOPÂśVKHUR Udhayanidhi Stalin. Already a producer and distributor of merit, his Red Giant Movies began its production ventures with Ilaya Thalapathi Vijayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kuruvi. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen the good, bad and ugly of Tamil cinema in all its varying sizes and colours, and by his own admission, loved every moment of it. Being the sole hero of a project however, is a different ball-game altogether, and grilled by the press, he admits that it is something of a daunting experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dancing and action stunts, you know, are not really my cup of tea. But I try my best,â&#x20AC;? he grins, as I engage him in an exclusive chat session. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the best of terms with OKOKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cast and crew, who call him Udhay affectionately. And wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t trade director Rajesh IRUDQ\RQHDVIDUDVKLVGHEXWÂżOPLVFRQFHUQHGÂł<RXNQRZ what people expect from him: his style and his humour have DJUHDWUHDFK´KHFRQÂżGHVÂł$VIDUDVWKHPRYLHLVFRQFHUQHG the story is all his. When he narrated the one-line to me, I wanted to go ahead with it straightaway. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s made a few changes to the character to suit my body language, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it,â&#x20AC;? he explains, crediting everything heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done to his director, cinematographer and choreographer from whom he has learnt a great deal, â&#x20AC;&#x153;And Hansi,â&#x20AC;? he grins. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mean, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s acted with top heroes, and had to adjust to me, a new guy, a lot, I think...â&#x20AC;? he guffaws. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, thanks to her too.â&#x20AC;? Despite his political and cinema pedigree, he comes across as the guy-next-door whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-deprecating in the extreme. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m thrilled beyond belief right now, with the reach the trailer KDVKDGZLWKWKHDXGLHQFH0\LQER[KDVEHHQĂ&#x20AC;RRGHGZLWK messages, ever since the teaser came out. So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all good.â&#x20AC;? But unlike any other debutant though, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s far from nervous. Âł7KDWÂśVEHFDXVH,ÂśYHJRWFRQÂżGHQFHLQP\WHDPWKHHGLWRUV co-stars, director and everyone connected with the movie. The entire shoot was like a picnic, really! All those rehearsals were a riot,â&#x20AC;? he grins, as he describes how cameraman, KT Balasubramaniem always adjusted the lighting for heroine,

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


Hansika, and never bothered about him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If I asked him, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d VD\+DQVLNDÂśVULJKWLQIURQWRI\RXDQGWKDWUHĂ&#x20AC;HFWLRQÂśVPRUH than enough,â&#x20AC;? he laughs. But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another member of the cast who has been mainstay of Rajeshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movies so far, and who, in all fairness, could be said to have walked off with the lionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s share of applause â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Santhanam. Didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t he have any worries that the comedian, whose lines sometimes are far better received than the heroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, XSVWDJHKLP"Âł$EVROXWHO\QRW7KHUHÂśVQRTXHVWLRQRIDQ\RQH taking control or overshadowing others, but in any case, Santhanam is the major driving force. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d say heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the hero of OKOK. You know, Santhanam, Rajesh Sirâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dialogues and Harris Jeyarajâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s songs are the USP of the movie. In fact, I have better chemistry with Santhanam than with Hansika,â&#x20AC;? he chuckles. But tinsel town rarely leaves its lead alone, and much less IURPFRQWURYHUV\GRHVQÂśWLW"Âł0D\EH%XW,FHUWDLQO\GRQÂśW want to be a part of any gossip or controversy,â&#x20AC;? he declares. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just want to do my job.â&#x20AC;? Which is acting now. But, not so long ago, it was only production and distribution. How different is it, standing in IURQWRIWKHFDPHUDDVWKHKHUR"Âł,WFHUWDLQO\LVGLIIHUHQWIURP my past experience,â&#x20AC;? he admits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Earlier, it was all about


A pril 2012 | Southscope

the budgets and production, and those were the questions everyone would ask me. But now, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m being spoken to as an actor. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a different perspective.â&#x20AC;? But heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not giving up either just because heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s changed roles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll still go on with everything. Even historicals. After all, Madarasapattinam was a success,â&#x20AC;? he challenges. So far so good. But coming from a famous political family, WKHTXHVWLRQLVREYLRXVZLOOKHHQWHUSROLWLFVDWVRPHSRLQW" $QGDUHKLVÂżOPVDODXQFKSDGIRUKLVSROLWLFDOFDUHHU" Âł8PPPQR1RWDWWKHPRPHQW´KHGLVPLVVHVÂł/HWPHÂżQG P\IHHWKHUH,QHHGWRGRWKDWÂżUVW´+RZHYHUKHGRHVDGPLW WKDWKLVIDWKHUDQGJUDQGIDWKHUDUHNHHQO\LQWHUHVWHGLQKLVÂżOP career, although the former CM had seen only his previous production, Aadhavan, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Appa (MK Stalin) did watch the teaser and a couple of songs of OKOK in Sathyam Cinemas with me though, and liked it.â&#x20AC;? Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s non-committal about his future ventures. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That will depend on how OKOK fares. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m keen on listening to the VFULSWVÂżUVW´-LLYD6XU\DDQG'KDQXVKDUHKLVLQVSLUDWLRQ and his wife Kiruthiga loves what sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen of his acting so far. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know Rajeshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two hours of great entertainment. OKOK will be a fun ride, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy with how it has shaped up. Beyond that, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see,â&#x20AC;? he smiles, hope written large on his face.

Anoop Menon has registered success in a very different manner. After his initial stint ZLWKWHOHÂżOPVDQGVHULDOV$QRRSPDGH his silverscreen debut as one of the heroes in Vinayanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kattuchembakam â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a movie ZKLFKQHLWKHUGLGZHOODWWKHER[RIÂżFHQRU GLGLWEHQHÂżWKLP%XW$QRRSVHHPVWRVHH this failure making a way for his consequent success- â&#x20AC;&#x153;That Kattuchembakam was a Ă&#x20AC;RSSURYHGJRRGIRUPHLQDZD\Âł,W WDXJKWPHWKDWDÂżOPLVQRWDVLPSOHWKLQJ I realised that a lot of people work hard to PDNHDÂżOPKDSSHQDQG,DOVRXQGHUVWRRG that a great deal of hard work has to be put in from my part too. Looking back, I now know that I was an amateur actor. From .DWWXFKHPEDNDPRQLWZDVDVORZUHÂżQLQJ polishing process which has continued till my latest release, Ee Adutha Kaalathu.â&#x20AC;? The movie has hit the screens and is winning appreciation all around. Ee Adutha Kaalathu


A pril 2012 | Southscope

has been directed by Arun Kumar Aravind (with whom Anoop had earlier done Cocktail), and Anoop plays one of the key FKDUDFWHUVLQWKHÂżOP+HZD[HVHORTXHQWRQ KLVUROHLQWKHÂżOPÂł,ORYHP\UROHLWÂśVVR unlike me. A megalomaniacal, yet slightly effeminate cop, who is very bothered about KLVDSSHDUDQFHEXWWRWDOO\LQHIÂżFLHQWÂŤ+H thinks he is brilliant, but he is not. That was a new experience for me. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a role that none of the heroes would do, simply because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so unlike a hero; there is no heroism in him. But I loved doing it.â&#x20AC;? He is happy with the response that the role has elicited, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am happy that times are changing and the audience is ready to accept different kinds of roles. Beautiful is a brilliant example.â&#x20AC;? Beautiful, released a few months back, had Anoop playing a key role along with -D\DVXU\D7KH9.3UDNDVKGLUHFWHGÂżOPKDG Anoop Menon as the scenarist as well as the

O\ULFLVWDQGWKHÂżOPGLGZHOORQDOOFRXQWV Explains Anoop, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beautiful was so unlike RXUXVXDOÂżOPVLWWROGWKHVWRU\RIWZRIDLOHG men and still it won not just critical acclaim, but commercial success too. This should prove inspiring to a new generation of actors, writers and directors.â&#x20AC;? Which brings me to my next question. Acting or writing scripts, what gives Anoop Menon WKHPRVWVDWLVIDFWLRQ"+HUHÂśVKLVDQVZHU â&#x20AC;&#x153;Writing, no doubt. Writing is a solitary process....When you are acting, you are supported by and work with many people and there are many factors involved. You have with you the director, the writer, your co-actors, the associate director and others, but in writing you are alone, and you enjoy it the most.â&#x20AC;? Anoop, who got a break with Ranjithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thirakatha had also tried his hand at scripting

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; THE HINDI VERSION OF BEAUTIFUL MAY HAPPENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; He is Mr. Likeable in Malayalam Cinema. You like him not just for his looks and persona, you like him for his talent, his versatility, and because the characters he plays seem so unpredictable. Unni R Nair catches up with the actor-scriptwritersongwriter, Anoop Menon

and acting in a Hindi movie, Anubhav. Here he shares his â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;anubhavâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (experience) doing WKHÂżOPÂł:HJRWDQRSSRUWXQLW\WRZRUN in Bollywood and we screwed it up. It was a good subject and was based on the real life story of a failed actor, but we were more focused on thinking of it as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bollywoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ÂżOPVRZHJRRIHGXSWKHRSSRUWXQLW\, am sure that if I could do Anubhav today, I would do it differently.â&#x20AC;? So is he waiting IRUKLVQH[WRSSRUWXQLW\WKHUH"Âł7KH+LQGL version of Beautiful may happen; if it does, it will be my second chance, and this time Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll XVHLWWRWKHKLOW´$QRRSVRXQGVFRQÂżGHQW 6RZKDWFDQ\RXH[SHFWIURPKLPQH[W" Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d perhaps want him to direct a movie, just as his character in Mullasserry Madhavan Kutty Nemom PO does. But Anoop is not going to do that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;No, Direction is not in my agenda; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not in my blood. I want to concentrate on acting and writing.â&#x20AC;?

And, what about penning songs, which he did so successfully for Beautiful. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That just happened. We have the best of lyricists in Malayalam and I just tried to do something on my part too. I mean, I just managed to write something, and hope I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put these great lyricists to shame,â&#x20AC;? he laughs. So now, back to square one! Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s round off with reel one! Where and how did it DOOEHJLQIRU$QRRS"+HWKLQNVDQGÂżQGV a reply, â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the Christ Nagar School in Thiruvananthapuram, when I read Moby Dick, Kidnapped, Huckleberry Finn etc. When I visualised them in my imagination, the hero would always resemble me. Maybe that made me want to become an actor. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what I feel when I look back. But the thing is, I never acted in a school play. Then in my Law College days, when I read Kidnapped, Mayor of Casterbridge, Uncle Tomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cabin DQG&KHPPHHQDQGVDZWKHÂżOPV,FRXOG

relate to them. I knew I was always meant to imagine and to write. It all began from there. Later I met and got acquainted with 6K\DPDSUDVDGDWDÂżOPIHVWLYDO2QHGD\P\ IULHQG6KDQNDU5DPDNULVKQDQ ÂżOPGLUHFWRU who also scripted Urumi) and I went to meet Shyamaprasad at his home, showed KLPVRPHÂżOPZHKDGPDGH+HZDVYHU\ cordial and spoke for a long time. In fact, I started off by doing one shot in his serial Manal Nagaram. Then Satish Babu Payyanur gave me the opportunity to host the morning television show Shubhadinam on Kairali TV. 7KHQFDPHVHULDOVDQGWHOHÂżOPVDQGWKHQ Kaattuchembakam.â&#x20AC;? Anoop has come a long way from where he began. And we are sure he has miles and miles to go! All the best, Anoop Menon!

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e



A pril 2012 | Southscope

‘FLOPS KEEP YOU GOING’ Despite two BO bombers on the trot, the charming Naga Chaitanya is upbeat about his next film, Autonagar Surya, which he says will be a game changer. In conversation with Radhika Rajamani

Photo Credit: Harpreet Bachher, Styling: Nischay Niyogi, Makeup & Hair: Hriya Marfatia

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


With his wide grin and handsome face, Naga Chaitanya sure grabs attention wherever he goes. The young star is the scion of the respected Akkineni family, but he has not let that tag weigh him GRZQRULQĂ&#x20AC;XHQFHKLVFKRLFHV+DYLQJHQWHUHGWLQVHOWRZQDERXW three years ago with much â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Joshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, his debut created as much of DPDJLFDVGLGKLVVHFRQGÂżOP<H0DD\D&KHVDYH WKH7HOXJX version of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa). The success of 100 % Love was followed by two duds - Dhada and Bezawada. Yet, this has not deterred Chaitanya, who takes success and failure in his stride, gearing up for his next project Autonagar Surya (AS), directed by Devakatta of Vennela and Prasthanam fame. His excitement is palpable, as he talks about Autonagar Surya at the IDPHG$QQDSXUQD6WXGLRVÂł7KHÂżOPLVDERXWSHUFHQWGRQH,KDG seen Prasthanam and had met Deva casually. A year later he narrated the script. Even before the narration, I was almost convinced and once it was read to me, I decided that I had to do it. I had signed AS EHIRUH'KDGDDQG%H]DZDGDDQGGHVSLWHERWKWKHVHÂżOPVERPELQJ 'HYDKDGFRPSOHWHIDLWKLQPHDQGZDVFRQÂżGHQWWKDW,FRXOGSXOO LWRII´VPLOHVWKHDFWRU&KDLWDQ\DÂśVFRQÂżGHQFHLVHYLGHQWWRRDV KHVD\VÂł,WLVP\EHVWÂżOPVRIDULQWHUPVRIWKHHIIRUW,KDYHSXW in. Deva has brought out something different... something others havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been able to do.â&#x20AC;? Speaking of the role itself, the actor tells us that AS portrays the journey of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the character I play from a 15-year ROGWR\HDUVœ³,DPDQRUSKDQZKRLVÂżJKWLQJKLVZD\WKURXJK Deva wanted me to play both the 15-year old and the 25-year-old. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what excited me.â&#x20AC;? Chaitanya will start the shoot of the bi-lingual Gauravam directed by 5DGKDPRKDQVKRUWO\7KLV7DPLO7HOXJXÂżOPLVDWKULOOHUVHWDJDLQVW a village backdrop. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There has been a delay because Annapurna 6WXGLRVKDVWLHGXSZLWK879DQGKDVQRWSURGXFHGD7DPLOÂżOP so far. Once the formalities are done, the shoot will commence. *DXUDYDPZLOOEHVKRWDVWZRVHSDUDWHÂżOPV7KHPDLQOHDGVDQG certain character artistes will be the same but others may differ, according to the languages,â&#x20AC;? he elaborates. :LWK5DGKDPRKDQÂśVÂżOP&KDLWDQ\DZLOOEHPDNLQJKLVGHEXWLQ Tamil. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I personally feel there will be no expectations from me while GRLQJD7DPLOÂżOP,Q7HOXJXWKRXJKH[SHFWDWLRQVDUHQDWXUDOO\ huge, because of my family. The audience in Tamil is open to different cinema. Content is important there. Radhamohan is the right person. He tries out something new each time. Gauravam is DJRLQJWREHDJUHDWÂżOP´KHUHDIÂżUPVZKHQDVNHGZKHWKHUKHLV nervous about his foray into Tamil cinema. &KDLWDQ\DÂśVÂżYHUHOHDVHVVRIDUKDYHEHHQLQWKHURPDQFHDQGDFWLRQ genres. As an actor, he â&#x20AC;&#x153;enjoys action much more as it is challenging. In romances, the work is lesser, relaxed and breezy.â&#x20AC;? Ask him if his ODVWWZRĂ&#x20AC;RSVKDYHDIIHFWHGKLPDQGKHÂśVTXLFNWRUHWRUWÂł'HÂżQLWHO\ <RXUFRQÂżGHQFHJRHVXSLIWKHUHÂśVDKLWDQGJRHVGRZQZLWKWKH Ă&#x20AC;RS%XWWKHĂ&#x20AC;RSVUHDOO\NHHS\RXJRLQJ2QO\ZKHQ\RXDUHEHDWHQ do you stand up. Maybe it was a wrong judgement on my part. These are like reality checks and I need these to keep me going,â&#x20AC;? he philosophises. At the narration level, Chaitanya was convinced that WKHWZRÂżOPVZRXOGZRUN3HUKDSVLQWKHSURFHVVRIWUDQVODWLRQRQ screen, things didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pan out as expected. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have no regrets. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t blame anyone,â&#x20AC;? he smiles. Chaitanya does consult his father Nagarjuna when necessary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He gives his suggestions and advice and guides me when needed. He feels I should be on my own as I will learn on my own. He tells PHKHÂśVEHHQWKURXJKZRUVHWLPHV+HKDVVHHQVHYHQĂ&#x20AC;RSVDIWHU


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Shiva. So he asks me to take it as a learning experience and do so positively,â&#x20AC;? he tells us. Chaitanya started his career at a time when competition was stiff, from cousin Rana Daggubati to Allu Arjun and Ram Charan Teja. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Competition is healthy; it will keep me going. Otherwise Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be lazy. There wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be inspiration. By the way, we are all good friends RIIVFUHHQ´KHFRQÂżUPV 'HVSLWHWKHWZRĂ&#x20AC;RSVWKHDFWRULVVWLOORSHQWRH[SHULPHQWVLQKLV roles. For instance, Autonagar Surya is an experiment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is GHÂżQLWHO\DFKDQJHLQLPDJH´KHH[SODLQVÂł([SHULPHQWLQJLVIXQ 7KRXJKLWLVDQDFWLRQÂżOP$XWRQDJDU6XU\DLVDQLQWHQVHSROLWLFDO drama, based on the unions and political mix-ups of the 1960s and 1980s..â&#x20AC;? )RUIDQVDÂżOPZLWKDOOWKHWKUHH$NNLQHQLVLVWKHSHUIHFWUHFLSHIRU PRYLHPDJLFÂł:HZRXOGORYHWRGRDÂżOPWRJHWKHULIWKHVFULSW is right. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to go wrong,â&#x20AC;? he smiles. And what about &KDLWDQ\DVKDULQJVFUHHQVSDFHZLWK9HQNDWHVKDQG5DQD":RXOGQÂśW WKDWEHVLPSO\VHQVDWLRQDO"Âł0\JUDQGIDWKHU5DPD1DLGXLVDOZD\V looking for scripts,â&#x20AC;? he says cryptically, keeping the lid over what the future holds.

And being one of the hot stars in Tollywood, Chaitanya is obviously a part of many link-ups and a favourite with the gossip mills. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I laugh it off,â&#x20AC;? he says, as I prod him about the Anushka Shetty link-up, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gossip is gossip unless it comes down to the family. I will proudly tell everyone if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m engaged. I know the truth, people DURXQGPHNQRZWKHWUXWK´%XWWKHUHFDQÂśWEHVPRNHZLWKRXWÂżUH HVSHFLDOO\ZKHQWKHUHLVWDONDERXWDÂżJKWZLWKKLVFRVWDU.DMDO Aggarwal on the sets of Dhada. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even know how these things start. It would be good if people ask me before publishing such things!â&#x20AC;? he grimaces. For the moment, all these trival talks are water off a duckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back for Chaitanya, who says he is all about work, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a lot more to do. I have to prove myself. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think the audience is convinced yet. ,ÂśPOHDUQLQJIURPP\ÂżOPV´7KHMRXUQH\VRIDUKHVD\VKDVEHHQ DPD]LQJÂł7LPHKDVĂ&#x20AC;RZQVRIDVW7KH\VD\KDUGZRUNSD\V%XW so many people work harder. Ultimately, fate and luck matter. You have to be at the right place, at the right time. Cinema has opened my eyes to a whole new world. I consider myself lucky to be able WRJHWDÂżUPIRRWKROGLQWKLVLQGXVWU\ZKHUHSHRSOHZLWKVRPXFK talent are struggling to make it!â&#x20AC;?

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A pril 2012 | Southscope

‘I WOULDN’T EVEN CALL SALMAN KHAN A GREAT FRIEND’ @ShriyaSmiling. That’s the Twitter handle that has more than 1,28,000 followers who are determinedly watching her every move. Pavithra Srinivasan in a zippy chat with Shriya Saran, who is all smiles indeed as she talks about her glam-girl image, controversies and more

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A pril 2012 | Southscope

The sensuous Shriya does have plenty to smile about â&#x20AC;&#x201C; she bagged the Best Actress $ZDUGIRUKHUÂżOP5RZWKLUDPDWWKH International Tamil Film Awards held in Singapore, while her fans in Sri Lanka honoured her with the Shakthi Award in Colombo. Oh and lest we forget, Shirya Saran also shook a leg (and her shapely ÂżJXUH DWIULHQGDQGDFWRU5HHPPD6HQÂśV lavish wedding recently, putting up a glorious performance. The jet-setting star, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t in any one place DWDQ\JLYHQWLPHĂ&#x20AC;\LQJIURP6UL/DQNDWR Singapore to Mumbai at a momentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notice. I catch Shriya just as sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about to hop onto a plane. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s looking lovely in a long, Ă&#x20AC;RDWLQJZKLWHGUHVVWKDWDFFHQWXDWHVKHU famous curves. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for a conversation thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entertaining, illuminating and poignant in its own way. And celebratory too â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as her 7HOXJXÂżOPWKHURPFRP1XYYD1HQDKDV opened to good reviews. Of course, Shriya is working on other projects as well, and one among them is currently snagging a great deal of interest: it is Salman Rushdieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classic Midnightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Children (earlier titled Winds of Change), GLUHFWHGE\YHWHUDQÂżOPPDNHU'HHSD Mehta, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s understandably excited about it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The movie will be out by August RU6HSWHPEHU´VKHFRQÂżUPVÂł$VIRUWKH H[SHULHQFH"2KWKDWZDVDGUHDPFRPHWUXH for me. I mean, it was fantastic working with 'HHSD0HKWDREYLRXVO\´VKHVD\VĂ&#x20AC;DVKLQJ me the same smile that has won the hearts of millions. Technically, this is her second ÂżOPZLWKWKHGLUHFWRUWKHÂżUVWZDVLQWKH company of stalwarts such as Seema Biswas, LQ&RRNLQJZLWK6WHOOD:LWKKHUQH[WÂżOP though, Shriya seems to have had a blast.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lovely script, you know. It was a whole different world, a different land, and mine is a really central character. It was such a change from the roles I do â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I had to work with slum children and get into the skin of the character. Because that was what the role was all about. It was very interesting and lots of fun,â&#x20AC;? she reminisces, â&#x20AC;&#x153;A great experience.â&#x20AC;? Indeed, especially considering she has a reputation, largely, for being a beautiful glam doll. Does she ever regret that sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been VWXFNZLWKWKDWLPDJH"Âł,JXHVV,ÂśYHDOZD\V wanted to be taken seriously,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would love to pursue a different arena. But then, I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always been a glamour JLUO\RXNQRZ"´VKHLQVLVWVÂł,KDYHSOD\HG the girl-next-door. Like, in Gali Gali Chor Hai I played that kind of a role. And if you remember, in Kutty, I tried out something different, which was not really a very glamorous character. But sometimes you have to give yourself a break, and see if there are better things to come. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m taking it easy right now â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not signing anything in Tamil. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m giving it a while,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Telugu projects are just done and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m giving myself some space. I guess Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m waiting for something interesting to come up in Tamil, before signing up. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really have anything against glamour roles but yes, I would love to try something more interesting,â&#x20AC;? Shriya elaborates and takes a long pause. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having said that, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think being glamorous is not interesting. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d just like to experiment with different arenas, also. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to try roles that are different,â&#x20AC;? she smiles, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important that the director chooses you for the role, and trusts you to do your best. Like Deepa Mehta did.â&#x20AC;?

Photo Credit: Haider Khan, Styling: Nischay Niyogi, Makeup: Maqbool & Hair: Tanuja

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Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s made her mark in several movie industries, but has she ever felt that she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really capitalise on her success, post the 5DMLQLNDQWK6KDQNDUEORFNEXVWHU6LYDML"7KDW she could have accomplished more, perhaps, LIVKHÂśGVWD\HGLQWKH7DPLO7HOXJXÂżOP FLUFXLWDQGPDGHFOHYHUFKRLFHV"Âł1R,GRQÂśW think so,â&#x20AC;? she says, matter-of-factly. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each to his own, in my opinion. I made the best of whatever roles I was offered and sometimes, you know, things go well, and sometimes they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. I guess thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always a risk factor ZKHQ\RXFKRRVHÂżOPVÂąLIWKLQJVZRUNRXW everyone says â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;!â&#x20AC;? she smiles, and goes on to add, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, then, well, everything is wrong, soâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? her voice trails RIIÂł,QWKHHQGSLFNLQJWKHULJKWÂżOPLVQRW a formula. Because if it were, then everyone ZRXOGSLFNWKHZLQQHUQR"´VKHVPLOHV As most actors do, she has immense respect for Superstar Rajinikanth, whom she considers her idol, in every way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mean, look at his incredible career graph and the NLQGRIÂżOPVKHÂśVGRQH´VKHHQWKXVHVÂł+HÂśV an inspiration, not just for what the industry has done for him â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but more because of what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s given back to it.â&#x20AC;? Onto something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a hot-topic lately: whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s her take on her much-vaunted friendship with Bollywood Superstar Salman .KDQ"Âł,UHDOO\GRQÂśWKDYHDQ\WKLQJWRVD\ about that. In fact, I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even say he was a great friend of mine. All I do want to say is that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great human being, and I have immense respect, especially, with what he does for Being Human. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a charity that every celeb should support. Because, you know, celebrities make a lot of people aware of what they should be doing. So like I said, I


A pril 2012 | Southscope

have immense respect for him. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all.â&#x20AC;? So â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no truth to the talk that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been JLYLQJKHUDKHOSLQJKDQGZLWKKHUFDUHHU" â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nope. What Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done on my own by working hard. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think anyone is helping me get anywhere right now,â&#x20AC;? says this sultry siren, distinctly amused. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve no complaints with whatever Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing either. I work at what I like, and I work hard.â&#x20AC;? It looks like controversies wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop dogging her: What about the fracas surrounding the UHOHDVHRIKHU0DOD\DODPÂżOP3RNNLUL5DMD GXEEHGLQWR7DPLODV5DMD3RNNLUL5DMD" She had, reportedly, lodged a complaint against the producers of the Malayalam original, with the South Indian Film Artists Association, over her remuneration. â&#x20AC;&#x153;See, I only said that since the movie was made in Malayalam and I had a contract with them, they would have to pay me a certain amount of money, a certain compensation if they wanted to dub and release it anywhere else. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a way of honouring a contract. Not about anything else. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always the norm. Which they havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t done. When you sell the ULJKWVHVSHFLDOO\ZKHQ\RXGXEDÂżOP\RX pay the actors a certain sum, unless itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not in the contract. All I ask is that the terms of my contract be honoured.â&#x20AC;? In the meanwhile, Shriya has withdrawn the complaint after the producer Pandian had a talk with her and her parents. Fair enough. What does she think the future KROGVIRUKHUQRZ"Âł,GRQÂśWSODQDQ\WKLQJÂą not even for tomorrow,â&#x20AC;? she laughs, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just want to keep doing what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing. I want to go on learning. I just want to have fun.â&#x20AC;?

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ah, April. I remember the time when we KDGEDFNWREDFNÂżOPVOLQHGXSIRUUHOHDVH on the 14th, on Tamil New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day,â&#x20AC;? sighs Manoj, a long-term movie fan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; particularly of Superstar Rajinikanth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know, Veera, &KDQGUDPXNKLDQGVRPDQ\RWKHUÂżOPVZHUH all released on that date. Even Sivaji was supposed to have released on April 14 2007. They had to push it to June because of postproduction work, but the idea was to release it on Tamil New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day.â&#x20AC;? Such was the magnetic pull of April 14, traditionally, Tamil New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day; auspicious in itself as the harbinger of a new year, and important for another reason â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it XVXDOO\VLJQLÂżHGWKHEHJLQQLQJRIWKHVXPPHU holidays, and people thronged to movie-halls to join the celebration. April 14th saw the UHOHDVHRIPRUHWKDQWZRÂżOPVDWWKHYHU\ least, with three or more stars vying for boxRIÂżFHDWWHQWLRQ(YHQLQWKH\HDUZKHQ Rajinikanthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chandramukhi and Vijayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sachien were both released on New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 'D\&KDQGUDPXNKLZDVWKHFOHDUER[RIÂżFH


A pril 2012 | Southscope

winner â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and Sachien managed to clock respectable returns as well. But the heydays of April 14 were certainly in the decades before. Even if not on the exact date, Rajinikanthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Arunachalam released four days prior to it, on the 10th of April, LQ7KHÂżOPUHFHLYHGVRPHVFDWKLQJ reviews but went on to do good business. +H\LWZDVD6XSHUVWDUÂżOPDIWHUDOO In 1999, it was the turn of director Kathir, who came up with some great romantic movies, to taste success: His Kadhalar Dhinam ran to packed halls. It even put the Vijaykanth starrer Periyanna (which also starred then newcomer Suriya), into the shade. But then, that was the whole point of such New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day releases: heroes competed with one another for a taste of success at the BO, and had fans screaming in jubilation. Like Ilaya Thalapathy Vijayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mass following, for example. The star, like many before him, had tasted success often on festival openings, and the Tamil New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day has certainly been kind to him, more than once. His Thamizhan, released on April 12, 2002, was lapped up by the masses, despite some confusion by the release of the Prashanth-starrer Thamizh. But the biggest of them all came the next year, in 2004: Ghilli, a remake of the Telugu hit Okkadu, EHFDPHDPDPPRWKZLQDWWKHER[RIÂżFH a blockbuster among blockbusters that catapulted Vijay straight into superstardom. After that, it seemed there was no looking back for him.

Even veteran directors like Mani Ratnam believed in the magical powers of April 14: His romantic Alaipayudhey was released on that day in 2000, eventually becoming DERQDÂżGHKLW,WHYHQSURYHGIRUWXQDWH for his home production directed by Azhagamperumal, Dumm Dumm Dumm the next year, which starred Madhavan and -\RWKLNDWKHÂżOPZDVDKLW Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan, though not a believer in such sentiments, has tasted success on Tamil New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, as well: His laugh-out-loud romantic comedy Kaadhala Kaadhala was released in 1998, and was a success, while Vasool Raja MBBS, a remake of the Hindi blockbuster Munnabhai MBBS, was a hit as well. Even Supreme Star Sarathkumar was awash with victory in 2003, when his Arasu won at WKHER[RIÂżFHZKLOH$MLWKÂśV7KLUXSDWKLZDVD respectable winner, in 2006. Of course, these were hits that were usually accompanied by at least half-a-dozen middle WRORZEXGJHWÂżOPVWKDWZLVKHGWRFDSLWDOLVH on the festival feeling and those who couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t catch their favourite stars in action, on the ÂżUVWVKRZRIWKHÂżUVWGD\XVXDOO\ZHQWLQ for them.

they did, they made sure to open either in the ÂżUVWRUODVWZHHNOLNH3DL\\D   and Ko (2011). Now though things are back to square one, the present AIADMK government has changed the New Year back, which means it still falls on April 14. But sadly, this year too, April 14 sees no major movies being released. With the new decree that stars can UHOHDVHWKHLUÂżOPVRQO\RQIHVWLYDOGDWHV perhaps the Tamil New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s allure will return at least next year. After all, April 14 has always been a date for blockbusters.

But with the late 2000s, it seemed an era was coming to an end: 2007 saw the release of four mid-level movies like Unnaale Unnaale, directed by Jeeva, director Cheranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mayakkannadi, and a couple of others, including Kaanal Neer, starring JK Ritish, politician turned-actor. Cheranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movie was expected to do well, but sadly, it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t; Jeevaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s venture turned to be a respectable winner. But with that, it seemed that the run of New Year releases had dried up. 2008 saw no big star releases, for another bigger threat WRER[RIÂżFHEORFNEXVWHUVLQ$SULOKDGFRPH up: the IPL cricket tournament! In addition, the then-ruling DMK government announced that from 2009, the Tamil New yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day would no longer be on April 14, but on January 14, traditionally celebrated as Pongal. That took away some more of the allure, which meant that very few ÂżOPVDFWXDOO\UHOHDVHGLQ$SULODQGHYHQLI

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know, before this, whenever they announced the National Awards, it always used to be the Bengali and Malayalam ÂżOPVWKDWZRQ´FRPPHQWHGYHWHUDQÂżOP maker K Balachander, in an interview with Southscope, last year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But now, WKLQJVVHHPWREHFKDQJLQJ7DPLOÂżOPV are getting so many accolades on a QDWLRQDOOHYHO´ That was in 2011 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and it looks like in 2012, the trend has not only stayed true, but actually reaped even more dividends, proving just how fertile the imaginations of our directors are; how intriguing the stories they weave and most of all, how intensely emotional and thoughtprovoking they actually are onscreen, tugging the audiences along with them on compelling journeys. Three directors, one actor and an editor won National Awards this year and the focus, not unnaturally, has been on the directors themselves: Thiagarajan Kumararaja (Swarna Kamal for Best Debut Film of the Year, Aaranya Kaandam); Suseendran (Swarna Kamal, Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai); Sargunam (Best feature Film in Tamil, Vaagai Sooda Vaa).

(DFKRIWKHVHÂżOPVFKRVHWRKDYHDWWKHLU centre, an off-beat theme that pandered little to commercial tastes and took up strong story-lines â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and much more importantly, refused to rely on the starstudded claptrap for their success. All three directors have been in Tamil cinema only for a few years; this is Thiagarajan .XPDUDUDMDÂśVÂżUVWÂżOPIRULQVWDQFH while Suseendran has made 4 and 6DUJXQDPÂżOPVUHVSHFWLYHO\/LNHDQ\ ÂżOPWKDWFKRRVHVWKHSDWKOHVVWUDYHOHG they had to face their share of heartaches, changes to scripts, and rejections from artists and producers, before their ZRUNÂżQDOO\VDZWKHOLJKWRIGD\ÂąEXWRQH WKLQJXQLWHVWKHPDOODSDVVLRQIRUÂżOPV and an urge to bring quality story-telling to the silver-screen, sans compromises. Commercial success might have eluded WKHVHÂżOPVLQDYHU\VWULFWVHQVHÂąEXW theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re willing to face almost any adversity to make sure their audiences get to see classic movies. Pavithra Srinivasan catches up with these three National Award winners in a no-holds-barred chat about their movies, their emotions, and what the future holds for them.

Awards arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly new to this young GLUHFWRUKLVÂżOPKDVDOUHDG\ZRQ DFFRODGHVLQWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOÂżOPFLUFXLW and the Grand Jury Award for Best Film at the South Asian International Film Festival, last year. Small wonder, though: Aaranya Kaandam is a hard-hitting movie that gives you a birdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eye view of the lives of gangsters, their mistresses, their coarse language, shady businesses, a young boy and his grandfather who are caught willynilly in their toils, murder, betrayal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this is a raw, gripping movie thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unapologetic in its narration. Its characters, like the title WKDWVLJQLÂżHVDIRUHVWDOOEHDUWKHQDPHV of animals, one way or the other, giving us clues to their roles. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a thread of subtlety, and a method to the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;madâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; editing (Editor Praveen also won a National Award IRUWKLVÂżOP WKDWPDNHVLWDOOFRPHDOLYH

Thiagarajan Kumararaja, Aaranya Kaandam


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Thiagarajan Kumararaja is walking along the Besant Nagar Beach, when I catch up ZLWKKLPIRUDFKDW+HÂśVEHHQÂżHOGLQJDORW of questions and interviews about his win, RIFRXUVHÂąEXWFRQÂżGHVWKDWPRVWOHDYH him puzzled for an answer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mean, they DVNPHZK\P\ÂżOPZDVQRWDFRPPHUFLDO

VXFFHVV$QGLI,ZLOOPDNHDJRRGÂżOPLQ the future. Seriously!â&#x20AC;? he groans, amidst laughter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I guess what they really want to know is that if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make a FRPPHUFLDOÂżOP´ $QGZLOOKH",VWKDWZK\KHÂśVZDONLQJ along the shores, mulling over his next VFULSW"Âł2KQR´KHJULQV+HLVKRZHYHU working on a script â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or at least on an idea for one. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will be a different genre, GHÂżQLWHO\´KHVD\VÂł$VWRZKDWLWGHDOV with, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s keep it a surprise for the PRPHQWVKDOOZH"´ Moving on, I Ask him about his reaction to the news of his win â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and he says that he

was riding his motor bike when he heard it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got the news, said OK, and switched off WKHSKRQH´KHFKXFNOHV7KDWÂśVLW"Âł:HOO ,GLGDVNKRZPDQ\DZDUGVWKHÂżOPZRQ and I was very disappointed that Aaranya Kaandam won only two. I was hoping Yuvan Shankar Raja (music director for the ÂżOP DQGDFWRU6RPDVXQGDUDPZRXOGJHW awards as well, but they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.â&#x20AC;? He laughs, but his tone reveals his dismay â&#x20AC;&#x201C; throwing VRPHOLJKWRQKRZGLIÂżFXOWWKHSDWKZDV towards this recognition. He is, however, very happy about the award for editing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We meant it to be a VORZSDFHGÂżOP$QGZKHQZHFXWWKH ÂżOPZHJDYHLWDORWRIVSDFH$ORWRI

people had misgivings about the editing, but Praveen was completely OK with the ideas I had. I think he took a big risk with that,â&#x20AC;? he smiles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We needed to maintain the randomness. What we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want was the straight, linear style, like during the URRVWHUÂżJKWDQGRWKHUVFHQHV:HQHHGHG that sense of unpredictability, even in the midst of the lethargic pace.â&#x20AC;? So â&#x20AC;&#x201C; would he entertain the idea of JRLQJWKHFRPSOHWHO\FRPPHUFLDOURXWH" Âł2K\HDK,ZRXOG,PHDQÂżOPVOLNH Padaiyappa and Baadshah are complete HQWHUWDLQHUVULJKW"6RZK\QRW"´

Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a note of obvious vindication in director Suseendranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice, as he responds to the congratulatory messages heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been receiving, with his National Award IRUKLVÂżOPZKLFKDOVRQHWWHGKRQRXUV for the lead actor, Appukkutti. The last few months have been a roller-coaster for him: notwithstanding the critical DFFODLPIRUKLVÂżUVWWKUHHÂżOPV+LVÂżUVW commercial venture, Rajapattai opened to scathing reviews and was a washout. What followed was backlash from various sources, with anyone and everyone blaming each other.

Suseendran, Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai

What is obvious however, is that Suseendran has a great deal to offer, and in his own time. Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai is a very quaint tale indeed, set in the mountainous villages of the 80s Tamil Nadu and the story that revolves around is a very different one: that of the ornamental horse of the village deity that is stolen. What follows is a hilarious, poignant tale of people, their lives, love, and one manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quest for his steed. Based on writer Baskar 6DNWKLÂśVVKRUWVWRU\WKHÂżOPLVDWDXW engrossing story with Theniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mountains as the true hero in an era sans TV and cellphones, where nature ruled completely.

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


Like many perfectionists, however, Suseendran himself feels that he could have worked more, when it came to the ÂżOPÂł,IHOW,FRXOGKDYHLPSURYHGXSRQ the romance track, with Saranya Mohan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; added 2 or 3 scenes to make the love story more intense,â&#x20AC;? he ponders. Also, the WLPLQJRIWKHÂżOPZDVDOOZURQJKHVD\V â&#x20AC;&#x153;The producer didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suffer any losses, but we shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have released it at the time the election results were announced,â&#x20AC;? he admits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But other areas were very good, I think.â&#x20AC;? After Rajapattaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s debacle, will he ever come back to a completely commercial ÂżOP"Âł6HHLI\RXUHPHPEHUWKHDGVWKDW were released at the very beginning of WKHÂżOPWKH\VDLGWKDWLWZDVVXSSRVHGWR be a double-action script. It couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be

Sargunam, Vaagai Sooda Vaa


A pril 2012 | Southscope

done for various reasons â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but if I had worked with my own script, I would KDYHKLWVKHHUJROGDWWKHER[RIÂżFH´ he says wistfully. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It would have been a complete commercial bonanza. And people would have accepted me as a mainstream-maker. In this industry, victory and defeat determine everything. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not saying I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do DPDLQVWUHDPÂżOPMXVWEHFDXVHRIWKLV failure. But now that Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai has won the National Award, people are asking me to go back to GRLQJÂżOPVOLNHWKLV´KHODXJKVÂł6HH itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all about winning or losing, in this game. And now, all I want to focus on is the immediate game. What my next goal is going to be. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not concerned with the future. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just concentrating on the here and now.â&#x20AC;?

Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s working on a new script of course, based in Coimbatore, where heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doing his research. He wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mention the genre, but does say that it involves a great deal of leg-work. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like what I had to do for Naan Mahaan Alla. But it will be different. And LWGHÂżQLWHO\EHP\EHVWÂżOP´KHVLJQV RIIFRQÂżGHQWO\

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the evening of the day the National Awards were announced, and director Sargunam is on the sets of the Pudhiya Thalaimurai TV, participating in a panel GLVFXVVLRQ+LVÂżOPKDVMXVWZRQWKHDZDUG IRU%HVW7DPLOÂżOPKHÂśVGUHVVHGYHU\ simply in what seems to be a bumble-bee style t-shirt, shaking hands with everyone in sight, almost vibrating where he stands ÂąLWÂśVQRWGLIÂżFXOWWRVHHWKDWKHÂśVHFVWDWLF with the news, and you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but be infected by the energy.

runs through this story, set amidst a village of brick-layers.

And, of course, most would agree that Vaagai Sooda Vaa richly deserved to win the award. Set in the 60s, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the tale of a young man who leaves reluctantly for a barren village, to teach its youngsters. What he really wants is a government job, having grown up in the comparatively modern town of Pudhukottai â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but circumstances force him into the rural wilds. He hates it, naturally, and the locals donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do much to endear themselves to him, including the daughter of the local tea-shop owner. Eventually, with sheer determination and a sense of duty that steals over him despite himself, he does manage to make a change in the people. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tale of perseverance, of a time long gone, values and a romance that are quaint and delicate, not to mention the thread of idealism that

I manage to snatch a few minutes on the VHWVZLWKGLUHFWRU6DUJXQDPDQGKLVÂżUVW emotion is relief. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Naturally, everybody is being very kind to me and I appreciate it. And yes, we did have to face many chalOHQJHVZKHQZHZHUHDFWXDOO\ÂżOPLQJ%XW though I knew I had a winner on my hands, we needed to have outside proof that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re GRLQJWKHULJKWWKLQJQR"´KHVPLOHVÂł7KH WKLQJLVXVÂżOPPDNHUVXVXDOO\VD\ZHÂśUH PDNLQJDGLIIHUHQWÂżOPEXWLWKDVWREH YDOLGDWHGULJKW",ILWGRHVQÂśWZRUNZH wonder what went wrong. Now that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s won the National Award, we know for sure ZHPDGHWKHÂżOPWKHULJKWZD\´ And, like any successful director, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already begun work on his next project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s along the lines of something I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t attempted before. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing the story discussion now, with my team, and working on two other projects: one for producer Kalaipuli Thaanu and one for T Siva, of Amma Creations. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell which one ZLOOEHGRQHÂżUVWDV,ÂśPWU\LQJWRGRERWK´ he shares. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I can promise you that they will be very different from either Kalavaani or Vaagai Sooda Vaa.â&#x20AC;?



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t came alive at the Tamannaah: A doll tha Racha audio launch

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A pril 2012 | Southscope


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A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


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A pril 2012 | Southscope

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A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


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A pril 2012 | Southscope

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A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


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Aishwary a Dhanus h in her ‘c look at th o e launch of Sabya ol-your-heels’ at Evoluz sachi’s n ione ew line


A pril 2012 | Southscope

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A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


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A pril 2012 | Southscope


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A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e



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those white shoes...!

A pril 2012 | Southscope

White and Pink is Sneha’s favourite combination, so is the footwear that sh e was seen wearing to more than one event

Faux Pas Fairy l a favour and stea Somebody do us otesque shoes, Amala Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gr ch t fathom why su please? We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in od ho looks go a beautiful girl w ng, almost everythi e kill the look tim would want to oes! her choice of sh and again with

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e


Husbands in Goa


A pril 2012 | Southscope

Cast: Indrajith, Jayasurya, Asif Ali, Lal, Rima Kallingal, Bhama, Remya Nambeeshan, Praveena Director: Saji Surendran Producer: Ronnie Screwvala Music: MG Sreekumar

Three husbands, who are thick friends too, are on an outing... Jerry is a lawyer at the family court and is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;happyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with his wife Teena. Govind, who is a chartered account is married to Abhirami, who is very religious. Arjun is an interior designer and his wife Veena makes her money running a training institute. -HUU\*RYLQGDQG$UMXQJHWDORQJOLNHDKRXVHRQÂżUHEXWWKHLUZLYHV though loving, seem to make things unbearable for them. And at one point of time, they feel they have had enough and set off on a trip. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s then that a guy named Sunny crosses tracks with them. He joins them and together, they all set off to Goa. Sunny, a cinematographer, drinks a lot and is quarrelsome too. His wife Annie is a lecturer. Temperamentally, he is very different from -HUU\*RYLQGDQG$UMXQ%XWWKHQKHVWDUWVLQĂ&#x20AC;XHQFLQJWKHPDQG slowly, the trio is lured by the cinematographer, not knowing what is in store for them. This forms the plot of Husbands in Goa, directed by Saji Surendran, who had earlier given us Ivar Vivahitharayaal, Happy Husbands and 4 Friends. Indrajith plays Jerry while Jayasurya is Govind and Asif Ali is Arjun. Rima Kallingal plays Teena, Bhama plays Abhirami and Remya

Nambeeshan is Veena. Lal portrays the very interesting Sunny, while Praveena is Annie. Kalabhavan Mani, Suraaj Venjaramoodu and Innocent also play key roles, while Sarayu, Archana and Sonia also do pivotal roles. 6D\V,QGUDMLWKDERXWKLVUROHDQGWKHÂżOPÂł,WÂśVDQHQWHUWDLQHU,SOD\ Jerry and am one of the three husbands who want to make the most of their trip to Goa. Jerry is a lawyer in the family court and mostly handles divorce cases, and professionally gets involved with listening to issues between husbands and wives, solving them or getting divorces worked out. At home, he leads a stressful life. He gets up in the morning, washes clothes, cleans, cooks food for himself and his wife and then goes to work. His wife, though she loves him, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to do things. The premise makes for a completely humourpacked entertainer.â&#x20AC;? Produced by UTV Motion Pictures, Husbands in Goa sees Saji Surendran teaming up once again with his favourite scenarist Krishna 3RRMDSXUD$QLO1DLULVWKHFLQHPDWRJUDSKHU7KHÂżOPLVDWSUHVHQW being shot in Ernakulam and will soon move over to Goa, where the real fun will begin. - Unni R Nair

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e




A pril 2012 | Southscope

Cast: Shivarajkumar, Ragini Dwivedi, Rangayana Raghu Director: Om Prakash Rao Producer: RS Productions Music: Gurukiran

6KLYDKDVKLWKHDGOLQHVQRWRQO\EHFDXVHDFWLRQÂżOPGLUHFWRU2P Prakash Rao and Superstar Shivarajkumar (Shivanna) have joined hands after a long gap of 11 years; it will also be the Superstarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 101st movie! Naturally, Shiva had to be different, and the director has ensured it will be a visual treat. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am very eager to see this movie hit the screens. The shot composition is amazing. It is easily one of the PRVWVW\OLVKPRYLHVHYHUPDGHLQWKH.DQQDGDÂżOPLQGXVWU\, WKRURXJKO\HQMR\HGZRUNLQJRQWKLVSURMHFW7KLVLVP\ÂżUVWÂżOP with Shivanna, and I am thrilled,â&#x20AC;? says co-star Ragini Dwivedi.

riding skills are laudable. But, according to Shivanna, performing the role of a jockey was challenging. In the movie, the actor got to choose his favourite horse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yeah, this is one project which has been delayed unnecessarily. Eventually, everything has fallen into place, DQG,DPVDWLVÂżHGZLWKWKHRXWFRPH%HOLHYHPHLWLVJRLQJWREH different,â&#x20AC;? summarises Shivarajkumar. - Aravind G Shivakamal

6KLYDQQDSOD\VWKHUROHRIDMRFNH\IRUWKHÂżUVWWLPHLQKLVFDUHHU Though the title appears to be mythological, Shiva is about the good Samaritan who helps the downtrodden. However, the route he takes is conventional, the details of which the director is not ready to reveal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a dream-come-true. I have always wanted to direct Shivarajkumar in this particular role. The project has been in the pipeline for the last two years. I have tried to portray Shivanna in a new style,â&#x20AC;? says Om Prakash Rao, whose two previous ventures with the Superstar were blockbusters. Incidentally, the movie is behind schedule, and Shiva could lose WKHWDJRIEHLQJ6KLYDUDMNXPDUÂśVVWÂżOPLIGLUHFWRU5DRGRHVQRW FRPSOHWHWKHSHQGLQJZRUNTXLFNO\%XW5DJLQLLVFRQÂżGHQWWKDW the movie will hit the screens shortly, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because Shiva is Shivannaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s VWÂżOPWKHUHVSRQVHZHJRWDWWKHVKRRWLQJORFDWLRQVDOORYHU the state was amazing. We had a tough time controlling the crowds; everyone wanted to get close to him!â&#x20AC;? At the Bangalore Turf Club, Shivannaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fans turned up in huge numbers to see their hero play the role of a jockey, forcing Rao to suspend the shoot for some time. Fortunately, there were no â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;unsavouryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; incidents on the sets, while the otherwise-strict Rao maintained his cool throughout the VKRRWLQJRIWKHPRYLH$WWKHDFWRULVRQHRIWKHPRVWÂżWDQG KHDOWKFRQVFLRXVDFWRUVLQWKH.DQQDGDÂżOPLQGXVWU\DQGKLVKRUVH

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e




A pril 2012 | Southscope

Cast: Ram Charan Teja, Kajal Aggarwal Director: VV Vinayak Producer: DVV Danayya Music: Thaman

This combination was waiting to happen and has indeed come at the ULJKWWLPH)RUQRZWKHPRYLHLVWLWOHGDÂľ5DP&KDUDQ9LQD\DNœ¿OP in which Ram Charan Teja will be seen in a dual role â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a venture that KDVJHQHUDWHGDORWRIFXULRVLW\LQWKH7HOXJXÂżOPLQGXVWU\ Kajal Aggarwal is one of the two female leads, and Amala Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name is being discussed for the second heroine. The movie was launched on November 11, 2011 amidst much fanfare with Ram &KDUDQ7HMDÂśVPRWKHU6XUHNKDFODSSLQJWKHÂżUVWVFHQH7LOOGDWHDIHZ breathtaking action sequences have been canned in various parts of +\GHUDEDG6RPHRIWKHYLVXDOHIIHFWVRIWKHQLJKWÂżJKWLQJVHTXHQFHV are supposed to be stunning. The shooting was on in full swing in various parts of Andhra Pradesh during February. Ram Charan is paired with Kajal Aggarwal again after Magadheera, and his hyperactive fans are already on imagination overdrive mode, waiting to watch them together again! Having directed almost all the A-list actors in Telugu, VV Vinayak KDVQRZURSHGLQ5DP&KDUDQ7KLVÂżOPZLWK5DP&KDUDQZLOOEHD thriller with plenty of action. According to sources, the star actor has trained for several days for the stunt sequences and has performed a IHZGDUHGHYLOVWXQWVRQKLVRZQÂł7KHÂżJKWVHTXHQFHVZHUHVKRWLQ

the night, which made them even more dangerous. But Ram Charan H[HFXWHGWKHPĂ&#x20AC;DZOHVVO\ZLWKKLVVLJQDWXUHVW\OHDQGZLWKRXWD hitch,â&#x20AC;? a member of the production unit beams proudly. But unfortunately, the shooting had to be suspended for three weeks DV5DP&KDUDQZDVLQMXUHGLQWKHÂżJKWVHTXHQFHRIKLVRWKHUÂżOP Racha, which was under production then. Consequently, the shooting of this untitled venture has been pushed further. Thaman has composed the music with a focus on romantic songs, featuring the two female leads. Vinayak intends to complete shooting the solo portions of Ram Charan, and then start the schedule with .DMDO7KHÂżQDOSDUWRIWKHVFKHGXOHZLOOIHDWXUH5DP&KDUDQDQGWKH second female lead. The director and producer intend to announce the title of the movie sometime in May depending on the progress of the shooting. Needless to say, we are all ears and waitingâ&#x20AC;Ś - Aravind G Shivakamal

A pr i l 2012 | S o u t h sco p e




A pril 2012 | Southscope

Cast: Vikram, Anushka Shetty, Amy Jackson, Santhanam Director: AL Vijay Producer: UTV Motion Pictures Music: GV Prakash

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to experiment with all genres,â&#x20AC;? is how director AL Vijay expressed his earnest desire when he made his debut movie, Kireedam. True enough, he has carved a niche for himself with his aesthetic style. Be it Kireedam which established Ajith in a new avatar, or Poi Solla Porom that achieved incredulous success, the director has been showcasing his adeptness in handling any subject. While Madarasapattinam took us back to an ancient Chennai, Deiva Thirumagal (DTM), regarded a milestone in Vikramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career, was an emotional drama. The moviemaker is now set to create magic in a new style. Stepping out of his comfort zone of romance and family genres, 9LMD\ÂśVXSFRPLQJÂżOP7KDDQGDYDPZLOOEHDQH[FHSWLRQDOWUHDWIRU WKHDXGLHQFHV&KL\DDQÂśVIDQVPLJKWKDYHVHHQWKHLULGROĂ&#x20AC;H[LQJKLV muscles and beating up baddies, but Thaandavam will be strikingly out of his usual style, and will see him in a new incarnation. Director Vijayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s association with UTV Motion Pictures dates back WRKLVFRPPHQGDEOHÂżOP3RL6ROOD3RURP UHPDNHRIWKH+LQGL PRYLH.KRVOD.D*KRVOD :LWQHVVLQJKLVGLUHFWRULDOSURÂżFLHQF\ the producers had approached him to wield the megaphone for a big budget movie, which didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen. But with his excellent work in 'HLYD7KLUXPDJDOWKH\GHFLGHGWRGLVWULEXWHDQGUHOHDVHWKHÂżOP worldwide. It is noteworthy that UTV Motion Pictures made an RIÂżFLDODQQRXQFHPHQWRI7KDDQGDYDPSULRUWRWKHUHOHDVHRI'70 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anushka held my hand and guided me through the times of GLIÂżFXOW\LQ'70DQGQRZLWÂśVP\WXUQ´MRNHV9LNUDPZKLOH VKHGGLQJOLJKWRQKLVFKDUDFWHULVDWLRQLQWKLVÂżOP9LNUDPDQG $QXVKND6KHWW\ÂśVFODVV\FORWKHVDVVHHQLQWKHÂżUVWORRNLPDJHVKDYH already created a stir amongst fans.

7KHÂżOPZHQWRQĂ&#x20AC;RRUVIURPWKHÂżUVWZHHNRI'HFHPEHUZKHUHWKH Ă&#x20AC;DVKEDFNVFHQHVLQYROYLQJ9LNUDPDQG$QXVKNDZHUHVKRWLQDQG around Delhi. The crew deserves a special mention for having been able to shoot some important sequences at the iconic Jama Masjid, where permission is not usually granted. According to sources, since WKHPRQXPHQWDOPRVTXHSOD\VDQLPSRUWDQWEDFNGURSLQWKHÂżOP WKHFUHZUHFHLYHGDQHDV\QRGIURPWKHRIÂżFLDOVWRVKRRWWKHUH7KH spellbinding melody, Oru Paadhi Kanavu Neeyadi tuned by GV Prakash to the lyrics of Na Muthukumar was shot in the charming locales of Old Delhi. The collaboration of Vijay and GV Prakash has been a treat for music lovers. The romantic melodies by this young music director in Vijayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movies are evergreen hits, starting from Akkam Pakkam in Kireedam to Pookkal Pookkum Tharunam in Madaraspattinam, and Vizhigalil Oru Vaanavil in Deiva Thirumagal. And this one isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going be an exception. Since Vijay is busy pursuing the best locations in the USA for his next schedule, GV is sharing his music through Skype to ensure that the work is completed on time. Nirav Shah, the man with the Midas touch, is back in Vijayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s camp to fascinate us with his cinematography. Besides Anushka, there is yet another attraction for the audiences; Amy Jackson plays an important role, while Santhanam is all set to tickle your funny bone with his trademark humour. The producers are planning to complete the VKRRWLQJE\WKHHQGRI0D\DQGUHOHDVHWKHÂżOPNHHSLQJLQPLQGWKH RWKHUÂżOPÂą0XJDPRRGLZLWK-LLYD1DUDLQDQG3RRMD+HJGHWKDWLV scheduled to hit screens between May and July.

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The younger audiences have more access to media information from the West, be it in music RU¿OPVVRLQRUGHUWRDSSHDVHWKHLUFUDYLQJVIRUDOOWKLQJV+ROO\ZRRGPXVLFGLUHFWRUVKDYH heavily borrowed from popular tunes. But now its song writers who are peppering their lyrics with everything that they consider is the most â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;inâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;happeningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; thing on the block. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what has given rise to lyrics such as these, say Nandini T Reddy and Aravind *6KLYDNDPDO1RZWKHTXHVWLRQUHDOO\LVWKDWDUHWKHVH(QJOLVKZRUGVDGGHGIRUÃ&#x20AC;DYRXU IXQRUMXVWODFNRIDQ\RWKHUDUWLVWLFZD\WRVSLFHXSDVRQJ7LOOWKHVRQJZULWHUV¿JXUHWKLV one out we are stuck grooving to these hit numbers!



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Movie: Vaanam (Tamil) Song: Evan di unna pethan (YDQ'L8QQD3HWKDDQ Avan Kaila Kedacha Seththaan Seththaan Seththaan (YDQ'L8QQD3HWKDDQ Avan Kaila Kedacha Seththaan Seththaan Seththaan ,)HHO/LNH.LVVLQJ<RX ,)HHO/LNH7RXFKLQJ<RX ,)HHO/LNH+ROGLQJ<RX ,)HHO/LNHORRNLQJVZHHWORYHWR\RX (Q)DFHERRNVWDWXV¶XP1HHWKDQ En Twitter Tweetingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;um Neethan En Skype Callâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;um Neethan Neethan (Q%%0¶XP1HHWKDQ (Q)DFH7LPH¶XP1HHWKDQ (Q,SKRQH,SDG(ODPDH1HHWKDQ (Q,7XQHV3OD\OLVW1HHWKDQ Athil Love songsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;um Neethan


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BACHELOR PARTY MALAYALAM Cast: 3ULWKYLUDM,QGUDMLWK.DODEKDYDQ Mani, Rahman, Asif Ali, Vinayagan, Nitya Menon, Remya Nambeeshan, Sambath Director: Amal Neerad Producer: $PDO1HHUDG3URGXFWLRQV Music: 5DKXO5DM

Amal Neerad, who is a product of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata and who groomed himself as a cinematographer under Ram Gopal Varma, had made his entry into Malayalam &LQHPDÂżUVWDVDFLQHPDWRJUDSKHUZLWK%ODFNDQGWKHQ as a director with Big B. After Big B, Amal Neerad directed Sagar Alias Jackie and Anwar, and is now on WRKLVIRXUWKÂżOP%DFKHORU3DUW\ Âł%DFKHORU3DUW\ZLOOEHDÂżOPZLWKDGLIIHUHQFH´VD\V Amal adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is not the story of a single hero, but the stories of a bunch of characters, played on screen by some of the most versatile actors in the Malayalam ÂżOPLQGXVWU\´ 7KHÂżUVWÂżOPWREHSURGXFHGE\$PDO1HHUDG Productions, Bachelor Party tells the story of a group of friends, who come together once again after their FROOHJHGD\V7KHÂżOP]RRPVLQRQWKHKDSSHQLQJV

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during a trip planned by them, panning a period of three days. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just Prithviraj, Indrajith, Kalabhavan Mani, Asif and Rahman who play the key roles; Vinayagan too would be pivotal to the theme. Nitya Menon, Remya Nambeeshan, Lena, Ashish Vidyarthi and Sambath also play prominent characters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a coming together of some of the best performers we have; You will see all of them in a way that you have never seen them before,â&#x20AC;? says Amal. Bachelor Party is based on the script by Unni R and Santhosh Echikkanam, while Rafeek Ahamed is in charge of the lyrics, which is set to Rahul Rajâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tune. 7KHÂżOPLVFXUUHQWO\EHLQJVKRWLQ(UQDNXODP0XQQDU and Madurai. - Unni R Nair

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B Unnikrishnan, the scenarist-turned-director who had directed Smart City, Madamby, IG, Pramani and Thriller, now teams up once again with Mohanlal (second time after Madamby) to deliver Grandmaster, which is produced by reputed production and distribution house, UTV Motion Pictures. Priyamani, who was last seen in Malayalam in Ranjithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pranchiyettan and the Saint, plays the heroine and Narain too plays a key role. This is the ÂżUVWWLPHWKDW3UL\DPDQLLVDFWLQJRSSRVLWH0RKDQODO though she had earlier got an offer to act with him in Priyadarshanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Arabiyum Ottakavum P Madhavan Nairum. Grandmaster tells the story of Chandrashekharan, ZKRLVDQRIÂżFHUZLWKWKH0HWUR&ULPH6WRSSHU&HOO and is of the IG rank. Chandrashekharan, who is a brilliant chess player, was once a brilliant cop too and

GRANDMASTER MALAYALAM Cast: 0RKDQODO3UL\DPDQL1DUDLQ Anoop Menon, Devan etc. Director: %8QQLNULVKQDQ Producer: 8790RWLRQ3LFWXUHV Music: Deepak Dev

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made moves with the same deftness that he showed in the game of chess. But the present is entirely different. His wife, Deepthi, who is a criminal lawyer, is no longer with him. They have separated and Chandrashekharan is now just a pale shadow of his earlier self. He has lost all interest in his job and life just goes on for him. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in this context that ADGP Fernandez entrusts him with a very important and complicated case. Fernandez also gets a young RIÂżFHU.LVKRUHWRDVVLVW&KDQGUDVKHNKDUDQ,WÂśVIURP here that this interesting story takes off. Mohanlal is Chandrashekharan, while Priyamani plays Deepthi. Narain dons the role of Kishore and Devan is Fernandez. With such a stellar cast, we can be assured of absorbing performances. Also in key roles are Anoop Menon, Roma, Riyaz Khan, Jagathy Sreekumar, Siddique, Babu Antony and Mithra Kurien.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all from real life, in a way. I mean there is QRWKLQJLQWKLVÂżOPWKDW\RXGRQÂśWJHWWRVHHLQUHDO life,â&#x20AC;? says Unnikrishnan, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I personally know many people like Chandrashekharan, the protagonist and I am narrating the story in a totally urban background. This would be very different from Madamby.â&#x20AC;? B Unnikrishnan has penned the script, while Vinod Illambally is the cinematographer and Manoj, the editor. Deepak Dev scores the music for Grandmaster, which is likely to be Mohanlalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s big Vishu (April) release this year. We wish the producers UTV Motion Pictures and the cast and crew of Grandmaster a masterstroke of success at the %R[2IÂżFH - Unni R Nair

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Producer: 563URGXFWLRQV Music: V Harikrishna

Upendraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stunning new look in his upcoming movie, Topiwala has become the talk of Sandalwood. Topiwala presents Uppi in a new avatar, which is now being imitated by his contemporaries. Talking of innovation and creativity, Uppi is always in the forefront, and with Topiwala, this maverick actor-director has started yet another trend. Much of the credit for styling Uppi in the role of a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hunkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; goes to MG Srinivas (RJ Srini), the director. As an RJ, Srini was extremely popular for his witty dialogues. He also directed a movie titled Simply Kail Awesome, which won several awards. Now, he has joined hands with Uppi to present a Hollywood-style movie. Though Srini developed the original storyline, Uppi has

re-written the story and screenplay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has an interesting story. I cannot reveal much. But be assured that this full-length commercial fare will be a cracker of a movie, with elements of comedy and satire. People will love it,â&#x20AC;? asserts Uppi, who is deeply involved in the project. Srini has roped in Bhavana for the female lead UROHRSSRVLWH8SSLÂł,WZLOOEHDVW\OLVKÂżOP guaranteed. I am sure that Topiwala will usher in DQHZVW\OHLQWKHLQGXVWU\DVIDUDVÂżOPPDNLQJ LVFRQFHUQHG,DPVDWLVÂżHGZLWKWKHRXWFRPH so far,â&#x20AC;? declares Srini. In a few instances, Uppi reminds us of the character he played in the

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blockbuster, Raktha Kanneer - the movie which took Uppiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popularity to a new high. As the title suggests, Topiwala is a person who tries to cheat others. In the movie, every character is a Topiwala trying to make a quick buck off someone else. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The suspense is revealed towards the end, where the original Topiwala is LGHQWLÂżHG7KHPRYLHLVDW\SLFDOWDLORUPDGHÂżOP for Upendra, but he is being presented in an ultramodern style,â&#x20AC;? points out Srini. $VLJQLÂżFDQWSRUWLRQRIWKHPRYLHKDVDOUHDG\ been completed with most of the shooting taking

place in and around Bengaluru. The styling of Upendra and his costumes have been done by the actorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal stylist and designer, Shachina. At present, Uppi is riding high on success following his return to direction with the EORFNEXVWHU6XSHU+LVSUHYLRXVÂżOP Aarakshaka was critically-acclaimed for his DFWLQJDQGKLVQH[WÂżOP*RGIDWKHULQZKLFKKH plays three different roles, is ready for release. +HKDVFRPSOHWHGVKRRWLQJIRU\HWDQRWKHUÂżOP titled, Kalpana. With Topiwala also expected to release shortly, it seems like 2012 certainly belongs to Uppi!

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Tentatively scheduled for an end of April release, 'DPPXLVDWUXHEOXH-U175ÂżOPDOOWKHZD\ 7KHÂżOPLVVXSSRVHGEHWDLORUPDGHIRU-U NTRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge legion of fans with plenty of action, URPDQFHDQGHPRWLRQÂżOOHGVHTXHQFHV3URGXFHU 9DOODEKDLVVXSHUFRQÂżGHQWDERXWWKHVXFFHVVRI movie, which has been shot extensively all over Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In addition, ace director SS Rajamouli has already spoken very highly about Dammu, which has fuelled the excitement surrounding the movie further. The biggest attraction of Dammu is of course, Jr. 175%XWWKHQH[WFRXOGEHWKHPXVLFRIWKHÂżOP MM Keeravani has composed very energetic


tracks, one of which is specially shot on Jr. NTR. The shooting of this particular track, which is supposed to be in the form of a shloka praising Jr. NTR, has generated a lot of hype and excitement among the starâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fans. Being paired with a huge star like Jr. NTR could provide a major break for Trisha, who hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had an exciting run in the last couple of years. Dammu was in fact supposed to feature Shruti Haasan, who subsequently backed out because of date hassles. The producerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next choice was Kajal Aggarwal, who again did not have the required dates. Their loss turned out to be Trishaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s windfall gain and she stepped in. This LVKHUÂżUVWÂżOPRSSRVLWH-U175DQGFRXOG

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create more opportunities for her to act opposite younger stars in Telugu cinema. Trisha sizzles in Dammu in a romantic role, according to members of the production unit. If their version is to be believed, there are supposed to be a couple of intimate scenes involving the lead pair as well! The makers of Dammu have provided a completely different image for Jr. NTRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s character in the movie; he appears in a dual role, playing the roles of cop and a feudal lord. Director Srinu has roped in well-known stunt director Ram Lakshman to can some deathdefying stunts for Dammu. Apparently, Jr. NTR was at complete ease performing the stunts.

Karthika is the second female lead of Dammu and she gets to romance Jr. NTRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second character. Though this is just her second Telugu movie, Karthika has agreed to play the second female lead in Dammu, because it is opposite Jr. NTR. Can she expect a better launch pad than WKLVSURMHFW"$FFRUGLQJWRXQFRQÂżUPHGUHSRUWV Dammu has already made 40 crores through the sale of distribution rights in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, one of the highest sums in recent times. We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to see Jr. NTR scorch the screens with Dammu and wish him and the entire team the very best. - Aravind G Shivakamal

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What do the stars have to say to the stars? Read on

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Aquarius (January 20-February 18): The need to work on personal and intimate relationships are heightened for stars like Shruti Haasan. April will make you, Rana Daggubati and STR, feel a little more playful, and love matters will be blown out of proportion to create excitement. But, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no problem ULJKW"%HFDXVH\RXOLNHLWWKDWZD\IRU the time being!

Pisces (February 19-March 20): All actors, listen up: this is the time when you will need to walk the talk, stand by your beliefs and convictions. At this time, your interactions with others and with the outside world in general can be confusing and dull. Not a best month to look for personal recognition.

Aries (March 21-April 19): For Sonia Agarwal, a self-guided detox routine is the need of the hour. It might be a good time to make a thorough scrutiny of the real person, an KRQHVWDVVHVVPHQWRI\RXUIDFHÂżJXUH health and assets and seek to implement a make-over where necessary. Check where there is room for improvement and take positive action immediately.

Leo (July 23-August 22): For Dhanush, this is a month of exaltation, true spirituality, intellectual and moral growth â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a truly cosmic gift. Liveliness and FRQÂżGHQFHDUHKLJKDQG\RXFDQDWWDLQ your objectives at a rapid pace now. An energising and inspiring phase in which you have abandon of faith and hope, of FRQÂżGHQFHLQ\RXUVHOIDQGDZDUHQHVV of your own strengths.

Virgo (August 23-September 22): You are able to stand your ground and assert yourself more than usual this month. You will do your best, Vishal, to make an impression and these attempts are either assisted or challenged by WKHFLUFXPVWDQFHVLQZKLFK\RXÂżQG yourself and by others. Sameera Reddy: your get-up-and-go attitude to move your plans further is enterprising.

Libra (September 23-October 22): It could also happen that now youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re so busy working for others that you have no time for yourself and in the process you miss out a lot of good things of life.

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Taurus (April 20-May 20): Trisha: there could be some rivalry, hard feelings generated, but it is not a time to go overboard. Look at the brighter side and do not dwell on self-pity, try not to see troubles where none exist, or attempt to solve the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s problems. It might EHDJRRGLGHDWRPDLQWDLQDORZSURÂżOH and be less vocal. It is time for all actors in this star sign to make a special effort to get along with others, both professionally and personally.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Kajal Aggarwal: you are likely to fall in love with yourself... which may not be a bad thing because it will GHÂżQLWHO\ERRVW\RXUVHOIHVWHHP,Q April, you will naturally let your softer, receptive side loose. Romantic matters, as well as pleasure-seeking activities, come to the fore now.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Personal and social contacts may be mysterious, and there can be secret love affairs, or at least very private love feelings and longings. Shyness can lead to some seclusion or romantic frustration.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21): Your humanitarian inclination may be stirred. The part you play for other people in your life comes to the forefront now. You may experience that your tasks list gets swarming with things to do... usually for other people.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21): This is a very playful period of the year for stars like Naga Chaitanya and Arya, where they will be inspired creatively and emotionally. After a period of self-preservation, the actors in this star-sign are more spontaneous and willing to take risks. 7KLVLVDULFKKDSS\DQGIXOÂżOOLQJ phase, and you will all enjoy it.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18): This month, you are passionate and daring â&#x20AC;&#x201C; more than you have ever been! Some agitation and desire for exciting activity is experienced.

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RNI No: APENG/2009/29389 |

Regd No: L II/RNP/HD/1118/2010-12 | April 2012.

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Seats filling up fast! For info SMS AISFM to 56161

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Renowned actor Academic Advisor, AISFM

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Find us at Annapurna Studios Road No. 2, Banjara Hills Hyderabad 040 4914 1234 SMS AISFM to 56161

Southscope magazine April 2012  
Southscope magazine April 2012  

india's leading south film magazin