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DECEMBER 2012

VOL 04 | ISSUE 03

everything about from the majestic elephant to a young couple’s heady romance, this is an intense tale…

THE BEST AND WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCES OF YOUR FAVOURITE STARS WE BRING YOU THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE SETS OF EAGERLY-AWAITED FILMS ACROSS TAMIL, TELUGU, KANNADA AND MALAYALAM

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Good Idea

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We think Good Idea is a good idea. Why? Have a look

Barfi

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This Barfi sure is sweet

Iddarammayilatho

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A majestic elephant and a love story – this film is intense and engaging indeed

Will the real Mahesh please stand up?

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We bring you the latest on this upcoming romcom

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Iddarammayilatho brings Puri Jaggannadh and Allu Arjun together – need we say more?

Settai

The elephant in the room

The legend of the water-bird

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Seenu Ramasamy’s Neerparavai is an engrossing watch

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Settai is making waves, clearly!

CAMEO This month, the stars tell us about their travels, their love for adventure and everything they love about carting off across the world

Kammath and Kammath

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The Mammootty and Dileep starrer Kammath and Kammath tells you the tale of a pair of brothers who run a slew of restaurants

Rajani Kantha

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Check out the latest on Rajani Kantha, the upcoming Duniya Vijay-Aindrita Ray starrer

Mirchi Mirchi brings Anushka Shetty and Prabhas together on screen for what is going to be a fabulous project!

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Good Idea Cast: Sreejith, Unni Sivapal, Master Alex, Manraj, Guinness Pakru, Bheeman Reghu, and Sukumari Direction: Zakeer P K Production: Klap Board Cinemas Music: Jassie Gift

Malayalam

• Good Idea narrates the interesting story of an idea – and a real good one at that – implemented by Sarada teacher, who hails from a village.

• Sarada teacher loves her son Vivek and her student Bonce

equally well. So when her son gets a job in the city, she sends him to Bonce, who is settled in the city and has a totally different disposition. She has a big motive behind this idea, this real ‘Good Idea’…

• Veteran actress Sukumari plays Sarada teacher. Sreejith Vijay,

who was introduced by Fazil in Living Together and later acted in Rathinirvedham, and Unni Sivapal (of For the People fame) play key roles in the film.

• Guinness Pakru, Bheeman Reghu and Manraj play supporting characters while Master Alex, who had played the title role in the widely acclaimed T D Dasan Std VI B, also dons a meaty role.

• Jassie Gift makes a notable comeback of sorts, composing four songs in the film.

• A major highlight of the film is that the contestants of a popular television show Indian Voice have sung the songs in the film, the lyrics for which have been penned by Kaithapram, Anil Panachooran and Unni Sivapal.

• Shot across Ernakulam, Gavi, Wagamon and Munnar, Good Idea, is almost ready for release.

- Unni Nair

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Barfi Cast: Diganth, Bhama and others Direction: Shekar Production: K M Shankar Music: Arjun Janya

Kannada

• Barfi starring the ‘chocolate hero’ of the Kannada

film industry, Diganth Manchale, is not a remake of its namesake from Bollywood. According to the producers, the title is a “mere coincidence”. Nevertheless, the Kannada Barfi refers to a kind of sweet, and the movie has a romcom theme.

• Diganth stars opposite Malayalam actor Bhama for the first time. He is in great demand and his dates are supposedly blocked till next March. Bhama too seems to be on a roll in Kannada films, winning opportunities to act opposite some of the top stars.

• According to Diganth, it was fun working on the

sets of Barfi. The star is known to be a lively person, who does not pass up any opportunity to have fun while shooting. He regaled the production unit staff by narrating interesting episodes from the shooting experiences of his previous films.

• There were some curious moments during the

making of the movie when the shooting took place in Punjab. Not many Kannada movies have been shot in Punjab. However, as the storyline of Barfi had a plotpoint involving Chandigarh, shooting took place in that city for almost a week. As word of the shooting spread, hundreds of people gathered to see the stars. Diganth was even mistaken for a Hindi film star, and he indulgently played along!

• Arjun Janya has composed the songs for the movie

and according to him there are 3 different genres of music in the film. One of the songs was shot on the beach with more than 500 dancers, and is said to be a big attraction of the movie. Barfi is scheduled for release in the first half of January 2013.

- Aravind Gowda

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Iddarammayilatho Cast: Allu Arjun, Amala Paul, Catherine Tresa Direction: Puri Jagannadh Production: Ganesh Bandla Music: Devi Sri Prasad

Telugu

• Iddarammayilatho, involving ace director Puri Jagannadh and

stylish star Allu Arjun, has generated a lot of hype in Tollywood. Producer Ganesh Bandla has toiled hard to bring the duo together, after their earlier hit, Desamuduru. There were even reports about Ganesh gifting a very expensive lighter to Puri as part of his remuneration!

• Amala Paul plays Bunny’s love interest, and the choice of the second female lead is Catherine Tresa.

• Iddarammayilatho is supposed to be a romantic comedy with

plenty of family drama involved. Shooting for the film has already commenced and Amala Paul’s portion is in progress now. This movie is supposed to be one of Puri’s favourite subjects and is very close to his heart. Sources say that this is all set to be a stellar, memorable role for Allu Arjun.

• The strict disciplinarian that he is, Puri has reportedly instructed the star cast to arrive at the sets on time and remain tight-lipped about the film.

• Devi Sri Prasad, a firm favourite of both Puri and Arjun, is

scoring the music for Iddarammayilatho. Initially, Chakri was shortlisted to compose the music for the movie. But he preferred to opt out because of a few creative differences.

- Aravind G Shivkamal

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Settai Cast: Arya, Santhanam, Premgi Amaren, Hansika and Anjali Direction: R Kannan Production: UTV Motion Pictures Music: Thaman

tamil

• Settai has been shot at various locations including

Chennai, Mumbai, Switzerland and Puducherry. However, Kannan recalls the difficulties of shooting in Mumbai. “At the bustling Dongre Street, which is literally bursting at the seams with people, filming the Arya-Santhanam-Premgi chase was difficult. On top of it, we had to use hidden cameras. When we shot in Switzerland, the temperature dropped to minus degrees and the cold wind that was blowing constantly made things more difficult.”

• In his fourth directorial outing, R Kannan has

crafted Settai, a remake of the Hindi blockbuster Delhi Belly. The dubbed version of the film will be released in Telugu as Naughty Boys.

• Kannan explains, “Arya works as a journalist in a

magazine office. His boss introduces ‘Nadu Pakka Nakki’ to everybody, and that is the character played by Santhanam. The fun that takes place between them, with Premgi working in the same office as a cartoonist and how they become friends, makes for a rip-roaring premise. As of end-November, nearly 80% of the film was complete, and we have about 10 days of shoot left. We are planning to release the film in January 2013.”

• The black comedy of the Hindi blockbuster Delhi

Belly has been customised to suit the taste of Tamil and Telugu audiences. Kannan says, “Songs have been added unlike in the original; there is a generous dose of comedy sans vulgarity or the usage of bad words. The original story is about a young journalist trying to achieve his dream, which alone has been adapted into the film, while changes have been made for the South Indian audiences.”

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• A smile spreads across his face when he mentions

the shooting in Marine Drive. “The Arya-Anjali lip lock scene at Marine Drive was very interesting to shoot and it was done aesthetically with just the two actors, the cameraman and myself,” he says.

• We are already expecting unforgettable fireworks

in the comedy department, considering that the film features Arya, Premgi and Santhanam. “It was good because they are friends off-screen too; so it was fun shooting with nonstop comedy punches from Santhanam,” says Kannan.

• The USP of Settai will be nonstop fun. “We are

betting big on the Arya-Santhanam combination which already wrought magic in Boss Engira Baskaran. Hansika and Arya have been paired for the first time, and this will add to the freshness factor.”

• Thaman has scored the music for the film and is

responsible for five fantastic songs; Karky and Thamarai are supposed to have done a great job with the lyrics; PG Muthiah is the cinematographer; editing is being handled by Leo John Paul; while dialogues have been penned by John Mahendran.

- Shankaran Malini 11


Kammath and Kammath Cast: Mammootty, Dileep, Rima Kallingal, Karthika, Tesni Khan, Baburaj and others Direction: Thomson Production: Anto Joseph Music: M. Jayachandran

MAlayalam

• Director Thomson, who delivered a big hit with his debut

• The plot gains interest as Municipal Secretary Mahalakshmi,

• Mammootty and Dileep play the titular roles. Needless to say,

• Karthika is the other heroine. This is her second Malayalam

film Karyasthan, is now getting ready with his second film, Kammath and Kammath. the coming together of these two stars is the main attraction of the film.

• Dhanush has a cameo appearance in the film, playing a superstar who comes to open a restaurant run by the Kammath brothers.

film, after Makaramanju.

• Tesni Khan, whose popularity has increased following Beautiful and Trivandrum Lodge, plays a key role, that of Mahalakshmi’s maid, Shanta.

• Jayaram was to play one of the Kammath brothers, but his

• Udayakrishna and Sibi K Thomas, who have scripted many hit

• Mammootty and Dileep play Rajaraja Kammath and Devaraja

• Rajyalakshmi, of Shankarabharanam fame, plays Subhadra, the

other assignments got in the way and consequently Dileep was brought in. Kammath respectively. The duo runs a chain of hotels, spread all across Kerala.

• The Kammath brothers decide to take over a hotel in Palakkad and add it to their chain of hotels. But it’s not an easy task; they have lots of obstacles to face. It is from here that the plot develops.

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played by Rima Kallingal, takes a tough stance against them time and again.

entertainers, have come together to pen the script for Kammath and Kammath. Kammath brothers’ mother. The film also has in the cast other popular stars like Baburaj, Suraaj Venjaramoodu, Riza Bawa, Janardhanan and Kalabhavan Shajon.

• The film has been shot across Kochi, Palakkad and Coimbatore and is scheduled to hit screens on January 26, 2013.

- Unni R Nair

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Rajani Kantha Cast: Duniya Vijay, Aindrita Ray, Bullet Prakash Direction: Pradeep Raj Production: K Manju Music: Arjun Janya

kannada

• Rajani Kantha is no tribute to the Superstar, but interestingly

has been launched by his close friend Rao Bahadur. Produced by well-known producer K Manju, the movie has Duniya Vijay playing a dual role for the first time in his career. Aindrita Ray has been paired opposite Vijay and this is their second film together after Junglee, which was a super-hit. The duo hopes to recreate the same magic through Rajani Kantha.

• “Shooting with Vijay was fun. This movie will definitely

succeed,” declared Aindrita, who missed out on being cast opposite Vijay in Jaraasandha because of ‘internal politics’.

• Rajani and Kantha are two different characters played by

Duniya Vijay. While one is a ‘good person’, the other has a disfigured image. Aindrita gets to romance the good guy while the disfigured person tries to confuse her. The movie has the

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right mix of action, romance and comedy, and the director promises a fun outing.

• This is the first time ever that Vijay is playing a dual role.

According to him, it was extremely challenging to play the two roles simultaneously. Every scene had to be shot twice and in different costumes/make-up and even the mood! Consequently, the shooting was quite stretched out, taking over 75 days. The movie is scheduled for release in December in over 100 theatres.

• Arjun Janya has composed the songs for the movie and Imran

Sardhariya choreography includes some innovative dance moves. Some of the songs were shot abroad. Arjun pointed out that the songs are all peppy numbers.

- Aravind G Shivkamal

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Mirchi Cast: Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Richa Gangopadhyay, Brahmanandam Direction: Koratala Siva Production: Vamsi Krishna Reddy & Pramod Uppalapati Music: Devi Sri Prasad

Telugu

• Mirchi was earlier titled as Vaaradhi. The shooting of the movie commenced almost a year ago and is nearing completion now.

• The movie has Anushka Shetty and Richa Gangopadhyay in the

female lead roles. While Anushka plays Prabhas’ love interest, Richa enters the film midway as an NRI. The film is said to be a family entertainer, written by the director Koratala Siva himself. Anushka willl be see in a Telugu movie after a log time.

• The film was shot in foreign locations extensively and the crew

returned recently after shooting a few songs in Europe. Devi Sri Prasad (DSP) has composed songs for the movie and it has a dance number, which DSP believes will be a chartbuster. Richa

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also gets to dance with Prabhas in one of the tracks, which has been shot abroad. The producers have lavished money on the project and the movie has shaped up very well.

• Mirchi made news when a significant portion of the shooting

took place in the set erected for Maryada Ramanna at Kokapet on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The movie is extremely important for the handsome Prabhas, as none of his recent films have performed well at the box office. His previous film, Rebel, directed by Raghava Lawrence, turned out to be a BO disaster.

- Aravind G Shivkamal

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Prabhu Solomon’s much-awaited film Kumki is a sumptuous visual treat. Pavithra Srinivasan, Kirthi Jayakumar and Shankaran Malini bring you the ringisde view of this engaging tale

An engrossing love story from director Prabhu Solomon (of Mynaa fame) produced by director N Lingusamy under his banner Thirupathi Brothers and released by Studio Green, Kumki hits the silverscreen this December. The film marks the debut of Vikram Prabhu, son of actor Prabhu and grandson of the late thespian Sivaji Ganesan. Lakshmi Menon plays his leading lady. Thambi Ramaiah has a key role in the film. Sukumar has cranked the camera and D Imman has composed the music for the film. Manickam, a majestic 31-year-old elephant from Thiruvalla, is all set to ‘debut’ with a very significant role to play in Kumki. Kumki literally transports you to the lush green serenity of nature, far away from the regular hustlebustle, traffic jams and the rat race of daily life. A simple storyline with a series of power-packed performances, the film revolves around a mahout, played by Vikram, his trained kumki elephant and his ladylove. The kumki elephants are like lighthouses, used to guide wild elephants back to the forest to minimise the destruction to properties and fields of nearby villages. 18

Says director Prabhu Solomon, “It took me three months, after Mynaa, to finalise my next Tamil project. Mynaa was a milestone, and naturally, my next film had to be of a different genre, at a different level. I used to regularly come across news about wild elephants straying into villages and creating havoc. Since I was in search of a different plot altogether, the idea of Kumki came up. But then, the challenge was great – handling elephants in films is no easy feat.” The search for a suitable elephant and the character of the mahout was not an easy task for the director. He explains, “After ‘auditioning’ about 60 elephants, I found Manickam at Thiruvalla. Manickam is 31 years old and has a height of 12 ft. The next was the search for its mahout. For an elephant of nearly 12 ft. the mahout had to be over 6 feet tall. Six months passed, but to no avail.

Then, ‘Diamond’ Babu suggested Vikram Prabhu’s name for this role. I didn’t know Vikram Prabhu then, so naturally, I was wondering about his looks and physique. But in less than five minutes of meeting him, I finalised him for the character of Bomman, the mahout. When I saw him I saw Bomman in him.” He adds, “Since Manickam hails from Kerala, he could only recognise Malayalam, and our cast had to learn some commands in Malayalam to be able to ‘communicate’ with Manickam. This took about 25 days. We had to bring the cast and the elephant together. And it eventually took about two months for them to become real friends.” The storyline of Kumki is simple. “Bomman has never seen his parents and the only living asset left for him is Manickam. He grows up with him, sharing a brotherly bond with the elephant. A trained Kumki mahout, Bomman enters this village after wild elephants stray into it. The straying of wild elephants into villages is only a part of the film. How Alli and Bomman fall in love and how Alli who is scared of elephants, gradually becomes friends with Manickam and the friendship between Bomman, Alli and Manickam comprises the rest of the film.”

Some of the memorable shots of the film, says Prabhu Solomon, where the ones which came out spontaneously. “There is one particular scene where Vikram Prabhu needs to kiss Manickam’s trunk. I asked him whether he would do it with a genuine feeling of brotherly affection for the elephant, and he said, yes. This shot has come out really well. Manickam takes cues very sharply. He knows that when you touch his ears, he has to lift you up with his trunk. The same happened with Vikram Prabhu, when the kiss was being filmed. He touched Manickam’s ears and kissed the trunk and Manickam started lifting him up. It was a very natural shot. Later when I asked Vikram, he said he was literally staggering. Other than the four of us, no one was allowed close to the elephant to tame him. Its real mahout, Jobee, was also of great help,” he adds. Elephants have been seen in Tamil films earlier too, but Prabhu promises a different journey with Manickam through this film. “Manickam has no frills, and yet he is your captivator in Kumki, in all his spontaneity. Manickam is a true star, a real artiste,” he says. 19


Vikram Prabhu was waiting for a role that would bring his acting skills to the forefront. Kumki fit the bill perfectly. Ask him about his camaraderie with his elephant co-star, and he says, “Manickam plays a huge character and is a part of the backdrop. For my part, I had to be a mahout and I had to live up to that. Manickam’s real mahout was also around for help. He has been around with Manickam for nearly three years and mahouts are very aware of the behavioural patterns of elephants. I used to observe Manickam very closely. It came to a point where the mahout would leave us with the elephant the moment we entered the place.” Having ridden elephants even as a child, Vikram had a certain degree of comfort in playing the role. But surely there must have been risky sequnces that he had to shoot for the film? “The first shot itself was a challenge. I had to sit on the edge of a rock, with Lakshmi Menon sitting on my right side, and from the left and the front, a couple of inches behind me was a 950-foot rock. I knew right then, that it couldn’t get any harder – the first shot in my career is also one of the riskiest shots ever. Acting with Manickam was also a challenge. See, when Manickam trumpets, his sound is louder than the roar of a lion. I don’t think I will ever forget all these experiences!”

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“I’ve been a part of Prabhu Solomon’s films right from the beginning, you know,” assures Sukumar, cinematographer for the much-anticipated Kumki. Considering the unusual setting and characters, how difficult was it to shoot the movie? “It was very difficult. For one thing, this film is around an animal, all through. When we had to shoot the elephant, we had to climb right on top of it to shoot, and there was always the danger of falling off, any second. And it was not easy to shoot when the elephant got heated up. When shooting with animals, we have to just go with their actions. So we were always ready, like the military,” he laughs. “And because we shot in a forest, we had to bow to its rules, like lighting. Also, we had no lights, no thermocol, no reflectors – what we had to shoot, had to be done only with natural light. Every shot, I should say, was a difficult one.” Kumki has been shot in a variety of wild, beautiful locations, like Kurangani in Podinayakkanur, Soranur (Kerala) and the Jog Falls in Karnataka. Sukumar elaborates, “There were places where people just couldn’t climb down to film the waterfall shots. We decided to shoot it in a way that when it comes to waterfalls, people would think of this song!” What about the Kumki experience as a whole? “Each scene in Kumki is like a painting. We’ve given on the big screen, what we saw, ourselves. It was difficult, but we did it. If Mynaa was 100%, then this will be 1000%!”

Music Director D Imman is overjoyed with the success of the music of Kumki. He says, “The album has predominantly melodious numbers. I’ve set melodies for all situations and it was very refreshing to listen to.” What’s his favourite among all of them? “I like the whole album, of course. Since I sang the Onnum Puriyala song, I guess I like it a little better than the others,” he grins.

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Will the real Mahesh please stand up? Yaaruda Mahesh is a fun rom-com that is all set to make audiences giggle along and feel good! This month, we take a look at the cast and crew and all the jazz that went on behind the scenes of Yaaruda Mahesh

Starring Sundeep Kishan of Maranthen Mannithen fame as the protagonist, with Dimple Chopad as the leading lady, Yaaruda Mahesh is produced by Red Studios and Colour Frames. The film marks the debut of Madhan Kumar as director, and Gopi Sundar as the music director. Yaaruda Mahesh revolves around a simple and engaging plot that involves searching for a character called Mahesh

Director’s choice... Director R Madhan Kumar is all set to watch his maiden venture entertain audiences across the South. Despite the pressures of directing his first film, working on Yaaruda Mahesh has been an enjoyable experience for Madhan, especially because of the young and robust team that formed the cast and crew. “Most of them are debutantes and are all friends of mine, so I felt very comfortable on the sets! The schedule was full-on fun and it was great working with such a young team. The lead stars Sundeep and Dimple have done their part well. The film offers great entertainment thanks to Jagan, Swaminathan, Srinath and Livingston sir! The cinematographer Raana has given his best; he is really quick and smart in framing the shots. Of course, working with music director Gopi Sundar and lyricist Na. Muthukumar was awesome, and Vanaraj, the art director has helped us with lively sets while the producers Antony, Nawaz and Sathyanarayanan gave me full liberty to execute my thoughts!” says the ecstatic director. As a debutante director, each day on the sets while making the film was interesting for Madhan. “What I especially loved was the train scene we shot at Hyderabad,” he says. Madhan adds that his film will be a wholesome entertainer for the entire gamut of audiences, especially the younger generation. “Yaaruda Mahesh is the product of a sudden but interesting imagination and I wrote out the entire script in ten days. I must say that this is the perfect directorial debut for me!” Madhan explains. “The film is very naughty, especially the dialogues and screenplay! All put together, these elements add spice to the movie.”

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The actor speaks: ‘I had to unlearn everything’ Sundeep Kishan is a happy guy. His latest film, his first one as the solo hero, Routine Love Story is doing fairly well; he also has the bi-lingual Gundello Godaari (Maranthen Manninthen in Tamil) in the offing. Sharing his perspective of his forthcoming Tamil film Yaaruda Mahesh, Sundeep says that he is selective about his scripts and chose Yaaruda Mahesh because it was an out-and-out comedy. “It will be the first-of-its-kind thorough commercial entertainer for me. Comedy always works. To add to the fun, the cast and crew of the film are young. No one was more than 30 years of age! So we had a blast on the sets.” So far, Sundeep has accepted strong performance-oriented roles in all his films and has acted with aplomb. In this film, his role is different. “I had to unlearn everything. The character I play doesn’t know anything. Whatever I do, will work against my character. I’m used to high energy performances and had to go against the grain of what I have done before. Only when I was dubbing did I realise I had done a good job. I didn’t know how to play such a guy. I just imagined how someone like that would behave and I acted.” Sandeep says there were “loads of amazing experiences.” He shares one of them. “For one of the sequences, we had to shoot with kids who lived in slums. Many of them could act very well; in fact, we were amazed by their acting talent. That sequence is one of the highlights of the film.” The young actor adds, “I got mobbed in Kerala while shooting close to Munnar. I didn’t expect people to recognise me. It felt nice and was a highpoint.” True to its them of a romanctic comedy, Sundeep says that the script kept the cast laughing throughout the shoot. “So many times, even as we were giving the shot, we would break into peals of laughter. So we had to give extra takes,” he reminisces.

A few musical notes... With 17 years of experience behind him, Gopi Sundar is a busy man. Having composed music for more than 5000 ad jingles, programmed music for many major composers and having scored for more than ten Malayalam films, Gopi who is also a singer is now making his foray into Tamil cinema with Yaaruda Mahesh. Ask him what it felt like, to compose music for this film, and he modestly responds saying, “It was great. I guess 17 years of working made it pretty easy!” So what does the music for this film entail? He looks at his composition as something that suits the script. “It’s like this: if I were a sculptor or a painter, I’d have kept the script in mind to ensure that I project the right idea and the right portrayal. Being a composer, I did exactly the same thing with this film’s music!” Gopi is sure that the film will do well. When we ask him what his anticipations are, he confidently declares, “It will be a hit!”

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Legend of the Water-bird

have to work a few days without an umbrella. I said I was fine with that. Neerparavai has a wonderful theme, and it was great to work with a National Award-winning director. This will be a proud addition to my list of films. I had great faith in Seenu sir,” she re-iterates. “He is a perfectionist. And I feel blessed.” Her co-star, Vishnu, is similar in his effusion and is understandably ecstatic. “Director Seenu Ramasamy is a complete professional. It was great working with him,” he has been quoted as saying. “He also gave me complete freedom.”

Pavithra Srinivasan takes you through the resplendent saga that Neerparavai is

Director Seenu Ramasamy is one of those talented people who can take a subject and inject such life into it that it walks away from the screen and becomes a part of reality. After Thenmerku Paruvakattru, which dealt beautifully with the love of a mother for her son, and her fierce desire to make a life for herself, he comes back with Neerparavai, through which he deals, with another serious topic: the battle fisherman face at sea, not just from Nature herself, but a foe far deadlier: Man. And it’s not just certain characters that he focuses on, but the entire fishing community that makes its home in the little hamlet of Thangachi Madam, in Rameswaram. Predominantly Christian, these folk have their own customs and religious events, which are strictly adhered to. The story takes place sometime in the eighties, and the terms and speech prevalent then, add to the delectable experience of watching the film. Neerparavai is all about a youngster, Arulappa Saami, who has nothing better to do than drink all day and loaf around the village, while his parents, played by Saranya Ponvannan and Aruldas, both fishing folk, watch him with dull misery, unaware of how to help him. Arul has earned the dislike of not just various villagers, but Udhuman Gani 28

(played brilliantly by director Samuthrakani, who’s proving to have a flair for such roles) and his assistant, and even Sister Benita (Anupama Kumar) who arrives at the village with her adopted daughter, Esther (Sunaina). It’s only when the pastor of the church (Azhagam Perumal) walks in and offers a solution, that things clear up a little. But even here, fate decides to play a hand: Arul, despite recovering from his alcohol addiction, now has to face a batch of irate villagers who question his very origins, as he arrived in Tamil Nadu as a refugee from Sri Lanka. Arul, however, is now fired with ambition, fostered by none other than Esther, who proves to be the reason for his changeof-heart. In many ways, Neerparavai satisfies all the requisites of serious cinema: there are no unnecessary masala elements, no song-anddance routines or slapstick comedy pieces either. And the characters have lived their roles, which makes it easy for the viewer to understand their experiences. Sunaina, the heroine, is justifiably excited that she got to play the role. “Director Seenu sir did say that I would have to work really hard for this role,” she reveals in an interview online. “He called me up early on and said, Look, you have to be a bit dark for this film, so you may

Producer Udhayanidhi Stalin too, is extremely happy with the positive reactions the film has garnered. “Director Seenu Ramasamy has given a remarkable movie in the form of Neerparavai,” comes his comment. As for the man at the helm himself, he’s satisfied, with a job well done. Studying in Madurai as a youngster, he reveals in an interview, that he was part of an NGO that travelled all over the state, to spread the message of educating all children, and sending them to school. “I have gone to the coastal areas and seen the way those fishermen lived.” The trip had a great impact on him, he says, and after all these years, has even helped shape his film. The extensive research he has done makes a profound impact too. Seenu Ramasamy is happy that producers such as Udhayanidhi Stalin have come forward to produce such films. “He has to be complimented for providing opportunities for directors like me, who are not part of the commercial circuit,” he enthuses. Serious it may be, but in no way is Neerparavai a preachy film – and thus, successfully bridges the gap between mainstream and art-house cinema. Quite frankly, it is the need of the hour. 29


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taMannaah One travel destination you have most enjoyed That would be Paris.

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why? I went to the United States of America with my family. That holiday was absolutely memorable, because my whole family was with me and it was a trip that lasted almost a month. What fun!

Which dream getaway appeals to you most? Egypt, any day.

What place did you travel to last, and for what? I went to Bangkok last, where I was for shooting Rebel.

One travel-related adventure that you had Nothing of that sort, nothing memorable as an adventure, per se.

The best and worst travel experiences you have encountered. The best travel experience I ever had was shooting in Paris! The worst of the lot was shooting in China.

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taaPSee Pannu One travel destination you have most enjoyed I’d say Berlin is the best place to be, at any given time.

Mauritius!

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why?

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why?

The holidays I take to come back home to my house in Delhi become the most memorable ones, because I get to be with my friends and family in my city.

Koh Phangan, an island off the coast of Thailand; it is like paradise on Earth

Which dream getaway appeals to you most?

Which dream getaway appeals to you most?

I always look forward to coming back home, if not this I’d love to go to any place that has beautiful beaches.

It has to be the magnificent Gold Coast, Australia. I want to learn surfing there

What place did you travel to last, and for what? New York on work

One travel-related adventure that you had I went sky diving in Sri Lanka – it ranks as one of my best experiences ever, till date.

The best and worst travel experience you have encountered Someone stole my bag with the passport in it in California, USA. It was the most horrible experience ever!

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One travel destination you have most enjoyed

What place did you travel to last, and for what? I went to Malaysia last, for a shoot.

One travel-related adventure that you had I went rafting in Ladakh, once, and it was simply amazing!

The best and worst travel experience you have encountered The worst part of any travel becomes the time I’ve to spend to reach a destination. I hate journey time. And the best part is when I reach the place and can totally admire the beauty of the place without any time constraint!

Photographer: Kunal Daswani Styling: Vira Shah Location: The Hyatt Regency, Chennai. Top and Shorts from RITU KUMAR, Necklace and Belt from FOREVER NEW, Bangles from AYESHA in CASABLANCA, Ring and Shoes from ALDO

dIGanth Manchale

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PrIya anand One travel destination you have most enjoyed

ShrutI haaSan

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why?

Hmm…it is so hard to name only one. There is something I love about every place I’ve visited.

I remember going to Kerala during the monsoons. Every time there’s a lot going on, I mentally escape into that time when all I did for a few days was watch the rain fall hard on the backwaters!

Which one holiday was most memorable for you and why?

Which dream getaway appeals to you most?

It would have to be Africa with my family when I was a kid. We went on safaris and played with lion cubs. It was lovely.

I love places that are quiet. I love places with water bodies! I am eagerly looking forward to going to the Maldives.

One travel destination you have most enjoyed

Which dream getaway appeals to you most? Any of the Caribbean Islands. I am a beach person.

What place did you travel to last and for what?

What place did you travel to last, and for what? I was in Rajahmundry last, on a shoot. Since I go there for a minimum of 3 weeks at a time and have so much fun while I’m there, I don’t count it as work! I know my way around Rajahmundry more than I do in Hyderabad!

I am always travelling all over India. But, my last trip out of the country was to Dubai.

One travel-related adventure you had?

One travel-related adventure that you had

I am not a thrill-seeker! I could never jump out of a plane or go on roller-coasters.

When a flight got cancelled, I was stranded in a scary hotel in Taipei. It was scary at first but touchwood, in hindsight it was just an adventure and not a disaster!

The best and worst travel experience you have encountered The best would have to be my trips to America or Europe. The worst of course, was when I was stranded in Taipei.

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I’ve always enjoyed shooting in Rajahmundry. I’ shot there for Rama Rama Krishna Krishna and now recently for Ko Ante Koti. I really love the openness in the people and the beautiful landscape!

The best and worst travel experience you have encountered Travelling is all about experiencing new things, so it’s all good. The crazier the story, the more memorable it becomes! When my car broke down I hitchhiked on a lorry in the middle of the night with a friend! It took us nine hours to complete a journey that should have taken four. But it’s one of my favourite memories in the recent past!

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KarthI One travel destination you have most enjoyed My honeymoon trip with my wife, to Austria! Close to nature, with just your ladylove around you – it was a dreamcome-true…

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why? We had a get-together with school friends in the US, in 2002. Two of them were flying down from Australia. The get-together was in New York. And we went to this place called Keys, in the southernmost tip of Florida, which is popular for water sports. It was an awesome trip.

Which dream getaway appeals to you most? Tuscany in Italy and Nice in France.

What place did you travel to last, and for what? Mukkurthi National Park near Ooty. The long drive through the virgin forests, the birds in the trees all through add to the charm of the unforgettable experience.

One travel-related adventure that you had

rIcha GanGoPadhyay One travel destination you have most enjoyed:

of us together in another country at the same time.

I think Ladakh is truly magical. The tranquillity of the place and its mesmerizing scenic beauty are truly breathtaking and cannot be described in words!

Which dream getaway appeals to you most

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why? I had gone to Dubai for the SIIMA Awards earlier this year, and had the pleasure of having my parents join me from the US. It was wonderful having them around, not only for their presence and support while I won the award for Best Actress (Critic’s choice), but because it was so much fun vacationing with them! My parents are otherwise very busy professionals, so it was a rare opportunity that brought the three

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I am dying to go to Greece, the Maldives and New Zealand! Maybe, one of my shoots will eventually take me there…

What place did you travel to last, and for what? I just came back from a 14-day trip to Milan and Tuscany in Italy, shooting for my Telugu film ‘Mirchi’ opposite Prabhas.

One travel-related adventure that you had: Driving on the winding roads up the mountains of Ladakh, in a rugged jeep,

About two or three years ago, my friend and I were driving in Topslip, when all of a sudden an elephant came in between the bump and the jeep and we could move nowhere. Its loud trumpeting was so scary that I had to run around the hill to reach the other side.

hanging onto my dear life while travelling up to Khardungla Pass, on unpaved, narrow trails with jaw-dropping views of deep valleys right next to you – that was adventurous. Fighting the drowsiness from the lowered oxygen levels at the high altitude, the 3-hour journey to the top was nerve-wracking.

The best and worst travel experience you have encountered. The worst experience was in Poland, when we were shooting for Saguni. The sun would rise around 8 AM and set by 4 PM. And we wouldn’t have ample time to shoot. Moreover, there were restrictions on placing the cameras also. Even the food was not so palatable. Weather plays an important part whenever you plan a trip abroad. Whether it’s too hot or too cold, it spoils your plans. On the other hand, the trip to Phuket during the shooting of Siruthai was very good!

The best and worst travel experiences you have encountered I shot in Jordan last year for my Bengali film. The climate was unbearable. We had expected it to be warm and sunny, but upon reaching, realised we weren’t well-equipped to battle the frigid cold! On top of that, I had to shoot for a song in little cotton summer dresses and ‘act’ like I couldn’t feel the 2-degree temperature on screen! The best travel experience? Every return trip home to Michigan!

Photography: Munna S Outfit & Styling: Nischay Niyogi Make up & Hair: Hriya Marfatia 37


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raGInI dWIVedI arya One travel destination you have most enjoyed Georgia. I stayed there for close to three months, last year and I even attended a close friend’s wedding there.

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why? My first holiday to Bangkok, back when I was in college, with my friends for nearly 10 days!

Which dream getaway appeals to you most? I cannot enjoy even the most beautiful places in the world by myself, without my friends. I think it is the company that makes a destination more memorable. But yes, I like any place that has beaches. I am a complete beach person.

What place did you travel to last, and for what? Switzerland for Settai.

One travel-related adventure that you had Four years ago, during my trip to Spain, I lost my entire bag, including my wallet. Luckily I had my passport, so I could come back.

The best and worst travel experience you have encountered My trip to Georgia was the best and Spain, of course was the worst.

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One travel destination you have most enjoyed Most recently, I travelled to Manali to shoot a song for the film Bangaari. It is indeed the paradise of India and is just heart-stoppingly beautiful!

Which one holiday was most memorable for you, and why? Dubai. I had travelled there for an event. It was just amazing... For the first time I shopped like crazy...

Which dream getaway appeals to you most? I have always wanted to go the Maldives and Miami.

What place did you travel to last, and for what? I had travelled to Singapore for a shoot and combined the trip to visit my brother too. We went on sight-seeing trips and had a great time. My brother is the cutest – he doubled up as a tour guide and even shopped for shoes for me!

One travel-related adventure that you had My dad was in the Army, so we’ve had several adventures in most of the places we travelled to.

The best and worst travel experience you have encountered I have had many memorable experiences, but thankfully, the worst is yet to come. And I hope it does not, ever.

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Southscope December 2012 Part-2 issue