Thursday, April 29, 2010
The new movie from Megastar Mammootty 'Pokkiri Raja' featuring Prithviraj in an equally important role, was censored yesterday. The movie which extends to a little more than 150 minutes was certified with an UA certificate.
The movie was given UA as it has a number of action sequences with Mammootty and Prithviraj and a club song. Directed by debutant Vyshakh, the movie is opined as a fast paced thriller will every element that will please the fans of Mammootty and Prithviraj. The songs of the movie by Jassie Gift, released a couple of weeks earlier, are already chart toppers.
Though the movie is complete in every sense, the makers of 'Pokkiri Raja' are waiting for the Producer's agitation to end before making a theater release. Planned in 86 centres in Kerala and 49 centres outside the state, this big budget movie is undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited one in Mollywood.
Finally, the listing of audio tracks for ‘Raavan’ Tamil version has been officially released by Sony Music. The title song ‘Veera’ (‘Beera’ in Hindi) has been crooned by the same singer Vijay Prakash of ‘Hosanna’ fame along with Keerthi Sagathia. The Additional African vocals are rendered by Mustafa Kutoon. Karthik’s ‘Usure Pogudhey’ is expected to be theTamil version of ‘Behene De’ and A.R. Rahman has picked Shreya Ghosal for ‘Kalvare’ (Rekha Bharadwaj’s ‘Kili Re’).
The other tracks are – ‘Kodu Poatta’ (Benny Dayal), Keda Kari (Benny Dayal, Bhagyaraj, Rayhanah and Grammy winner Tanvi Shah) and Kaattu Sirukki (Shankar Mahadevan, Anuradha Sriram). Vairamuthu has penned lyrics for all the songs and the stunning response for theHindi version has already raised everyone’s expectations in Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad. Both the Tamil and Telugu version ‘Villain’ will be released on the same by first week of May.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
இந்தியில் ராவண். தமிழில்...? ராவண், ராவணா, ராவணன், அசோக வனம்... இப்படி அரை டஜன் பெயர்கள் சொன்னார்கள். இறுதியில் ராவணன் என்ற பெயரை டிக் செய்திருக்கிறார் மணிரத்னம்.
இந்தியில் ட்ரெய்லர் வெளியிட்டுவிட்டார்கள். இன்று டி சீரிஸ் படத்தின் ஆடியோவை வெளியிடுகிறது. தமிழில் இதெல்லாம் எப்போது என்று ரசிகர்கள் முணுமுணுக்கத் தொடங்கியிருக்கிறார்கள்.
இந்தி ஆடியோ ரைட்ஸை டி சீரிஸ் வாங்கியிருப்பதைப் போல தமிழ் மற்றும் தெலுங்கு ஆடியோ ரைட்ஸை சோனி நிறுவனம் வாங்கியுள்ளது. விரைவில் ஆடியோ வெளியிடப்படும் என்கிறார்களே தவிர உறுதியான தேதி இன்னும் அறிவிக்கப்படவில்லை.
தெலுங்கில் ராவணன் படத்துக்கு மணிரத்னம் வைத்திருக்கும் பெயர் வில்லன்.
ஒளிப்பதிவாளர் மணிகண்டனின் ஈகோ மணிரத்னத்துக்கு சரிவராததால் படத்தின் பெரும்பாலான காட்சிகளுக்கு சந்தோஷ்சிவனே ஒளிப்பதிவு செய்துள்ளார்.
தற்போது எடிட்டிங் பணிகள் நடந்து வருகின்றன. நான்கு படங்களுக்குரிய ஃபுட்டேஜ் இருப்பதால் பணிகள் மெதுவாகவே நடக்கின்றன. ஜூன் 18 ராவணன், ராவண், வில்லன் மூன்றும் திரைக்கு வருகிறது.
Mani Ratnam's most ambitious project Raavan is all set to hit screens on June. The film, made simultaneously in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu, is titled Raavanan in Tamil and Villan in Telugu.
The audio launch of the Telugu and Tamil versions will take place on April 30, 2010. Sony Music has bagged the Tamil-Telugu audio rights of the film, which has music composed by Oscar winner A.R. Rahman. Raavanan stars Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Prithviraj and Priyamani in the lead roles.
Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, says he opted out of director Mani Ratnam's Tamil version of Raavan, where he was originally slated to play the role of Dev, due to language problems.
"When Mani decided to make Raavan it was only in Hindi. The idea of Tamil version came in later. He told me to swap roles from Beera in Hindi to Dev in Tamil. Even though I agreed initially, I realised that I would not be able to do justice to the role since I am not comfortable with the language," Abhishek told PTI.
"I told Mani that I did not want to do a film in a language which I did not understand. It is important for an actor know the language... Aishwarya is in both the versions because she knows it," he said.
"Even though Mani was adamant, I managed to convince him that I would not be able to do the best job," the actor said.
Moreover, I had my hands full with Beera which was a tough character to play, the actor said.
Malayalam superstar Prithviraj now plays Dev's character in the Tamil version and Tamil superstar Vikram essays Raavan. Abhishek clarified that Raavan had no connection with the mythological epic Ramayana.
"It would be futile to unnecessarily draw parallels because the only connection is the name 'Raavan'. It is an apt title for the film because of the different shades of Beera's personality," he said.
And his satisfaction, well, it can come even just a day before your album is all set to be unveiled.
And that’s how things worked for Mani Ratnam’s Raavan as well.
“As always this album all came together only last month. But it was a lot of fun working with Gulzar and Mani,” says Rahman with a mischievous smile.
A source from the film tells us more.
“Mani was quite clear that he wanted Rahman to work on the soundtrack of his epic film – both the Hindi and Tamil version. But A R’s manic schedule meant things weren’t signed and sealed till the last minute. In fact he did record some tracks and sent them to Mani to listen to. Everyone loved what they heard,” says the source.
“But last month Rahman called Mani and said he had re-worked tracks and was sending a new lot of scratch material for him to hear. It was these new tracks that have become the final album,” adds the source.
This is not the first time that Rahman has called back his scores and re-worked them. Whether it’s been Hollywood films like The Couples Retreat or even closer home Subhash Ghai’s Yuvvraaj, Rahman has often called back his work and redone them till he himself is completely satisfied.
It’s no wonder then that with such dedication and passion for his work that Rahman is dubbed as the Mozart from Madras!
He has been regarded as the next big thing in Malayalam cinema ever since he made his mark with Nandanam. By now, Prithviraj has grown up as a one of the emerging superstars.
Now, he teams up with Mammootty in director Vysakh's Pokkiri Raja, which will hit the theatres soon. He is also excited about his role in the Tamil version of Mani Ratnam's Raavan.
Here's what he has to say about his films and future projects. Excerpts:
What is Pokkiri Raja about?
When you will see how Mammootty and I have been portrayed in the movie, you will know what the film is about. The movie is a fun ride. I am not saying that you should leave your brains back home when you go and watch the film; it's just that it's not a thought-provoking drama.
The two actors are placed exactly the way people would like them to be placed. What people look forward to see in a Mammootty-Prithviraj film, you will get it here in this movie.
How was it working with Mammootty in Pokkiri Raja?
It was a fantastic experience. Though I have worked with him before, it is for the first time that we are sharing screen space together. It was really nice working with him and hats off to the man's commitment.
For instance, when I reached the gym early in the morning, he was already there. The way he takes care of himself and the care he takes in every shot is something that all of us should strive to imitate. When you work with him, you will come to know why he is called a star.
With films like Pokkiri Raja and Thanthonni, most of your high profile projects have loud characters as the heroes. Aren't you getting stereotyped in such roles?
By high profile project what you perhaps mean is an expensive project. When a producer is coming to invest huge money, he expects it to be a safe investment. May be the perceivably safe investment right now is the so called action-songs-romance formula.
I can't expect someone to invest in an experiment that I want to do. Still, after Pokkiri Raja, I am doing Anwar which is the most experimental commercial film I have ever done in my career. It could be the only issue based commercial film that has happened in Malayalam of late.
The issue based films are usually classified as parallel cinema. Anwar is an issue based high adrenaline action film. It is a fantastically shot, well written, high intensity, highly emotional action drama.
There have been reports that it is based on 'love jihad'?
No, it is not on 'love jihad'. All I can say is that, I play an educated Muslim youth whose life turns topsy turvy following an issue. Soon after, he becomes the problem and the solution as well.
You have also done, Veettilekkulla Vazhi, which is a serious film...
Veettilekkulla Vazhi is probably one of my best films. It's a brilliant film and will be going to my DVD collection. It has been very well written, superbly shot and performed well by everyone involved. It could be the first cosmopolitan Malayalam film. Perhaps, the language least spoken in the film is also Malayalam. The languages spoken in the film include Hindi, Tamil, Rajastani, Punjabi and Ladakhi, but still it is a Malayalam production. It deals with a humanitarian issue.
I have bought the rights to the film. I believe the film should be made in every language as it has such a brilliant theme. It's the journey of a man and a boy, together to find the boy's father. Veettilekkulla Vazhi has been shot in six different states. Ideally, as a Hindi production, it's a Rs 30 crore film, but we did it for Rs 1.5 crore.
As an actor, which film gives you a high, the commercial films or the ones like Veettilekkulla Vazhi?
As an actor obviously Veettilekkulla Vazhi, Akale or Daivanamathil will give more satisfaction than a hardcore commercial film. But people have given me so much liberty and now if people call me a star; these commercial projects are the sustenance here.
You have to do these types of films for the other kinds of films to be possible. If you start losing your judgment on what you believe is good cinema, then there is a problem.
How do you rate your brother Indrajith's performance in Nayakan, which released on the same day as your Thanthonni?
Nayakan is a brilliant film and I really loved it. It may not be the perfect cinema, but its path breaking. Indrajith was brilliant in it and without any doubt; Nayakan is the best performance of his career.
Also, we have a new director and a good writer, and that's what we desperately need. Actors like Mammootty and Mohanlal grew up with spectacular writers and directors, and actors in my generation need to find filmmakers who we can grow up with.
Lots of young faces are coming into Malayalam films of late...
It is bound to happen. When I said a statement about the comparison with the Australian cricket team, some thought it was funny and the others thought it was even outrageous.
What if the actors now reach a point in their career where they can't be doing what they are doing right now any more? They have been here for 30 years, there is not going to be another 30 years for them. Everybody knows that. Then we shouldn't be in a place where there is nobody.
We should not be in a situation where out of the five theatres in Kochi, four are running non-Malayalam films. So if that has to be avoided, young talents have to come. It's not just about actors, technicians should also come. I feel fortunate that I am able to sell a Rs four crore film on my name. But then, I can only do five movies in a year. There should be five to six people who are capable of shouldering the responsibilities in less than three years time from now.
So, finally you have competition from your generation?
I wish there was more competition. I have lots of films waiting for me. There is a December 2011 project waiting for my dates!
You're on a signing spree. But what if you want to change your schedule later on?
Now that is a different issue. Without multiplexes, we have to pre-book theatres. Or else you won't get enough theatres to exhibit the films. It happened with Thanthonni, where we had to shift theatres. That is the biggest problem we have right now.
Projects are designed to meet release deadlines and that is the unhealthiest way you can do films. Before you even start writing a story, you have to book theatres and that situation happens only in the Malayalam film industry.
We don't have enough theatres to release films and that is a big issue. I don't have a script for the December 2011 project but the theatres have been booked already. We just hope things fall in place by then.
What about the film which everyone seems to be talking about, Mani Ratnam's Raavan?
The film will hit theatres on June 18 and I have dubbed for the film. Raavan is going to be a visual spectacle. It is probably Mani Ratnam's most visual film and without any doubt, his biggest film. In fact, he has told me he won't attempt anything so big from hereafter.
In his upcoming bilingual film, Raavan in Hindi and Raavanan in Tamil, renowned director Mani Ratnam has put the skills of National Film Award-winner actor Vikram to the ultimate test!
In the Hindi version, Vikram stars as Dev, alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (as Ragini) and Abhishek Bachchan (as Beera).
But in the Tamil version, Vikram plays Beera, the part played by Abhishek in the Hindi version! Meanwhile, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stays on as Ragini while Prithviraj Sukumaran plays Dev.
Imagine how difficult a task it must have been for Vikram, to play two distinct and different roles. Even more challenging? The films were shot simultaneously, forcing Vikram to constantly change his clothes, make-up, body language and mannerisms.
The iconic Tamil actor described this unique experience to rediff.com's Patcy N. Excerpts:
Was it difficult to dub in two languages Tamil and Hindi, considering you are not fluent in Hindi?
It was difficult, but I think I was lucky that I had to do Beera in Tamil. Beera is more volatile. If I had to do Beera in Hindi, it would have been more difficult. Dev is quite cool and very focused. He does not go ballistic, so it was quite easy. And I always had Mani sir's help.
What was your reaction when Mani Ratnam first told you about the two different roles?
When Mani sir told me about my character Beera in Raavanan, I was gung ho about it. Then later he told me, "I have an idea. What about the role of Dev in Hindi? I immediately said, "No!" But he said, "Try. It will be very easy."
I felt it was a cool idea but, I told Mani sir I am a Tamilian and people are going to laugh when I speak Hindi.
How challenging was shooting for both roles?
After the shoot started, it got very challenging. Initially, I thought that AB (Abhishek Bachchan) and I would do Beera and after six months, I would do the other role of Dev with Prithviraj, who plays Dev in Tamil.
But what happened was we had lots of sets and some of the sets actually got washed away even while we were shooting. I have this habit of changing for my characters -- like becoming thin or fat or tanning or growing my hair, stuff like that. But the sets couldn't wait for five to six months. So Mani sir said, "Why don't we do back to back?"
That got really difficult. I would do one shot and quickly run and change and put on the make-up and all the stuff in 45 minutes and change my body language and mannerisms and shoot for another ten minutes and then change back again. So it would get difficult. When you see both the films you will know what I am saying. I was stuck, but I was really excited about the fact that I was doing it for Mani sir.
How different were the characters?
The characters were completely opposite. Dev is very cool, suave and stylish. He is very focused and even plans his clothes. He is not a people person. If he wants information, he can be aggressive.
But Beera is very rugged and very dirty. He is not supposed to be good. He loves people. You will find him only with people, not with his family. Through the movie I was wearing ganji (vest) and dhoti. That difference was so incredible.
How difficult was the transition from one character to another?
I did Aparichit, which was a film based on split personality. So it was easy this time, because Aparichit was very difficult -- there I had three split personalities!
So I think that was much tougher.
Your film Aparichit was dubbed in Hindi and released here. You didn't get any Bollywood offers after that?
After Aparichit I did get a few offers, but I was little worried that I would not be able to fit in to the mould. It is a really a big step getting into Hindi and I don't have the language skill. I have to learn it. I am worried of coming on sets where everybody is speaking Hindi. It is bit scary for a south Indian.
You play Beera in Tamil and Abhishek plays him in Hindi. Which Beera is more promising?
Abhishek's, of course, because I love him and he is my best friend and he performed really well.
Did you think you were lucky to be paired opposite Aishwarya while her husband was in the same film?
You are trying to get me in trouble [laughs]. Not really. AB is a very good friend of mine. We have been good friends for so many years. I met Ash even before they got married. So we were all friends. In fact I should have been in awe, but I was not, as we are just friends.
Did Abhishek and you exchange any notes?
It was very funny because some time AB would say, "Kenny sir, [Vikram is fondly Kenny] let's push her (Aishwarya) off the bridge and we can go home. We can get this over and done with."
We did not speak much about shots and how to interpret them. I hardly saw any of his shots and he any of mine.
What is very interesting is that Mani sir never told us what exactly he wanted (from Beera). In some scenes if I am pensive, (Abhishek) made it more jovial. If he was aggressive, I was a little low key. So we both played Beera in our own way.
Therefore we never actually discussed shots or how we were going to do it. We did discuss the physical trauma and stress we felt. He would actually tell me which rock is a bit shaky or I would tell him to watch out for the rope. So we spoke more on survival.
Do you as an actor feel fortunate because you got to explore both characters?
Yes, I really loved that, because I come from a stage background. I have done plays all my life, even when I was a kid. Every challenging role is almost like a workshop for me.
Working with Bala, who got me a National Award for Pithamagan, or Mani sir is like going back to acting school. I don't think I ever felt like a hero or for that matter even AB or Prithviraj felt they were hero -- we were all doing Mani Ratnam's film.
You did some difficult stunts. Were you all hurt and bruised during the shoot?
We always felt that when people see this movie they will think, "This is just graphics and special effects." But we did everything. AB and I work out, but I felt Ash was another hero on the sets. She did it all -- twice!
We went three-fourths of the way up the Athirappally Waterfalls of the Chalakudy River. Ash did it all. It was slippery and we were getting hurt and bruised and we were cursing in our minds. When the shooting got over we all said, "Thank God. It's over!"
But now watching it on the screen, I am so happy I was part of this film.
With the ongoing conflict between the exhibitors and distributors seeing no end, the release of 'Pokkiri Raja' has been postponed by a week.
The film that was scheduled to release on the the 30th of April would now make it to the theatres on the 6th of May.
'Pokkiri Raja' directed by Vaisakh has a mammoth star cast that includes Mammootty, Prithviraj and Shreya Sharan.
Meanwhile 'Oru Naal Varum' directed by Rajeev Kumar and that stars Mohanlal and Sreenivasan with Sameera Reddy would release on the 7th of May.
With these two star studded projects releasing together, Malluwood looks all set for yet another star battle in May.
The deadly combo Mammootty- Prithviraj’s eagerly awaited Vysakh directed Pokkiri Raja, which was to release on April 30 has been postponed to May 6.
It has upset the fans of Mammootty and Prithviraj who were waiting to watch their heroes scorch the screen.
The film which is being censored today would have been actually ready for release this Friday. But the stand off between distributors and theatres in Kerala has resulted in the postponement.
All the theatres in Kerala and outside were also looking forward to the biggie which carries good pre-release reports. Let us hope the stalemate in the trade would end soon, as this is peak summer season, the best time to release a film.
Dev is cool, stylish & focused. He is most into branding clothes. He is not people's person. If he wants some information he will talk to someone. He is very aggressive.
Beera is very dirty. He is not supposed to look good.
Beera is very dirty. He is not supposed to look good.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
For all those who had been eagerly waiting to see the visuals of the most heard song of ‘Pokkiri Raja’, “Manikinavin Kothumbu Vallam”…set to music by Jassie Gift, this could be a bad news.
The crew of the movie had not been able to shoot the visuals for this song with Shriya Saran and Prithviraj . Since Prithvi was not able to get his Visa ready for a shoot session at London, the crew had no other way to opt than to decide to avoid the song.
Since Shriya was shooting for a movie at London, she was also not available to shoot, even if the crew planned the song sequence in any other place in India. Anyhow, the young director of the movie Vyshakh will sit with editor Mahesh Narayanan to create a Television version of the song with the available shots, which will be opened in the channels from the first week of the movie's release.
The movie featuring Mammootty and Prithviraj together for the first time in full length roles, is expected to grace the theatres on the thirtieth of this month.
Singer surprised it is not included in the just released album
Sonu Nigaam recently tweeted about not being informed about the Raavan music launch on Saturday, even though he had recorded a song for the film. On Monday, he tweeted, "Ravana's music launched. I am a part of it, and I learnt about it from the TV." An hour after tweeting this message, he withdrew it, when he realised his song is not a part of the album. He then tweeted, "Sang for Ravana. Guess the song doesn't exist anymore. The one in Tamil is still there by the way. So don't bother guys."
Sonu still doesn't know what happened to the song, whether music director A R Rahman just didn't include it in the album or had it recorded again by someone else.
Sonu and Rahman have earlier worked on several hit songs including Kismet se tum (Pukar), Satrangi re (Dil Se), Ishq Bina (Taal), Saathiya (Saathiya), Rang De Basanti, Sarfaroshi ki tamanna (Legend of Bhagat Singh), and In lamhon ke daaman mein (Jodhaa Akbar).
Monday, April 26, 2010
The Mammootty-Prithviraj-Shriya action entertainer Pokkiri Raja will release worldwide on April 30. The film, which is directed by Vysakh, is getting censored today.
The ‘no new release ban’ put by the Kerala film distributors is being removed after peace talks were held between exhibitors and distributors in Kochi on Saturday.
The producers, Mulugupadam, have very ambitious plans for the release of Pokkiri Raja. It will release in 85 screens in Kerala, and 30 screens outside the state, including four in Chennai city.
The film, scripted by Udayan and Sibi, is said to be a “pucca masala entertainer where two brothers, played by Mammootty and Prithviraj, are pitted against each other.” The film has music by Jassie Gift.