Potti Tamil Movie News
(A.R.R. News and more!)


1998 was the year of "Too Much"s... Well, 1999 is definitely the year of "Walks in the Clouds." It appears that Pooveli was not the only film based on the famous Keanu Reeves Hollywood flick, "A Walk in the Clouds." A vayaru aerinj-ing Vasanth is also making an Indianized remake of the film with Arjun and Meena titled "Rhythm." Paavam Vasanth, he was supposed to have started filming "Rhythm," quite a few months before Selva even entered the picture. It appears that Selva did have more "Aasai" to shoot AWITC and release it before Vasanth. Interestingly, unlike Pyramid Natarajan's other production, "Udhaya," "Rhythm" has been kept away from the limelight as much as possible. Very little press lately! A.R.Rahman, after a big floppity flop in "Love Birds," is finally decided to compose for Pyramid Natarajan's productions with the exception of "Ponn Vizhaa" (Another low budget film struggling to hit theaters since last year!)


The village tunes are back or so it appears! As A.R.Rahman composes a whopping ten tunes for Bharathiraja's "Taj Mahal." Currently, the entire cassette rights community in Kodambakkam is fighting cut-throat competition to gain music rights to the film. But the BIGGEST NEWS isn't that actually!. It appears that "Maanikkam" and "Aravindhan" might have a sizeable voice in the making of the album. Karthik Raja (one who has never heard ARR's Roja) and Yuvan Shankar Raja (who has been repeatedly praised by ARR as one who shows a lot of promise) may be tranformed into playback singers for "Taj Mahal." If you have opened your mouth in awe, you are not the only one!.. Surely, Kodambakkam is also wondering: "Whatever happened to the rift between Bharathiraja and Ilaiyaraja? Whatever brought about this change?" When the album releases, we will hopefully all know.


On other "Taj Mahal" matters, Manoj and Riya Sen play village characters, Mayan and Machchakkani. Several of Bharathiraja's introductions have decided to be faithful to gurunaadhar and are making their presence felt in the film, including Revathi, Ranjitha and Manivannan. What's more, even Bharathiraja might show his face in a frame or two. With a strong message always a part of the main story line, this time around, Bharathiraja has decided to mix caste and religious riots as a background to this charming love story. (Should we start counting the dead at the end of this one? ;-) On a side note, for some strange reason, everyone talks about Maniratnam, Madhu Ambat, A.R.Rahman and Vairamuthu as being associated with the film, aanal Rajeev Menon peyir-ai kannOm!.. Obviously the story was changed from a city to a rural setting... Adhodu Rajeev kaanamal poi vittaarO?!


Speaking of Rajeev Menon, he has not completely disappeared from Kodambakkam all together. He is polishing the script for his second directorial venture with Prabhudeva in the lead. Menon, who projects this film as a very serious one has already decided to employ his good friend, A.R.Rahman as the music director. On a minute digression, Prabhudeva who had purposely disappeared from tamil cinema after "Kaadhala Kaadhalaa," had a rotten experience in Andhra with almost all of his Telegu films plummeting at the box office. Having returned to his senses, he has returned to Kodambakkam a changed man!.. His two big films, "Ninaivirukkum Varai," (with Keerthi Reddy and directed by K. Subash) expected for a republic day release and "Time" have somewhat rejuvenated the hope that he lost last year. The KAADHALAN of tamil cinema returns!


Once an "uLLaththai aLLiya" heroine, now Rambha finds herself doing "single dance" guest roles in films. She proudly says that it was a favor to Director Kadhir for having introduced her in "Uzhavan," that she agreed to dance for one song in "Kaadhalar Dhinam," the aamai vega production by Director Kadhir. Whatever the market nilamai may be, poor Rambha is in a pitiable situation with only "Endrendrum Kaadhal" still slated for release. On the issues surrounding "Kaadhalar Dhinam," is a very upset and furious Sonali Bendre who cannot seem to understand what is taking Kadhir so long to finish the film. When asked about the film, she begins to describe the beauty of her role and how much it bothers her that Kadhir is so slow in releasing the film. Yugendran (son of playback singer/actor Malaysia Vasudevan) is actually happy with the film, but for other reasons. He makes his debut as a full fledged playback singer under A.R.Rahman's music direction in the film. Probably the only person smiling about "Kaadhalar Dhinam," today. Sad.. considering it was also tremendously hyped like "Taj Mahal," with names like A.M.Ratnam (producer of "Indhiyan"), P.C.Sreeram, Kadhir, A.R.Rahman, Vairamuthu etc.. So much for all that!..


Rockin' '99! or atleast Dubai was rocking with A.R.Rahman's music blaring to welcome 1999. With probably the best ensemble of singers and dancers (totalling 90), A.R.Rahman performed in a live concert in Dubai to a crowd of 45,000 bubbly and jolly fans.. rockin' them into '99. S.P.Balasubramaniam, Hariharan, Sukwindhar Singh, Udith Narayan, Unnikrishnan, Chitra, Kavitha Krishnamurthy, Sujatha, Sadhana Sargam, Subha and Anupama and 35 dancers were present to showcase the glittering concert, which was a celebration on the occassion of the U.A.E's 27th Independence Day. Dubai Talkies, in collaboration with Real Entertainment sponsored the show, as Javed Jaffery played host for the night. The fans danced for "Musthafa Musthafa" by turning on their cigarette lighters (similar to the candle effect in "Kaadhal Desam.") They also danced in similar fashion to the Hindi number, "Chaiyya Chaiyya" from "Dil Se". A.R.Rahman's concert was the highlight of not only Dubai's National News broadcasts, but also, the magazines and newspapers hitting the stands. The 4 hour concert, only the second since his concert in Malaysia in '97, was one that would definitely stay in the minds of Dubai-ites for many years to come!...


Poojai notes!.. Jayasubshri Productions' new film, "PeriyaNNa" held its poojai recently with Vijayakanth, Surya, A.L.Azhagappan, Director S.A.Chandrasekaran, Ibrahim Rauthar and many others gracing the occassion. Similarly, Super Good Films' R.B.Choudhri held a simple poojai for his next production, "Kaamaraasu" with debutant director Anbazhagan and S.A.Rajkumar. On the awards front, the FANTA Awards were given to Actors Saratkumar, Parthiban, Actresses Roja, Suvalakshmi, Devayani, Director K.S. Ravikumar, Lyricist Vairamuthu and A.R.Rahman. Journalists, "Cinema Express" Ramamurthy, "New Filmalaya" M. G. Vallaban, and Film News Anandhan were honored with FANTA awards on January 1st, 1999 for their accomplishments in 1998. Additionally, Glamour Krishnamurthy, Manorama, K.R.G., Kalaipuli Thanu, Chintamani Murugesan and M. Saravanan also received special awards for their contributions to Tamil Cinema over the years.


"Indhiramma, idhai padiththaal ennai kovichukka vendaam, please!.. But... "Maniyaana director-in 'ani'-yaana wife, like old times, has been oor suthth-ing with her long time cinematographer friend." My sources: Cinema Express, Anandha Vikatan and Kumudham.