A-Z Continued...

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Mannavaa.. Prasanth has always needed a dhideer and steady hit throughout his career!.. With plenty of hope for "Mannavaa" and plenty of comedians highlighting the film, including Goundamani, Senthil, Manivannan, 'Venniraadai' Moorthy and others.. Prasanth, Sangavi and Oorvasi starred in this much-awaited comedy flick which opened in March '97!.. The biggest bejaar for this film was the release dates.. Ippo varudhu (Deepavali '96).. appo varudhu (Pongal '97) yendru naal-lai thalli konde ponaar producer(Pras' dad) Thyagarajan!.. Explanation.. we want to give the very best film for Prasanth fans!.. Currently, the status of the film at the box office is still in question.. even though the Kumar Sanu song "Yamma Yamma" under Deva's music has caught just a little attention!..

Marumalarchchi.. An elaborate village film produced in light of the success of the "jaadhi" oriented subject of "Bhaarathi Kannamma".. Pankaj Productions' Henry, after the success of his Parthi-Meena venture, has jumped into a new project, "Marumalarchchi" starring Mamooty, Devayani, Ranjeeth, Mansoor Alikhan, Balasingh, R.Sundararajan and others.. A village set costing close to 25 lakhs was built near Thiruvannamalai.. Plus, a huge mosque is also scheduled to be built for the climax of the film.. "Marumalarchchi" is on a single schedule shoot, targeting an August 15th release date!..

Marudhanaayagam.. Not a lot can be said about Kamalahassan's own 'baby!'.. His vision and inspirations for the film of his dreams.. The MOST expensive film ever to be taken in Indian history.. Though he is finally ready to become a director, the training for his technicians: including makeup, costumes, cinematography etc., will take a lot longer than expected.. Barry Cooper, a senior make-up artist from the U.S. was flown to Chennai recently to teach a group of 12 people how to perform impressive makeup for films.. More workshops are scheduled, as Kamal wants the very best from all his technicians for the film!.. Currently, Rajinikanth, Sathyaraj, Karthik, Arjun and Amitabh Bachchan are amongst the people to star in the film.. All indications show Madhuri Dixit will be the leading lady.. and Music Director.. it doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.. in all probability: Ilaiyaraja..

Maappillai Goundar.. Kozhu Kozhu Prabhu was to make his presence felt along with Director Manivasakam (who went into thalai maraivu after the very painful pinch of "Naadodi Manan").. but it appears that the Sakshis and Swathis of 'kavarchi land' did not meet our expectations!.. Paavam Prabhs.. even if he acts well.. he doesn't get the credit he deserves!.. The film released in Chennai in early March!.. Only the lord knows its current state.. add 'Kaapi' Deva's music to the misery!...

Maaruvedam.. A film produced by Mahalingam and "Thakkaali" Srinivasan with Pandiyarajan playing the hero.. The poojai indicated two directors attending the function: Kasthuri Raja and M. Murugesan.. It is uncertain who the director is, though Murugesan is the director most likely.. Gopu Babu pen the dialogues..

Mookkuththi Kaasi.. Galaata/Shandai Director Pavithran has finally embarked on his next project after the doomed "Kalloori Vaasal".. but not as easily as we think!.. First, a major vaai shandai with Prasanth and daddy Thyagarajan over Pras' role in KV.. Then, a major jagadaa with Saratkumar during which he dumped SK from "Mook.Kaas".. Pavithran has learned to finally pay attention to his work!.. "Mookkuththi Kaasi" which has been a growing project in Pavithran's head.. It takes shape with new hero Bhaskar Raj (who happenned to play a villain in "Nethaaji"), Kushboo and Roja!.. Pavithran composes music himself (Lessons from T.Rajendar?).. and directs the venture!..

Minsaara Kanavu.. For many who second guess A.V.M.Productions' decision to produce this film, on this their 50th year in the industry, this film was a big disappointment.. NOT SO, says A.V.M., who have once again signed A.R.Rahman to compose for their next film introducing northie Karishma Kapoor.. Details on that film are still sketchy!.. A major decision to let Rajeev Menon direct the film which boasted of a mega star cast: Arvind Swamy, Prabhudeva and Kajol and great cinematography, song picturizations and songs, in general.. made it one of the most anxiously awaited films in 1997.. Its Pongal release along with "Bharathi Kannamma," and soon followed by "Iruvar," did not increase the hype for the film at the box office..

Despite bad box office revenue, "Minsaara Kanavu," bagged 4 National Awards this year, for Music by ARR, Dance Choreography by Prabhudeva and Playback singing by SPB and Chitra.. The film set records in audio cassette sales and eventually did business reasonably well in theaters..

My India.. Supposed to be Karate Husseini's first tamil project.. and it just so happens, it has been over a year since the project was announced!.. Amudha Durairaj produces this very big-budgeted film with plenty of stunts, all performed by Husseini himself!.. Another one of those films that might gain popularity after it actually hits theaters.. "My India" arrived in cinema halls around April.. Nothing much has come out of it, except for Vani Vishwanath bagging a few roles in Tamil..


Nandhini.. The way the title has been written in Tamil is rather interesting to note: Na*n*dhi*ni.. According to Director Manobala, each of those * represents a person who appears in Suhasini's life: more specifically, Prakashraj, Manivannan and 'Thalaivaasal' Vijay.. After quite a lot of convincing by Manobala, Suhasini agreed to play the lead character Nandhini and mother of Keerthi Reddy ("Devadhai") in the film.. Vineeth, S.P.Balasubramaniam co-star, as Sirpi composes music.. The movie was released in mid-July and eagerly awaits reception by the Chennai audience..

Naan Oru Indhiyan.. Babu Ganesh's other project as director with a pretty big starcast!.. Oorvasi (who desperately needs to step out of her 'kuzhandai thanam-aana' acting style), Vineetha (who also desperately seeks to topple Northies and other kavarchi kannis in Tamil Movie Land!), Vadivelu, Nizhalgal Ravi and many others star!.. Fortunately, unlike "Bharathi," the music for this film is left to "Raagadevan" Ilaiyaraja.. At one time, "Naan Oru Indhiyan" was scheduled to release exactly when Shankar's "Indhiyan" hit theaters!.. This was either to spite Shankar or just to confuse and turn off audiences!.. Indha padaththin indraiya nilai.. who knows?!..

Naattupura Naayakan.. Yet another Naattupura film by Selva.. who last starred in the very successful "Naattupura Paattu" (at least the "Oththai Roobai" paattu was the big hit, if not the film, as a whole!).. Director Rama Narayanan, famous for using many animals in this low budget flicks, directs a village background film after a long hiatus!.. Selva, Swathi ("Vaanmadhi"), and newcomer Timia from Hungary star!.. The soundtrack was released recently!..

Nerukku Nerr.. A lot of nagam kadichchal going on among distributors of this new Maniratnam ("Madras Talkies") production, with direction by Vasanth!.. A couple of things mandai kudan-jing them: 1) Mani's last film "Iruvar" went majorly into 'sivappu' territory.. and kai kadichchal.. how to recover money?!.. 2) Mani and Vasanth's last project together: "Aasai" was a mega hit!.. therefore, "Nerukku Ner" would reap just as much dough!

After some kasa musa with call sheet times.. Ajeethkumar left the film.. with a grumbling Vijay, who also wanted to leave the film!.. Mani pacified him and added Surya (Actor Sivakumar's son) to the lead role!.. Simran and Kausalya ("Kaalamellam Kaadhal Vaazga") compliment the cast!.. As Deva brings Asha Bhonsle ('kaapi' ARR from "Iruvar?".. Kyon Devaji?) to sing playback, the function held to release the soundtrack, had all eyes glued with expectations for "Madras Talkies".. Hopefully, the movie will be as good as the songs!..

Nesam.. A 'dud' from director Subash, who has tried hard to reach his best form ("Kaliyugam").. Since then, "Pavithra" and now "Nesam" have only brought more misery for him!.. As always, Ajeeth remains unscathed by thebondi film.. and Maheshwari also appears to have escaped from the aftermath of failure!.. Music Director Deva moves on.. even though his "Oh Ranganadhaa" had very few heads turning to notice!.. All in all, Pongal padangal-il idhuvum 'paduthth(u/i)" vittadhu!.. Subash avargalukku.. better luck next time!..

New Year.. A collaboration film by Ramanathan(Actor Sathyaraj's good dosth) and Balu, whose first film "Kaalamellaam Kaadhal Vaazhga" was a sizeable hit and continues to run to big crowds.. Currently, a large scale film with a hero and heroine with national appeal has been decided upon.. Who the hero and heroine are, is still in question.. Kajol's name seems to ring in people's ears on and off.. Everything else seems uncertain at this time..

Ninaiththen Vandhaai.. A remake of the telegu mega hit "Belli Shandhadi" starring Chiranjeevi.. It comes to tamil as "Ninaiththen Vandhaai" and stars Vijay, Rambha, Devayani, Manivannan, Senthil and many others.. Selvabharathi, who has written dialogues for many Sundhar C. movies including "Ullaththai Allithaa" and "Mettukkudi" will direct his very first film.. The music director is still unknown.. There is some indication that Rambha might be producing this film herself..


Once More.. It seems inevitable that Father S.A.Chandrasekaran and son Vijay would work together and make good arachccha maavu masalaas!.. But after "Maanbumigu Maanavan" norungi-fied last year, SAC has been rather quiet!.. But not for long!.. Sivaji Ganeshan, after "Yaathra Mozhi" last year, returned to tamil screens this year under SAC's direction with Vijay co-starring!.. Vijay played a son who adopts Sivaji as his 'valarppu thandhai"..

Saroja Devi returned to the lime light as Sivaji's wife, Simran (Debuting in "V.I.P."), Manivannan and others starred!.. Deva composed music.. since his history with Vijay's masala films have been pretty good ("Rasigan," "Deva," "Vishnu").. The film released in early July, soon after the cine strikes subsided.. Luckily, the film holds its head high amongst tough competition from films like "V.I.P," "Surya Vamsam," and "Devadhai"..


Pagaivan.. The highlight and maybe even the talk of the town appears to be the heroine of the film: Anjala.. She, not only, looks pretty, but also knows how to create enough havoc for producers and directors who beg her to show some kavarchi in their films.. Unfortunately, Ajeethkumar, Sathyaraj and Ranjitha have nicely been orangatti-fied in this film, directed by Ramesh Krishnan("Adharmam") and produced by V.Sundhar.. Deva's soundtrack for the film has been released, as the film is headed for theaters soon..

Paththini.. After a very dismal set of films in "Cooli," "Mr. Madras," and "Love Birds" in the last 2-3 years, Director P.Vasu was practically driven out of the industry by late 1996.. It was only the decent performance of "Vaaimaiye Vellum" that earned him the re-entry into tamil films.. Now, P.Vasu directs "Paththini" under the production banner of "Good Luck Films," which had initially created "Purusha Latchanam."   The film, which is a variation on the "Sleeping with the Enemy" Hollywood theme, stars Jayaram, Kushboo, Prakashraj, Janakaraj, Latha, Kirtana, Thyagu, Charlie and many others.. Deva composes music, as Vasu takes over the story, screenplay, dialogues and direction of the film..

Paasamulla Pandiyare.. Meena is starting her second vetri valam around Kodambakkam, before she begins acting with the young ones! (Abbas, Ajeeth, Vijay, Prasanth etc.).. She is back acting with Rajkiran in "Paasamulla Pandiyare".. first time since her heroine debut in "En Raasavin Manasula" with him a few years ago!.. PP also stars Roja, Senthil, Vadivelu, and Fathima Babu (in a special role!).. Deva composes music, while Sangili Murugan produces the film.. and T.P.Gajendran directs!.. Yet another low budget film with one main difference: Rajkiran in pants.. and not in undraawer theriya lungi katti-fying get-up.. The film majorly balti-adich-chufied among the masses, leaving a lot to be desired.. Paavam RK, "Ponn Vilaiyira Bhoomi" dhaan kaapaaththanum..

Periya Idaththu Maapillai.. One of the few directors who can have up to three films in production at the same time, is Gurudhanapal.. Besides "Periya Idaththau Maapillai," two more films, "Periya Idaththu Maapillai" and "Raaja Magal" have also been scheduled..  "PIM" stars Jayaram and Devayani and has been in production for over a year.. Still no sign of the film reaching theaters this year..

Periya Manushan.. Another Gurudhanapal film currently in production.. starrring Sathyaraj, Kovai Sarala and Ambika (yes, the Ambika of yester years, "Vaazhkkai," "Yengayo Ketta Kural," "Sakalakaala Vallavan").. and another heroine (name slips the mind!), who replaced Sruthi ("Kalki").. As always, the Manivannan factor is strong in the film.. with music by none else than Deva.. Still in production.. Maybe a long way from over..

Pirandha Naal.. The 'evil' spell has also fallen on Prakashraj today!.. He had successfully established himself as a villain and an anti-hero in the last few years in "Aasai," "Kalki" and "Iruvar".. but, the pull towards 'hero' status has been too powerful.. and Prakash Raj has succumbed!.. Lots of "Nal Vaazhththukkal" to PR.. he might really need it considering the Anandharajs, Mansoors and even Napes.. do not have pleasant memories of being heros!.. Sangita, Manivannan,(don't bother counting the number of films he's in!.. Goundar/Senthil are practically out of sight in trying to catch up!), Vadivelu, Sanjay ("Valli"), Karan, Jayaganesh all star!.. Deva composes music, as K.B.Rajil (aka Saravanan, asst. to Director K.Bhagyaraj) directs!..

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