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Prithviraj to have bearded look in ‘Brother’s Day’?

MollywoodThe film will mark the directorial debut of actor Kalabhavan Shajohn.Digital NativeActor Kalabhavan Shajohn is making his directorial debut with Brother’s Day, a film that will have Prithviraj Sukumaran playing the lead role. The team has returned from Greece where they wrapped up a schedule recently. On his return, Prithviraj is seen sporting a bearded look which is probably for his get-up in the film. Listin Stephen will be bankrolling the film under his banner Magic Frames on a budget of Rs 15 crore. Miya, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Prayaga Rose Martin and Aima Sebastian have been roped in to play the female leads in this film. Reports are that Prithviraj will be working on Brother’s Day and Driving License simultaneously and both the films will be out at the theatres this year. Driving License will be helmed by Jean Paul Lal. It is learnt that Prithviraj plays a car-crazy superstar.
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Ar Rahman's upcoming production '99 Songs' release date announced

CinemaThe film is touted to be musical romance.Digital NativeA few years ago, there was an announcement that music composer Ar Rahman would be penning and producing a film titled 99 Songs under his banner Ym Studios. It is touted to be musical romance. The latest update about this project is that 99 Songs, to be released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, will hit the marquee on June 21 worldwide. The film is a sensual story about art and self-discovery of a struggling singer who wants to be a successful music composer. 99 Songs is a musical directed by well-known ad filmmaker Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy of The Dewarists (season 1) and Bring on the Night fame. The film has Ehan Bhat and Edilsy Vargas play the lead roles. The shooting commenced in India and the team had completed a schedule in Ukraine as well. According to sources, all the actors in the star cast, including the lead pair,
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“I’d Love to work with Thalapathy and Thalaivar” - Yesteryear heroine reveals!

Actress Madhoo, star of evergreen blockbusters like Roja and Gentleman, is currently shooting for a Tamil film titled ‘Agni Vs Devi’. In an exclusive interview with Behindwoods, she shared some interesting incidents that happened in her career, and about her upcoming projects.

When asked about her experience in working with big Malayalam stars like Mammootty and Mohanlal, she replied “Mammootty is a very professional actor. I used to be very afraid to go near him, as I was very playful”. However, talking about Mohanlal, she said “Mohanlal sir is the exact opposite of Mammootty sir. He was very jovial, and...

Ar Rahman composes two songs for ‘Aadujeevitham’

MollywoodThe last time Rahman composed music for a Malayalam movie was for the film 'Yoddha' in 1992, soon after his first ever film work 'Roja'.Digital NativeOscar winning music composer Ar Rahman will be returning to the Malayalam film industry after two and a half decades with Aadujeevitham. The film, directed by Blessy, has Prithviraj Sukumaran playing the male lead. The shooting of this film began in March this year and will take a couple of years to complete, say sources. Apparently, the hero will have to gain weight for the first half of the film and then reduce it for the second. This is the reason for the film’s shooting being spread out within a span of 1 to 2 years. On Ar Rahman’s music composition for the film, the musician himself had reportedly told that he has completed setting the tunes for two songs, one
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'Roja' Madhoo Bala is back again - promo video of her next Tamil film

Bobby Simha, who was last seen as an antagonist in Vikram's Saamy Square, is a part of Superstar Rajinikanth's Petta, and a few more interesting projects. One among those, is Agni Dev, starring him in the lead role.

Remya Nambeesan plays the female lead in this film, directed by Jpr. Yesteryear actress Madhoo, of 'Roja' fame is the antagonist, who'd be locking horns with Bobby Simha.

The makers have now released the motion poster of Agni Dev, that is creatively done. Going by the motion poster, it looks like Agni Dev will be a political drama. Catch the motion poster...

Santosh Sivan to direct Malayalam film with Manju Warrier and Kalidas Jayaram

MollywoodThe untitled film, which is reportedly a thriller, will also have Soubin Shahir playing a pivotal role. Digital NativeReports from the Malayalam film industry are that cinematographer-turned-director Santosh Sivan is all set to wield the megaphone yet again. The film is not titled yet, but it is going to be a thriller with Manju Warrier and Kalidas Jayaram playing central characters. Actor-director Shoubin Shahir is reportedly playing a pivotal role. Aju Varghese, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Ramesh Pisharody will also be seen playing supporting roles in the film. Sources in the know say that the director will be bringing in top technicians from India and abroad for this project, which has not been titled yet. The shooting of this flick will begin on October 20th in Alappuzha. Earlier, Santosh Sivan had planned to make a film on Kunjali Marakkar IV with Mammootty in the lead but this project has been dropped,
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Nostalgic! Introducing Ar Rahman | Roja Audio Launch Video

Today, Ar Rahman is one of the biggest names that rise from Tamil cinema. His work in Indian and international films has been widely acclaimed over the past 25 years.

His introduction to mainstream films came from Mani Ratnam's 1992 classic, Roja. The film was produced by K Balachander's Kavithaalaya Productions.

During the audio launch of Roja, K Balachander introduced Ar Rahman to the world for the first time in a sarcastic tone, calling him a 6-foot tall 60-year-old gentleman, when Arr was just 25 years old.

Roja's music is regarded as one of the best albums in Tamil cinema...

Mani Ratnam has gone back to his 'Nayagan' days: Ar Rahman at 'Ccv' audio launch

KollywoodThe launch began with Ar Rahman performing the song ‘Mazhai Kuruvi' from the album.Anjana ShekarThe audio from Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam was launched on Wednesday in Chennai with Ar Rahman performing live. The film marks their 14th collaboration. Titled 'Cvv Live', the event saw the likes of poet and lyricist Vairamuthu, actors Arvind Swamy, Arun Vijay, Silambarasan, Aishwarya Rajesh, Diana Erappa and Aditi Rao Hydari in attendance. Hosted by singers Chinmayi and Karthik, the launch began with Ar Rahman performing the song ‘Mazhai Kuruvi' from the album. Accompanied by the transcendental percussion by Drums Sivamani, the song’s lyrics we learnt were taken from Vairamuthu’s poem. Speaking at the event, Ar Rahman shared that Mani Ratnam has been working with the same energy that he had from back when he started. “He has gone back to his Nayagan days," he said to thunderous applause. Actor Arvind Swamy,
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'Roja' fame Madhubala back in Kollywood

KollywoodHer last Tamil film was Balaji Mohan’s 'Vaayai Moodi Pesavum' in 2014.Digital NativeActor Madhubala returned back to the limelight in the year 2008 with the Bollywood flick Kabhi Socha Bhi Na Tha and has been bagging some impressive roles since then. Her last Tamil film was Balaji Mohan’s Vaayai Moodi Pesavum in 2014 and after four years she is all set to stage a comeback to Kollywood with Agni Dev. Wielding the megaphone for the venture will be the director duo John Paul Raj and Sham Surya. Bobby Simha will be seen playing the main lead with Ramya Nambeesan as his lead pair. Besides Madhu playing a pivotal role in it, the star cast also includes Sathish to offer comic relief. Touted to be a political crime thriller, Agni Dev is touted to be based on a popular novel. The film official pooja happened recently and the shooting began in Coimbatore,
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From fighting for freedom to killing terrorists: The Indian patriot in Tamil cinema

KollywoodWhile films in the pre-Independence era were about fighting colonisers, contemporary patriotism in cinema is about fighting terrorists.Anjana ShekarPatriotism is often portrayed in popular culture as one of the greatest virtues a person can possess. A trait of the highest order that immediately validates any action done in its name. Quite often, this notion of national pride, of unflinching devotion to one’s country, of pledging oneself for the sake of the country has been enforced through drama, films, music and art. The idea of patriotism is ever evolving and so is its portrayal in mass media over the years. In this piece, we take a look at how Tamil cinema introduced the idea of patriotism in its films, how this presentation changed later and what it has become today. Pre-Independence films The very first Tamil film to talk about independence, patriotism, and with it social evils like untouchability,
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'Thiruda Thiruda': When Mani Ratnam turned adventurous and gave us a fun, heist film

Flix Flashback'Thiruda Thiruda' is among the most underrated of Mani Ratnam's works so far.Nandhu SundaramThiruda Thiruda (1993) Cast: Anand, Prasanth, Heera, Anu Agarwal, Salim Ghouse, Spb, Malaysia Vasudevan Director: Mani Ratnam It was only Ar Rahman’s second year in creating film music. It’s hard to see it now, but he had just established that he was not a one-hit wonder. There was a certain euphoria surrounding his music and I had bought every album leading up to 1993’s Thiruda Thiruda (Thief! Thief!). There was a while to go before the film’s release and I was incessantly listening to the album, not quite making out the lyrics or the complex, layered instrumentation. It was as if you had to learn the album before getting down to actually enjoying it. But a couple of weeks into the listening, it was not just me but my entire family that had was hooked. We were all enamoured by what we considered the album’s centrepiece -- Anupama’s rendition of ‘Chandralekha’ with its high-pitched notes, clashing drums and frenzied chorus. I was convinced that Rahman had quite improbably created at least his second masterpiece after 1992’s Roja. Back then, you could always decide on a movie by what your friends and family told you about it. I swallowed the movie hook, line and sinker and was delirious in praising it, but there were murmurs of dissent among my friends who had quarrels with the movie’s unlikely plotting and ludicrous storyline. I saw it as a tale of fantasy while they pointed out that the movie had almost totally departed from reality. In any case, it was clear to everyone that director Mani Ratnam, at the peak of his powers, had broken fresh ground yet again. Thiruda Thiruda was the improbable meat in the sandwich, coming as it did between Roja and Bombay (1995), the two movies when taken together form the core of Mani Ratnam’s reputation even today. While these two movies talked about terrorism and communalism, issues that continue to plague India, Tt was an excursion into the wilderness, plausibility be damned. There was really no message here, no issue to talk about, just pure fun to be had. It was a heist movie with strong comedic elements and it pushed buttons in you that you never knew existed before. The plot goes wild - Rs 1,000 crore in fresh currency printed at Nasik is stolen by the henchmen of the villain, Vikram (a bleary-eyed Salim Ghouse), as it is in transit on a train. With Parliament to meet in 10 days, a desperate government turns to its best man in the Cbi, Lakshminarayanan (Spb, in one his best roles as a cop), to recover the amount. “There are 10 zeroes in Rs 1,000 crore and I have 10 days to bring the crooks to book. It can be done, sir,” says Spb in the Brahmin dialect. The line is obviously funny, but Mani Ratnam is doing something on the sly -- he is pushing his fantasy agenda into the storyline. After that point, exhilarating as it is for us to see how Vikram is caught, we know that the emphasis will always be on entertainment. It is how well the ride is done, you see. This is precisely why Tt failed to get into the good books of some critics. Many of them, who heaped praises on Mani Ratnam’s more serious movies (especially the terrorism trilogy) failed to appreciate the adventurous spirit of Tt. And, the film remains, much to my dismay, among the most underrated of Mani Ratnam’s works. The investigation into the heist leads Lakshminarayanan to Vikram’s pointman, Ashok, played by Ajay Ratnam in one of his early roles. To avoid capture, Ashok mails a computer access card required to open the container with the money to Chandralekha (Anu Agarwal debuting in Tamil cinema). On the run, Chandralekha gets involved with two petty thieves, the Thiruda Thiruda in the movie played by Prasanth and Anand, who are also on the lam. Towing along with the two thieves is Rasathi (Heera), who is fleeing a ruthless uncle. The four keep dumping and double-crossing each other until the money brings them together. Treachery takes precedence over trust in the relationship between the protagonists. The characters of Azhagu and Kathir are the perfect foil for each other, but the woman in their midst spells trouble for both of them, until in the end they decide to become friends. Prasanth used to be the chocolate boy of Tamil cinema during the 1990s and he plays a variation of that stereotype in portraying Azhagu. Watching over him with the demeanour of an older brother is the sharper Kathir, played by Anand in his most plum role ever. And, thus we get a romantic tangle: Rasathi falls in love with the sensitive Kathir, who realises with a shock that Azhagu is love with her. The scene in which Rasathi tells Azhagu that she is not his “Thangachi” (younger sister) starts a playful romance between the two. But the director quite clearly wants to steer us into the comedy-caper territory. Heera appeared only in a handful of successful movies in the 1990s including Kadhal Kottai and Sathileelavathi. In both of those movies, she was the other woman. In Tt though, she is cast against type -- her character, Rasathi, is smart, but not amoral. When her uncle wants to marry her, she flees with the thieves trying to steal from her own house. Anu Agarwal had in 1990 made a stunning debut in the Hindi film, Aashiqui, making her an automatic choice for the role of Chandralekha in Tt. Endlessly resourceful, her character is often resigned to watching the machinations between the others in the film with a bemused expression. Though she dresses like a lady, she is really not one. And, because of that, Azhagu has a little crush on her. Some of the familiar tropes of Mani Ratnam movies are here: The camera that circles the subjects, horses that preposterously are found in a landlord’s stable and several sequences involving trains. The circling camera is prominent in the scene when Rasathi tells Kathir of her love and when Kathir responds by informing her of Azhagu’s love of her. In another scene, Rasathi questions Kathir, asking if he never had a chance to reform his ways and the answer is a monosyllabic ‘no’. A pure Mani Ratnam moment if there ever was one. The sequence involving the horses, during which our heroes make a getaway in tow with Rasathi, is underlined with a dramatic score by Ar Rahman. This gives us, quite strangely, the impression that Mani Ratnam was limited by available technology in mounting the stunt sequence. The shots are often framed by cinematographer PC Sreeram against light, which is by no means unusual for a Mani Ratnam film; the director practically invented the usage in Tamil cinema. But what is really unmissable is the use of filters in cameras on a scale not seen before in Tamil cinema. Towards the climax, there is a brief sequence involving flashing lights on top of a train, which is a depressing and trite cliché considering that this director-cinematographer team did the same in Agni Natchathiram (Coppola uses this trope to great effect in Godfather). Or perhaps Mani Ratnam was making references to his own movies. The dialogues are crackling with Suhasini, Mani Ratnam’s wife, entrusted with the task of providing the director’s peculiar touch to the conversations in the film. The late writer Sujatha, who also pitched in with his lines, was at his wittiest and his contribution to this movie cannot be underestimated. Malaysia Vasudevan plays constable Santhosam, who finds himself assisting the Cbi in nabbing the thieves. The two predominant male singers of the era -- Malaysia Vasudevan and Spb -- are part of the cast, and what’s more, both of them are cops. The picturisation of the songs is a quantum leap in Tamil cinema. The choreography was done by Sundaram, Raju Sundaram and Prabhu Deva. Suresh Urs’ work in the film won him the Best Editor Tamil Nadu State Award. Ar Rahman marks his presence in the background score as well. The computer card, for instance, has its own theme, and so does the villain, Vikram. The supporting cast also includes SS Chandran (at his hilarious best) and Madan Bob in a blink and miss role. One of the scenes I really enjoyed comes when Azhagu and Kathir watch a village meeting from a distance. As the village discusses the thorny issue of the recent spate of robberies, the duo is making their minds up on whom to rob. “I can’t decide whom to rob,” Azhagu confesses. “Look who has the most rings on their fingers. Watch whom the Valliyur Singari is seducing,” says Kathir. “Valliyur Singari is here? Where?” exclaims an excited Azhagu and has to be restrained from giving up their hiding spot. There is no shortage of chase sequences in the movie. After the thieving duo meets Chandralekha (Anu Aggarwal) and fall hard for her, there is a pretty lengthy chase sequence. At one point, the main cast tries to escape from the Cbi (ABC, as called by a horse-and-cart rider) even as the officials chase them in ambassador cars. When Kathir asks if the horse will go any faster, pat comes the reply: “Only if you give ganja”. Kathir raises the puzzling question if the marijuana is for the horse or the rider. It is hard not to get the humour and fun in this sequence, but trust me, such stuff is rarely done is popular Tamil cinema. Mani Ratnam, who was just 37 when Tt was released, showed an admirable sense of adventure in making the movie, infusing it with a remarkable pace and energy. This is quite evident in the picturaisation of the song sequences. If this doesn’t sent your pulse racing, you should probably march yourself to the hospital for there is something wrong with your soul. The contrast between the titular Kathir-Azhagu duo is very different from Vikram’s agenda to wreck the nation. The small-time thieves are out for fun along with earning a meal, but Vikram is just pure evil. This is the most adventurous of Mani Ratnam’s movies. He wasn’t playing it safe as his wiser self is doing today. It is a bit like watching Tendulkar before he ever hit a ton and that kind of zing is worth revisiting. Also read: 'Aval Appadithan': Why this '70s drama was ahead of its time in telling women's stories 'Bale Pandiya': With 3 Sivaji Ganesans, this classic set the trend for Tamil comedy
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Today is legendary writer Sujatha's birthday

S. Rangarajan, popularly known by his allonym Sujatha, was one of the greatest writers in Tamil cinema and actively contributed to the biggest films of his time until his passing in 2008.

Besides being the brain behind big films like Ninaithale Inikkum, Roja, Indian, Uyire, MudhalvanAnniyan, Sivaji, Dasavathaaram, Enthiran etc., he was also a prolific writer of literature, with over 100 novels, 250 short stories, ten books on science, ten stage plays, and a slim volume of poems to his credit.

The legend was born today, May 3, 83 years ago.

Title for Tamil remake of 'Tumhari Sulu' revealed

KollywoodStarring Jyothika in the lead, the Tamil version will be helmed by director Radha Mohan.Digital NativeJyothika is making some interesting career moves. After playing a ruthless, no-nonsense cop in Bala’s Naachiyaar, she will be seen playing a housewife who struggles to find her identity in the Tamil remake of Tumhari Sulu to be directed by Radha Mohan. The makers have revealed that the remake has been titled Kaatrin Mozhi, and that it’ll start rolling from May. It’s interesting to note that Kaatrin Mozhi is a popular number from Jyothika and Radha Mohan’s last outing, Mozhi. The makers are eyeing an October release for the film. Apparently, Mohan and Jyothika have been planning to work together for quite some time and both felt that the Vidya Balan starrer Tumhari Sulu, which struck gold at the box office, would be the best option. In the film, Vidya plays a hard-working homemaker who works as an Rj on a late-night show. National award-winning editor Kl Praveen and cinematographer Mahesh Muthusamy have been roped in for the remake, which will also star Vidharth and Lakshmi Manchu in crucial roles. While Vidharth will be seen playing Jyothika’s husband, Lakshmi will reprise Neha Dhupia’s role from the original. On signing the project, Jyothika said in a statement: “I’m a big Vidya (Balan) fan. I love her voice and command over Hindi, which is rare in Bollywood today. I’ve watched every Vidya film and Tumhari Sulu, in my opinion, is her most lovable work. I feel honoured to be stepping into her shoes. Kudos to the producers and to director Suresh (Triveni) for making such a lively, honest, real and feel-good film.” It is rumoured that before she commences work on Kaatrin Mozhi, Jyothika will wrap up her portion for Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. Teaming up with the Roja filmmaker for the first time, she’s believed to be playing Aravind Swami’s pair in the film. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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'Roja' girl Madhubala is back with ‘Seetharama Kalyana’

SandalwoodThe upcoming Kannada movie stars Nikhil Gowda and Rachita Ram in lead roles.Digital NativeDigital NativePopular ‘90s actor Madhubala has been roped in to play Rachita Ram’s mom in the upcoming Kannada movie Seetharama Kalyana, which has Nikhil Gowda playing the male lead. Son of the ex-chief minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy and grandson of the ex-prime minister of India HD Deve Gowda, Nikhil has been bagging some of the best projects in Sandalwood and Seetharama Kalayana is one among it. Madhubala’s role in the film is said to be meaty and performance-oriented. Girija Lokesh will be seen playing Rachita Ram’s grandmother and Madhubala’s mother in this commercial entertainer. Directed by A Harsha, the film will have Ravi Basrur composing music. The star cast of Seetharama Kalyana also include veteran Tamil actor Sarath Kumar in a crucial role, and Sadhu Kokila and Kuri Pratap in supporting roles. Madhubala made her acting debut with the Tamil film Azhagan in which she got to share screen space with the mega star Mammootty. She then went on to act in several critically acclaimed films such as the K Balachander directorial Vaaname Ellai and Mani Ratnam’s Roja, where she played the eponymous village girl who turns into a resolute woman amid the snow-clad peaks of Kashmir. She has also acted in a number of Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi movies in her long career. The actor completed her first innings in the film industry with the Bollywood flick Mulaqaat in 2001 and took a seven year long break. She then ventured back into films with the 2008 release Kabhi Socha Bhi Na Tha. In 2015, she was seen in the Kannada movie Ranna, which was the remake of the Telugu blockbuster Attarintiki Daredi. Madhubala’s last outing in Kannada was a couple of years ago with Naanu Mattu Varalakshmi which was directed by Preetham Gubbi. The film had Prithvi, Malavika Mohanan and Prakash Raj in the star cast. She was last seen in Balaji Mohan’s Tamil-Malayalam bilingual Vaayai Moodi Pesavum / Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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"I always thought Bollywood was the only place" - Madhoo's latest statement

Though she debuted in K Balachander's Azhagan, actress Madhoo caught the attention of the film industry after Mani Ratnam's Roja. She then went on to star in Shankar's Gentleman and many other films in Hindi, and all the other South Indian languages. 

She recently made her comeback in Tamil cinema with Vaayai Moodi Pesavum. Now, she has taken to Twitter to talk about how the South industry has groomed her. 

She said, "Special thank you to my home town Chennai and Karnataka Kerala and Andhra Pradesh for always keeping the door open for me as an actor. Having grown...

Santosh Sivan shares pictures from the sets of 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'

KollywoodHe is collaborating with Mani Ratnam for the sixth time and is very excited to be a part of the film.Digital NativeDigital NativeAce cinematographer Santosh Sivan is all excited about Maniratnam's Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. Santhosh is collaborating with Ratnam for the sixth time. The duo has previously worked together in films such as Thalapathi, Dil Se, Iruvar and Roja and were last seen together in Raavan. The film had gone on the floors earlier this month and the cinematographer has tweeted a series of pictures from the sets. Its a interesting combo of actors, Mani is a Director who loves innovations and willing to grow with a bunch of versatile , dedicated and punctual actors — SantoshSivanASC. Isc (@santoshsivan) February 23, 2018 pic.twitter.com/P17Xu41FyZ — SantoshSivanASC. Isc (@santoshsivan) February 23, 2018 Since Thalapathy dayspic.twitter.com/Hk3VJiPyJI — SantoshSivanASC. Isc (@santoshsivan) February 24, 2018 Various industry sources have confirmed that the film will be an action-thriller and will be a departure from the filmmaker’s usual style of films. The film will be featuring Str, Arvind Swamy, Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh, Prakash Raj and Aditi Rao Hydari, who reunites with Ratnam after Kaatru Veliyidai. While it was also rumoured that Vijay Sethupathi will be seen in a special cameo role in the film as a cop, the actor came forward with a clarification during a recent media interaction that he will be playing a full-fledged role and would be seen throughout the movie. There are rumours that the film also stars senior actors Prakash Raj and Jayasudha, who have collaborated on several occasions. Apparently, they’ll be seen playing a pair and Arvind Swami, Fahadh and Simbu will be seen as their sons. Bankrolled by Ratnam's home banner Madras Talkies, double Oscar-winning Ar Rahman has been roped in compose the music and the multiple national award-winning editor Sreekar Prasad will also be a part of the team. Stunt choreographer Dhilip Subbarayan will choreograph the stunt sequences. David and Wazirfilmmaker Bejoy Nambiar, a longtime disciple of Ratnam, is listed as one of the film's creative producers. Sharmishta Roy will be the art designer and Eka Lakhani is signed as the film's costume designer. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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Was told nobody from south India can make it in Bollywood: Ar Rahman

Bollywood Rahman said he was also told to change his name in order to make it in Bollywood.Tnm StaffPTI PhotoAR Rahman needs no introduction. For over two decades now, the Mozart of Madras has been wowing audiences across the world with his musical creations. Rahman’s stint in the film industry began in 1992 when he delivered hit tracks for Mani Ratnam’s Roja. There’s been no looking back since then with the Oscar-winning composer scoring popular tracks across film industries, including Kollywood, Mollywood, Bollywood and even Hollywood. Rahman, who hails from Chennai, recently revealed that during his entry into Bollywood, he had been told that a person from south India could not cross the wall to the Mumbai music industry. “I come from the south, from Chennai. In those days people used to tell me, ‘Nobody can cross this wall and nobody will help you enter Mumbai’,” he told Bombay Times. Rahman said that while he was also told to change his name in order to make it in Bollywood, those turned out to be nothing more than stories. “I was also told to change my name. But they just turned out to be stories. Everyone accepted me here just as I was – Ar Rahman. You guys embraced me with love. There was so much of joy as you all celebrated me. And not only that, when I stand here today in India, I experience the cherished memories I have of the time when I started in the ‘90s.” The recipient of four National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe, some of Rahman’s hit music projects in Bollywood include Bombay, Taal and Lagaan, the last helping him earn a special spot on the global front. Rahman is also entering direction with Le Musk, a Virtual Reality (Vr) multi-sensory episodic film that has been shot across various locations in Rome. He has not just directed it but has also written it.
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25 years after 'Yodha', Ar Rahman to compose for Prithviraj starrer 'Aadujeevitham'

MollywoodAR Rahman began his career in 1992 with the Mani Ratnam directorial 'Roja'. The same year he scored music for 'Yodha', his one and only Malayalam movie till date.Digital NativeDigital NativeAfter 25 years, the Oscar-winning music composer Ar Rahman will be returning to the Malayalam film industry. He will be scoring music for the Prithviraj starrer Aadujeevitham. The last time he composed tunes for the Malayalam film was Yodha which had Mohanlal in the lead role. The Academy Award winner confirmed during an event in Dubai that it will be for the Prithviraj starrer. While he had confirmed that he would be scoring music for Aadujeevitham, he also has a couple of Tamil movies to compose for. One is the Siva Karthikeyan starrer and the other is the Vijay starrer which is being directed by Ar Murugadoss. Aadujeevitham is based on Benyamin’s novel of the same title and will be directed by Blessy. In the movie, Prithviraj Sukumaran plays Najeeb Muhammad, an Indian abused migrant worker in Saudi Arabia forced to herd goats in tough weather conditions in the deserts over there. Ar Rahman began his career in 1992 with the Mani Ratnam directorial Roja. The film went on to win him the National Award for Best Music Director. The same year he scored music for Yodha, his one and only Malayalam movie till date. There is also buzz that he may go on to score music for the Mohanlal starrer Randamoozham, which is touted to be the highest budget movie ever to be made in the history of Indian cinema. According to reports, the film will be made on a budget of Rs. 1000 crores and will be released in two parts. The pre-production of Aadujeevitham has begun and it is expected to hit the silver screens early next year. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 15.0px; font: 12.8px Arial; color: #222222; -webkit-text-stroke: #222222; background-color: #ffffff} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 15.0px; font: 12.8px Arial; color: #222222; -webkit-text-stroke: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; min-height: 15.0px} span.s1 {font-kerning: none}
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From Chennai music band to Hollywood: 25 years of Ar Rahman

MusicRahman has experimented across genres of music and has left his stamp on each of them.CV Aravind ar rahman pti-compressed.jpgPTIAs a young boy, he used to hang around when his father, Rk Shekar used to compose music for films. At nine, Dileep Shekar lost his father and had to don the mantle of the family’s breadwinner soon after. Renowned music directors like Dhanraj and M K Arjunan took him under their wing and young Dileep could by then play the synthesizer like a young pro. After the family embraced Islam, Dileep was re-christened as Alla Rakha Rahman and came to be known in the field of music as Ar Rahman. With music in his genes, he soon gained mastery over several instruments and with a group of friends, he formed a music band called. ‘Roots’. From there, he graduated to composing music for jingles. He also earned expertise in his craft by freelancing for music directors like Ms Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja and Raj Koti and also found opportunity to accompany stalwarts like Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L Shankar. In 1992, veteran director Balachander produced Roja under his home banner with Mani Ratnam as director. The duo decided to introduce a new music director for their film and the opportunity came Rahman’s way. Until then, Ilaiyaraaja had been Mani’s favourite composer and his scores had embellished films like Mouna Ragam, Agni Nakshathiram and Nayagan among others. But the gamble paid off and Roja heralded the arrival of a new composer who would eventually conquer the world of film music in the years to come. With a baton like a magic wand, Rahman would regale audiences around the globe, working not just in Kollywood and Bollywood but in Hollywood films as well. Roja became a trendsetter for its music score and Rahman made bold by introducing singers like Minmini (Chinna Chinna Aasai) while relying on proven performers like Sp Balasubramanian, Chitra, Sujatha, Unni Menon and Hariharan. Vairamuthu’s lyrics set to Rahman’s music in Roja became a rage and the two of them would later work together in several movies, enthralling listeners of all ages. If Kadhal Rojave had a ring of pathos to it, Rukkumani Rukkumani was a foot tapping number and Hariharan’s rendering of Thamizha Thamizha was rich in its soulful quality. Rahman might have worked in any number of films after Roja but there are many admirers who still feel that he is yet to surpass Roja, the lyrics of which also became chartbusters in Hindi and Telugu. And incidentally Time magazine has included Roja in a list of top ten soundtracks of all time. A commonly heard quip is that Rahman has always reserved his best for films directed by Mani Ratnam who was instrumental in giving him his first break. And logic supports this argument as Rahman has won two of his four National Awards for Mani’s films (Roja and Kannathil Muthamittaal) and their combination turned Bombay into one of the largest selling albums in Tamil cinema. Rahman has also been an integral part of Mani’s Hindi films like Dil Se, Yuva, Guru and Raavan. The soundtracks of other Mani films like Kadal, O Kadhal Kanmani and Kaatru Veliyedai too bore Rahman’s stamp. Apart from Mani, Rahman has also shared a great rapport with director Shankar who has repeated Rahman in all his films right from his debut film Gentleman. Their latest collaboration 2.0, starring Rajnikant which is slated to hit the screens next year, is eagerly awaited by the diehard fans of the actor, the director and the music director as well. While most of the films for which he composed the music were set against an urban backdrop, Rahman was not found wanting when working for films with pastoral themes either. His films with Bharathiraaja, Kizhakku Cheemayile and Karuthamma amply proved that rural themes were right up his street. Sangamam was another classic example of Rahman excelling in compositions with a distinct folk flavour. Jana Gana Mana and Vandhe Madharam, his non film albums too were huge hits. Rahman was no stranger to Bollywood as the lyrics in the dubbed versions of his films like Roja and Kadhalan had turned out into smash hits. However, his first break in Hindi cinema came through Ramgopal Varma’s Rangeela, the Aamir Khan starrer which was a runaway hit. A number of films like Taal, Swades, Rang De Basanti, Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar enabled him to establish himself firmly in Bollywood. Veteran director Subhashi Ghai who directed Taal once confessed that he was almost driven to despair by the unique working style of the maestro whose composing generally began after all the cows had reached home and went on till the wee hours of the morning. But Taal was an inspiring score that was instrumental in the success of the film at the box-office. Rahman won a National Award for Lagaan a film based on a rural subject and the tunes became chart toppers in no time .His scores in films like Rockstar, Ranjhaana and Highway too were highly appreciated. While Rahman also composed music for stage productions like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams and Deepa Mehta’s Water, the crowning glory came with Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire a blockbuster which had riveting music. Two Academy Awards, BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe and two Grammy’s were among the honours that have come to Rahman for his overseas assignments. While fast, peppy numbers like Chikku Bukku Rayile (Suresh Peters, G V Prakash), Muqabla Muqabla (Mano, Swarnalatha) have been his forte, his melodies like Munbe Vaa (Naresh Iyer, Shreya Ghosal), Mannipaaya (Shreya Ghosal, A R Rahman ) and Yaarumilla Thiraiarangil ( Swetha Menon) have tugged at the heart strings of listeners across the world. There is hardly any genre of music that the Mozart of Madras has left untouched and his versatility has been the hallmark of his musical career. Experimentation has been a key word in his dictionary and in instrumentation, using non-traditional voices and so on, Rahman has blazed a new trail. Rahman’s expertise has stretched to classical, western, pop, reggae and sufi, music and he has left his stamp on all of them. Apart from his international awards, Rahman’s tally includes four National Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards, 16 Filmfare Awards ( South) and a Padma Bhushan as well. His state of the art Panchathan Studio in Chennai and a highly popular music school are among his abiding passions. Enanble Notification: NoTNM Marquee: No
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Simbu starts prepping for Mani Ratnam’s next, undergoes acting workshop

KollywoodThe untitled film will star Vijay Sethupathi, Simbu, Fahadh Faasil, Jyothika and Aishwarya Rajesh in lead rolesDigital Native simbu_mani_ratnam.jpgIt was already reported that Mani Ratnam’s next will be a multi-starrer. The untitled film will star Vijay Sethupathi, Simbu, Fahadh Faasil, Jyothika and Aishwarya Rajesh in lead roles. The latest update is that Simbu has begun working on the project and is currently undergoing an acting workshop in preparation for his role. On Tuesday, a picture featuring Simbu and Mani Ratnam leaked online and went viral. After the debacle of Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan, Simbu has pinned all his hopes on this project. Simbu will shed weight and sport a new look for this project which will see him share screen space with a bevy of actors for the first time. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the project will be officially launched in January 2018 and will start rolling from February. A source from the film’s unit said that the Roja filmmaker is eyeing 2018 summer release. “After an official launch in January next year, the principal shooting will begin from February. The first schedule will be shot in Chennai. Mani sir might shoot a few scenes in January itself but the full-fledged shooting will happen in February. The supporting cast is in the process of being finalised,” a source from the film’s unit said. The film will be produced by Madras Talkies, and double Oscar-winner A R Rahman has been roped in compose the music. The cinematographer will once again be Santosh Sivan. This will be their sixth collaboration. The source confirmed the film will be an action-thriller and will be a departure from the filmmaker’s usual style of films. Ratnam has pinned high hopes on this project following the debacle of Kaatru Veliyidai, which sank without a trace at the box-office. There are rumours that the film also stars senior actors Prakash Raj and Jayasudha, who have collaborated on several occasions. Apparently, they’ll be seen playing a pair and Arvind Swami, Fahadh and Simbu will be seen as their sons. It has also been confirmed that Vijay Sethupathi will be seen in a special role as a cop. Enanble Notification: NoTNM Marquee: No
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