Here are some interesting tidbits about Shankar’s Anniyan. Is it the costliest film ever to be made in Tamil, probes a scribe. “Yes and I have to thank producer Oscar Ravichandran for without him Anniyan would never have been made.”

By Simply South By Manjula Ramakrishnan

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2005, 12:41 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:49 PM

Making the right noises is fine, but hope Ravichandran survives post Anniyan without the flick taking him to the cleaners. “My film will wake up the lethargic lot and bring some changes to the society.” That is indeed very complimentary, Mr Shankar and thank you for your kind words. But the only change we foresee thanks to your film is you laughing all the way to the bank, richer by a few more millions. Music by A.R. Rehman has always been a strong point in your earlier films. Why Harris Jayaraj with this one? “Because Harris has given some mind-blowing tunes. Besides Rehman and I have decided to go our separate ways.” What is innovative about Anniyan? “There is one item number by Yana Gupta that is bound to rock.” Er... you got the English wrong there, sir, we said innovative, not provocative.

Testing waters

Looks like Laya the Telugu import into Kerala has hit the jackpot. For her Thommanum Makkalum is a runaway hit and she is next starring with none other than the only other Big M who matters in the industry and during the shooting of Udayon in Pollachi she hit off well with the thespian. Mohanlal supposedly has a way with his heroines, managing to get the best out of them by leaving them comfortable and not overwhelming them with his huge star presence. This is precisely how Nayanthara was made into a heroine of some repute. Meena who stars in both Udayanaanu Tharam and Chandrolsavam is today considered a top heroine in Kerala and now it is Laya’s turn to take centre stage for her round of applause. Will the girl make it big in Kerala or meekly scurry back to Secunderabad where she came from remains to be seen.

Papa’s little girl

When they signed on Asin to pair opposite Surya in Ghajini the unit never realized that it was a package deal and they were getting buy-one-get-one-free offer with her papa also part of the whole circus. And now after suffering tantrums not from the girl but from the dad, Asin has been branded as the appa torture girl by the industry — something that she can do without so early in her career. And when Nayanthara was also roped in as the second heroine it was believed to be a move to dethrone Asin and to relegate her to the background. “Not at all, it was a two-heroine subject and only now we found a suitable second heroine,” vouches director Murugadas. Wonder if the man-in-command appa was aware of this little detail about another actress grabbing screen space, when he allowed his little girl to sign on the dotted line!

Golden girl

Ok, he is ribbed for endorsing anything from pin to plane. But that doesn’t deter Mohanlal from going full swing with his commercials. And now a leading jewellery group that he endorses has decided to team him up with the current tennis sensation Sania Mirza — for the racquet wielding star is fond of jewels. And the two will go right on to vouch that this gold is the best since the invention of sliced bread. And the charmer that he is, Mohanlal has said with complete humility, “She has done us Indians proud and I look forward to meeting her.”

A will to succeed

Meera Jasmine is going through a rough patch. In Malayalam two of her good films — Achuvinte Amma and Perumazhakalam — bombed despite some good acting from Meera. In Telugu and Kannada she is not accepted with good grace, for she lacks the oomph that is a must there. And so she is pinning all hopes on the Tamil remake of the successful Malayalam original Kastoorimaan, a film directed in Tamil too by her mentor Lohithadas and produced by Meera herself. But all is not hunky dory with the production, for the duo has run out of funds. Besides, she is going through massive problems in her personal life, cut off from her immediate family after the ugly public bickering. And to top it all, no top hero has agreed to star opposite her in Kastooriman for it is a woman-oriented subject and not right for our egoistic heroes. So a relatively unknown Prasanna is her hero with little or no star value. Will Lohithadas and Meera have reasons to thumb their noses at traducers or will the industry have the last laugh?

Sidelined and rejected

It can’t get sadder than this especially when the insult is heaped upon the actor I admire most. Check this out. Recently actor Thilakan conducted the wedding of his daughter that was boycotted by all the big stars of the Malayalam film industry for after his feud with AMMA, they do not want to be seen with him. Some small stars from the television industry and director Lohithadas who was brought into the film industry by the talented actor attended the reception. “For five years now they have boycotted me and have not given me any work. And now they have settled score again. Never mind, minus their presence the wedding went off well.” The naked pain in those words that he is trying bravely to conceal is alas very evident.

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