Archive for August, 2006

VV & reviews are out…

Vaettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu is out and so are the reviews. Expectations seem to have been met.

Sify.com possibly came out with the first review, as usual. IndiaGlitz also came up with a review. Both seem fairly unbiased, if you consider their overall assessment.

Excerpts, as usual:

  • …what gives you goose flesh is the finely calibrated performance of Kamal as DCP Raghavan. You just can’t take your eyes off him as he laces his portrayal with dignity, grace and dry wit.
  • Verdict: Go for it
  • …when you have somebody like Kamal who can get into the flesh of any character and Gautham Menon, who knows how to set up the right ambient mood and field, what you have is two and half hours of sustained and quality entertainment.
  • Kamal’s strength is that he can shine in even lonely roles (even when he can’t feed off from somebody else’s intensity). Kamal understates and underplays the cop character with remarkable discernment. The narrative simply unfolds from him.

Update on Sep. 2: Rediff.com review says “Kamal Haasan is brilliant…”.

VV-eve interview

This is the red-hot interview that has showed up in The Hindu today. Kamal has an unusually light session, speaking about the various people involved with Vaettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu and also about Dasavatharam. Some quotes:

  • Gautam is keen to learn … open to new ideas. The end product is savvy and looks good without pretending to be different.
  • Harris Jayaraj’s final output is hummable, and well … it’s a new sound in the market. It should work.
  • When Himesh told me that he would get the tunes ready soon, I just thought it was the initial enthusiasm.
  • T. Prakash Rao directed nearly half the film. Midway, AVM and he didn’t see eye to eye and the entire film was re-shot by Bhimsingh. So I actually acted twice for `Kalathur Kannamma.’
  • When I’ve been fed on cinema from childhood, how can I get fed up with the problems it throws up?
  • …you can’t term what happened during `Virumaandi,’ `Vasool Raja’ or `Mumbai Xpress’ as problems. They were more of a nuisance!

After Dasavatharam…

Hmm…I was hoping Kamal would go back to direction after Dasavatharam. But the news is that Saran is producing and directing Kamal’s next movie. The same news is also available on The Hindu site, with Saran wrongly mentioned as Cheran!

Two thoughts:

  • Saran must be hoping to hit the jackpot like KS Ravikumar before him.
  • Kamal and Cheran? Wonder if that combination will ever happen.

VV: cry wolf?

Vaettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu poster

We have been awaiting Vaettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu for a long while now. Though various pieces of news and rumours keep appearing, there has been a hesitation to publish any of those as posts. Finally, at a stage when we have almost been numbed, this round of news seems to be really true. Today, I even saw ads in newspapers!

VV is releasing on August 25 (this Friday). Get more details here and there. Check out the official Web-site too.

This makes it double-sweet for Kamal fans, with Dasavatharam having been launched just a few days ago. You can see fans eagerly predicting which theatres in Chennai will screen it.

Poster courtesy: http://www.vettaiyaaduvilaiyaadu.com

Dasavatharam begins…

Dasavatharam started rolling yesterday as announced earlier. Obviously, posters were out in Chennai city and so were ads in newspapers. Thanks to soonapaana.blogspot.com, we get to see them here (including the Hindi version).
Dasavatharam Poster 1Dashaavtar Poster 1Dasavatharam Poster 2Dasavatharam Still 1

Good to see curiousity being aroused. But one is also reminded of the hype and build-up of Aalavandhaan.

Meanwhile, the news is that the funding for Dasavatharam is done upto 50% by Pyramid Saimira. If I remember right, this group is also involved in setting up digital theatres across the country. If they also take care of releasing the movie, it might just be the kind of digital distribution that Kamal has talked about many times over.

Free-wheeling interview

Subhash K Jha, a big shot among film journalists, has interviewed Kamal recently. The interview has appeared on Mumbai Mirror and covers a range of topics from Rajnikanth to Hindi movies and from expensive movies to music. Highlights:

  • I have suddenly realised how much time I’ve wasted. I should’ve planned my dream Maridunayagam more carefully. I need 40 more years as a filmmaker.
  • When it comes to my films, the forthcoming film has to be better than the earlier ones.
  • I’m a pampered technocrat.
  • We’d look at MGR and Sivaji Ganesan films and wonder why they did some of the films that they did. Of course, we became eager chelas once we entered the industry.
  • I was a reluctant actor who was cajoled into acting. Now I enjoy it too much to give it up. There’s so much applause you get. But if my visiting card read ‘Kamal Hassan, Actor’ I’d be slightly perturbed.
  • When we were still in our 20s I had asked him why he was so stylised on screen. He said that’s the secret of his future success. I assured him that my style would also be a winner. He turned around to say, ‘Fair enough. You do your thing and I’ll do my own.’ Rajni is a phenomenon too…..He said if we do a film together he wouldn’t direct it. It has to be either me or someone else. It would be interesting to do a film with him. At the Thenali silver jubilee function Rajni recalled an incident when he was riding pillion on my bike. When the bike skidded Rajni asked if I knew how to ride a bike! I assured him that even if I fell, I wouldn’t let him fall.
  • It’s time for our films to move ahead of V Shantaram’s musical milieu……In our films everyone from a dentist to a follower of Vinobha Bhave sings and dances. I’m fed up of bringing music into every aspect of life on screen. We don’t need to mix genres. At the moment we’re cooking up a strange gypsy dish made up of leftovers and disposable food.
  • My dream project is to create a film festival like Cannes in Chennai where the top prize would be one million dollars. Then we’ll have Hollywood participating without reservation.
  • Hollywood comprises multi-cultural talent. Likewise, we need to wear our cultural badge and still look cosmopolitan.
  • Today I’ve many luxuries and liabilities including alimony. But my dream of making films hasn’t died.

PS: Wish Jha wasn’t so careless about some spellings…

Kamal sings for others again

When Kamal sang for Ajit in Ullaasam nearly 10 years ago, it was big news. Recently, he sang a song that features in the background in Pudhupettai. The latest news is that he lends his voice to Jeeva in Thamizh MA. Let’s wait for the song…

Mallika asked for Dasavatharam!

The secret behind Mallika’s entry into Dasavatharam is out! She asked for a role in the movie, says this article titled “I’ll do anything for you”.

Kamal is bowled over by Madame Mallika’s enthusiasm.

“The way she became part of my film rarely happens in our film industry. She was in Chennai to shoot for Mani Ratnam’s Guru when she told me she was willing to play any character in the film. I was pleasantly surprised by her enthusiasm.”

“She’s being cast as a character who helps one of antagonists in the film…

Can’t we guess who will play that antagonist? ;-)

Hey Ram: new insights

Chanced upon this old interview focussed on Hey Ram, done on the sidelines of the Toronto film festival.

Some quotes:

  • I did a shot of me weaving across the riot after all this. I did not have to act. I was in that state.
  • I wrote the scene, sitting in the Marina Hotel (in Delhi), in the room where Nathuram Ghodse sat.
  • It is not a film to do…I want to do with cinema what Gandhi did politically.

Check it out

Mallika Sherawat joins the party?

Well, this entry is not so wacky. The latest buzz about Dasavatharam is that Mallika Sherawat has signed up. This link has more background and also other unconfirmed bits about the movie.

The saleability factor of Dasavatharam seems to be increasing by the minute and one hopes it doesn’t meet the fate of other recent Hindi ventures of Kamal.