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Archive for October, 2007

Dasavatharam wrap-up & release

Sify.com reports that the shooting of Dasavatharam has been completed, in the same place where it had started, Uthandi near Chennai. Asin speaks enthusiastically about her time over the past 13 months.

Meanwhile, it seems more or less confirmed that the movie will release only for Pongal. Another report says that Kamal mentioned so at the side-lines of a function to honour a legendary cameraman of Malayalam cinema.

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

Kamal A2Z: Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu

Such little information is available on this movie that I’m just going to put down whatever I know and found out. I tried in vain to rent the DVD too. [But it’s not available here in the Bay Area. Maybe, I’d have had better luck in Bangalore.]

Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu (the flower that bloomed in fire) still remains one of Kamal’s popular ventures into Kannada cinema. It is the remake of Aval Oru Thodarkathai starring Sujatha, which had Kamal in a supporting role. He acted in the Bengali remake Kabita too.

This 1983 Kannada movie had his real-world niece Suhasini in the lead role, being the only movie in which they acted together. Kamal plays the role of a bus conductor, not the same part he played in the Tamil original. The “Mundhe Banni…” song (with playback by SPB) is still an old favourite.

Anyone knows more? Give us all some details in the Comments section.

Editor’s Note:
Unfortunately, this seems to be the only movie for ‘B’. Or does anyone know some other movie Kamal was atleast associated with and not necessarily acted in? Otherwise, let’s continue with more movies starting with ‘A’ for this fortnight. Send in your entries!

Kamal A2Z: Apoorva Raagangal

Apoorva Raagangal (more commonly pronounced as ‘Aboorva Raagangal’) was part of the second innings of K Balachander, one among the ’shock-and-shake-up-the-audience’ series of movies (the others being Arangetram, Aval Oru Thodarkathai and Avargal). Kamal featured in all of those, but got possibly his first opportunity as leading man in Tamil with this movie released in 1975.

Barely in his twenties, he stuns the audience with his fearless and mature performance. When one thinks back now, it seems like Balachander actually tapped the rebellious streak and raw energy in Kamal for the role of Prasanna. The intelligence, interest in arts and indifference to societal rules all seem to match with his real-life self. In that sense, Balachander and Kamal were working off each other.

This movie is also known for the debut of Rajnikanth. In the few scenes they have together, Kamal and Rajni are in a way pitted against each other, both being interested in the same woman. Again looking back, the slowly maturing relationship between the two seems to reflect their personal equation in the future superstar era.

But the image of the movie really is from the popular “Adhisaya raagam…” song — Kamal singing away and Srividya looking at him in wonder. Yesudas’s classical voice and Kannadasan’s simple yet meaning-laden lyrics add beauty.

Get more details about the movie from the entries on IMDb and Wikipedia. Kamal reprised this role 9 years later in the Hindi remake, Ek Nai Paheli, with Hema Malini and Raaj Kumar.

Kamal releases Dev Anand’s autobiography

The trend in the book world nowadays is to ‘release’ a book in multiple cities, to provide that extra publicity. Similar to one he had done before, Kamal released Romancing With Life, the autobiography of veteran Dev Anand. The Hindu’s report included highlights of their own Ram’s speech but not Kamal’s. IndiaGlitz and Behindwoods too carried short reports, with the latter mentioning that Kamal had cancelled a portion of Dasavatharam’s shooting for attending this function. KollywoodToday.com topped it all, with a huge collection of wonderful photos.

The guest list included Jayapradha, Kamal’s co-star most recently in Dasavatharam.

Dasavatharam (stills) unleashed!!!

Yes, something was brewing at the Dasavatharam camp atleast. The first full set of stills and some news was released today.

Not surprisingly, none of the ‘get-ups’ have been revealed. This set of stills just serves as a teaser, marking the start of the publicity in the run-up to the movie’s release.

The stills feature Kamal, Asin and Mallika predominantly. Some of them match with a few released earlier on Mallika’s Web-site.

Some of the rumours that surfaced earlier are now confirmed with the release of these stills.

Other details that have come up:

  • Two more songs are to be picturised. They will cost about 3 crore (30 million) Rupees and sets for the same are being worked upon currently.
  • The audio will be released in October.
  • A fight sequence with Kamal pitted against Kamal himself was shot for 20 days, employing a Hollywood stunt director. Another chase sequence was filmed in Chidambaram.
  • While Asin dubs for herself for the first time, Kamal is supposed to have used a different voice for each character he plays. Meanwhile, 5000 people have dubbed for a scene involving around 10000 people!
  • English and Japanese linguists have been used for the movie.
  • Several directors have acted in the movie.

Today’s news seems to indicate that a Diwali release isn’t likely. We are probably looking at December.

Read detailed reports and enjoy more stills on The Hindu, Sify.com, Behindwoods and IndiaGlitz.

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

Kamal A2Z: Avargal

Editor’s Note:
Another reader joins the series! Just about a week more left for ‘A’. C’mon folks!

by Mahesh

I confess that this is not the first movie that would come to mind when you think Kamal Haasan, but for me it does. As Janardhanan, Kamal did not impress me much, but as Junior he did. I became a fan then and continue to be one. I do not recall much about the movie as I last watched it about 15 years ago, but a few things stand out till date:

  1. Kamal acts as a third hero (if you can call it that) in the movie! Talks a ton of the man who is used to care more about the role than his presence.
  2. As a Malayalee accountant Janardhanan, Kamal impressed with his ability to converse in a Malayalam-tinged Tamil.
  3. But the most impressive thing about Kamal in Avargal is his role as Junior. Kamal appears as a ventriloquist in the movie and from what I gather, really learnt the art. I still recall the first scene as Junior when one can see Kamal’s throat muscles move as Junior speaks! Kudos to the man, the actor and the artist.

In my opinion, Avargal sums up Kamal’s performance in many a movie. Caring more about the role than his presence or appearance - illustrated in Apoorva Raagangal, Guna, Swathi Muthyam (Sippikkul Muthu), 16 Vayadhinile, Kalyanaraman, Anbe Sivam, etc. His versatility with languages / accents - MMKR, Tenali, Maharasan, Sathi Leelavathi, Chanakyan, Panchathanthiram, Rama Bhama Shyama, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, etc. His dedication in learning the art to become the character depicted — Sagara Sangamam (Salangai Oli), Punnagai Mannan, Apoorva Sagodarargal etc.

The man really deserves A++.

MarmaYogi: next movie mystery solved?

Almost all has been quiet on the Kamal front of late. Of course, that means that something is brewing. The mystery was finally resolved through reliable sources. Kamal’s next movie will be Marma Yogi (”mysterious saint”, shall we say?), directed and produced by himself. With a curious title, the surprises are that it’s supposed to be an action thriller — and I thought Kamal would direct only ’serious’ movies (Hey Ram, Virumaandi) — and that the music will be done by AR Rahman. Talks are on to rope in a Bollywood heroine, as the movie will be released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Oscar Ravichandran, UTV and Adlabs are all in talks related to production and distribution. The movie might be launched in January. We can see that the domain name is already registered and it mentions Raaj Kamal Films International, Kamal’s production house.

Marma Yogi is also an old MGR flick, known as the first Tamil movie to receive an ‘A’ certification. Kamal’s penchant for old titles (Apoorva Sagodharargal, Sathi Leelavathi, etc.) continues.

Junior Vikatan, the Tamil weekly and the Chennai edition of Deccan Chronicle too sniffed out portions of this news recently. After several rumours and announcements regarding Kamal’s next movie earlier, let’s hope this is the final one.

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