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December 22, 2001

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Rajnikanth stays mum

Rajnikanth Speculations can now be put to rest.

Rajnikanthís birthday has come and gone, and there is still no announcement from the superstar about a film with hotshot director Shankar, or anyone else for that matter.

Rajnikanth is content, seemingly, to remain in hibernation. Shankar, however, is moving on.

He was originally supposed to do a sci-fi film, Robot, with Kamal Hassan but that project has been shelved following the non-performance of Abhay (Aalavandaan, in Tamil) at the box office.

Then came the news that talks were on with Rajnikanth -- but that, too, has been scotched with the buzz being that Shankar wanted AM Rathnam (who last teamed with the director on the Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak) as his producer while Rajnikanth preferred to work with others.

So Shankar is moving on with Boys, a film featuring five boys and a girl, all fresh faces in the industry. The film is supposed to be young, and romantic, and that is all he is saying for now.

And yes, A M Rathnam will produce this one.

Band of Brothers

Prabhu Deva Not Spielberg, no -- this relates to three real-life brothers, Prabhu Deva, Raju Sundaram and Prasad, teaming up in the lead roles of an upcoming film, with Jyotika playing the female lead.

The trio, all star dancers, will play the roles of music composer, photographer and painter respectively.

Karunas, whose debut performance in Nanda got him rave reviews, will play a prominent role in this film.

Prabhu Deva has in the past teamed with director Subhash in films like the hugely successful Ezhaiyin Sirippil. Prasad, who will be remembered as the male lead opposite Sonali Bendre in the Humma humma dance number in Mani Rathnamís Bombay, has had a hit in Kannada under the direction of Dinesh Baboo. And Raju Sundaram was last seen playing the role of a cricketer in I Love You Da.

Making it a completely family affair, their father Sundaram will choreograph for the film.

The film, planned as a full length comedy, draws its inspiration from the Marathi stage play All The Best, which reportedly impressed K Balachander, the doyen of Tamil directors. He was, in fact, toying with the idea of bringing it to the big screen -- but this project got off the floors first.

Sudha Raghunathan croons for Parthipan

Sudha The list of classical vocalists crossing the divide into the playback field just got bigger, with Sudha Raghunathan slated to make her debut as a playback singer.

Unnikrishnan, you will recall, made the switch years ago and is now one of Tamil Naduís lead playbacks -- this despite the fact that when Unni sung for the first time for films, purists decried the move as a sellout. Bombay Jaishree recently had a chartbuster in the song Vasigara, under the Harris Jayraj baton.

Raghunathan will sing for an as yet untitled film launched by producer-director-actor Parthipan, with music maestro Ilayaraja wielding the baton. The debut number will be based on the Simendra Madyamam raga -- a fact that has Raghunathan beaming, because her guru, ML Vasanthakumari, had in her time sung the evergreen hit Ellaam Inba Mayam based on the same raga.

Another highlight is the fact that ace violinists Lalgudi Krishnan, sister Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, Kannan, and VV Ravi will perform in tandem.

Interestingly, Sudha Raghunathan's kid and Parthipan's kid had along with Suraj Balaje (who plays Kareena Kapoorís kid brother in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Asoka) played the child leads in Mani Rathnamís Kannathil Mutham Ittal.

Perhaps that's how Partipan got Sudha to do the song!

Rajita

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