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August 26, 2000


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Vijay meets his son on the Net!

Vijay For Vijay, it is all happening, finally. Khushee, co-starring Jyotika, is a hit. And he's had a baby boy, Sanjay (a combination of Sangeetha and Vijay) -- as icing on that particular cake.

Actually, Vijay was shooting for Priyamaanavale (which, incidentally, is a D Rama Naidu, made originally in Telugu and remade in Hindi as Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain with Anil Kapoor and Kajol in the lead), at the time. And so couldn't be with wife Sangeetha when the baby was born at the mother's home in London.

Busy with his schedule, Vijay hasn't seen is yet to see his newborn son, being busy with an ongoing schedule. Thus, his first sight of his eldest was through the net, thanks to photographs sent to him via e-mail, which he checked while on a set.

Simran As coincidence would have it, lead stars Vijay and Simran, with S P Balasubramaniam and others, were on the Priyamaanavale set, shooting a festive scene wherein he tells his father that he is going to have a baby, and everyone burst into song and dance.

Imagine Vijay's surreal feelings, then, when his mobile phone rang during a break in the shoot, with the news that he was, in real life, a father!

Vasundhara Das The saga of films as family enterprises continues, with two more star sons set to make their debuts. The first is composer Deva's son Srikanth, who branches out as an independent composer in Doubles, directed by Pandiarajan with Prabhu Deva and Meena in the lead. A song to watch for is Colourful nilavu, sung by Vasundhara Das -- the green-eyed girl who acted as Kamal Haasan's second wife in Hey! Ram. And, more to the point, the one who sang the Shakalaka baby ditty for A R Rahman in Shankar's superhit, Muthalvan.

The other is Balasubramaniam Shanker, son of the late Shanker (of Shanker-Ganesh), who produces his maiden score for Unakkaga Mattum, directed by comedian and character actor Chinni Jayant and starring first-timers Aditya and Poonam. Balasubramaniam will be known as Bobby -- after the film of that name, starring Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia.

Karisma Kapoor It is over two years since Karisma Kapoor came up with a one-song appearance for K T 'Gentleman' Kunjumon's film Kooteswaran.

Supposedly among the most expensive songs ever shot, this one has Karisma appearing as an alien, with the requisite special effects. Trouble being that the film, said to be the launch vehicle for Kunjumon's son Ebbie, is yet to see the light of day.

Rambha Meanwhile, extraterrestrials make another appearance, this time in Anbudan, directed by Indra Kumar and starring Vijaykumar's son, Arun Kumar, opposite Rambha. Again, the song has aliens cavorting around, thanks to special FX work.

Meena, meanwhile, does a one-song appearance for the film. Recall that she is also doing a small guest role in the underproduction Kamal Haasan-Jyotika starrer Thenali, and you begin to wonder if Meena is becoming a permanent guest on the Tamil marquee.

Incidentally, the big-eyed actress, who will celebrate her birthday shortly, has announced that she is donating her eyes, post mortem.

Still on Indra Kumar's Anbudan, it is interesting that Tamil movie-makers have been experimenting with love and its conduits, of late. If you recall, Kaadhal Kottai centered on a romance started, fostered and built entirely through mail, with the lead pair of Ajith and Devyani meeting only for the climax.

Then there was this movie where Murali falls in love and carries the romance forward, only via the telephone without ever getting to meet his ladylove. And Kaadhalar Dinam, of course, had Sonali Bendre and Kunal using the Internet to discover love, and each other. In Anbudan, it is the pager that forms the conduit for love, and the little device has been used in a very interesting fashion to shape the tale.

Ajith Ajith seems to have started something when he presented his directors, Sharan of Amarkkalam and Surya of Vaali, with Santro cars as tokens of his appreciation. Now comes news that Vijaykanth, by way of saying thank you to director Maharajan for coming up with a superhit in Vallarasu, has gifted the director a car. Incidentally, Vallarasu, dubbed in Telugu as Commissioner Narasimha Naidu, is a huge hit in Andhra Pradesh as well.

While on Ajith, his upcoming, untitled film directed by debutant Murugadass is looking for a heroine. The director and star have kind of homed in on Vasundhara Das, but the lady is yet to give her okay.

Meanwhile, his forthcoming films are Dina, being directed Karthik Pazhanisami, and Citizen, a thriller wherein he sports eight disguises. Then there is a film for producer Poornachandra Rao, to be directed by Vasanth (Vasanth and Ajith, incidentally, will team up in this film for the first time since Aasai.

And finally, there is another untitled film being directed by Ezhil -- the director's third -- following the superhit status of Thullatha Manamum Thullum (the Telugu version was another superhit).

Ramya Krishnan Ramya Krishnan, who captured the imagination with a negative role in the Rajnikanth superhit Padayappa (she, in fact, stole the film right out from under the superstar's nose) is now getting into production.

She wanted to start out with a Tamil film, and approached K S Ravikumar (her director in Padayappa, and now busy with the Kamal Haasan-starrer Thenali) to do the honours. KSR, however, didn't have the dates to spare, and so she has decided to start off with a Telugu film, to be directed by Ramnarayanan.

Further, liking what she has seen of the rushes of the underproduction comedy Budget Padmanabhan, with Prabhu leading the cast, she has acquired the Telugu remake/dubbing rights. Seemingly, the lady is hell bent on getting into the big league production game, in a hurry.

Vikram Your sins shall find you out, is true for film stars. Check out Vikram -- before he became phenomenally popular with his role in the superhit Sethu, he had bummed around on the fringes of the industry, doing eminently forgettable roles in a bid to keep body and soul acquainted.

Now, he is very picky about his roles, preferring films that give him scope to display his undoubted acting skills. Thus, one of his upcoming projects is the Tamil remake of the Malayalam film, Lakshmiyum Vasanthiyum Pinne Nhaanum. In the original, comedian and character artiste Kalabhavan Mani played the role of a blind folk singer to such good effect that the national awards jury, unable to give him top honours -- given competition from Mohanlal and Vikram -- awarded him the special jury prize instead. Now Vikram is slated to reprise that role, for Tamil.

But then, there was this film, Mandhira Kottai, a Malayalam horror-potboiler Vikram had made a long time ago, and which he would like to forget. Trouble is, producers hoping to cash in on his newfound popularity have dug it out of the trash cans, and are about to release a dubbed version in Tamil.

Madhavan You will remember that a similar thing is happening to Madhavan. Cashing in on his star status following the success of Mani Ratnam's Alai Paayudhey, producers have dug out a forgettable Telugu offering of his, Shanti Shanti Shanti, in which he plays a minor role while Abbas heads the cast, and are about to release a dubbed version in Tamil -- with posters and other publicity material focusing on Madhavan's minuscule presence.

Madhavan wasn't amused by that, and even thought of going to court. Now it is Vikram's turn to be unamused.

-- Rajitha

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