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December 1, 1998


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Makes and remakes

Kajol. Click for bigger pic!
This is clone season down south. There are many of them in production, may be as many are there are behind. But the biggest among them all is Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, produced by veteran D Rama Naidu, directed by Satish Kaushik and starring Kajol and Anil Kapoor.

Wait, wait, wasn't this something about remakes, you might well inquire. It is, it is, for HADMRH -- not to be confused with a hamadryad -- is the remake of Naidu's own Telugu superhit, Pavitra Bandham.

Now, a small matter of concern for Naidu here. He's the one that's aiming for an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for producing the maximum number of films. Trouble is, that the director is Kaushik, rendered famous for the delay in making Prem and Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja. We hear, the film's been nearly completed in a year, and that he'll prove the doomsday prophets wrong yet.

More of the clones

Vineeth. Click for bigger pic!
But that isn't the only remake around, as we told you.

Rajkumar Santoshi's Damini comes in Kannada and Harishchandra (the Tamil film starring Karthik and Meena) gets remade in Telugu by Chakravarthy. Unnadithil Ennai Koduthane and May Maadham are also getting Telugu versions, though the latter's just being dubbed. There's also Thulli Thirinja Kaalam being made in Kannada.

May Maadham directed by K Balu, starred Vineeth and Sonali Kulkarni and boasted a hit score from A R Rahman. The dubbed version is known as Hrudyanjali, the audio of which is already a super hit.

And still more...

Prakash Rai. Click for bigger pic!
However, D Rajendra Babu, though known for his successful remakes and who is directing Deepavali, the Kannada Damini says he is not too happy with the remake culture and that he's clambered on the bandwagon just to keep moving.

Shivraj Kumar, Ravichandran, Prakash Rai and Prema play the key roles in the remake. D Rajendra Babu's recent Yaare Neenu Cheluvu was also a remake, that of the Tamil Kaadhal Kotai.

Meanwhile, Damini is also being remade in Tamil as Priyanka with Revathi playing the role Meenakshi essayed in the original, Jairam the one by Rishi Kapoor and Prabhu that of Sunny Deol.

Another person who objects to remakes is national award-winning director S V Rajendra Singh Babu who says he's averse to the idea of remakes.

His new film, Bhoomi Thayi Chochola Maga, is one of those serious ones, dealing with the suicides of farmers in Karnataka. It stars two superstars, Shivraj Kumar and Ramesh. No remake as far as we know.

Rajendra Singh Babu, who's making winning the national award a habit having bagged it thrice for Bandhana, Muttina Haara and Mungarina Minchu, hopes to strike gold the fourth time with Bhoomi...

Abbas on a roll

Abbas. Click for bigger pic!
Marriage has not affected Abbas's stock in the heart-throb market. The Bangalore boy, gained from hanging out on M G Road in his native town That's when Kathir spotted him and signed him on in Kaadhal Desam. And you know what that did at the box office, don't you?

His subsequent films, Poo Choodava and Aasai Thambi did badly while VIP, which co-starred Prabhu Deva, was such a weak hit that it just escaped being a failure.

His Telugu hits, Priya O Priya and Rajhamsa, though, helped make him a big name in Andhra Pradesh. And Prema Desam, the Telugu Kaadhal Desam was an even bigger hit.

Abbas appeared in Milind Ingle's Chuimui Si Lagti Ho with Preeti and became a hot favourite with Bombay teens though Duniya Dilwalon Ka -- yeah, another remake of Kaadhal Desam, in Hindi this time -- sank like a stone at the b.o.

And in the sequel, he walked off with Preeti, with the approval of both families. That's the sequel, Kudi Jach Gayee.

Ahead of him, Abbas now has a guest appearance in K Balachander's Poo Veli and a small role in Padaiyappa, not to mention the central role in the just-released Shanti Shanti Shanti in Kannada.

Umm, what else... Yes. He's also doing the role Ajith's did in the Telugu version of Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen.

Drama in reel life

Producer-director T Rajendar never does things in half measures. So when he makes a lavish set for a song, he spends Rs 10 million on it.

And when he's hit by misfortune, it really lays the whip on him. So bad a time has he had that he thought that maybe changing the name of his film's Monisha to Monisha En Monalisa may help.

The trouble he's had includes the recent flood in Madras that washed away a set erected on the banks of the Cooum.

But Rajendar's one tenacious chap, shooting yet another complicated song, Tholapesi Ennai... with telephones as the theme. There's also a gigantic phone, complete with dial and working disc.

And if you thought he was behind the times there, never fear, for he has even put up a giant cellular phone on the sets too.

Chakki's baby named at last

Chakravarthy. Click for bigger pic!
Chakravarthy's ? gets a name finally. Apparently an excess of experimentation doesn't work. Papa Na Pranaam, it's going to be now.

Charkravarthy, who produced this movie, invited the audience to give it a title and announced a prize of Rs 400,000. And though the movie-makers weren't happy with the popular choice, they decided to sigh and take it. Apparently thousands thought that was the right name for it. Well, anything's better than ? wot?

And then there's Chakravarthy next film, where he plays an inveterate liar.

Debutante Tulasi will direct this remake of Harishchandra, a full-length comedy. In the original Tamil version, Karthik played the perpetual prevaricator, and Meena the heroine. Here, Chakki's going to have Raasi and newcomer Shushva for company.

Balm for burnt fingers

Discussing expensive films, we must tell you about actor-director Parthiban who lost millions on his shelved projects, Karupannaswami, Kaangeyan Kaalai and Sothu Katchi.

Parthiban's burnt fingers seem to be healing now since he's busy directing his next film, Houseful. As the title suggests, it is do with a cinema hall. Parthiban has adopted a theatre in Madurai and is busy shooting somewhere within.

The question is whether Houseful will live up to its name in the theatres.

Six of the best

Venkatesh. Click for bigger pic!
Venkatesh is still basking in the success of six films in a row, the latest of them being Preminta Iddera, being the sixth one.

He also stars in Unnidathil Ennai Koduthane, doing the role Karthik did, while Soundarya will essay the role Roja did.

Dying to get away

The pretty Bhanu Priya got married recently. And that kind of messed up her life. For hubby is in the US of A and she's here, meeting commitments to Sun TV, since she stars in a role in its daily soap, Shakti.

The solution was to get her character conveniently bumped off and a new character, played by Sukanya, being brought in. Nice, ain't that. Makes us wish we could do that kind of replacement in real life too, doesn't it?

Keeping her feet up

Tabu. Click for bigger pic!
Sorry, that wasn't strictly marquee material. So more about the remakes we've kept on about this week.

Tabu will be playing the role Sukanya did in Priyadarshan's super-duper hit, Chandralekha that starred Mohanlal and Pooja Batra.

We hear Tabu, who has also starred in Priyadarshan's Virasaat (remake of the Tamil Thevar Magan), plays an invalid, never getting out of bed in the film.

And the last remake of the day...

Raasi/Manthra. Click for bigger pic!
There was this recent Tamil hit, Thulli Thirintha Kaalam, all about youth being the springtime of life and suchlike.

Producer Mohan has produced this movie in Telugu with Naveen playing the hero, and an oomphy Raasi (Manthra to Tamilians) starring opposite him.

-- Rajitha

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