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Sex and teenage fantasies

Shobha Warrier | August 18, 2003 18:10 IST

Balu MahendraWhen spoke to Balu Mahendra after the release of Julie Ganapathy, he said he had no idea what his next film would be about.

Now, Mahendra is excited about his next venture. The success of the recent Kadal Kondein and its 20-year-old hero Dhanush has something to do with that excitement.

Impressed with Dhanush, Mahendra's next film, Athu Oru Kanaa Kaalam (that was a period of dream), will go on the floors when he gets Dhanush's call sheet. "It is likely to take place in September as the boy is being mobbed by the Tamil film industry!" says Mahendra.

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The story is an extension of his famous old movie, Azhiyatha Kolangal. The film also starred the late Shobha and Pratap Pothen. Azhiyatha Kolangal was partly autobiographical, he says, about himself and his friends growing up in a village. "The film was about three kids in their early teens. There was a part of me, my childhood and my friends. It also showed the awakening of sexuality in the boys, curiosity, etc."

Athu Oru Kanaa Kaalam is about the changes that take place in the life of a 19-year-old when a beautiful lady, who is elder to him by 15 years, comes to stay in his house.

"That is the age when one goes through the first experiences of love and sex. When I was 16 or 17, a distant relative came to spend the summer holidays with us. She was 15 years older than me. She brought sexuality into my life. I would say the film is autobiographical in nature," confesses the director.

Ramya Krishnan will play the role of the older woman.

About Dhanush, Mahendra says, "I saw both Thulluvatho Ilamai and Kadal Kondein. I am very impressed with the boy, his ability as well as his appearance. Indian cinema has a certain preconceived notion about how heroes and heroines should look. Dhanush is totally different from the so-called cheesecake look. He is essentially Dravidian. His performance is intense and convincing, and his elder brother [director] Selvaraghavan has brought out the best from him."

Mahendra says he is very excited about the project: "I am going to depict a part of my life, a very nostalgic and sweet part of my life, on celluloid."

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