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New Music Channels in Tamil

Kalaignar Isaiaruvai music channel, JayaMax tamil music channel and now Tamil Nadu's regional broadcaster Raj Television Network Ltd Monday announced the launch of four new music channels - collectively to be called Raj Musix.

Rajni New Films

Rajnikanth new films Tamil movies, Kuselan and Robot movie news in details, a collection of news about rajni's latest movies Robot and Kuselan

'Sultan: The Warrior' is for my Appa, says Soundarya

It's a daughter's gift to her father - that's how Soundarya, daughter of Tamil superstar Rajnikant, describes her full-length animation film Sultan: The Warrior to be released Nov this year.

Madhavan's adventurous trip to hometown Jamshedpur

Tamil star R. Madhavan describes his journey from Malaysia to Jamshedpur in Jharkhand as the craziest adventure of his life.

Deepika, Aishwarya - who will play female lead in 'Robot'?

Media is abuzz with reports that director Shankar is very keen to sign up Deepika Padukone for his sci-fi Robot opposite Tamil superstar Rajnikant The second name doing the rounds is that of 35-year-old Aisharwya Rai, whose historical romance Jodhaa-Akbar is releasing in February.

'Billa' rules Tamil box office, dark hero back

Tamil blockbuster Billa, the story of a don ruling the underworld from Malaysia, continues its dream run. Starring Ajith and Nayantara, it is still playing to packed houses.

Tamil listeners dance to 'Billa' tunes

Bheema - Music Director: Harris Jayaraj, Pirivom Sandippom - Music Director: Vidyasagar.

Rajnikanth to star in Shankar's 'Robot'

Robot movie : Rajnikanth in Director Shankar Film Robot film, Following the huge box-office success of Sivaji-The Boss, director Shankar has again roped in Rajnikanth for his next film, the Rs.1 billion-sci-fi film Robot

Tamil actors shooting in Malaysia

Tamil actors R. Sarathkumar and Namitha did a successful wire stunt at the K.L. Sentral in Brickfields here for their latest movie 1977-History Rewritten

'Mozart of Madras' A.R. Rahman turns 42

Few of his fans may be aware that music maestro Allah Rakha Rahman, or A.R. Rahman as he is better known, started his career composing jingles for advertising films.

Celina plays sari-clad Tamil Brahmin

Celina Jaitley plays a traditional Tamil housewife in Rohit Shetty's Phir Golmaal - complete with a nine-yard sari, flowers in her hair and aiyyo appas to boot.

Year of successful experiments in Tamil cinema

The year 2007 has been exciting for Tamil cinema. There were blockbusters and experimental films too. The heartening fact is that the experiments worked. The year, overall, belonged to one of the biggest blockbusters of Tamil cinema

Tamil film stars set to dazzle Kaula Lumpur

Star night in Malaysia and Singapore, Among the tamil films stars, the participants will include Vijay, Vikram, Suriya, Madhavan, Dhanush, Simbhu and Sarath. Actresses Trisha, Namitha, Sneha, Bhavana and Simran takes part in the Star nite

Sushmita Sen falls foul of 'culture-police' in Tamil Nadu

Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actor Sushmita Sen is the latest star in the crosshairs of culture cops in Tamil Nadu. Last year, actors Khushboo, Shilpa Shetty and Reema Sen had been dragged to court.

'Billa' rules Tamil music chart

With the release of Billa, new excitement can be seen in the music segment. Ajith fans have lapped up the songs like never before.

'Polladhavan' continues to be a big draw

Polladhavan, the surprise Deepavali hit starring Dhanush, is still doing extremely well at the box office. However, two new releases Kalloori and Evano Oruvan, which received excellent reviews, are expected to do better in the coming weeks and reach the top slot.

I can write poems on Konkona: Madhavan

Tamil superstar R. Madhavan, who has completed Rituparno Ghosh's bilingual film Sunglass, is going gaga over his co-star Konkona Sen Sharma and says he is so impressed with her that he can write poems on her.

Kamal Haasan's daughter loves to sing

Rumours about Shruti Haasan following in her actor-father Kamal Haasan's footsteps can take a break as the pretty lass is at the moment completely consumed by the idea of becoming a singer.

Hindu Munnani activist files case against Khushboo

A Hindu Munnani activist in the temple town of Kumbakonam has filed a complaint in a lower court against popular Tamil actress Khushboo for hurting religious sentiments.

Surya overtakes Vijay on Tamil screen

Vijay's Azhagiya Thamizh Magan got a fantastic opening but it is Surya's Vel that is at the top after a week. The surprise Deepavali package is Polladhavan which makes it to number three in the list of Tamil blockbusters.

It's remix time at the Tamil audio market

This is the time of remix songs, which are a hit with the young. A lot is expected from Yuvan's Billa that is releasing this week.

'No actress was ready to play a contented prostitute'

Narrating the story of a prostitute in love with her profession in Ammuvagiya Naan became a litmus test as most of the actresses backed out of the role, says Rufus Parker, the producer of the film.

Kamal Haasan's daughter to debut opposite Madhavan

Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan and Hindi actor-director Sarika's daughter, Shruti, is all set to make her debut as an actor opposite matinee idol Madhavan in a Tamil movie not titled as yet.

Madhavan set for all India release of 'Evano Oruvan'

After wowing audiences all over the world with his first Tamil production Evano Oruvan, R. Madhavan now plans to give the movie an all-India release.

'Azhagiya Thamizh Magan' is the best Diwali release

Vijay starrer Azhagiya Thamizh Magan got a fantastic opening and is clearly the number one among Diwali releases. Surya's Vel is close behind.

Rahman rules Tamil charts

A.R. Rahman's second Tamil album Azhagiya Thamizh Magan is a hit with Vijay fans lapping it up. Of all the Diwali releases, only Rahman and his nephew Prakash's albums have done well.

'Roja' on Time magazine's 10 best soundtracks list

Music maestro A.R. Rahman's Roja has featured on Time magazine's 10 best soundtracks of all times.

Think of these kids when sparklers light up Diwali sky

The three children feature in a 25-minute documentary film, Tragedy Buried in Happiness, shot by South Korean broadcaster Taegu Broadcasting Corp in August with the help of Manitham, a rights NGO working with children, Unicef, Amnesty International and the National Confederation of Human Rights.

Tamil Nadu actors may come together in politics

Three leading film stars from Tamil Nadu may be getting together to try form a new political front.Actor Sarath Kumar, a Nadar community leader and two-time MP, said: A united front can rule Tamil Nadu much better than single parties

Sivaji Ganesan's widow dies

Kamala Ganesan, the 68-year-old wife of thespian Sivaji Ganesan, died at a private hospital here Friday morning, doctors said.

Rahman does it again with 'Azhagiya Thamizh Magan'

Azhagiya Thamizh Magan is veteran composer A.R. Rahman's second Tamil album of the year after Sivaji, which broke all records. Though not as good as the first one, it disappeared from the market within moments of its arrival! That's the Rahman magic.

Vishal's commercial film topples 'Katrathu Thamizh'

Malaikottai is just an average commercial film, but with no good releases till Diwali it has toppled the serious Katrathu Thamizh from number one position.

Karunanidhi launches film version of Russian classic 'Mother'

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has launched Tamil film Thai Kaviyam (The Mother Epic), based on his own version of Maxim Gorky's Russian classic Mother He hopes the movie, which will have Khushboo in the title role, would prove to be revolutionary

Rahman's small screen debut - for a cause

Composer A.R. Rahman is all set for the small screen debut. He has joined hands with the United Nations and production house Endemol for Mission Ustad - an enlightening musical show on to-be-launched Hindi entertainment channel 9X.

DK wants Mayawati to see film on Periyar

The Dravida Kazhagam wants Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati to watch the Tamil film Periyar

Kamal Haasan to play Bush in Tamil film
He is constantly looking for something new and challenging. The latest on superstar Kamal Haasan is that he will play the role of US President George W. Bush in his forthcoming Tamil film "Dasavataram".


Congress moves court against 'Sivaji: The Boss'
Rajnikant-starrer Tamil film "Sivaji: The Boss", running to full houses, Monday attracted a second lawsuit, as a Congress activist sought a ban on the film, alleging it portrayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi in poor light.Congressman M. Satyamoorthy, filed a public interest litigation before the Madras High Court. He said the film showed the Congress leaders "in the company of the villain" and that this was done "with intention to defame the Congress party and its leaders".
Aamir Khan to star in the remake of hit Tamil flick
Actress Asin, who has been cast opposite Aamir in the film, has said that she intends to concentrate only on this project in 2007.

Shooting of Tamil film disrupted near Agra
The shooting of a Tamil film featuring the famous Fatehpur Sikri Fort, close to the Taj Mahal in Agra, was disrupted by villagers when the crew started filming a romantic scene.


Kamal Haasan & Kushboo news :

Kamal Haasan's daughter to bring out album, Khushboo roots for Taj

In second week, 'Sivaji' is still the boss
By Aparna Nath

Chennai,  It is raining money for Tamil Nadu box office as "Sivaji: The Boss" is running houseful at all cinema halls. The Rajnikant starrer, released on 17 screens, is recording 100 percent collections.

1. "Sivaji" (Director - Shankar): The most hyped film of 2007 has conquered the hearts of all those who have seen the film. The craze that started before its release has not subsided even after a week.

2. "Chennai 600028" (Director - Venkat Prabhu): This small film has managed to survive the "Sivaji" storm and that speaks for its strength.

3. "Karuppusamy Koothagaitharar" (Director - Murthy): The success of the film is the success of Karan, the hero of the film.

4. "Unnale Unnale" (Director - Jeeva): This is another film that escaped the "Sivaji" tsunami in multiplexes.

5. "Paruthiveeran" (Director - Ameer): "Paruthiveeran" has completed more than 100 days and has done it in style.

In Tamil Nadu, 'Sivaji' music rocks
By Aparna Nath

Chennai,  A.R. Rahman's music for the film "Sivaji" has caught the ears of the listeners and the album is being lapped up in the state.

1. "Sivaji" (music by A.R. Rahman): After watching the film, "Athiradee" and "Vaaji vaaji" have become a rage as the scenes are fascinating.

2. "Unnale Unnale" (music by Harris Jayaraj): "June Ponna" sung by Krish and Arun is on high rotation on all the radio stations.

3. "Mozhi" (music by Vidyasagar): The success of this album shows there is space for melody even today.

4. "Chennai 600028" (music by Yuvan Shankar Raja): The film is a surprise hit and has made the album a favourite among young listeners. The song "Jalsa" is a must listen.

5. "Naan Avan Illai" (music by Vijay Antony): "Ean Enakku", sung by Jayadev and Sangeeta Rajeswaran, is instrumental for the album's success.

Record run of 'Chandramukhi' to be celebrated Monday
Chennai, The record run of Tamil film "Chandramukhi", starring superstar Rajnikant whose latest "Shivaji" too has been a phenomenal success, is a cause for celebration, as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and others come together at a special event to mark the occasion Monday.

An African safari for Vikram
African locales will replace Tamil filmmakers' favourite shooting venues in Western Europe and Australia in the forthcoming film "Kandasamy", featuring popular star Vikram.Susi Ganesan, dirctor of the mega-budget film, has chosen locations in three African countries, after a 35-day long tour of the continent.
Rajnikant is the emperor: Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan, who calls Rajnikant the true emperor of Indian cinema, admires the Tamil superstar for his simplicity, humility and the way he has brought up his children.Reacting to Rajnikant's remark about himself and the Big B being the king and the emperor respectively, Bachchan told IANS: "Rajni is phenomenal. The largest, the best and truly the boss! It is ridiculous to compare me with him.


Dalit leader bags leading role in Tamil film
By Chitra Prakash,

Chennai, Thol Thirumavalavan, president of the Dalit Panthers of India, an ally of the ruling DMK, has been cast in the leading role of a film titled "Kalaham" (Riot). Thirumavalavan plays the character of a law college professor in the film, which is being directed by Mu Kalanchiyam.
This will be the second film for the fiery Dalit leader, known for his oratorical skills. The first was "Anbu Thozhi", which was directed by Kripa Srinivasan and produced by R. Singaravelu with Shakthiraja as music director. Thirumavalavan dons the uniform of LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran in "Anbu Thozhi", which is currently facing some hurdles from the Board of Censors.
Talking to the media, Thirumavalavan said: "I decided to continue acting in films since I thought it was good to try and take the powerful medium of cinema in the right direction and put it in the service of the people. "There will be songs in my films, but no duets. I won't act in such a manner to harm society. I am not acting in films for money or fame. I believe good messages can be communicated to the people through cinema." He has appeared in a song sequence for Mansoor Alikhan's "Ennai Par Yogam Varum" and is also said to have another movie under his belt.

Jayalakshmi moves from scam to screen
By Chitra Prakash,
Chennai, Troubled actress Sivakasi Jayalakshmi will soon be in the limelight again, not as an accused in a courtroom, but as a big screen belle. Jayalakshmi, hailing from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, hit the headlines as an accused in a narcotics case involving her and a host of senior police officers in 2004-05. The attractive actress, in her early 30s, became a household name in the state through a long drawn-out courtroom drama, which ended in her acquittal about a year ago. Out of public sight and mind since then, Jayalakshmi has resurfaced as a member of the cast in a Tamil film under production by Anbalayal Films in which she plays the owner of a small tea shop outside a college in the film titled "Pazhaniyappa Kalloori". A scene from the film featuring Jayalakshmi was shot in Myladuthurai last week. The scene, which was originally planned to be shot outdoors, was shifted to the terrace of the hotel she was staying in as the crew saw no other way of avoiding hundreds that thronged the location to catch a glimpse of her.
Whether Jayalakshmi draws thousands to theatres remains to be seen.

'Sivaji' leads the music charts
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, No films, no audio albums - that is how the past few weeks have been in Tamil Nadu. All because of "Sivaji", which is once again on top of the charts this fortnight.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Sivaji" - Music Director: A.R. Rahman. Both "Balleilaka" and "Vaaji vaaji" are a craze among Rajnikant fans, but the pick of the album is "Sahara Pookal", sung beautifully by Vijay Yesudas and Gomathishree. 

2. "Unnale Unnale" - Music Director: Harris Jayaraj. Not a single day passes without "June Ponna" being played on all the radio channels. Krish and Arun have crooned this hit number.

3. "Mozhi" - Music Director: Vidyasagar. What more can one say than "Mozhi" is likely to be the best album of the year 2007!

4. "Chennai 600028" - Music Director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. All the songs by Yuvan are a hit, but "Saroja Saman Nikalo" sung by Shankar Mahadevan and "Prem Gi Amaran" are a rage among the youth.

5. "Naan Avan Illai" - Music Director: Vijay Antony. An average album, it became a hit after the film's success.


Rooftop film festivals catching on
Ganesh A.P.P., a member of Chennai's Rooftop film festival, is very excited. Only a few days ago New York's Rooftop Films asked him and his friends to exchange their movies with the Brooklyn-based group. Rooftop film fests have now become a phenomenon across many Indian cities to screen on terraces for a limited number of people unconventional and classical films of various languages that may not be running in multiplexes . Ganesh, still a student, along with his graphic designer friend Dinesh T.U, loves to watch films. The two are also amateur filmmakers, ready to learn the intricacies of filmmaking. "Not too many film fests happen in Chennai, and most show only the contemporary crop of movies. Or just Andrei Tarkovsky (regarded as the most influential filmmaker of the post-war Soviet era in Russia). "I wanted to see the classics. We wanted to see unusual films, we wanted to show films made by amateurs unconventional films that will not be screened in the halls", Ganesh told IANS. Supported by an NGO called Knowledge Foundation, Ganesh and his team had their first rooftop festival in March on the terrace of a friend's house in Raja Annamalaipuram in the heart of the city. The films screened included "Hard Candy", "Call Center", "Blood Simple", "America, America Parody", "Hi Dad", "Annie Hall" and "That Four Letter Word". Many of these are not popular in India. "But then, would anyone have liked it if we just showed Tarkovsky one after another?" Ganesh asked. Ganesh and his friends have also launched a website, which has event pages that can be accessed by anyone. The events are organised when people take initiatives and log on to the website and volunteer to contribute with DVD equipments, screen, projector or food for the event. Then, a date is decided and the fest is organised for some 40 people. The festival has caught the fancy of many. Now, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Tiruchirapally's students and teachers are having their own rooftop film fests. NIT Calicut too wants to join the club. In July, Singapore will have a rooftop film fest, with content contributions from Tamil Nadu.


Rajnikanth's 'Sivaji' delayed in Kerala
The release of Rajnikanth's much-awaited "Sivaji" might be delayed in Kerala due to distribution problems. An agreement between the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce and 48 of the state's theatre owners has proved to be a stumbling block. According to the agreement, new
films will be released in these theatre owners' cinema halls against an advance payment by film producers.  In the event of films failing at the box office, the theatre owners' loss is to be compensated by the producers' next film being released in the same halls. The chamber, however, has decided to release "Sivaji" in a far larger number of theatres in the state to give the film maximum exposure. The 48 theatre owners have now strongly opposed this decision. They fail to hear the chamber's pleas that the agreement applied only to Malayalam films. The biggest losers of this confusion will be Rajnikanth fans in Kerala, who may have to wait it out a while for the film's release.

Tamil cinema scouting for a child artist
Malayalam director Lohitha Das is looking for a child actor for his next film, which he says will be about "how today's children are brought up" and "the consequences of the upbringing".
Vishal's three role models
Young actor Vishal says that Tamil superstar Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi and Prakash Raj are his "role models". He named the three in a recent chat with the media.
Remake film rules Tamil box office
"Naan Avan Illai", the remake of K. Balachander's old classic that had Gemini Ganesan in the lead, is slicker and technically superior. It has appealed not only to the urban audience but to rural movie buffs too. Jeevan consolidates his position after his successful "Thiruttu Payale".
The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Naan Avan Illai" - Director: Selva. It is a great entertainer and Jeevan has done full justice to the role immortalised by Gemini Ganesan.

No life without wife's parents, says Madhavan
Sooraj Barjatya will envy this. In a scene straight out of one of his feel good films about family ties, actor R. Madhavan is currently in the US with his extended family. "And that invariably means my wife, son Vedant, my parents and my parents-in-law," Madhavan told In fact, the actor is as close to his wife Sarita's parents as he is to his own."There's no difference in my mind and heart between my parents and my wife's parents. If they hadn't supported me during my courtship days, it'd have been impossible for a Tamilian, born and brought up in Bihar, to marry a Maharashtrian girl from Kolhapur."We include my in-laws in every thing we do. Sarita and I don't go on a single holiday without both sets of parents."For the last few weeks, Maddy has been in Orlando with his family."We've rented a home here and we're staying like normal residents instead of vacationers, just lazing around, cooking, going for long walks and just being ourselves."However, the one thing that Madhavan won't neglect is his physical fitness regime. In fact, he's busy losing weight now."I first lost all my extra baggage in Kent when I was holidaying with my family last year. That helped me to play the gaunt stressed-out middleclass man in Nishikant Kamat's 'Yevanu Oruvan' in Tamil. "Now again I've lost quite a lot of weight in Orlando for Nishikant's next, which will be in Hindi." Apparently Maddy has become unrecognisably slim. "Even my son finds it hard to recognise me," he joked.

Rahman floats his own music label
Composer A.R. Rahman has just fulfilled a long-cherished dream by launching his own music label, K.M. Music. "For a long time now I wanted to float my own label K.M. Music. My label won't market the music. It'll just distribute music recorded in my studio in Chennai to large music companies like Sony," Rahman told.

'Paruthiveeran' continues dream run
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, Even though the Tamil New Year films have reached the theatres, there is none that can beat Ameer's "Paruthiveeran" at the box office. The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Paruthiveeran" - Director: Ameer. Even the urban crowd is going crazy about the film with a rural theme.

2. "Unnale Unnale" - Director: Jeeva. This love story is cinematographer Jeeva's gift to the youngsters and they have lapped it up.

3. "Mozhi" - Director: Radhamohan. Mozhi continues to have houseful shows in all cities and has been declared a blockbuster.

4. "Mayakkannadi" - Director: Cheran. This realistic film by Cheran is sure to hit it off with the people of Tamil Nadu.

5. "Pokkiri" - Director: Prabhu Deva. The Vijay-starrer won a fresh lease of life on the Tamil New Year weekend.
Kamal Hasan wins court case on 'Dasavataram'
Veteran Tamil actor Kamal Hassan's "Dasavataram" cleared a major hurdle, with the Madras High Court dismissing a petition seeking a ban on the film.Petitioner Senthil Kumar had sought a court order staying the production and release of the film, alleging the story of the film, attributed to Kamal, had been plagiarised. The actor plays 10 different roles in the film.

'Mayakkannadi' is main Tamil New Year film
The Tamil New Year has brought fans here a star-less cinematic fare. None of the matinee idols, including Vijay, Suriya, Vikram and Ajith, figures in the five films released on the occasion.
A bigger disappointment is the non-release of the much-awaited Rajnikanth blockbuster "Sivaji", earlier scheduled for this festival date.Of the five releases, innovative director-actor Cheran's "Mayakkannadi" has raised the highest expectations. He plays a hairdresser, while heroine Navya Nair does the role of a beauty parlour employee.

Prakash Raj plays Ravana opposite Devgan's Ram
Director Rajkumar Santoshi has selected South Indian actor Prakash Raj to play Ravana opposite Ajay Devgan as Ram in his much-touted "Ramayan". "It's a decision we took after much deliberation. We have decided to take north Indian actors as members of King Dasharath's clan. Hence Ajay plays Ram and Riteish Deshmukh has been finalised to play Lakshmann. All of Ravana's clan will be cast from the south," Santoshi told.
Malayalam is 'really tough', says Tamil star Vijay
Tamil cinema's action hero Vijay says he can't act in a Malayalam film because he is unfamiliar with the "really tough" language. "I have been offered roles, but you know Malayalam is really tough so I have not gone ahead with the offers," Vijay told reporters here. He was in the city to celebrate the 75th day celebrations of his latest Tamil blockbuster "Pokkiri", his 46th film.
'Paruthiveeran' promises Karthi superstardom
Ameer's "Paruthiveeran" got an amazing opening in Tamil Nadu and it seems nothing is going to stop the film from being a blockbuster.

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Paruthiveeran" - Director: Ameer. The film is sure to be a huge hit and Karthi Sivakumar may in all probability overtake superstar brother Surya as the next heartthrob.

2. "Mozhi" - Director: Radhamohan. "Mozhi" can be described as a sweet and fantastic film. The film's success is promising for those who dare to be different.

4. "Thirumagan" - Director: A.M. Ratnakumar. A lousy film, but what makes it watchable is Meera Jasmine's spirited performance. The frontbenchers, however, are appreciative of double entendre used by Surya.

Vadivelu - once a year hero
Popular Tamil comedian Vadivelu, who played the lead role in last year's hit film "Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi", has decided to sign only one film as a hero. The actor, who has been under pressure to do more such roles after the success of "Imsai...", told a Tamil daily that he would still prefer to play a normal comedian's role in most of his films. His next film as a hero will be "Indiralokathil Naa Azhagappan".

'Paruthiveeran' runs into legal trouble
Chennai, The Kurava tribal community in Tamil Nadu has raised its voice against the film "Paruthiveeran", which portrays them as an anti-social and criminal group, and have filed a petition in court. The Madras High Court has been approached with the plea for a stay on the screening of the recently released film, now running to packed houses. The stay has been sought on the ground that the film, with Karthi in the main role, has scenes derogatory to the Kurava community and can create animosity between them and the Thevar community. The court, which has heard initial arguments from both the sides, has ordered the film's producer Gnanavel Raja and director Ameer, among others, to reply by March 23 to the notices issued to them.


Hindi remake of Kamal film planned
Chennai, Kamal Haasan's Tamil blockbuster "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" is to be remade in Hindi.
Gowtham Menon, director of the film, says he is talking to a big Bollywood star in this connection.
The film is the first to have shown Kamal as a middle-aged person. Is that a clue to the identity of the remake's hero?

Balu Mahendra to start film institute in Chennai
Chennai, Innovative filmmaker Balu Mahendra is set to start a film institute called Balu Mahendra Cinema Workshop in Chennai. Mahendra said he is taking this step because he doesn't want his "experience of four decades" to go waste. His decision to start the institute was also prompted by his recent illness. He suffered a heart attack in 1997 and paralysis in 2000. Mahendra says after his illness when he started thinking about means to preserve his knowledge on the art of cinema, his son Shanki Mahendra, who is also a cinematographer, suggested to him to set up the institute.Pioneering filmmaker Balachander, prominent directors Mani Ratnam, Bharathiraja and Mahendran, and actors Kamal Haasan, Suhasini and Revathy will take classes as honorary lecturers in the institute, which will offer a one-year course, to begin with, from September.
Sri Lanka-born Mahendra is a gold medallist from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He entered filmdom in 1966 as a director of Tamil hit "Motor Sundaram Pillai", starring thespian Sivaji Ganesan. However, he got his bigger cinematic break as a director with the Malayalam film "Nellu" in 1974. His work in "Nellu" got him the first of his five National Awards, for the best cinematography. Mahendra said he is proud to have won awards for direction, cinematography and editing. He said he is the only person to have bagged National Awards for work in all these departments.
Malaysian Tamil comedian Param to undergo heart surgery
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Tamil comedian P. Paramasivam, better known as Param, is getting ready for a heart bypass and spends his time these days joking with other patients, visitors and staff at the hospital.

Vidyasagar wins Tamil audio race with 'Mozhi'
Chennai, After a long gap, composer Vidyasagar has come up with an excellent album, "Mozhi", which is worth listening to again and again and is number one on the list.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Mozhi" - Music Director: Vidyasagar. Every song in the album is a gem but the toast of this album is "Kaatrin mazhaiye" sung by Balram.

5. "Oram Po" - Music Director: G.V. Prakash. This is a new album from Prakash, who is A.R. Rahman's nephew. It is as impressive as his first album for "Veyyil". There is
a lot of variety in the songs.


Sada in a role sans make-up
Versatile actress Sada, who impressed as a village belle in "Jeyam" and a glamour girl in "Anniyan", is now attempting a challenging role. She will be seen without any make up in a Telugu re-make of Malayalam hit "Classmates".

Sada, less made up than the typical heroine in recent Tamil film "Unnale Unnale", says she cannot wait to see how she looks in "Classmates".
Kamal to direct film on AIDS

Veteran Tamil actor-director Kamal Haasan is set to direct one of the four short films on AIDS, to be produced by Mira Nair. Santosh Sivan, Vishal Bharadwaj and Nair are to direct the other three films.

Prabhu Deva and Rambha will play the lead pair in the film to be directed by Santosh Sivan. The cast for the other films is yet to be decided upon.
Actor-legislator Vijayakanth, AIADMK's Pannerselvam face tax raids
Chennai, Income tax authorities in Tamil Nadu Tuesday raided the home of actor-legislator Vijayakanth here, prompting his fans to burn pictures of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. They threw stones at the police who tried to control the situation.Raids were also conducted on the premises of Jeppiyar, the owner of the Sathybhama group of educational institutions in which Vijayakanth has interests, and O. Pannerselvam, AIADMK's deputy leader in the assembly.Jeppiyar is the chairman of the Jeppiyar Education Trust and chancellor of the Sathyabhama Deemed University and also president of the Consortium of Self-Financing Professional, Arts and Science College in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK and Vijayakanth's DMDK termed the raids "politically motivated".
New Tamil films, more non-releases for Pongal
Chennai, Tamil Nadu's harvest festival Pongal ushers in several new films but it will also see many that missed the release date. While seven films are hitting the screens during the festival, as many as 10 have turned out to be non-releases.A Bollywood hero stars in the best publicised of the seven films. "Guru", with Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai as the lead pair, is drawing attention here mainly for its director Mani Ratnam. Trade pundits are waiting to see whether the magic of Ratnam and music director A.R. Rahman works for the film in Tamil Nadu, where regional actors are the largest crowd pullers.Actor Vijay plays the lead role in "Pokkiri", a remake of Telugu hit of the same name by Mahesh Babu. Dancing sensation Prabhu Deva has directed the film.Ajith plays an unusual role for a hero in "Azhwar". Chella directs the film, which is about a hospital attendant taking on big-time criminals. Asin lends her glamorous touch to the action thriller. Another action flick is "Thamiraparani", with Vishal as the vanquisher of villains. Newcomer Bhanu is the female lead in the film directed by Venkatram Reddy.

"Pachchaikkili Mutthuchcharam", "Unnale Unnale", "Oram Po", "Deepavali", "Sabari", "Kuppi", "Ninaithale", "Latchiyam Oru Thayin Asai", "Thullura Vayasu", and "Adavadi".
Actress Khushboo granted anticipatory bail
Chennai,  The Madras High Court Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to Kollywood and Bollywood actress Khushboo against a cheating charge. Khushboo apprehended arrest in a cheating complaint filed by T.M. Varkey, the US based father-in-law of her brother Abdullah Khan. The actress claimed in her petition that Varkey had wrongly filed a complaint with the Chennai City Police for criminal breach of trust and cheating. Khushboo said in her petition that Khan had married Sherine Varkey in 1997 and subsequently her father T.M. Varkey gave $16,400 in two instalments to help his son-in-law produce a movie in Kannada.

Jayaraj's 'Unnale Unnale' tops Tamil albums
Chennai, Music composer Harris Jayaraj's latest album "Unnale Unnale", which is worth listening to again and again, deserves only the top position.

The top five Tamil Albums are:

1. "Unnale Unnale" - Music Director: Harris Jayaraj. With this album, Jayaraj continues his winning streak after "Ghajini" and "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu". The pick of the enjoyable album is the opening track "June Pona" by Krish and Arun.

3. "Aalwar" - Music Director: Srikant Deva. The album, slated for a Pongal release, is expected to do well.

4. "Thamiraparani" - Music Director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. Disappointingly, Yuvan, one of the most popular composers, is opting for quantity and not quality.

Chennai multiplex theatres
Jayaraj's 'Unnale...' is hit Tamil album

Music composer Harris Jayaraj's new album "Unnale Unnale" is doing a roaring business at music stores in the state and tops the music chart this fortnight. The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Unnale Unnale" - Music Director: Harris Jayaraj. This album has the mark of Jayaraj's signature style all over.

2. "Pokkiri" - Music Director: Mani Sharma. The album is aimed at pleasing hardcore Vijay fans.
'Veyyil' winner among Tamil films
Producer Shankar's new film "Veyyil" has been appreciated by critics and lapped up by audiences. And like "Kadhal" and "Imsai Arasan", it is also on its way to becoming a blockbuster.
The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Veyyil" - Director: Vasantha Balan. Shankar, who backs talented directors, was impressed by Vasantha Balan's novel style of story telling. "Veyyil" is a sensitively narrated film with excellent performances by the entire cast, especially Pasupathy.

Chennai multiplexes now offer pre-paid cards
The cinema crazy crowd of Tamil Nadu could not have it better. Not only have the fares in cinema halls fallen but multiplexes here are issuing pre-paid cards to keep your seat booked in the hall for a year.Why not? Of India's 13,000 cinema halls, Tamil Nadu accounts for about 4,000. Some of the most innovative ones are in Chennai and its outskirts, just as Asia's largest drive in screen is here at an east coast hall.The year gone by has also seen a dramatic increase in cinema hall crowds as more and more cinemas are upgrading infrastructure, with Satyam Cinema leading the way in innovations for viewer comfort. No matter what picture is showing at Satyam, at weekends viewership is 97 percent. Even Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan catch their 'Mission Impossible' late night show here at Satyam. Inaugurating the fourth edition of the Chennai International Film Festival here, IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran saidthat though interest in IT-based entertainment was growing, "still the joy of cinema remains the same. Cinema is a window of past, present and future. Like cricket, it is a passion in India" Therefore, little surprise that on a request from the Tamil Film Producers Council, South Indian Film Chamber, Chennai City Theatre Owners Association and Film Distributors Associations, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to reduce taxes and lower fares in cinema halls from Jan 1, 2007.


A year of dark horses in Tamil cinema (TAMIL CINEMA YEARENDER)
Chennai, The Tamil film industry has every reason to smile as 2006 draws to a close with the year having witnessed quite a few super hits and many profitable ventures.Of these, at least three films weren't expected to do well at the box office when released. "Vettayadu Vilaiyadu", directed by Gowtham Menon and starring Kamal Haasan, Jyothika and Kamliniee Mukherjee, had to face many hurdles before it reached theatres. The film became a blockbuster, completed 100 days, and is still going strong. Director K.S. Ravikumar's "Varalaaru" is another film that nobody thought would see the light of day. Even Ajith, the film's hero, had lost all hope. But surprisingly, the film released this Diwali. And what an opening the film had! It was the best opening that a non-Rajnikanth film could get. Ajith was back at the top with this film. Asin, the heroine in the movie, was also happy because it was her only release in 2006.


Satyam's Nipuna ties up with British animation firm for films
Chennai, Nipuna Services Limited, the Satyam Group's BPO subsidiary, has signed a $25 million "edutainment" deal with 4K Animation Limited of Britain for the execution and delivery of a television series and a film. The contract is one of the largest ever by a global BPO service provider in the animation marketplace.Nipuna will work with the 4K Animation team for 18 months on two "iconic" European animation projects: the third season of "Marvi Hammer Presents National Geographic World", an award-winning, 52-episode television series, and a movie, featuring Marvi Hammer. The series and movie feature a combination of live action and animation and includes actual studio sets used as animation backgrounds, a furry computer creature and 2D-animated characters.Hamburg-based YOUA Edutainment, National Geographic, and German broadcaster ZDF will co-produce the series and movie.More than 120 Nipuna professionals will produce and deliver animation services for the projects. Nipuna will provide VFX, CGI, 3D and 2D animation services, including pre-production, production, and post-production, along with German artists, from its state-of-the-art studio in Chennai. Nipuna also provides artwork and visualization services involving 2D and/or 3D animation techniques and processes to customers in the engineering, architectural, and medical industries.

Sivaji Rajnikanth  : Rajnikanth is 57.

Rajnikant is 'Dancing Maharaja' in Japan
Tokyo, Bollywood magic man Shahrukh Khan may be the best known Indian film icon in Europe, but in Japan it is Tamil superstar Rajnikant, popularly known as "Odori Maharaja" (The Dancing Maharaja) who has mesmerised the Japanese with his machismo and flamboyance."I am delighted to hear the popularity of Odori Maharaja among young people here. Our children were delighted to see Odori Asimo - the dancing robot!" Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in his historic address to a joint session of the Diet, the Japanese parliament, Thursday.
Japanese are eagerly waiting to have a glimpse of Rajnikant in his new film "Sivaji" - said to be the most expensive Indian film costing over $15 million - to be simultaneously released in Chennai, in southern India, and Tokyo.

Shooting for Rajni's 'Sivaji' nearing completion
Chennai, The shooting for Rajnikant's next Tamil film "Sivaji" will be completed this week, exactly a year after it started. "Sivaji" is expected to be the superstar's next blockbuster after  "Chandramukhi". The film took Rajnikant from Chennai to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mysore, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Spain as well. Though the cost of its production has not been publicised, trade pundits say "Sivaji" can boast the biggest budget among all Rajnikant films as well as those produced under the prestigious AVM banner. Producers claim that this is also the film for which Rajnikant has shot the most number of days.


Sivappathikaram and Rendu tamil movies

'Sivappathikaram' overtakes 'Varalaaru' in Tamil film race, Ajith's "Varalaaru" is pushed to the third place by Vishal's "Sivappathigaram" and Madhavan's "Rendu" as "Sivappathikaram" took an extraordinary opening.
1. "Sivappathikaram" (Director Karu Palaniyappan) - Vishal had scored a hat trick before "Sivappathikaram", so expectations were high on this film. Naturally, the film took an extraordinary opening. It is to be seen how it turns out later.

2. "Rendu" (Director Sundar C) - "Rendu" is Madhavan's next release after the highly successful "Thampi". It was with "Thampi" that Madhavan broke into the B and C centres. So, filmgoers were curious about the Madhavan and Sundar C combination.
Imman, the Tamil music director to watch, Vidyasagar's new album "Sivappathigaram" is doing quite well. With the film expected to do well, the album may do even better in the course of next few weeks.
The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Sivappathikaram" (Vidyasagar): "Atrai Thingal" sung by Madhu Balakrishnan and Sujatha is the toast of the album, which has a mix of folk, melody and 'dappan koothu'.

3. "Thiruvilayadal Aarambham" (D. Imman): Imman is slowly becoming one of the music directors to watch for. "Ennamma Kannu" by Karthik and Ranjith is a huge hit.

4. "Rendu" (Imman): Surprisingly the album has all the songs of Harris Jayaraj from "Minnale". Yet, Imman's songs stand out.
'Lage Raho Munnabhai' in Tamil
Chennai, Actor Ravi of "Jayam" fame is likely to play the lead role in Tamil, while Chiranjeevi will be the Telugu avatar of Sanjay Dutt's original Munnabhai.

Court to decide fate of film on Rajiv killing

A Tamil film about the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, held up by certification authorities for 13 years after it was made, may at last see the light of day, thanks to the Madras High Court. Come Thursday and a bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and judge K. Chandru would see "Kutrapathirikai" (Chargesheet) to decide whether it is
appropriate for public screening.  The film, produced by Ravi Yadav and directed by R.K. Selvamani, has Tamil actor Ramki in the lead. It also features Anupam Kher and popular actress Roja.
Ajith's 'Varalaaru' is top Tamil film
Chennai, Actor Ajith's "Varalaaru", earlier named "Godfather", is the clear winner at the box office. It is on its way to becoming a super hit despite rain playing spoilsport.

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Varalaaru" - Director: K.S. Ravi Kumar - Kumar gave Ajith a double role and a big hit in "Villain". Now with "Varalaaru", he has gifted Ajith three roles and a new lease of

2. "E" - Director: Jananathan - Directed by Jananathan, the National Award winning director of "Iyarkai", this film was the dark horse this Diwali. Actor Jeeva, a comparatively
new entrant and not a big hero, had to compete with big names. The success of "E" shows that marketing is as essential as making a good product.

3. "Vallavan" - Director: Silambarsan - The film had only hype but no substance. No wonder it didn't do well at the box office.

4. "Vettayadu Vilayadu" - Director: Gowtham Menon - Despite a flood of Diwali releases, this film remains among the top five.

5. "Vattaram" - Director: Saran - The director and his team went around publicising the film. However, women have stayed away from this violent flick even though Arya, who
is plays the main lead, is quite the heartthrob.


Paul J scores over A.R. Rahman
Chennai, After staying on top for many weeks, A.R. Rahman's "Chillunu Oru Kathal" has given way to new albums.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Kizhakku Kadarkarai Salai" - Music: Paul J - The young crowd is lapping up the debut album by Paul J, which has some very fast numbers. The album is expected to do
better with the film releasing this week.

2. "E" - Music: Srikant Deva - The film is turning out to be a surprise hit, and so is the music album. Especially popular is the song "Theeppori Parakkum" sung by Tipu and

3. "Thiruvilayadal Aarambham" - Music: D. Imam - The song "Ennamma kannu" by Karthik and Ranjith is a huge hit.

4. "Vaathiyar" - Music: D. Imam - "Vaathiyar" was expected to release during Diwali but got delayed due to various reasons. Meanwhile, the album by D. Imam has hit the
market and is doing reasonably well.

5. "Vallavan" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja - "Loose penne" sung by Silambarasan is still hugely popular but the film is not doing well.
One-film-one-star rule for Tamil actors

Chennai, The Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Association is considering a ban on the release of two or more Tamil films featuring the same male actor in a lead role on the same day. According to members of the association, the move will increase the success rate of all the films featuring the same star. It is also thinking of stipulating a four-week gap between the releases of the films featuring the same star. The first two films likely to be affected by the new rule will be Arjun starrers "Vathiyar" and "Manikanta".


Nana to star in Bharathiraja's Hindi film
By Chitra Prakash,

Chennai,  Well-known Tamil director Bharathiraja has roped in Bollywood actor Nana Patekar for his second Hindi film "Cinema" and describes it as "revolutionary".

Nana Patekar, whom Bharathiraja considers "a different actor", plays the lead role in "Cinema".

Bharathiraja's first Hindi film was "Lovers", a re-make of Tamil original "Alaigal Oyvathillai", which was released in 1983.

The Tamil director, who is known to be a trendsetter, made his directorial debut with "Pathinaru Vayathinile", which also gave Kamal Haasan his first big break as an actor.

"Cinema" is to be remade in Tamil under the title "Bommalattam" (Puppet Show).

Rahman is monarch of Tamil audio market
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, Oct 31  Several new albums have arrived in the last couple of weeks, but none has been able to topple A.R. Rahman's "Chillunu Oru Kadhal" from the top

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Chillunu Oru Kadhal" - Music: A.R. Rahman. The film is a huge flop and has been forgotten, but the album is still a rage.

2. "Vallavan" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. The film released during Diwali and there is newfound interest in Yuvan Shankar Raja's album.

3. "E" - Music: Srikant Deva. "Theeppori parakum" sung by Tipu is becoming a big hit.

4. "Kizhakku Kadarkarai Salai" - Music: Paul J. This is Paul J's first film album and he has been able to attract the young with some racy numbers.

5. "Thiruvilayadal Aarambham" - Music: D. Imam. "Ennamma Kannu" by Karthik and Ranjith is becoming popular though some still talk nostalgically about the old SPB
Malaysia Vasudevan song. 



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Ajith's 'Varalaru' gets great opening
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, Oct 31  Not one or two, but seven Tamil films released this Diwali. And the clear winner is the Ajith starrer "Varalaru", which was previously titled

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Varalaru" - Director: K.S. Ravi Kumar. No other actor except Rajnikanth gets the kind of opening that Ajith receives for his films. "Varalaru" got 100 percent opening. It's
good news for Ajith that all those who watched it are happy with the film and are raving about his performance. The film is on its way to becoming a big hit.

2. "Vallavan" - Director: Silambarsan. Expectations were high from the film, which was in the making for over a year. It got an excellent opening, too, but started sliding after
the second day. "Vallavan" can be termed as the biggest disappointment among all the Diwali releases.

3. "E" - Director: S.P.Jhananathan. Jhananathan is the National Award-winning director of "Iyarkai". "E" is different from the usual mainstream films though he has tried to
include some commercial elements to make it appealing. The success of "E" can be a matter of pride for the director and the producer. Of course, credit goes to Jeeva too
for delivering a mind-blowing performance.

4. "Vattaram" - Director: Saran. Another disappointing Diwali fare. This is going to be Saran's second disaster after "Idhaya Thirudan".

5. "Dharmapuri" - Director: Perarasu. This Vijayakanth film may not appeal to the urban audience but there is a huge population out there in the B and C centres who will lap
it up. "Dharmapuri" appears to be a propaganda film for Vijayakanth and his political party.
Anand's next move is film by Revathi

Chennai, Oct 29 Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand will soon feature in a guest role in actor-director Revathi's film.

Anand, who became an anti-AIDS campaigner a year ago, is 'Avahan' ambassador for the AIDS/HIV awareness programme in India, which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the last one year he has carried out several campaigns in his hometown, Chennai, where he has been actively participating in spreading awareness about the disease.

Revathi is known for her critically acclaimed film on HIV/AIDS, "Phir Milenge", starring Shilpa Shetty and Salman Khan.

The proposed film with Anand will revolve round the theme of chess - an idea suggested by Simi Garewal, Revathi told reporters here.

"I won't mind if she casts a glamour girl opposite me," quipped Anand.

The film is still in the planning stage, but the grandmaster is eagerly waiting to appear on the big screen after conquering the world of chess.
Arya to be axed?

Upcoming actor Arya may be replaced as the hero of in-the-making "Naan Kadavul", which has received much pre-production publicity.

The poor performance of Arya's Diwali release "Vattaram" at the box office has reportedly prompted this change, said sources.

It may be recalled that the rugged-looking Arya had earlier replaced Ajith as the film's proposed hero.

P.L. Thenappan is to produce the film with Bhavana in the female lead.

Arya has made his mark with films like "Arindhum Ariyamalum", "Ullam Ketkume" and "Oru Kalluriyin Kadhai". 

A lonely Diwali For Madhavan
By Subhash K Jha,

Mumbai, Oct 21 Actor R. Madhavan, who has moved into his brand new home in Chennai with his wife, son and parents, is a bit sad because he won't be able to celebrate Diwali with his family.

"Ideally, Diwali is a time when we're all together - my wife Sarita's parents (who are like my parents) and my own. This time moving into a new house meant more reason to celebrate Diwali in a big way. Unfortunately, my wife will be in Dubai and I'll be shooting in Kolkata for Rituparno Ghosh's 'Sunglass'," Madhavan told IANS.

However, Madhavan brightened up at the idea of celebrating it with his co-stars - Jaya Bachchan, Konkona SenSharma and his director.

"But I'll make sure Diwali with Ritu, Jayaji and Konkona will be special. We were supposed to shoot in Sikkim but now it's Kolkata. I'm really looking forward to that. I've discovered a huge fan following in that city. I thought I wasn't even known in the east. But the female attention has been pretty much mind-boggling. I must say fans in Kolkata are very, very affectionate," he grinned wickedly.

Apparently, there were incidents where over-enthusiastic girls in Kolkata barged into his hotel room with their own plans for Madhavan.

"But I've clearly drawn my lakshman rekha with female fans. I could write a book about how to wriggle out of the clutches of insistent fans, who want more than a handshake. A picture of your wife and son in the wallet and a cold shower really help."

Madhavan has already had two releases "Rang De Basanti" and Tamil film "Thambi" this year.

"I've two more, again in Hindi and Tamil, coming up. There's 'Rendu' in Tamil (which is directed by actress Khushboo's husband Sundar C.) where I've played my first double role. Unlike other such films, 'Rendu' doesn't harp on mistaken identities. It's an actioner, which is unusual for a double role film.

"As for 'Guru', Mani Ratnam has done an awesome job. Abhishek Bachchan is going to move forward by at least 20 steps after this film. The rest of the cast is also vital. In a film by Mani sir there're no small roles. I should know. 'Guru' is my fifth film with Mani's unit."

Right now Madhavan is pleased as punch about "Sunglass".

"I can't wait for it to be released. I get to play a man who's itching to have an extra-marital affair. Since I've never had the urge in my own marriage it's interesting to peek into an unfaithful mind."

Any role models for the roving-eyed character?

"Sanjeev Kumar in 'Pati Patni Aur Woh' and Salman Khan in 'Biwi No 1' were devastatingly funny. Ritu says I bring the same quality of mischievous adultery - like a little boy caught with his hand in a cookie jar. Very different from the upright sober and very, very dead lieutenant I played in 'Rang De Basanti'."

Madhavan doesn't want his son to travel much.

"I don't want him to travel too much right now. The bugs are getting really dangerous."

Less sparkling Diwali for Tamil film lovers
By Chitra Prakash,

Chennai, Oct 20  It promises to be an entertaining Diwali for Tamil film-lovers this time, with as many as eight releases scheduled for the festival day - Oct 21. However, the festival of lights may seem less sparkling, with none of these films featuring top stars.

No film starring either Rajnikanth or Kamal Haasan will hit the screen on the day. It will be a disappointing Diwali also for the fans of Vijay, Vikram and Surya.

Vijayakanth, Sarath Kumar, and Ajith are the only stars to shine on the occasion.

Vijayakanth, 'Captain' to his admirers, whose "Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam" (DMDK) has just put up a creditable performance in Tamil Nadu's polls, will address a political message again with the film.

He is playing the saviour of the oppressed in "Dharmapuri" directed by Perarasu and produced by Sri Surya movies. Lakshmi Rai plays the female lead in it.

There will be political undertones in a film starring Sharath Kumar, who, defected from the DMK to the AIADMK on the eve of the last assembly elections and has now been elected president of the South Indian Film Artists' Association.

In "Thalaimagan", produced by Radaan Media (a family enterprise), Sarath, who has directed the film himself, plays a journalist fighting for social justice. Nayantara plays the heroine and Seema Biswas of "Bandit Queen" fame will feature in a negative role in the film.

Ajith, who returned to cinema recently from car racing, teams up with glamorous Asin in "Varalaru". Producer S.S. Chakravarty renamed the film, abandoning the original title "Godfather", to get tax concessions available to films with Tamil titles.

Ajith plays three roles in the film, which is directed by K.S. Ravikumar. One of these is that of an effeminate dancer.

Three of the Diwali releases will have younger heroes. Simbu will share the screen with Nayantara, Rima Sen and Sandhya in "Vallavan". Jeeva and Nayantara will be the lead pair in "E", directed by R.P. Choudhary. Arya will play an underground gunrunner in "Vattaram".

The Diwali releases will introduce five debutants on Tamil screens.

Keerat and Adisaya make a triangle with Arya in "Vattaram". Yoga and Purneeta play the lead pair in "Marandein Mein Marandein" made by Footstep Productions. Akshaya features opposite newcomer Abhay in "Manasukkulley", directed by Sri Guru.
Veteran actress Srividya no more

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 19  Veteran south Indian actress Srividya passed away at a private hospital in Kerala Thursday evening after suffering from cancer. She was 53.

Born in Tamil Nadu in 1953, Srividya wore the grease paint in nearly 900 south Indian films. She acted in more than 300 Malayalam films, and played the female lead with all the big names of the film industry - from Sathyan to Mammootty.

She also acted in a few Hindi films.

She began her illustrious film career when she was 13. Apart from acting she was also a popular dancer and singer. She was working in television serials.

Her funeral will take place here Friday.

Ace Malayalam film director K.G. George told IANS: "Despite her glorious acting career her personal life was in turmoil and she was always sad."

"She was a good human being too and her concern for directors is quite well known. I have been personally benefited by her concern," he said.

Srividya's marriage broke long ago and since then she had been a loner.

"I have very few friends in the film industry and she was one. I really wanted to see her but I was told that all visitors have been barred," said ace actor Thilakan.

She was very close to Tamil actor Kamala Hassan, who paid her a visit last month.

Recalling her association with the actress, national award winning actress Sarada said she was shocked to hear about her demise.

"Apart from being a great actor, she was an excellent human being. I am really sad because she was too young to die," said Sarada.

Rahman rules as 'Chillunu...' rocks
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, No new album could topple A.R. Rahman from the top position. None of the new albums of Diwali releases could match Rahman's "Chillunu Oru
Kadhal", though the film is a big flop.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Chillunu Oru Kadhal" - Music: A.R. Rahman. The film's title track continues to be heard on all radio channels. "Munbe vaa", a melody by Shreya Ghosal and Naresh Iyer
and "New York Nagaram" by Rahman himself are popular.

2. "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" - Music: Harris Jayaraj. This can be termed as the best album of 2006.

3. "Vallavan" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. "Loose penne" sung by Silambarasan and Blaze is rocking the charts.

4. "E" - Music: Srikant Deva. "Theepori parakum" sung by Tipu and chorus may be like many other Hana songs but the lyrics have life in them.

5. "Thimiru" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. "Mana Madurai" sung by Shankar Mahadevan is such a huge hit that it is heard regularly on all FM channels.

'Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu' tops pre-Diwali Tamil films
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, Oct 17  "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" continues to be at the top position, and it is so because there were no new releases in the last few weeks. However, seven
new films are expected to create fireworks at the box office from the coming week onwards.

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" - Director: Gowtham Menon. So far, this violent film starring Kamal Haasan is the biggest success of 2006. Kamal's last release was "Mumbai

2. "Em Magan" - Director: Thirumagan. Slow and steady wins the race - that is what this film's success shows. There was not much fanfare when the film was first released
but now it has turned out to be a big hit.

3. "Perarasu" - Director: Udhayan. The success of a Vijayakanth starrer after a long time might have made his cadres very happy. Coming up for a Diwali release is his "Dharmapuri".

4. "Thimiru" - Director: Tarun Gopi. With "Thimiru", the new action hero Vishal has scored a hat trick.

5. "Sillunu Oru Kathal" - Director: N. Krishna. The film stays on the list just because there are no new releases.

Amitabh, Vikram team up for Tamil film
By Chitra Prakash,

Chennai, Oct 9  Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and veteran south Indian actor Vikram are to share the screen in a big budget Tamil film to be produced by Manickam Narayanan and ABCL.

Narayanan is the producer of the current Tamil hit "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" starring Kamal Haasan.

The yet untitled film is likely to be a bilingual venture with a Hindi version. Narayanan has reportedly held discussions with both Amitabh and Vikram.

The film will be a dream come true for both the stars.

On every visit to Chennai, Big B has expressed his desire to debut on the Tamil screen, according to industry sources.

He made a brief appearance in last year's Kannada blockbuster "Amruthadhare" - his first south Indian film.

Vikram, who got his first break years ago in "Ullasam", which was financed by ABCL, is excited about the idea of acting with Amitabh - his long-time idol.

Vikram has revelled in the role of an angry young man in many of his films - a role popularised by Amitabh in his younger days.

Although Amitabh has not acted in any Tamil movie, he is a familiar face in Tamil Nadu because of the Tamil version of the popular quiz show "Kaun Banega Crorepati".

'Chandramukhi' to complete 550 days
Chennai, Sep 26  The Rajnikanth starrer Tamil film "Chandramukhi" will break records when it completes 550 days at a theatre here Oct 14.

The film was released in Shanthi and other theatres across Tamil Nadu April 14, 2005.

The film's success will be celebrated on a big scale and Rajnikanth is also expected to participate in the function.

The details of the event will be decided soon, said Prabhu, son of thespian Sivaji Ganesan.


Little more of acting for Jyothika

Jyothika, who announced her retirement as an actress after her marriage with co-star Suriya, will return to acting but only for a short while.

She will face the camera again to complete her part in "Mozhi", which is under production. She is paired with Prithviraj in the film. "Mozhi" is produced by Prakashraj and
directed by Radhamohan.

A couple of song sequences featuring her have to be shot and she is to start shooting once she returns to Chennai from her honeymoon.

Veteran actress Padmini passes away
New Delhi, Sep 25 Yesteryears noted actress Padmini died of a cardiac arrest in Chennai Sunday night. She was 74.

The actress, who was also a well-known Bharatanatyam dancer, died in Apollo Hospital.

She has more than 250 films to her credit. She has worked in Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada films. She is the aunt of well-known south Indian actress Shobhana.

Just a day before her death, she attended a function organised by the Tamil film industry to felicitate Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

Born in Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on June 12, 1932, Padmini forayed in filmdom in 1949. She was the second of the famous 'Travancore Sisters' along with Lalitha and Ragini.

She acted in the legendary Raj Kapoor classic "Mera Naam Joker". Some of her other memorable films are "Vaasna", "Aurat", "Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai", "Kaajal", "Apsara" and "Mujrim".

She has also acted in "Iru Malargal", "Engaluckum Kalam Varum", "Arasilankumari", "Maragatham", "Raagini", "Madurai Veeran", "Mangayar Thilakam", "Oka Talli Pillalu"
and "Mr. Sampat". She acted in hit Malyalam film "Nokketha doorathu Kannum Nattu".

She left her flourishing cine career after her marriage with K.T. Ramachandran and settled in the US. She started the famous Padmini School of Fine Arts there.

The funeral will take place after the arrival of her son, who lives in the US.

Tamil film industry honours Karunanidhi
By Chitra Prakash,

Chennai, Sep 25  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, a former scriptwriter, held centrestage at a star-studded fete of the Tamil film fraternity.

Karunanidhi, who took to politics after his long stint in filmdom, sat through the function at the sprawling Nehru Stadium here and received tributes from all sections of the
industry Saturday evening.

He was presented with a silver throne and a pen-shaped scepter at the function with Maharashtra Governor S.M. Krishna as the chief guest.

Members of the film fraternity presented a series of songs and dances, extolling the DMK leader's past contributions and continuing assistance to Tamil cinema.

Among the highlights of the evening were remixes of the once highly popular songs penned by him.

Apart from several film personalities, the titans of the Tamil screen - Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan - were present at the function.

Among the younger stars who lent their sheen to the show, were Vikram, Vijay, Sundar C., and Dhanush.

Conspicuously absent was Sarath Kumar, recently elected president of the film actors' association. He had quit the DMK and had campaigned for J. Jayalalitha's AIADMK in
the last state Assembly elections.

His wife Radhika Sarathkumar, a leading television personality, however, attended the event.

Vijayakanth, former president of the association who launched the DMDK to oppose both DMK and AIADMK in the elections, also stayed away.

Other absentees included newly wed actors Suriya and Jyothika who are honeymooning in Europe.
Remembering Thillana Padmini's versatility
By Chitra Prakash,

Chennai, Sep 25  It is in the period-piece frames of Tamil hit "Thillana Mohananambal" that the quintessential Padmini is preserved for the contemporary audience and
the coming generations of film-lovers.

Padmini, who died of a cardiac arrest in Chennai Sunday night at age 74, played the role of a traditional temple dancer who falls in love with a nadaswaram (pipe music) artist, played by Sivaji Ganesan in the film. Her portrayal represents two facets of a cinematic persona that her fans remember best.

The first was her base - her brilliance in Bharatanatyam. She had been a dancer for decades, and the strict rules about steps did not always guide her nimble feet. But her prowess in the classical art form was what set her apart in even popular cinema.

And the exquisitely ornate Bharatanatyam costume and accessories seldom suited anyone so well on screen as this actress of strikingly classical features.

The other memorable aspect of her image finds illustration in the "Thillana Mohanambal" sequences, where she dances to the strains of Sivaji's nadaswaram, sending viewers and listeners into raptures even today.

This Sivaji-Padmini team was the most popular on-screen romantic pair during the prime of the careers of both actors.

"Ethirparadhadhu" (where love for Sivaji survives an air crash), "Pudhayal" (one of the less explicitly political films scripted by Karunanidhi) and "Amaradeepam" (where Padmini plays a gypsy) were among the many proofs of the pair's crowd-pulling capacity.

Padmini, of course, acted with other heroes as well. She, in fact, competed with Vyjayanthimala, also a skilled Bharatanatyam-trained actress, for Gemini Ganesan in blockbuster "Vanjikkottai Valiban".

The triangle leads to a dancing tie, which was the film's main highlight for the theatre-flocking masses.

In Hindi cinema, where Padmini achieved stardom without losing her southern base, she was legendary Raj Kapoor's special choice for challenging roles.

Remembered best outside the South for her dance-filled role in "Jis Desh Mein Ganga Bahti Hai" with a rustic Raj Kapoor playing the dholak, she also figures in his farewell film "Mera Nam Joker".

Introduced to the Tamil audience as one of the trio of Travancore Sisters, Padmini outlasted the other two -- Lalitha and Ragini - cinematically.

The elder Lalitha became a screen villain and the younger Ragini a comedian of sorts before fading away. Padmini, however, went from height-to-height as a film heroine.

She outlasted them in life, too. Padmini may outlast many of her contemporaries in Tamil cinema as well in the memory of viewers - and not only of her generation - as the continuing popularity of "Thillana Mohanambal" on television testifies.
Padmini was a star among stars: Karunanidhi
Chennai, Sep 25  Political leaders in Tamil Nadu Monday expressed shock over the death of veteran actress Padmini with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi saying she "was a star among the stars".

"I do not know how death had the heart to snatch such a beautiful and rare artiste," was what Karunanidhi said in his tribute to Padmini who passed away here Sunday night
due to cardiac arrest. She was 74.

Former chief minister J. Jayalalitha, an actress of repute herself, said: "It will be very difficult to fill the void caused by Padmini's death."

Padmini and her two sisters were introduced into the film world by Uday Shankar, the noted dancer, in a dance-based film, when Padmini was just 14.

She had more than 250 films to her credit and worked in Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada movies.

A stamp was issued in her honour in the former Soviet Union. She had won a best classical dancer award at a Moscow youth festival.

During the India-Pakistan war in 1965, she went to the battlefront to perform for the soldiers and volunteered to assist wounded soldiers in hospitals here.
A.R. Rahman reclaims Tamil audio crown
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, Sep 19 Composer A.R. Rahman's new Tamil album "Jillunu Oru Kaadhal" continues to be a rage, but the film is turning out to be a major disappointment at the box office.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Jillunu Oru Kaadhal" - Music: A.R. Rahman. Be it radio or television, the title track of the film and "Munbe Vaa", a melody by Shreya Ghosal and Naresh Iyer, are huge draws everywhere.

2. "Vettayadu Vilayadu" - Music: Harris Jayaraj. The songs are doing extremely well, especially "Partha muthal" by Unni Menon and Bombay Jayashri.

3. "Vallavan" - Music Yuvan Shankar Raja. "Loose penne" sung by Silambarasan and Blaze is very much in demand.

4. "Something Something Unakkum Enakkum" - Music: Devisri Prasad. The film's success has got a lot to do with the album's popularity. All the songs are in demand with "Maane mane" in the lead.

5. "Thimiru" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. "Maana Madhurai" sung by Shankar Mahadevan is very popular all over Tamil Nadu.
'Vettaiyadu...' tops Tamil charts
By Aparna Nath,

Chennai, Sep 19 Even the arrival of the last Suriya-Jyothika starrer, "Jillunu Oru Kaadhal", has had no effect on the amazing run of "Vettaiyadu Vilayadu". The action thriller continues to top the charts.

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Vettaiyadu Vilayadu" - Director: Gowtham Menon. It may be described as a Kamal Haasan film but the credit for the film's success should go to its director Gowtham Menon.

2. "Jillunu Oru Kaadhal" - Director: Krishna. The movie was touted as the next biggie after "Vettaiyadu Vilayadu", but it is proving a damp squib after a great opening.

3. "Thimiru" - Director: Tarun Gopi. The film's success shows the power of marketing. Of course, it is a good action thriller, but excellent marketing by actor Vishal's family has made a huge difference to its popularity.

4. "Something Something Unakkum Enakkum" - Director: Raja. Like the Telugu original, the Tamil remake starring Jeyam Ravi and Trisha is breaking box-office records.

5. "Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi" - Director: Simbudevan. It continues to make people laugh everywhere.

Vikram's nostalgia

The audio release function of "Veyyil" was a nostalgia trip for versatile actor Vikram.

Speaking on the occasion, Vikram said the film's songs reminded him of his native place, Paramakkudi in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram district.

"It's 20 years since I visited the place. Every song made me nostalgic," he said.

Kamal Haasan was also born in Paramakkudi.



Suriya, Jyothika tie the knot
By Chitra Prakash,

Chennai, Sep 11 Popular Tamil and Telugu actors Suriya and Jyothika tied the knot at a scintillating function here Monday morning.

The long-awaited wedding came days after the release of their film "Jillunnu Oru Kaadhal". It is probably their last film together because Jyothika is planning to retire from
cinema after the marriage.

The guest list at the wedding and the reception read like a who's who of Chennai filmdom and public life.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who handed 'mangalasutra' to Suriya's father Sivakumar to be handed to the groom, was present with his nephew and union minister
Dayanidhi Maran.

Karunanidhi's arch-rival and former chief Minister J. Jayalalitha also attended the function and blessed the couple.

The reception was as much a star-studded affair as the wedding. Kamal Haasan, Sathyaraj, Vijay, Abbas and Jyothika's sister Nagma were among those present at the
reception, apart from prominent political leaders and personalities like Cho Ramaswamy.

Suriya and Jyothika's romance began with their first film "Poovellaam Kettuppaar" two years ago and their on-screen chemistry has been conspicuous ever since.

They repeated their magic in films like "Kaakha Kaakha" and "Perazhagan".

There had been talk of their off-screen affair, but they were strenuously denied, especially by Sivakumar, a star of yesteryears.

Sivakumar, who had reservations about the couple's marriage plans, eventually gave his consent and conducted the wedding in front of an august gathering.

The first star wedding of the South was between Gemini Ganesan and Savithri in the late 1950s. More recent was the memorable Ajith-Shalini wedding, after which the bride
gave up acting.
I haven't been bogged down by any image, says Madhavan (INTERVIEW)

Though he has been slotted as a lover boy, R. Madhavan begs to differ and says he has done only two such films. "I haven't been bogged down by any image. People do think of me as a lover boy. But I have done only two lover boy films so far. My first Tamil film 'Alai Payuthe' and my
first Hindi film 'Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein'. And now I'm into a genre I haven't done before, a thriller. I want 'Guru' to be massive hit," Madhavan told IANS. Apart from changing his on screen image, he is very keen to be a part of top-notch Bollywood filmmakers. "I want to work with Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and with Rakeysh Mehra again, if possible. But what I'm really kicked about is the variety of roles I've done so far." Madhavan is soon going to star in yet untitled Hindi and Tamil bilingual and is sporting a newly toned look for the film. "It's in the same genre as Manoj Shyamalan's 'The Sixth Sense'. But it has no gore, blood or violence. It's a very simple straightforward supernatural thriller...," said Madhavan, who may serve as the online producer of the project. He has also signed a one-year contract with a Tamil producer, Venkatesh.

Suriya, Jyothika to tie knot on 9/11

Putting at rest media speculation, popular Tamil and Telugu actors Suriya and Jyothika have decided to get married on 9/11! The couple will get married at a strictly private function, which will be followed by a public reception.  The announcement came from Sivakumar, Suriya's father and a yesteryear star who has been repeatedly denying rumours of their romance. Touted as the "star wedding of the decade" down south, it comes years after the marriage of Ajith, the racing enthusiast known chiefly for his romantic roles, and dreamy-eyed Shalini, remembered above all for "Alai Payuthe". However, these star weddings have come decades after the Gemini Ganesan-Savithri affair that filmgoers followed with interest then. There has been talk of a Suriya-Jyothika romance ever since they appeared together in their first film "Poovellaam Kettuppaar" two years ago. They made a striking pair and repeated their magic in films like "Kaakha Kaakha" and "Perazhagan".

'Unakkum Enakkum...' storms box office

Prabhu Deva directed the Telugu "Nuvvostante nenoddantana", which ran for several months and became a landmark film. Jeyam Raja decided to remake it in Tamil to salvage his younger brother Jeyam Ravi's sagging career. Like the Telugu original, the Tamil version has also stormed the box office.

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Unakkum Enakkum Something Something" - Director: Raja. This remake, as expected, has appealed to all those who love romantic comedies. Many doubted actor
Ravi's ability to match the sophistication of Siddharth, who did the Telugu original, but Ravi has hit it off as an NRI. And Trisha has come off better than in the original.

2. "Imsai Arasan 23rd Pulikesi" - Director: Simbudevan. People are still thronging theatres to see the film and laughing their hearts out. A blockbuster!
Rahman reigns again with 'Jillunnu...'

 It is after a long gap that a Tamil album by A.R. Rahman has hit the market. And predictably, Rahman fans are going crazy about it even though this
new offering may not be his best.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Jillunnu Oru Kathal" - Music: A.R. Rahman. Two songs have hit the marquee - "New York nagaram" sung by Rahman himself and "Munbe vaa" by Shreya Ghosal and
Naresh Iyer.

2. "Vallavan" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. Raja's latest album is a huge hit. It might even overtake Rahman's soon.

3. "Vettayadu Vilayadu" - Music: Harris Jayaraj. Though it is a classy album, the sales may pick up only after the film releases.

Bhagyaraj makes strong comeback with 'Parijatham'
Chennai, Director Bhagyaraj returns to the big screen after a long gap with "Parijatham". Nobody was quite sure whether he understood the pulse of today's audience, but the slow success of the movie, also a launch vehicle of his daughter Saranya, shows he is still a director to reckon with. 

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Parijatham" - Director: Bhagyaraj. This film starring Prithviraj and Saranya has a light, humorous and fun-filled first half and the audience seems to enjoy every moment of it. The only irritant is the entry of Bhagyaraj in the second half.

2. "Thalainagaram"- Director: Suraj. "Thalainagaram" was a mediocre film and no distributor was willing to touch it in the beginning, but something about it has struck a chord with the audiences. Now the film is listed as a hit. 

3. "Pudupettai" - Director: Selvaraghavan. Selvaraghavan's latest film continues to run in the theatres but it is not a patch on his earlier films.  ( Read full news )


'Vallavan' beats 'Vettayadu' in Tamil audio race

Chennai, Call it aggressive marketing or what you will, but the fact is that composer Yuvan Shankar Raja's latest album "Vallavan" has overtaken Harris Jayaraj's "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu". 

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Vallavan" - Music Director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. "Podu aattampodu" sung by Vijay Yesudas and "Loosu penne" by Silambarasan and Blaaze are chartbusters.

2. "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" - Music Director: Harris Jayaraj. The song track "Partha mudhal" by Bombay Jayashri and Unni Menon from "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" is still one of the most sought after on all music channels. However, nobody knows when the film will hit theatres.

3. "Imsai Arasan 23 am Pulikesi" - Music Director: Sabesh-Murali. The album is expected to reach the top slot after the release of the film, which is a laugh riot. The song "Aah aadiva padiva" by Manikka Vinayagam is a big hit.  
( Read full news )


Youth in India should enter politics: Tamil star Sarath Kumar (INTERVIEW)

Noted Tamil film actor-turned-politician Sarath Kumar believes that young people in India should increasingly enter politics and try to make a difference rather than just complaining about the nation's ills. ( Read full news )


Dhanush to act in Tamil remake of 'Jogi'
Bangalore, Dhanush and Ramya will play the lead pair in the Tamil remake of super-hit Kannada movie "Jogi", which set new box-office records last year. Fresh from the success of "Puduppettai", boyish Dhanush will enact the role of a village simpleton drawn unwittingly into a city mafia.For Ramya, who continues to have a good innings in Kannada cinema with recent hits like "Sevanthi Sevatnhi" and "Datta", this will be her biggest Tamil film so far. Earlier, she had acted in films like "Kuttu" with Silambarasan and "Giri" with Arjun.
  ( Read full news )


'Vettayadu Vilayadu' and Vallavan top Tamil album
Chennai, Nobody knows when "Vettayadu Vilayadu" will hit the stands. The only consolation for the producer is that the audio is a bit of a hit. Composer Yuvan Shankar Raja's "Vallavan" has not succeeded in overtaking "Vettayadu Vilayadu" in the last two weeks.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Vettayadu Vilayadu" - Music: Harris Jayaraj - "Partha mudhal" by Bombay Jayashri and Unni Menon is one of the most popular songs on the music channels.

2. "Vallavan" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja - The track "Podu Aattampodu" sung by Vijay Yesudas is currently the hot favourite. 

4. "Imsai Arasan Pulikesi 23rd" - Music: Sabesh-Murali - A new entrant in the list. The song "Aah aadiva padiva leda" by Manikka Vinayagam is slowly becoming a hit.  
( Read full news )
'Pudupettai' is biggest draw in Tamil box office
Chennai, Selvaraghavan's "Pudupettai" did not set the box office on fire like his previous two releases, "7 G Rainbow Colony" and "Kadhal Konden", yet it continues to be the top selling Tamil film -- mainly because of lack of competition. 

The top five Tamil films are:

2. "Parijatham" - Director: Bhagyaraj - "Parijatham" would have been a better film and bigger success if Bhagyaraj had not entered the film in the second half. Till then, the film had a clean, neat fun look. But Bhagyaraj, with his old brand of loud humour, spoilt everything in the second half. 

3. "Thalainagaram" - Director: Suraj - The moderate success of "Thalainagaram" must have boosted the ego of director-turned-actor Sundar C, better known as actress Khushboo's husband. 

4. "Naalai" - Director: Udayabanu Maheshwaran - If this film on Chennai underworld had come out earlier, everybody would have appreciated it. But it took a long time to hit the screens and by then people had seen "Pattiyal" -- and there is not much difference between the two films.
 ( Read full news )


New Delhi must help Sri Lankan Tamils: Vijayakanth
Chennai, Tamil actor and first-time legislator Vijayakanth has urged New Delhi to move Sri Lankan Tamils to safety in India on humanitarian grounds. 
( Read full news )

African safari for 'Priya Sakhi'
Chennai, After its huge success in Tamil Nadu, it has been an African safari for Tamil film "Priya Sakhi". The film, starring R. Madhavan and Sada and released here in July 2005, was taken earlier this year to South Africa, which has a sizeable population of Tamil origin. And the film with a Dubai backdrop enjoyed a good run in the rainbow country. 
( Read full news )
South Indian films set their sight on Cannes fest
Chennai, After becoming part of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards 2006, South Indian films are hoping to participate in the Cannes Film Festival next year. "Nobody talked of Tamil cinema in international festivals before," said Sanjay Wadhwa of ANAK Audios which has sold over 200,000 music cassettes of the Rajnikanth starrer "Chandramukhi" and is helping the IIFA team with its South Indian film segment. "Next year, cinema from South India will be part of the Indian contingent in Cannes," Wadhwa promised. 
( Read full news )
Indian cinema has to go beyond Bollywood: Vasu
Chennai, P. Vasu, whose Tamil hit "Chandramukhi" will open the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) festival in Dubai on June 14, feels the southern film industry has "much to offer" to Indian cinema. "Anyone espousing the cause of Indian cinema will have to go beyond Bollywood," says the director of the film, which stars Tamil superstar Rajnikanth. "Chennai is the birthplace of south Indian cinema," Vasu told IANS in a chat. And he promises that after the IIFA screening of "Chandramukhi", south Indian films "will be in great demand and very popular". Excerpts from the interview:

Q: Why don't actors from the south make it big in Bollywood? They also don't get many national awards.
A: It is not that they do not make it 'big'. When the industry in Bollywood grew, the language it adopted was Hindi, keeping in mind only the northern Indian audience. 

Q: What does an event like IIFA festival mean for the southern industry?
A: It is like a gathering of the alumni at the alma mater. We will all be there, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Madhavan and Vikram. After this first event, I can assure IIFA that films from south India will be in great demand and very popular. ( Read full news )


'Chandramukhi' to kick off IIFA's southern bouquet
Chennai, This year as many as 14 films from India's southern states will be screened at the 7th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Dubai starting June 14."The southern film festival will open with the Tamil movie "Chandramukhi" - a Rajnikanth starrer that grossed $2.5 million in overseas markets," Sabbas Joseph, director Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd said here today. Apart from "Chandramukhi", six more Tamil films will be screened at the festival - "Autograph", "Anniyan" (Vikram), "Ayutha Ezhuthu" (Surya), "Ghajini" (Surya), "Kannathil Muttamital" (R. Madhavan, Simran) and "Nayakan" (Kamala Haasan).Telugu and Malayalam films will also be showcased at the festivals. They are - "Rasathantram", "Thanmatra", "Tagore", "Pokiri", "Kazhcha" and "Rajamanickyam". "This time, we could not include any Kannada film in the festival but next time we promise to", said the organisers.The festival is touted as the Indian Oscars. 
( Read full news )


Mani-Madhavan team up again
Mumbai, Mani Ratnam has finally roped in blue eyed boy R. Madhavan for a parallel lead in his Hindi film "Guru", starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai in key roles. It's been one helluva musical chairs for Ratnam. After casting Abhishek in the title role in "Guru", there was a flurry of names considered and discarded for the other male lead - Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Viveik Oberoi and Madhavan to name a few.Madhavan had, in fact, been a hotly speculated name since he's been a favourite of Ratnam from the time the actor did his first Tamil film "Alai Payuthe" with him.
Director Sundar debuts as actor
Chennai, Well-known Tamil film director Sundar C., also known as film star Khushboo's husband, is making his debut as an actor.
Sundar, with hits like "Ullatthai Allitthaa" to his credit, plays the action hero in "Thalainagaram". His director is Suraj, who had worked under Sundar as an apprentice.Sundar plays the role of a henchman of an underworld don, Kasim Bhai. Fight sequences account for much of the role that fits with the impressive physique of the actor-director. Sundar's heroine in the film is Jyotirmayi from the Malayalam screen, who has made a mark in Tamil cinema with her popular dance numbers. This, however, is not the end of the road for Sundar as a director. He is to wield the megaphone for Khushboo's own production, "Rendu", with Madhavan in the lead role. 
The film's title, which means 'two', is said to be doubly significant. It will be Khushboo's second production after "Giri", and the second film for Madhavan under Sundar's direction after "Anbe Sivam".
Haasan in Ravichandran's rip-roaring comedy
Mumbai, The lukewarm response to Vikram starrer "Aparachit", a Hindi version of Tamil film "Anniyan", has not discouraged producer V. Ravichandran from planning his next big endeavour - "Dasavatharam".Ravichandran has teamed up with actor Kamal Haasan and director K.S. Ravikumar, who has to his credit some of the best-known Rajnikanth starrers, for this big-budget film scheduled to go on floors at the year-end."The film will have many firsts to its credits including the fact that for the first time Kamal Haasan is playing 10 different roles on screen. He is very excited about the role and is looking forward to it," said Ravichandran.Not many people are aware of the fact that Kamal volunteered to do this film after Ravichandran agreed to finance his orphaned project - "Vetayadu Vilayadu" - when its original producer Kaja Moideen went bankrupt and opted out of the film."Dasavatharam' incidentally is a rip-roaring satire, which will see Kamal playing George Bush, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and a few others.Crazy Mohan, who is known for his great sense of comedy, pens down the dialogues for the film. Ravichandran is trying to cash in on the success of duo Kamal-Ravikumar who gave hit comedies like "Tenali" and "Panchathanthiram" in the past.
Harris Jayaraj album rocks Tamil Nadu
Chennai, Harris Jayaraj is the flavour of the season with "Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu" becoming a rage among music lovers.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Vettayadu Vilayadu" - Music: Harris Jayaraj - The combination of Director Gowtham Menon and Harris Jayaraj once again works in the racy thriller. Love duet "Partha mudhal", sung by Bombay Jayashri and Unni Menon has become a huge hit.

4. "Thiruttu Payale" - Music: Bharadwaj - The movie is doing well; therefore the songs are working too. 

5. "Pudupettai" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja - As the release of the film approached, songs are again being played everywhere. 
'Pudupettai' leads the pack of Tamil films
Chennai, Director Selvaraghavan's "Pudupettai", one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year, has got an overwhelming opening and tops the list of Tamil hits. 

The top five Tamil films are: 

1. "Pudupettai" - Director: Selvaraghavan - The most eagerly awaited film but what a denouement! Though critics panned the film, it got a terrific opening and tops the list. However, everybody is unanimously saying that it is the biggest disappointment of 2006. 

2. "Thiruttu Payale" - Director: Susi Ganesan - "Thiruttu Payale" has been appreciated by all and sundry - both critics and masses liked the film. Despite new releases, it continues to hold its position on the list.

3. "Kokki" - Director: Prabhu Solomon - No publicity and no big stars, yet the film is a welcome relief from the mindless, unintelligent flicks coming out regularly. 

5. "Thalainagaram" - Director: Suraj - Director Sundar C, who is actress Khushboo's husband, debuts as a hero with the film which has turned out to be a disastrous launch vehicle for him. 

Khusbhoo pix: Supreme Court refuses editor pre-bail
New Delhi, The Supreme Court Monday dismissed an application by Maxim magazine editor Sunil Mehra seeking anticipatory bail in a criminal case against him for publishing an obscene morphed picture of Tamil actress Khushboo. A vacation bench of judges Arijit Pasayat and R.V. Raveendran dismissed Mehra's appeal against an April 17 Madras High Court order rejecting his plea for anticipatory bail. Khushboo had filed a criminal complaint against Mehra for defaming her and damaging her reputation by publishing her photographs. A case was registered against Mehra and others on the basis of this complaint.  
( Read full news )

'Thiruttu Payale' tops among Tamil films
Chennai, In the absence of big releases, Susi Ganesan's latest offering "Thiruttu Payale", a typical masala film, continues to have a good run at the box office. 

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Thiruttu Payale" - Director: Susi Ganesan. A former assistant of Mani Ratnam, Ganesan has come out with the biggest hit of his career. 

2. "Tirupathi" - Director: Perarasu. The film is still running because of Ajit who plays the male lead. Otherwise, "Tirupathi" is one of the biggest disappointments of 2006.

3. "AIBI" - Director: Vijay Milton. This love story from Cheran's production house is a big let down. 

4. "Pattiyal" - Director: Vishnuvardhan. Sure, "Pattiyal" is the biggest success of 2006, though collections have started sliding down. Great days ahead for the young Vishnuvardhan. 

5. "Pachakkuthirai" - Director: Parthipan. Whatever critics may say about the film, it is doing well in small towns.


'Vaala Meenukkum' still on top
Chennai, Even after a month, the song "Vaala Meenukkum....", rendered by Gana Ulaganathan, continues to entertain music lovers in Tamil Nadu. 

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Chithiram Pesuthadi" - Music: Sundar C. Babu. No other song has been able to usurp Gana Ulaganathan's song on the marriage of fish, "Vaala Meenukkum..." As a result it is still at the top. 

2. "Vettayadu Vilayadu" - Music: Harris Jayaraj. So far the Goutham Menon-Harris Jayaraj team has not given any flops and their latest venture "Vettayadu Vilayadu", which is a big success, continues the trend. 

3. "Azhagai Irukkirai Bayamai Irukkirathu" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. Another hit from Yuvan. Though the film is disappointing, the album is enthralling music lovers.

4. "Godfather" - Music: A.R. Rahman. After a long gap, a Rahman album has recharged the market.

5. "Pattiyal" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. The film is a huge success and so is the album. 

I'm touched by response to 'Pattiyal': Vishnuvardhan (INTERVIEW)
Chennai, Acclaimed Tamil director Vishnuvardhan admits he never expected his film "Pattiyal" to be such a runaway success. It continues to woo audiences even after crossing the 40-day mark at city theatres.  "I knew the film had a distinct flavour. But the stupendous response it evoked has been really touching," Vishnuvardhan said while speaking about his directorial ventures, films and philosophy. The young director, who entered films as a child artiste, has evolved into a director with a stamp of his own. Although "Kurumbu", a remake from Telugu, was his first film, it was "Arindum Ariyamalum" which brought him into the league of outstanding directors of the new generation.  Vishnuvardhan also acted in Mani Ratnam's "Iruvar" and Santosh Sivan's "Terrorist" while still in college and he says that he is hugely inspired by the two directors.

A: I became an actor when I was in my seventh standard! While Mani Ratnam was looking out for young talents for his Anjali, our schoolteachers excitedly recommended me and my brother for the screen test. Of the 500 contestants, only a few were chosen. And we were in it. The shooting sessions were fun, with unlimited supply of chocolates and ice creams. That was when I decided to be an actor forever! 

A: I was influenced and inspired by the works of Mani Ratnam and Santosh Sivan. Watching them create magic on screen fascinated me and I wanted to learn filmmaking. While working for "Terrorist", I expressed my desire to Santosh Sivan. Sensing my sincerity he accepted me as an apprentice. I observed everything that went on behind and around the camera, from the positioning of the lights and directing the artistes and arranging the frames and sets, to the finer points of correcting the artistes. I stayed back even to clean the sets. When Santosh Sivan invited me to be an associate for "Malli", "Fisa" and "Ashoka", I was overjoyed.
. ( Read full news )


'Thiruttu Payale' will emerge as a real winner
Chennai, The verdict on Tamil New Year releases is out. Ajith's "Tirupathi" is holding number one position right now, but in the long run Susi Ganesan's "Thiruttu Payale" will emerge as the real winner. 

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Tirupathi" - Director: Perarasu - If Perarasu thinks he can rehash one story thrice and people will still lap it up, he is wrong. The Tamil audience has rejected "Tirupathi", a rehash of "Thirupachi" and "Sivakasi". It got a fantastic opening because of Ajith but after that the collections fell drastically.

2. "Thiruttu Payale" - Director: Susi Ganesan - The success of "Thiruttu Payale" and "Pattiyal" proves that if a film is well-made audiences will accept it. The word of mouth publicity has worked wonders for this taut thriller.

3. "AIBI" - Director: Vijay Milton - This love story from Cheran's production house is a big letdown. There is nothing in the film to lure the audience.

5. "Pachakuthirai" - Director: Parthipan - Conscientious filmgoers may ask whether this is the same Parthipan who made films like "Houseful". But this sleazy flick, which shows actress Namitha's flesh in abundance, is a huge draw in B and C centres and producer Parthipan has made good money. ( Read full news )
'Vaala Meenukum' has become voter-wooing song
Chennai, "Vaala Meenukum velangu meenukum kalyanam" continues to be the song of Tamil Nadu, especially with elections round the corner. It is heard at all election meetings. 

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Chithiram Pesuthadi" - Music: Sundar C. Babu - It has been several weeks since the "Vaala meenukum velangu meenukum kalayam" hit the market but it is still the most wanted song. With the song, composer Sundar C. Babu and Gana Ulaganathan have become the most-talked-about people in Tamil Nadu. 

2. "Vettayadu vilayadu" - Music: Harris Jayaraj - As it is the Gowtham Menon-Harris Jayaraj combination, everybody is expecting another "Kaakha kaakha" and Harris Jayaraj has not disappointed his fans. The song "Partha mudhal" by Bombay Jayshree and Unni Menon is a huge hit. 

4. "Azhagai irukiren bayamai irukirathu" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja - Yuvan Shankar Raja has amazed everyone with his music. Even his father was not as prolific as him. The fact is most of his albums are a hit. The latest is "AIBI". 

5. "Godfather" - Music: A.R. Rahman - Everybody says it takes time for a Rahman album to grow on you. The "Godfather" album is yet to reach the topmost slot. 
Vijayakanth: drumming his way into Dravidian politics
Vriddhachalam (Tamil Nadu), Drums herald the rise of a new star on the horizon of Dravidian politics. The man is matinee idol Vijayakanth, often called "karpaga (dark) MGR".

After M.G. Ramachandran, silver screen stalwarts like Sivaji Ganesan, Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan have fought shy of politics, but not rural Tamil Nadu's idol, Vijayakanth. His party, the DMDK, was allotted its "drum" symbol just about a week ago.

His fan following does not stretch abroad. He became popular with films like "Captain Prabhakaran". His movies "Amman Koil" and "Chinna Gounder" have made him a star among the agrarian communities like Gounders.

Last winter, when Vijayakanth floated the DMDK, it was dismissed as yet another "kazhagam" (party). But for the assembly polls May 8, the DMDK has fielded 234 candidates for the 2006 assembly elections.

When the sick and the old gather around under margossa and banyan trees at the government general hospital here, the palliative he brings to them is the promise of an alternative.

Speaking to IANS on his campaign trail, Vijayakanth said he was sure of winning 65 seats. Analysts predict 24 seats at least that could be the "deciding factor" in forming the next government.

Vijayakanth says his party will cut across the caste-based voting that Dravidian parties like the DMK, PMK and AIADMK have so long depended upon.

"We have selected each candidate on the basis of his/her ability and the one who is most suited for the area," he says, adding that the DMDK has fielded 13 Muslim candidates.

Vijayakanth's personal decision to contest from this Vanniya community heartland and PMK stronghold startled even his well-wishers. The MLA from Vriddhachalam is PMK's R. Govindasamy and the area MP is E. Ponnusamy, another PMK strongman.

More title trouble for 'Tirupathi'
By R.G. Vijayasarathy, Indo-Asian News Service

Bangalore, April 24 (IANS) Ajith starrer Tamil film "Tirupathi", directed by Perarasu, may have enjoyed a good opening in Tamil Nadu and abroad, but it is yet to be released in Karnataka.

What is more, the film's release may be delayed by three to six months. 

The film is facing title trouble again. Earlier a plea to stay film's release in Tamil Nadu, on the ground that same title is registered by another company with the Film Producers' Association, has been dismissed by a court.

The film, which was released on April 13 in Tamil Nadu, could not be screened in Karnataka on the scheduled date because all cinema halls in the state were closed to mourn the death of Kannada icon Rajkumar. 

Though the theatres reopened on April 14, no new film was released except the Hollywood offering "Basic Instinct II". Film distributors unanimously decided to postpone the screening of new films by a week.

But "Tirupathi" is also in trouble because another Kannada film with the same title is also ready for release.

Director Shivamani has wrapped up the shooting of Sudeep-starrer "Tirupathi" in Kannada and post-production work is almost complete. Produced by Ramaswamy, the film is slated to hit screens some time in May. 

Producer R.S. Gowda has complained to the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce that the screening of the Tamil "Tirupathi" before his film's release may affect his box office collections.

Gowda has also said that the same title may create some confusion in the viewers' minds.

According to a precedent, if a Kannada film and a non-Kannada one share the same title, then the benefit of earlier release would go to the Kannada film.

The Kannada film "Sree" was released earlier in spite of the fact that the Telugu "Sree" was ready for release before it.

Vettayadu Vilayadu and Godfather Tamil film songs Audio
'Vaala meenukum' enchants Tamil music lovers
Chennai, The craze over "Vaala meenukum velangu meenukum kalyanam" ceases to die down. Tamil singer Gana Ulaganathan has become such a celebrity with that one wedding song that people mob him wherever he goes. 

Here's a look at the top Tamil albums:

2. "Pattiyal" (Yuvan Shankar Raja): The film is a super-hit and so is the song "Dae namma" sung by Vijay Yesudas.

3. "Vettayadu Vilayadu" (Harris Jayaraj): The Gowtham Menon-Harris Jayaraj combination had an amazing hit in "Kaakha Kaakha". It appears the combo will repeat the magic in this one too. The song "Partha mudhal" by Bombay Jayashree and Unni Menon is a huge hit. 

4. "Tirupathi" (Bharadwaj): The music for this Ajit film is no different from Thirupachi and Sivakasi, scored by the same composer. 

5. "Godfather" (A.R. Rahman): Unlike Rahman's earlier albums, this one is taking time to catch up. Till Tami Nadu comes out of the 'Vaala meenukum' spell, no other album can make an impact. 
( Read full news )

'Pattiyal' proves to be a super-hit
Chennai, "Pattiyal" is the first on this fortnight's list of top Tamil films. 

It is so big a success that the Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Council is citing it to uphold its decision not to give clippings of new films and songs to TV channels for promotional purposes. Here are the top five films:

1. "Pattiyal" (Dir: Vishnuvardhan): A sleekly made, beautifully photographed film with a very strong storyline, this is the biggest hit of 2006 so far. 

3. "Mercury Pookal" (Dir. S.S. Stanley): This film, starring Srikanth and Meera Jasmine, did not set the box office on fire but among the current crop of films, it is doing average business.

5. "Kalaivanin Kathali" (Dir. Thamilvaanan): This is one of the major hits of Nayanthara in Tamil in recent times. But she is slowly moving to Telugu where she had a bigger hit, "Lakshmi". 
( Read full news )

Tirupathi, Thiruttuppayale, Pachchakkudhirai Tamil films for new year
Chennai, With the campaigns for the upcoming Tamil Nadu assembly elections stealing the show, the cinematic celebration of the Tamil New Year will be a tame affair. This year "Tirupathi" is the only film that boasts of a star. But Ajith, who plays the main lead in the film, is not as big a star as Rajnikanth or Kamal. The second out of the six films is "Thiruttuppayale", produced by Kalpathi S. Agoram and directed by Susi Ganesan. The director has two films to his credit - "Virumbugiren" and "Five Star". The third film is "Pachchakkudhirai", directed by Partiban - a director with a difference, whose intriguingly titled film "Kudaikkul Mazhai" flopped. 
His new film has him and Namita as the lead pair. It is the tale of a playboy who seduces many women, finally finding his match in the heroine. Differently titled again is "Azhagai Irukkirai, Bayammai Irukkiradhu" starring Bharat and Mallika Kapoor. Vijay Milton directs this eternal triangular story. The two small-budget films are "Nilavinile" and "Thullura Vauasu". ( Read full news )

'Tirupathi' in title trouble
Chennai, Yet another Tamil film is in trouble over its title. Producer A. Suresh of K.A.K Films has challenged the title of director Perarasu's "Tirupathi" in court on grounds that he had already acquired exclusive rights to use it. In a petition filed in the Chennai City Civil Court, Suresh says his company registered the title "Tirupathi" for a film to be produced with the Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Association. The petition says that after registering the title, the company had already spent Rs.450,000 on preparations for the film's production under the direction of Krithik. The petition contends that the use of the title for the Ajith-starrer is therefore "unlawful". It has urged the court to give a stay order on the release of the film. The case is expected to come up for hearing in the court soon."Tirupathi", which has Ajith in the title role, was scheduled to hit screens on Tamil New Year Day, April 14. The big-banner AVM is producing it.
( Read full news )
Chennai's cinema lovers want world film festivals
Chennai, Chennai's cinema enthusiasts want special support from the Tamil Nadu government to organise world film festivals in the city - the second most prolific centre of film production in India after Mumbai. The Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation (ICAF) and International Tamil Film Academy (ITFA) said that to organise film festivals on a larger scale regularly they need sufficient funding from the state government. From 1978 to 1991 the city used to host major world film festivals with official participation. Later on ICAF and ITFA took initiatives to organise smaller festivals. Representatives of the two bodies pointed out that with the state government help international festivals were organised in other states every year, and Goa had even won the status of a permanent venue for such festivals. According to ICAF general secretary E. Thangaraj, each festival cost his organisation a minimum of Rs.2.5 million. "Last year the government sponsored the festival. It should fund these festivals the way its counterparts in Kerala and West Bengal are doing," Thangaraj told
( Read full news )
Once beaten but not shy, Shekher campaigns in Mylapore
Chennai, "I am a local boy," says S. Ve. Shekher, the AIADMK candidate in the Mylapore assembly constituency of Chennai who is also a film star and comedian."The battle here is between the local residents and the DMK," he declares, though Chennai city is considered a citadel of the main opposition party.His opponent is the DMK's D. Napolean, a popular actor and legislator from the Villivakkam constituency, north of Chennai, in the Thiruvallur district. In the 2001 assembly polls, Shekher contested against the same candidate in Villivakkam as an independent candidate, getting less than 400 votes. Napolean polled nearly 200,000 votes.
( Read full news )


Bhagyaraj walks out of AIADMK, joins DMK
Chennai, Tamil actor and film director K. Bhagyaraj - known as the heir of 70s matinee idol and late founder of AIADMK M.G. Ramachandran - Wednesday joined rival party DMK. He met DMK president M. Karunanidhi and formally joined the party in the presence of actors Napolean and Thyagu on Wednesday. Justifying his switchover, Bhagyaraj said: "The faithful followers of M.G.R. in the AIADMK are sidelined, blacked out and eventually driven out."  He listed the names of K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, Hande and Rajaram, "all faithful followers of MGR", who have been forced to leave the AIADMK.
( Read full news )

Vijaykanth accuses AIADMK, DMK of 'sop politics'
Kancheepuram Popular Tamil film star Vijaykanth, founder president of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, Sunday began his election campaign in the Kanchipuram district, lambasting both the AIADMK and DMK for promoting "free-gift culture" and "politics of lies".
 ( Read full news )

'Pattiyal' the pick of Tamil films
Chennai, Vishnuvardhan's "Pattiyal", a film about two orphans turning into hired killers, has had a bumper opening and continues to rock theatres in Tamil Nadu. ( Read full news )

Gana Ulaganathan the new musical god in Tamil Nadu
Chennai, "Vaazha meenukkum", sung by Gana Ulaganathan in "Chithiram Pesuthadi", is the biggest Tamil audio hit these days.

2. "Pattiyal" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. Many new albums were released in the last few weeks but all were beaten out by one song - "Vaazha meenukkum". However, "Dae namma", a rendition by Vijay Yesudas is also making waves among music lovers.

3. "Tirupathi" - Music: Bharadwaj. The music of this Ajith starrer is no different from "Thirupachi" and "Sivakasi". What more do you expect Bharadwaj to do for a typical Perarasu film?

4. "Pudupettai" - Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja. "Pudupettai" is still going strong, however, the release date of the film is still under wraps. 
( Read full news )

Animals no more seen in south Indian cinema
Chennai, Elephants saving damsels in distress, cobras punishing cruel villains, monkeys in the company of comedians and tigers being tamed by heroes. Until recently, all these were recurring images on the Tamil and Telugu screens.  ( Read full news )


Visually challenged musician strikes a new chord

Chennai, Is there any Tamil filmgoer whose heart has not been touched by the song sequence "Ovvoru pookkalume" in "Autograph" or the Telugu version of the track "Mounamgaane" ("Na Autograph")? The song for the visually challenged and other disabled featuring Sneha (in Tamil) and Bhoomika (in Telugu) - with the blind lead singer of Chennai-based orchestra Raagapriya M.C. Komagan - continues to dominate the countdown shows on television channels. 
And now Komagan is set for a new role that will boost the morale of the disabled even more than the song -- by becoming probably the first visually challenged music director in Tamil cinema. 
Director Benjamin has roped in Komagan to compose music for his film "Mudal Mudalaay" ("For the First Time") starring newcomers Mahesh and Madhu in lead roles.
( Read full news )

Tamil film reunites estranged couple
Chennai, In a case of real life imitating reel life, an estranged couple was brought together by the recently released Tamil movie "Mercury Pookkal".The film deals with a young man and woman forced into a life together by an arranged marriage. The two fall in love but their reluctance to acknowledge the fact creates problems that the rest of the film resolves. Popular actor Srikanth plays grumpy groom Karthik while Meera Jasmine plays bride Anbuchelvi. Their roles in the film reunited Murugan and Saraswati here after a separation of two years. As part of his promotion campaign, the film's producer, Bharati Reddy, presented a gold chain and a ring to the couple.

( Read full news )


'Chithiram Pesuthadi' is a surprise winner
Chennai, The re-release success of debutant director Mishkin's "Chithiram Pesuthadi" has surprised the Tamil film industry.  When the film first hit the screens sans publicity it sank in the first week itself. But noted producer Oscar Ravichandrn saw great potential in the film and decided to re-release it with a lot of publicity. And the film has struck gold at the box office. 

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Chithiram Pesuthadi" - Director: Mishkin - The success of this film shows that any good product can fail if it's not marketed well. Oscar Ravichandran came as a messiah for director Mishkin and newcomers Narain and Bhavana, both well-known in Kerala. 

2. "Kalvanin Kadhali" - Director: Tamilvaanan - The film had a great opening and was holding a top position till "Chithiram Pesuthadi" was re-released. 

3. "Dishyum" - Director: Sasi - "Dishyum" has proved to be a success only in the cities. Anyway the film has made good profit.


Narain happy "Chithiram Pesuthadi" is a hit
Chennai, Narain, hero of the runaway Tamil hit "Chithiram Pesuthadi", is elated that his ultimate dream to be an actor has paid off. The success of his debut Tamil film has already bagged him another prestigious project - Thankarbachan's "Pallikoodam". Narain, known as Sunil Kumar till recently, acted in a few prestigious Malayalam projects before turning to the Tamil industry.
"My dream was cinema and my ultimate passion, acting. But I lacked the courage even to mention it," Narain told in an interview. In "Chithiram Pesuthadi", Narain plays Thiru - a lovable village ruffian."Mishkin (director) gave me the right break in Tamil. And Tamil audiences have been wonderful. I am sure Thankarbachan's 'Pallikoodam' will also be a great treat," the soft-spoken actor said. Narain had started his acting career with Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Malayalam film "Nizhalkuthu". He injected freshness and naturalness in his performances in Jayaraj's "4 The People" and Satyan Anthikad's "Achuvinte Amma". 
( Read full news )

Tamil actor Ajith hopes 'Tirupathi' will clinch makeover
Chennai, Actor Ajith is keeping his fingers crossed that his new film "Tirupathi" will seal an image makeover he began with "Paramasivan". Scheduled for release April 14, "Tirupathi" has been directed by Perarasu, who also directed "Thirupachi" and "Sivakasi", both big hits starring Vijay. Like Vijay, say industry sources, Ajith is hoping to gain a mass appeal across Tamil Nadu with the film. As with "Thirupachi" and "Sivakasi", "Tirupathi" is named after a place, now a talisman for Perarasu. The film, however, is not set in the pilgrimage town of Tirupati. The film's title is the hero's name. 
( Read full news )

Stars shine brighter in Tamil Nadu
Chennai, The assembly poll in Tamil Nadu in May is likely to see more Tamil movie stars in the fray than ever before. And that may not be much of a surprise in a state that gave India its first actor-turned-chief minister in M.G. Ramachandran, or MGR as he was popularly known. The one actor who has a clear aversion to politics is Kamal Haasan, who says modestly: "I don't have the time or inclination to enter politics." Ahead of the polls, some politicians are trying to turn into actors. Superstar Rajnikanth may fight shy of politics after siding with the DMK in the 1996 assembly elections in an anti-corruption crusade that saw the defeat of the government of J. Jayalalitha, herself a former movie star. Jayalalitha returned to power in 2001 and now faces a tough challenge to retain power. 
( Read full news )
Madhavan takes cudgels on behalf of Salman
Mumbai, In Madhavan's new Tamil film, the reference to Salman Khan is obvious. "This is a country where you get jailed for cutting a tree but get away after cutting someone's neck... And you could be hanged for killing a deer and go scot-free after killing a human being," he says playing the title role. Every time Madhavan speaks the above lines, the audiences simply go ballistic.The lines make a direct reference to the cult of celeb-bashing and the loopholes in the judicial system that allow the real culprits to get away with murder. 
( Read full news )
Vijaykanth's new film woos viewers - and voters
Chennai, "Sudesi" starring Vijaykanth is a throwback to the 1950s and 60s, and brings back memories of legendary actor and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M.G. Ramachandran to old-timers. Vijaykanth, 'Captain' to his flock, floated a new political party, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), seven months ahead of the assembly elections in May. He has now come out with his propaganda film two months before the polls. On screen he has always tried to be the dark complexioned descendant of MGR, as Ramachandran was popularly known. He has been a celluloid saviour of the masses, including damsels in distress. In most of his roles, he has sought to identify himself with rural Tamil Nadu. "Sudesi" tells the story of a patriotic citizen who happens to acquire a CD that records the role of a villainous chief minister in a murder. The politician moves heaven and earth and mobilises hoodlums to recover the CD. 

 ( Read full news )


I want to become a complete actor, says Madhavan
Bangalore, Madhavan, Tamil cinema's favourite lover boy, is in search of a new image that will let him do roles oriented for mass audiences. Recently in Bangalore to attend the premiere of his latest release "Thambi", he talked about his desire for an image makeover. "I want to become a complete actor. 'Thambi' certainly shows a face of mine, which has not been seen before. 

Madhavan lonely crusader in 'Thambi' Review
Film: "Thambi"; Cast: Madhavan, Pooja; Director: Seeman; Rating: **

Madhavan has done action films before. But this time he pulls out all stops. Hair falling to his shoulders, eyes not blinking and teeth clenched in a snide smirk, he plays the lonely crusader with passion and sincerity.Director Seeman's rhetorical romp into the range of the action star is staged with precise movements of the hero's limbs. The narrative follows suit, though not the entire way.The plot gives the crusader a street-wise swagger and some brilliant lines about social injustice. But the characters are all cardboard representatives of the crime pages of newspapers. Emaciated victims, peasants and urchins posturing pathetically to enhance the hero's messianic image.In the midst of all the sound and fist signifying the fury of a self-appointed reformist, Thambi (Madhavan) finds the time to romance the dancer-heroine (Pooja). Comic touches are also insinuated into the script through the hero's sidekick, and the action sequences are shot with clenched conviction.

Tamil films going through bad phase
Chennai, Dogged by a bad patch, the Tamil film industry saw most February releases, except S.J. Surya's "Kalvanin Kadhali.", faring miserably at the box office.

"Dishyum" starring Jeeva and Sandhya fared reasonably.

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Kalvanin Kadhali" - Director: Thamilvaanan. The film's great opening reiterates that actor Surya has a large fan following. We cannot forget Nayanthara's image as the most glamorous actress in southern India now. This film performed well at the box office in February.

2. "Dishyum" - Director: Sasi. The average success of "Dishyum" shows that there are different audiences for different kinds of films. What has affected most of the films released in February was lack of publicity.

3. "Thambi" - Director: Seeman. It was a big blow to actor Madhavan that none of his recent releases did well. He tried to establish himself as an action hero with "Thambi", but it didn't work because the audience liked his lover-boy image better, though he is not a boy any more. Therefore his fans refused to accept him as a rustic ruffian.

4. "Kalaba Kadhala" - Director: Igore. Arya is being touted as the next big thing in Tamil. Unlike his other films, "Kalaba Kadhala" failed to set the box office on fire. The average success of "Kalaba Kadhala" has almost finished actress Renuka Menon's career in Tamil films. She is the only Malayalam actress who has not tasted success in Tamil.

Yuvan Shankar Raja on top of Tamil music charts
Chennai, Yuvan Shankar Raja continues to rule the Tamil film music scene with his classy numbers. After "Pudupettai" and "Kalvanin Kadhali", his latest hit is "Pattiyal".

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Pattiyal" - Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. "Pattiyal" is about two young men, and the audio also is aimed at youngsters. Simply put, the music of "Pattiyal" rocks.

2. "Kalvanin Kadhali" - Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. The film has hit bull's eye and the music is also topping the charts. The song "Eno kangal" sung by Yuvan and Sadhana Sargam is very popular among the youngsters.

3. "Pudupettai" - Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. There is still some time for release of the film but the album is already rocking.

4. "Poi" - Music director: Vidyasagar. "Poi" is K. Balachander's 101st film, which targets youngsters. Naturally the album has a lot of peppy numbers. 
( Read full news )


Tamil film producers to sue Sun Network
Chennai, The Tamil Film Producers' Council has decided to sue the Sun Television Network for Rs.20 billion for alleged misuse of film clippings. The council has 200-odd members.

Council secretary A.L. Azhagappan said in a press statement: "For the past 12 years, the Sun TV Network (comprising 14 TV channels in four South Indian states) has been airing our trailers, songs and clippings on various programmes on their channels." 

He added: "The Tamil channels, Sun TV, KTV, Sun Music and Suriyan FM have been telecasting film-based programmes free of cost for more than a decade. This has resulted in a loss of Rs.20 billion to producers, distributors, exhibitors and the Film Employees Federation of South India."

The council action came following complaints from distributors that collections from star-studded Pongal time releases were low because of the constant airing of new songs on television, despite council guidelines in force for the last two years.

"Only the Sun Network has refused to abide by our guidelines and they continue to misuse the rights given to Indian channels," producer Kayaar told the media.

The council said that Sun Network has been claiming 99-year rights over clippings user rights bought for just 90 days.

Television networks like the Sun had bought only the Indian rights but aired songs with visuals, trailers and clippings on channels it has in the US, Australia, Singapore Malaysia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. 
( Read full news )

Five Tamil films woo a romantic audience
Chennai, Of the dozen new Tamil films released this month, almost half are romantic offerings in keeping with the spirit of Valentine's Day, which fell Feb 14.

The five films that capture the flavour of romance are "Dishyum", "Idhaya Thirudan", "Amritham", "Poi", and "Kalaba Kadhalan".

"Dishyum" (Tamilised 'dishoom' - the sound of a blow connecting) is about a boxing bout between two hearts. The title also refers to the fact that the hero (Jeeva) is a boorish stuntman who hits it off with a well-educated heroine (Sandhya).

"Idhaya Thirudan" is also about opposites - actors Jayam Ravi and Kamna Jethmalani attracting each other. The heroine is a granddaughter of eminent lawyer and politician Ram Jethmalani.

"Amritham" is about an orthodox Brahmin girl - Navya Nair of "Azhagiya Theeye" fame - being transformed into a modern empowered eve by hero Ganesh. 

The message of "Poi" (lie), say the advertisements, is that "love is a sweet lie". The film, which represents a comeback bid by pioneering director K. Balachander, has Uday Kiran and former beauty queen Vimala in the lead.

Fortnight of flops on Tamil screen
Chennai, There was a spate of releases in February to coincide with Valentine's Day, but not a single film - except of course "Dishyum" - did well at the box office. It is indeed a bad time for the Tamil film industry. 

Here's a look at the top five:

1. "Dishyum" (Dir. Sasi): This love story between a stuntman in films and a sculptor has appealed to the young audience. What worked for the film are the novelty in the story and treatment, and good acting by Jeeva and Sandhya. 

2. "Paramasivan" (Dir. P. Vasu): Because "Paramasivan" is a hit, there is a lot of excitement in the market about Ajith's next release "Godfather", a film everybody thought was dead! "Godfather" has Asin, the most happening actress of today.

3. "Idhaya Thirudan" (Dir. Saran): This romantic action film from K. Balachander's banner Kavithalaya has Jeyam Ravi and Kamna Jethmalani in the lead role. But what Saran has served is old wine in old bottle and no wonder the film flopped. Bad time for Jeyam Ravi!

5. "Kodambakkam" (Dir. Jagganji): Everybody expected this film with unknown faces to disappear the way it appeared but the novelty in the story - about the film industry - has made it an average success.
( Read full news )
Waiting for Rahman while Yuvan scores again
Chennai, Yuvan Shankar Raja is still rocking with "Pudupettai" and "Kalvanin Kadhali". Not far behind is Vidyasagar with "Thambi" and "Poi". But the album that is eagerly awaited is A.R. Rahman's "Godfather". 

1. "Kalvanin Kadhali" (Yuvan Shankar Raja): The song sung by Yuvan and Sadhana Sargam - "Eno kangal" - is a huge hit with youngsters. This album is sure to be a bigger hit once the film releases. 

2. "Pudupettai" (Yuvan Shankar Raja): What can one write about "Pudupettai" again and again? The album may figure in this list even after the film releases in April. It surely has class. 

3. "Poi" (Vidyasagar): The audio launch of K. Balachander's 101st film was one of the biggest events of 2006 with Kamal Haasan and Rajnikant attending it. The wide coverage in the papers has given a lot of publicity to this sweet album. 

4. "Thambi" (Vidyasagar): This is a new entrant and again, the music is by Vidyasagar. It seems the Tamil music industry has only two composers: Yuvan and Vidyasagar! The song "Poovanathil maram" by Jayachadran and Swarnalatha is topping the charts. ( Read full news )

Khushboo claims Rs.30 mn in damages from Maxim
Chennai, Tamil actress Khushboo Wednesday claimed Rs.30 million in damages from the publishers of the Indian edition of British magazine Maxim for carrying a morphed picture that depicted her in a bikini.

Maxim was given three weeks to "pay up" or it would face a defamation suit, Khushboo told reporters. The actress has also ruled out an out-of-court settlement.

Khushboo's confrontation with Maxim has reached a point of no return with her rejection of the magazine's apology as "entirely inadequate". 

"Damage has already been done to my image and reputation and it is irreparable and irreversible," she said.

Khushboo said no one from Maxim's publishers had come to meet her and her information was that they feared arrest in Tamil Nadu. "A mediator had come," a visibly charged Khushboo said. "If they don't pay up, let them face the court."
 ( Read full news )


Chennai star night recreates scenes from golden oldies
Chennai, Bhanupriya dancing atop a drum like the T.R. Rajakumari in "Chandralekha". Kamal Haasan singing his ever-moving "Then pandi cheemaiyile" from "Nayakan". Prakash Raj doing a Sivaji Ganesan to the tune of "Enge Nimmadhi". 

A wildly cheering audience was treated to all this and more late Sunday evening at Jeppiar Engineering College ground on the outskirts of the city. 

The dream merchants of the Tamil film industry got together to stage Netru Indru Naalai (Yesterday Today Tomorrow), a stunning song-and-dance fund-raiser for the NGO Banyan that takes care of mentally challenged women.

The show, directed by veteran director Mani Ratnam, had stars like Kamal, R. Madhavan, Prakash, Vineeth, Silambarasan, Revathy, Simran, Sada, Shriya and others singing and dancing to carefully choreographed numbers from the pre-Independence era of Tamil cinema to the 1990s. 

As the 10,000-strong young college crowd tapped and swayed to the golden oldies, it was the lighting by Rajiv Menon and stunning sets by Sabu Cyril that held the attention.

Banyan, set up 13 years ago by two city college graduates, Vaishnavi and Vanda, has so far provided shelter and medicare to 1,500 women. As many as 800 of them have been fully or partially cured and sent to their families across the country.

Actors like Revathy have for long been associated with Banyan's welfare measures. Star Vijay and Madras Roundtable sponsored the show along with a dozen corporate houses. 

 ( Read full news )


Yuvan's 'Pudupettai' is the top Tamil album
Chennai, There is only one word to describe Yuvan Shankar Raja's "Pudupettai" album - 'terrific'. He has not composed such great music in the recent times. The album has returned to occupy the top position again. 

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Pudupettai" - Music Director: Yuvan Shankar Raja - Yuvan has judiciously mixed symphony, 'koothu' and rap in the album, and the best in the lot, of course, are the melodious classy songs. 

Director Selvaraghavan said in an interview that they took a gamble while composing the symphony. The gamble has paid off. 

2. "Paramasivan" - Music Director: Vidyasagar - The album is doing brisk business because the movie is a hit. Otherwise, there is nothing exceptional about the audio.

4. "Aathi" - Director: Vidyasagar - An average album but "Olli olli udamba" by Karthik and Anuradha Sriram is quite popular and is being played by all the radio channels.

5. "Kalaivanin Kathali" - Director: Yuvan Shankar Raja - This album is sure to be a big hit once the film releases but it is not as classy as "Pudupettai". ( Read full news )
Ajit's 'Paramasivan' beats Vijay's 'Aathi'
Chennai, The top five films remain the same because there weren't any releases after Pongal. 

Ajith, whose "Paramasivan" has become a huge hit, has overtaken his rival Vijay, whose "Aathi" is doing below average business. 

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Paramasivan"; Director: P.Vasu - This is Vasu's latest film after the hugely successful "Chandramukhi". But this Ajith starrer can't repeat the same success story. But Vasu can take pride in giving Ajith a much-needed hit. 

2. "Aathi"; Director: Ramana - Such a violent film was not expected to go down well with the audience, and it has not. Another failure faced by Vijay's father, who is the producer of the film.

4. "Saravana"; Director: K.S. Ravi Kumar - A remake of a Telugu film, "Saravana" failed to attract audiences. It is a setback for lead actor Simbu aka Silamabarasan. 

5. Sandakozhi; Director: Lingusamy - Like "Kanda Naal Muthal", "Sandakozhi" is a hit. The film has all the ingredients to make it a box office hit - action, humour and good music. 
( Read full news )

Sathyaraj still wants to make a difference
Chennai, Feb 1 (IANS) He is no Kamal Haasan or Rajnikant, but that does not make Sathyaraj a second-rung Tamil film star. The "Vedham Pudhidhu" actor's distinctively different appeal puts him in a class of his own.
( Read full news )

Creative tips from Britain for southern film industry
Chennai, Kamal Haasan's hit Tamil film "Virumandi" entertaining Latin American audiences? It might actually happen with Indo-British initiatives giving films from southern India a chance to be seen outside the community. 
( Read full news )

Vidyasagar wins the Pongal trophy
Chennai, Yuvan Shankar Raja's music for "Pudupettai" is simply outstanding and it is just a matter of time before it goes to the top spot again. For the time being, the Pongal trophy is Vidyasagar's.

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Paramasivan" - Music director: Vidyasagar. Nothing exceptional but the audio is doing good business, especially with Rajnikanth releasing the album.

2. "Aathi" - Music director: Vidyasagar. Another so-so album from Vidyasagar with the typical Kuthu songs, a must for a Vijay film.

3. "Pudupettai" - Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja; This album can be termed as one of the best from Yuvan. So far, the Yuvan-Selva combination has done wonders, and this time too it has not failed. 

4. "Kalvanin Kadhali" - Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja; Not as good as "Pudupettai" but Yuvan has maintained his standard. The song "Eno kangal" sung by Yuvan himself and Sadhana Sargam is the pick of the album.  
( Read full news )

Newcomer and superstar had it good in 2005
Chennai, The list of top Tamil heroes of 2005 has been mostly the same as the year before, except for newcomer Arya whose "Arindum Ariyamalum" has made him a hot favourite with audiences.
The top five actors are:
1. Vikram ("Anniyan"): Though Vikram had only two releases in 2005, it was still a fruitful year for the National Award winning actor. "Chandramukhi", starring Rajnikant, might have fared better at box office but as far as the top slot is concerned, it is Vikram who tops the list.

2. Surya ("Ghajini"): With the super hit "Ghajini", Surya has reached Vikram's and Vijay's level. He was amazing in the film, and it is definitely a landmark film for him.

3. Vijay ("Sivakasi" and "Thirupachi"): Vijay maintained his victorious run as all his films of 2005 were super hits, unlike many other heroes. 
( Read full news )
Tamil heroines who made it big in 2005
Chennai, When a new year begins, it is time to look back at the winners. Asin emerged as the top favourite after her hit film "Ghajini". 
The top five actresses are: 

1. Asin: As the fun loving naughty girl with a heart of gold, Asin's performance was superb in "Ghajini" and she occupies the number one position.

2. Trisha: Trisha is concentrating more on Telugu films these days. Yet her "Thirupachi" with Vijay was a hit.

5. Nayanthara: She entered Tamil filmdom with superstar Rajnikant in "Chandramukhi". Now she is known as the glamour queen of Tamil and Telugu cinema and is one of the busiest actresses in southern India. 
( Read full news )
'Chandramukhi' was top grosser in 2005
Chennai, 2005 was profitable for Tamil films as they more or less hit the century mark as far as the number of releases goes and the industry, one of the biggest in the southern states, is hoping to do better this year. 
( Read full news )
Originals versus remakes for Pongal
Chennai, If two of the Pongal releases are originals, the other two are remakes from Telugu. "Paramasivan" and "Paasakilikal" are based on original stories while "Aathi" and "Saravana" are remakes of two Telugu blockbusters. The common factor in three of the four films is actor Prakash Raj.

Let's have a look at all the four releases:

"Aathi" (Director - Ramana): Ramana had the good fortune to direct Vijay in his first directorial venture - "Thirumalai" - which was a huge hit. After the successful "Gilli" and "Thirupachi", Vijay and Trisha are once again coming together in "Aathi", remake of the hit Telugu film "Athanakkade", which had Kalyanram, grandson of NTR, playing the male lead. Vijay's father S.A. Chandrasekaran, who is celebrating his 25 years in the industry, is producing the film. "Paramasivan" (Director - P. Vasu): After the stupendous success of "Chandramukhi" with Rajnitkanth, director P. Vasu is working for the first time with a young actor in "Paramasivan". The film that revolves around a young guy who fights the corrupt system by becoming Paramasivan has shades of "Anniyan". Laila is paired with Ajith and Prakash Raj plays the role of a police officer. Malayalam actor Jayaram also has an important role in the film. "Saravana" (Director - K.S. Ravi Kumar): Saravana is a remake of the successful Teja-Meera Jasmine starrer "Bhadra", which was an action-oriented entertainer. Prakash Raj has the same role that he did in "Bhadra". Silambarasan and Jyothika are coming together after the successful "Manmadhan".

  ( Read full news )

Music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja rocks
Chennai, As expected, "Pudupettai" is a treat for all music lovers and the surprise package of the album is a song by actor Kamal Haasan. Like A.R. Rahman in his early days, Yuvan Shankar Raja also tries to maintain quality in all his albums and has four of his compositions on the top five list. 

The top five Tamil albums are:

1. "Pudupettai"; Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. This album simply rocks. The current hit is the song crooned by Kamal Haasan titled "A peek into an assassin's life".

2. "Aathi"; Music director: Vidyasagar. The album is being lapped up by Vijay's fans as enthusiastically as his films.

3. "Kalvanin Kadhali"; Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja. The song "Eno kangal", sung by Yuvan himself with Sadhana Sargam, is the pick of the album. ( Read full news )
A temporary trophy for 'Aaru'
By Aparna Nath, Indo-Asian News Service

Chennai, Jan 5 (IANS) The fact is "Aaru" is not "Ghajini". This mindless violent film is at number one position only because there weren't any Christmas and New Year releases. Unlike "Ghajini", "Aaru" could manage only average collections even in the second week. 

The top five Tamil films are:

1. "Aaru"; Director: Hari. This first film from director Saran's production house Gemini Productions offers gory fare, which a family audience could well detest. That's why it is limping at the box office.

2. "Kanda Naal Mudhal"; Director: Priya. There aren't many female directors in the Tamil film industry, and it was tough for Priya, an assistant to Mani Ratnam, to get her first film. 
( Read full news )
Vikram apes Kamal Haasan
Chennai, Vikram is doing a Kamal Haasan on two counts - selection of films and muscle building for roles. His next release will also be an entertaining action flick, "Bheema". Vikram is doing the same to prepare himself for the tough-guy title role in "Bheema". "Bheema", with Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif as the heroine, is likely to be released in the summer of 2006.
( Read full news )


A year of controversies for Southern cinema (SOUTH FILM YEARENDER)
Chennai, Controversies, protests, strikes, court wrangles and rigorous debates over freedom of expression marked the year 2005 for the film industry in South India.
( Read full news )


Vijay's Aadhi and Ajith's Paramasivan Pongal release : 

 Clash of tinsel titans to mark Pongal
Chennai, The Tamil screen will witness a clash of two heroes on Pongal day Jan 15. Slated for release on the festival day are two films with Vijay and Ajith, long known for their rivalry, in lead roles - "Aadhi" and "Paramasivan" respectively. 
( Read full news )

Tsunami-hit villagers await Vivek Oberoi's return
Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu), Actor Vivek Oberoi is a real life hero for Devanampattinam, a fishing village in Tamil Nadu where he helped villagers find the rhythm of life after last year's disastrous tsunami. 
( Read full news )

'Aaru' a temporary topper among Tamil films
Chennai, To follow up the stupendous success of "Ghajini" is difficult and Surya understands this well. Still, his new action film "Aaru" has had a good opening all over Tamil Nadu. But it is highly unlikely that it will be a comparable hit. 

The top five Tamil films are:
1. "Aaru" (Director: Hari): "Aaru" is the first film made by director Saran's production house. Though Saran cannot claim to have made sensitive films, this one takes the cake for mindless and meaningless violence. If the film had a good opening, it is only because of the success of "Ghajini", Surya's last film, which is all about blood, gore and gutter language.

2. "Thavamayi Thavamirundu" (Dir: Cheran): "Thavamayi Thavamirundu" can be termed the best Tamil film of the year. Sensitive, touching and honest, this is how one can describe the film. Raj Kiran as Cheran's father has given a mind-blowing performance, arguably the best of 2005. The only drawback about the film is its length, it's all of three hours and 22 minutes! 
( Read full news )
Raja rules the chart with three albums
Chennai, Yuvan Shankar Raja rules once again, not with one but three top albums at the moment. And still more from Yuvan is on the way - music for "Puthuppettai", a Selvaraghavan film. The last two times Selvaraghavan and Yuvan Shankar Raja got together, they created sheer magic. Not many people have forgotten "Kana Kandein" and "7 G Rainbow Colony".

"Kalvanin Kadhali" (Yuvan Shankar Raja): The album has just released but it has already raced to the top.

"Sandakozhi" (Yuvan Shankar Raja): Yuvan is at the second spot too. The album was released two weeks ago, and it is a rocking success. 

"Thavamayi Thavamirundu" (Sabesh Murali): For those who like to hear the real flavour of rural Tamil music, this is the album.

"Aaru" (Devi Sri Prasad): Not a great album. As the movie is disappointing, in all likelihood this is expected to disappear from the top position in a week. 
( Read full news )

Actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth praises Jayalalitha
Chennai, Tamil film actor-turned-politician Vijayakant has heaped accolades on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha for the good work done by her government in flood relief, leading to speculation that he may side with her for the forthcoming assembly polls.
( Read full news )

Director Perarasu's name game
Chennai, After giving two huge box-office hits, "Thirupachi" and "Sivakasi", director Perarasu is on his way to a hat trick. He launched his new film "Thirupathi" with Ajith on Dec 5.While shooting for "Sivakasi" he got a call from one of the most prestigious and oldest banners in Tamil Nadu, AVM Productions. Saravanan of AVM wanted to meet him.
( Read full news )

'Ghajini' wins Tamil audio war
Chennai, In the last few months, several albums have been released but it is amazing that not a single album could come anywhere near Harris Jayaraj's music in "Ghajini". For a brief period, "Sivakasi" was there at the top but soon people got weary of the repetitive stuff. 1. "Ghajini": Music; Harris Jayaraj: When listeners found that there was no zing in the music of "Sivakasi" or "Majaa", songs from "Ghajini" climbed back to the top position.2. "Sandakozhi": Music; Yuvan Shankar Raja: This is a new entrant. The album is just released but it appears Yuvan's new album is going to really rock. 3. "Aaru": Music; Devisri Prasad: In all probability, this new album will stay in this list for some time. 
( Read full news )

Rajnikanth's 'Sivaji' is a bundle of secrets
Chennai, One of the secrets about superstar Rajnikant's next film "Sivaji" has been given away. Others, however, remain. The launching date of the film, about which there was so much speculation in the industry and the media, is no longer a secret. The film, being made under the banner of AVM, was launched on Nov 28 at a simple function in the presence of selected invitees, including heroine Shriya and lyricist Vairamuthu. To be directed by Shankar of "Anniyan" fame, the film's story is closely guarded.
( Read full news )
Madhavan does a Nana Patekar in 'Thambi'
Mumbai, After playing a cook in "Ramji Londonwale", Madhavan is all set to do a Nana Patekar in his new ready-for-release Tamil film "Thambi".The film that Madhavan describes as, "My first full-fledged action movie," features the actor as a good Samaritan with a heart of gold and fist of iron.
( Read full news )

Indian dubs Tamil film in South Africa's Zulu language
Durban, An Indian in South Africa has initiated a new genre of filmmaking by dubbing a highly popular Tamil film into the indigenous Zulu language.
( Read full news )

Movie on third gender just happened: Sivan
Chennai, Director Santosh Sivan, whose film "Navarasa" on third gender released Friday, hopes youngsters will now look at this fringe community very differently.
( Read full news )
Tamil Nadu police pulled up in Khushboo case
Chennai, Madras High Court Thursday directed the Tamil Nadu director general of police to file a report on why protests were allowed in the state against actress Khushboo and director Suhasini Maniratnam, who are in the midst of a controversy over their
  ( Read full news )

'Sivakasi' precariously perched on top
Chennai, The verdict on Diwali releases is out. Though Vijay's "Sivakasi" is supposed to be a super-hit, the fact is the film has not been able to sustain its great opening. The filmmaker blames it on the torrential rains the state witnessed in the last few weeks but critics say the film itself is a rehash on the Vijay-Perarasu team's earlier film "Thirupachi".
( Read full news )

Madhavan gets ready for TV game show
Chennai, Tamil superstar R. Madhavan has scored over Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan with his youthful looks getting him the job of anchor of Sony TV's new game show "Deal Ya No Deal".
Several contenders, including Saif, were said to have been in the fray. But Sony TV picked up Madhavan. And now the "Ramji Londonwale" actor, Maddy to his fans, has cut his hair short for his latest TV avatar. 
( Read full news )

Tamil Nadu's 'cultural policing' criticised
Chennai, Karthi Chidambaram, son of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, and poetess Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK president M. Karunanidhi, Sunday lambasted the "cultural policing" going on in Tamil Nadu and supported actress Khushboo over her recent utterances Terming the "cultural policing" as being "on the brink of fascism", Kanimozhi said: "In recent days, some people in Tamil Nadu are trying to control art, creative literature and social thoughts. This raises concerns and apprehensions."
( Read full news )

Khushboo served non-bailable warrant
Chennai, A Tamil Nadu court Friday issued a non-bailable warrant against noted actress Khushboo for her non-appearance in connection with legal proceedings over her remarks
( Read full news )

'Sivakasi' leads among Tamil audios
Chennai, The music of "Sivakasi" has reached the top slot even as its release date approaches.The top five Tamil albums are: 1. "Sivakasi" (Srikanth Deva): Shankar Mahdevan's "Vaada vaada", a typical Vijay song, is the hottest number.
2. "Ghajini" (Harris Jayaraj): Songs from "Ghajini" are still popular all over Tamil Nadu, just like the film. 3. "Majaa" (Vidyasagar): Vidyasagar's "Majaa" is catching up, especially the song "Thai Masam" by Shankar Mahadevan and Anuradha Sriram.
( Read full news )


'Ghajini' tops despite Diwali releases
Chennai, Diwali releases have just come on in the theatres. Until now, it has been "Ghajini" and only "Ghajini". Even now, nobody expects the film to slide much. It may slip from the first and second positions, but will rock the box office for a long, long time! The top five Tamil films are:
1. "Ghajini" Director Murugadoss  2. "Mazhai" (Directir Rajkumar): Unlike the highly successful original Telugu film "Varsham", this film, starring Jeyam Ravi and Shriya, is not a blockbuster but is doing average business everywhere. Shriya has benefited the most from "Mazhai", having been chosen as Rajnikanth's heroine for "Sivaji". 3. "Thottijaya" (Director Dorai): Overall, Silambarasan's first out and out action film "Thottijaya" is a bigger hit than "Mazhai", but it has been in the theatres for quite a few weeks.
( Read full news )

Diwali release may decide Dhanush's fate
Chennai, Cinema buffs here await a Diwali release that may decide the fate of Dhanush, an actor with a difference.The conspicuously lean Dhanush may come of age at last as an actor, if "Adhu Oru Kanaakkaalam" that hit the screen Tuesday sees box-office success. 
Dhanush started with a string of successes playing adolescent roles that offered a refreshing change for audiences tired of over-aged stars in unfittingly youthful attire and action in film after film. ( Read full news )


Diwali bonanza for Tamil movie buffs 
Chennai, Tamil movie buffs are in for a bonanza with the release of two megastar films and two Malayalam remakes this Diwali. Superstar Vijay, who is considered as successful as Rajnikanth, promises his customary masala fare in "Sivakasi". The hero's name in the film is same as that of the Tamil Nadu town famous for firecrackers. The film promoters are asking the viewers to expect 'fireworks' from the star. Vikram, the national award-winning actor, who just made a big splash with "Anniyan", will enact a different role in "Maja" ( Read full news

Pentamedia Graphics records Q2 income of Rs.200 mn

Tax raids target A.R. Rahman, Tamil film stars (LEAD)

IT raids at A.R. Rahman, southern film stars' homes

'Ghajini' proves a blockbuster

Harris scores a hit with 'Ghajini'

DMK, Vijayakanth contribute to quake relief fund

Tamil producer threatens 'dharna' against Kannada star

Tamil hero is real life saviour

Harris Jayaraj topples Rahman

Excellent opening for 'Ghajini'

Khushboo: fall of a screen goddess

Arun to play cricketer in Tamil film

A film fest of reality check on tsunami relief

Actress Khushboo apologises for comments on

Defamation suit on actress for comments

'Bandit Queen' to play cop in Tamil film   

Rahman has no rivals in Tamil music market

'Thottijaya' beats 'Ah...Aah' at box office 


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