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Thursday, November 22, 2007
PRIYA MANI - NEW LOOK AT SUCCESS
20 TIME OUT The Gulf Today / Thursday, August 16, 2007 CINEMA
NEW LOOK AT SUCCESS
PRIYAMANI, WHO WON THE HEARTS OF FANS BY PLAYING VILLAGE-BELLE ROLES, IS NOW IN A GLAMOROUS ROLE IN THE FORTHCOMING VISHAAL-STARRER MALAIKOTTAI WRITES KK MOIDU Priyamani is a lovely heroine with amiable eyes and a smooth smile. She recently won the best actress award at the Osean’s cine-fan festival in New Delhi. Her attractive performance as Karuppachi Muthazhagu in Paruthiveeran, as a village girl who meets with a grievous end in the film, fetched her the award. Although a movie’s success depends on the entire team, an actor or actress becomes known for a particular character after the success of their roles in hit films. Majority of actors or actresses stick to those stereotypical roles and wait for luck to come their way. Priyamani, the heroine of the super hit Paruthiveeran is bold enough to say “no” to typecast roles. Surya’s younger brother Karthi played the male lead in his debut film Paruthiveeran directed by Ameer. He played a tough role, without giving the audience a chance to think that he was a beginner. In the film, the love of a girl from a respectable family changes him forever. The movie not only won rave reviews but also did well at the box-office. The highlight of the film was it’s climax. Priyamani’s riveting performance as Muthazhagu in Paruthiveeran brought an end to her agonising wait for success. Her earlier films were with big names of the industry, but she couldn’t achieve fame. Paruthiveeran took her career to new heights. Priyamani was born on June 4, 1984, into an Iyer family in Palakkad, Kerala. She is the daughter of Vasudev Mani and Latha Mani. Her father is an industrialist and mother was an international badminton player and worked in UBI as an assistant manager. She later took voluntary retirement after Priyamani’s entry into the film industry. Priyamani has done modelling for famous jewellery brands and textile houses like Kancheepuram Silks, Eorde Silks and Lakshmi Silks etc. Renowned director Bharathiraja, who discovered Revathi, Radhika etc. gifted Priyamani to the spectacular film industry. She is a smart and talkative girl, loves music, dance and acting is her craze. Priyamani has acted in four Tamil films, two Malayalam films and one Telugu film in a short span of her three-year career. She made her debut in the Tamil film Kangalal Kaidhu Sei. Although the film was directed by veteran Bharathiraja, the movie bombed at the box-office. But her excellent performance and camera-friendly aspect in the film was noted by few in the industry. Priyamani’s second Tamil film Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam was directed by talented Balu Mahendra and she proved her mettle as an actress in the film. Priyamani was the love interest of Dhanush, but the movie did not help her to make a name in the industry. Priyamani played the heroine in Madhu, a romantic entertainer and the male lead of the movie was Jithan Ramesh, Jeeva’s brother and the third son of famous producer RB Choudhary. Madhu was directed by Thennarasu and produced by Thanga Sekar. Although Priyamani was brought up in Bangalore as a modern girl, the offers which came on her way were the typical village-belle roles. In order to escape from these roles, she tried her luck in the Malayalam film industry and did a glamorous role in her debut movie Sathyam. Her male lead of the film was Prithviraj. Sathyam was noticed by the image change of Prithviraj as an action hero. But lady luck was not on her side and the movie did not give her a promising career. Her other Malayalam film Ottananayam also went unnoticed. Priyamani returned in Tamil after a break and played the deglamourised role in Paruthiveeran. Her seniors like Gopika, Navya Nair, Meera Jasmine etc. from Kerala were receiving glamorous roles in Tamil and Telugu and at the same time they performed in Malayalam films. They were shining in the industries but the pretty actress Priyamani had a tough time to establish herself in all the three languages. Priyamani’s Telugu film Pellaina Kothalo with Jagapathi Raju made her popular in the industry. The films success merited her prestigious offers like Yamadonga, Toss and Mitrudu. In the forthcoming film Yamadonga directed by Rajamouli, she pairs with Jr NTR. In Toss, a love story directed by Priyadarshini Ram, her male lead is Raja. Upendra will appear in a pivotal role in the film. Mani Sharma is the music director. In another forthcoming Telugu film Mitrudu, her hero is Tarun. After the success of Paruthiveeran offers were flooded to the actress from various sides. But all for the same village-girl roles that she performed so well earlier. Priyamani knows that rural beauty roles without makeup will not make her a front-line heroine in Tamil and Telugu. Her realisation of the industry forced her to portray the right glamour in Malaikottai. Priyamani wants to establish herself as a commercial heroine in the industry and is looking for different roles. In order to gain that roles in films, she has changed herself with new hair styles, costumes and attended film parties. Priyamani, who was known for donning performance-oriented roles, has managed to obtain offers for glamorous roles. Her experiments in style and appearance will fulfill her dream to become a sought after heroine of the South Indian film industry. Her forthcoming Malaikottai, a mass entertainer, is a big-budget film directed by G Boopathy Pandian. The story and the screenplay of the film is contributed by the director himself. The film is produced by T Ajaikumar under the banner of Lakshmi Productions. Mani Sharma tunes for the lyrics of Muthukumar and Yugabharathi. Other artistes of the film are Ashish Vidyarthi, Devaraj, Ajai, GM Kumar, Ponnambalam, Mayilsamy, Manobala, Dandapani, Azhagu, Jayasurya, Urvasi, Nirosha and Arthi. Besides her city-bred college student role in Malaikottai, Priyamani has signed another promising Tamil film, Thotta. She is paired opposite Jeevan and it will be directed by Selva. Priyamani has succeeded in gaining glamorous roles in films, but the audience will decide the success of her new glamorous roles. Whether the audience will accept her in revealing costumes or will they like to watch her in village-belle roles only is left to be seen. If her movies work well at the box-office, her dream to establish herself as an actress who can fit into any kind of role will become a reality.