Prasanna pairs with Sneha for the first time in the forthcoming Tamil film Achchamundu Achchamundu directed by debutante Arun Vaidyanathan, writes KK Moidu
Young hero Prasanna, with his simple looks and smile, has played soft hero roles in small and medium budget films. The young actor plays a US-based software engineer in the forthcoming Tamil film Achchamundu Achchamundu (AA). The Indo-American venture is produced by East-West Project, located in New Jersey, USA. AA is a thriller with the right dose of humour, emotion and action. The film will be completely shot in New York and New Jersey as it is meant for an international audience. AA is the maiden directorial venture of Arun Vaidyanathan and the director himself pens the story, screenplay and dialogue. US-based NRI Arun Vaidyanathan completed a course in direction from the New York Film Academy. He has won several awards for his short films. His foray into the media industry began with a successful career at a regional TV channel. The visual effects of AA will be done by noted Hollywood film VFX supervisors N Madhusudhanan (Lord of the Rings, Spiderman 3 etc.) and Jon Labrie (Independence Day, Broken Arrow etc.). Karthik Raja scores the music. AA is an exciting thriller and it tells the story of a US based Tamil family, who get involved in serious trouble. The action-packed climax of the film reveals how they come out of the dilemma. The talented and beautiful heroine of the industry Sneha, who always accepts roles that tests her skills, shares the screen as Prasanna's wife. A top Hollywood actor will play a pivotal role in the film. Other artistes of the film are talented artistes living in USA. The hero of AA, Prasanna was born into a middle class family in Aug. 28, 1982. Unlike most of the other young heroes of the industry, his family had no direct link with the film industry. His father was an employee of Bharath Heavy Electricals Limited and his mother is a housewife. He grew up in Trichy in Tamil Nadu and dreamed of becoming an actor from his childhood. He showed interest in mimicry and acting in his school and college days. His father wanted to make him a professional and Prasanna joined the engineering college to fulfill his father's desire. But Prasanna dropped out from college to pursue his celluloid dream. Prasanna's life changed forever after responding to an advertisement that appeared on a regional channel. Producer-director Manirathnam's Madras Talkies was looking for new faces for their latest project and at the time Prasanna was a second year student of the engineering college. Prasanna made his debut in Susi Ganesan's Five Star. The youthful film tells the story of an unusual and refreshing friendship. The movie, produced by Mani Ratnam's Madras Talkies, won critical acclaim and it was a moderate success at the box office. Prasanna paired opposite Kanika in the film. The heroine Kanika was also an engineering student at the renowned BITS Pilani. After completing engineering, the former Miss Madurai and second runner up of Miss Chennai, Kanika chose her career as a full time actress-singer and dubbing artiste. She has acted in more than one dozen films in different languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu. Prasanna's next two films Ragasiyamai and Kadhal Dot.com was a flop at the box office. After learning lessons from previous flops, he began selecting films with meaningful subjects. His pairing opposite Navya Nair in Azhagiya Theeye, directed by Radha Mohan brought him notice in the industry. The film was produced by Prakash Raj's Duet Films. After the success of the film, people recognised him as Azhagiya Theeye Prasanna. The film gave him the right idea for choosing the best scripts. Prasanna tasted his first commercial success as a hero in Kanda Naal Mudhal, another Prakash Raj Production. The film was directed by Priya V and his love interest of the film was Laila. But he couldn't repeat his success in the next ventures Kasthuriman and Seena Thana 007. Both the films were remakes of Malayalam superhits Kasthuriman and CID Moosa respectively. Prasanna played the male lead opposite Meera Jasmine in Lohithadas directed Kasthuriman. His role in the original was played by Kunjacko Boban. In Seena Thana 007 directed by Gajendra, he enacted the role of Dileep in CID Moosa. Prasanna has acted in around ten films in his more than five years in the industry. He was typecast in soft and realistic roles and tasted commercial success in very few films only. He was the first choice of directors for soft hearted hero roles. But the actor successfully experimented with challenging roles in the recently released Sadhu Miranda and Anjathe. His new kind of role in the latest films achieved box office victory. Prasanna, an actor with a boy-next-door image, proved that he can handle tough roles with the same ease. Lady luck smiled on him in 2008 with the success of Sadhu Miranda and Anjathe because the romantic hero boldly accepted tough roles and was proved to be a versatile actor. Prasanna comes out in flying colours with a powerful performance in Sadhu Miranda directed by success guaranteed director Siddique. Prasanna played dual roles in the film, one as an innocent youngster and the other as a hard-hearted man. He lost weight for his warrior role and also used contact lenses. Kavya Madhavan played the role of a TV anchor in the film. In Anjathe directed by Mysskin, Prasanna played a negative role as Daya, a sinister guy who runs a kidnapping racket. He kidnaps girls from wealthy families for money and rapes them for keeping them silent. The film won rave reviews. According to reports, Prasanna will make his debut in the Malayalam industry this year. His lady interest of the untitled film will be Navya Nair to be pictured in Ernamkulam. His forthcoming Tamil films Kannum Kannum opposite Udayatara and much delayed Manjal Veyyil with Sandhya will also release soon. Kannum Kannum directed by debutante G Marimuthu tells a different love story — a war between two youngsters bitten by the love bug. The support of lyricist Vairamuthu will give the movie a poetic form and Dheena tunes for the film. Romantic action entertainer Manjal Veyyil, directed by Raja, is a love story based on a college background and Prasanna will handle the action in the film. Bala will play the second hero role and mini screen fame Thariga will play an important role. One of the highlight of the film is veteran cinematographer T Kaviyarasu's astonishing work. The cinematographer received compliments for his work in Tamil Nadu and also from Bollywood for the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Hum Thumhara Sanam. A scene in Manjal Veyyil that was shot in a Malaysian park, where the replicas of the wonders of the world are kept, is sure to delight the audience. Although Prasanna is recognised as an accomplished actor, stardom has eluded him. He rarely acts in commercial potboilers and always plays realistic characters. The success of his heterogeneous roles in the recently released films, including the software engineer role in AA, will definitely make him a hot favourite among the other young Tamil heroes.
Cheran pairs with five heroines in the forthcoming Tamil film Raman Thediya Seethai, directed by Jagannathan. KK Moidu writes
Actor-director-producer-writer Cheran romances five ladies in Raman Thediya Seethai. Malayalam actress Ramya Nambeesan will make her Tamil debut in the maiden production venture of Moser Baer in Tamil as an individual producer. The four other heroines are Vimala Raman, Karthika, Gajala and Navya Nair. Other important roles are played by Manivannan, Pasupathy, Nithin Sathya etc. Raman Thediya Seethai tells the story of a young man, who is looking for a life partner. The bright young man is highly successful in his career but his hunt for a suitable girl always ends in disaster. The honest confession of a hidden truth in his dark past works against him among the girls. He pursues his search for a bride with the help of a blind radio jockey, who is determined to help him. The romantic entertainer Raman Thediya Seethai tells five love episodes in a humorous way. The film is not the remake of the MGR-Jayalalitha starrer of the same title released in 1972. Raman Thediya Seethai will be directed by Jagannathan, who directed Puthiya Geethai with Vijay and Kodambakkam with Nandha. Vidyasagar set the tunes for the lyrics of Yughabharathy, Kabilan and Jayantha. Rajesh Yadav is the cinematographer. Cheran is known for making controversial films with rich cultural values. His movies were noticed by the social messages and that fetched National Awards. Firstly, Vetri Kodi Kattu won Best Film on other social issues, Autograph for most entertaining film and Thavamai Thavamirunthu for Best Film on family welfare. Cheran is the son of a cinema operator father and nursery school teacher. He was born in Dec., 12, 1970 in Pazhaiyurpatty, near Melur in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Right from his childhood days he developed an interest in acting and proved his skills in stage dramas in local festivals. He imitated screen legend Sivaji Ganesan by speaking out the dialogues of his films in front of the mirror. His stardom in filmdom was preceded by a long and arduous struggle. In order to fulfil his dream to become an actor, Cheran ran away from home and reached Chennai. His dream of acting in cinema was not fulfilled initially. His unwillingness to accept defeat turned his attention to film making. He trained under KS Ravikumar and started his career as his assistant. However, Cheran gained the attention of Henry, the producer of the Malayalam superhit Yavanika directed by KG George. After the success of Yavanika, Henry entered the Tamil industry with Kolangal. Since he did not want run-of-the-mill subjects, he found a strong offbeat theme in young Cheran's script. Cheran made his directorial debut in Bharathi Kannamma produced by Henry. The film, with a strong social base, was a love story of a poor, low caste youth and a rich zamindar girl. Due to the caste difference, the girl was forced to marry someone else. Parthiban played the male lead opposite Meena in the critically acclaimed and commercially successful film. Cheran repeated his directorial success with his second film Porkaalam, which tells the story of a handicapped girl in a village. The bold subject, efficient crafting and Deva's music made the film a big hit. After delivering two hits, Cheran was treated in the industry as a front liner and that hiked his remuneration. But his nest few films like Desiya Geetham, Vetri Kodi Kattu and Pandavar Bhoomi were commercial flops. Desiya Geetham created controversy because Nasser played the role of a chief minister sporting dark glasses. Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi was unhappy over the resemblance and the indecent dialogues accusing the government. Cheran's formula of playing with controversies to invite the crowds into movie halls failed in the film. His award winning Vetri Kodi Kattu again handled another subject with a predictable end and his maiden production venture Pandavar Bhoomi also failed at the box office. Cheran once again repeated his magic of success in Autograph. The film was not only produced by Cheran but also written and directed by him. He played the male lead opposite four heroines Gopika, Kanika, Mallika and Sneha. The romantic movie was screened at Lyon Asian Film Festival in France and at the Montreal World Film Festival in Canada. Autograph won critical acclaim and box office success. The film also bagged the Golden Lotus Award for Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainment, Silver Lotus Award for female playback singer KS Chithra and best lyrics for Pa. Vijay respectively. After the massive success of Autograph, Cheran directed Thavamai Thavamirunthu. He played the lead in the film, which explores the father-son relationship. The film grabbed the National Award for best film on family welfare and it was only a moderate success at the box office. The big budget film Mayakannadi directed and written by Cheran and produced by Subbu, the son of veteran producer Panchu Arunachalam, was a big flop at the box office. Cheran played the lead opposite Navya Nair. Sarath Kumar, Arya and Malavika made guest appearances. The key message of the three-hour long film was that "each person's life is in his or her own hands." Cheran also appeared in other director's films like Solla Marandha Kadha directed by Thangar Bachchan and Pirivom Santhippom, a heroine-oriented film opposite Sneha directed by Karu Pazhaniappan. Cheran once again came in front of the camera in a lead role in the erstwhile assistant Jagannathan directed film. One of the highlights of the film is the impressive line up of five young heroines Vimala Raman, Gajala, Karthika, Navya Nair and Ramya Nambeesan. Except debutante Ramya, all the other heroines played lead roles in Tamil films earlier. Malayalam actress Ramya was lucky enough to make her Tamil debut opposite famed film personality Cheran. Ramya Nambeesan made her debut as a heroine in Malayalam film Anachantham directed by Jayaraj. As per the title, the story of the film revolves around an elephant and that gained enough publicity for the film even before the release. But the film did not create any ripples at the box office. As a debutante heroine, Ramya's performance was welcomed by the audience. Although it was her first appearance as a heroine, she faced the camera in her high school days for the film Sayahnam directed by Sarath. She played the granddaughter of O Madhavan in the film. She also appeared in small roles in Gramaphone, Perumazhakkalam etc. Ramya has acted in around 10 Malayalam films as a heroine and second heroine, but all her movies except Chocolate didn't perform well at the box office. Her prominent role as Susan in the superhit Chocolate gave her the much needed boost in her career. She played the role of a modern college girl, a friend of the heroine. The film was a full fledged entertainer with songs, dances, humour, action and sentiments and it was one of the biggest hits of last year. Ramya played one of the heroines in the recently released College Kumaran opposite superstar Mohanlal. She was the love interest of young actor Jayasoorya in Changathi Poocha. The film, directed by debutante SP Mahesh, added one more flop to her career. She played a meaningful role in the horror film Sooryakireedam directed by George Kithu. She performed a challenging role as a mute and dumb girl in Panthayakozhi. She played the female lead of young heroes like Arun, Saiju Kurup and Sudheesh in the recently released Anthiponvettam and Salabham. The box office disaster of the films could not established her as a successful heroine in the industry. After doing a few films on home turf, many Malayalam heroines cross the border for lucrative offers and achieve success. The success of Malayalam heroines in other languages started a trend and all upcoming heroines try their luck in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films. The young and beautiful actress Ramya Nambeesan is also trying her luck in the Tamil film Raman Thediya Seethai as the ladylove of Cheran. Will she get the needed recognition that will open the road to success for her in the future?
18 TIME OUT The Gulf Today / Thursday, March 6, 2008 CINEMA WELL-DESERVED PRAISE AJITH’S FORTHCOMING TAMIL FILM AEGAN, DIRECTED BY RAJU SUNDARAM, FEATURES NAYANTHARA IN THE LEAD, WRITES KK MOIDU
The Gulf Today / Thursday, March 6, 2008 TIME OUT 19 Many leading ladies’ names from Bollywood and the South were suggested for the lead role opposite Ajith in Aegan. Heroines like Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, Ayesha Takia, Ileana D’Cruz, Tanushree Dutta, Sneha Ullal, Parvathi Melton, Shriya Saran etc. were among the few that were linked with the film. Fragile beauty Katrina Kaif was the earlier choice, but she opted out from the project because of Bollywood commitments. Shriya was also dropped due to her limited call sheets, as she is busy with her Hollywood film The Other End of the Line. But some say that Ajith was dissatisfied with Shriya’s item number in the Vadivelu starrer Indralogathil Naa Azhagappan. Finally Nayanthara, who sizzled with Ajith in Billa with her stylish looks, is paired up with him again. Cinegoers hope that the triumphant pair will repeat their success in Aegan and will add one more superhit to their careers. Aegan, the directorial debut of Raju Sundaram, will be produced by Karunamoorthy of Ayngaran International and his co-producer Arun Pandian. Director Raju Sundaram, who has choreographed many hit songs as a dance master himself, pens the script for eminent writer S Ramakrishnan’s dialogues. Other artistes of the film are Suhasini, Jayaram, Suman, Nasser, MS Basker and Sriman. Navdeep of Arinthum Ariyamalum fame plays a crucial role. Actor, director and choreographer Prabhu Deva, brother of Raju Sundaram, will make a guest appearance as a dance master in the film. Arjun Jana, one of the greatest cameramen in the industry, is the cinematographer. Yuvan Shankar Raja, who scored music for Ajith’s previous hit Billa, composes for the film. Yuvan, who scored the highest number of films last year, renews his association with Ajith in the film after Billa. One of the highlights of the film is the foreign locations like Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and England. Aegan is said to be the remake of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Main Hoo Na. According to reports, Ayngaran International has bought the remake rights from SRK’s Red Chillies, the producer of runaway hit Main Hoon Na. Shah Rukh was paired opposite Sushmita Sen in the typical Bollywood masala. Aegan means single man and Ajith is involved in a great mission in the film. He plays an undercover cop who is posted in a college, not as a teacher or student, but to protect a top nuclear scientist’s daughter who is on the kidnapping list of terrorists. In his mission, he protects the girl from the evil hands and not only wins the hearts of the students but also attracts the beautiful teacher in the college. Ajith Kumar is one of the leading young actors in the Tamil film industry. He is recognised in the industry as a good actor and a good human being for his simplicity and down-to-earth attitude. He has acted in around 50 Tamil films in his more than one-and-a-half decade long career. He has also acted in one Telugu and one Hindi film and most of his hit films were dubbed into Telugu. Ajith played the brother of Shah Rukh Khan in the historical Hindi film Asoka. Ajith is known in his fanbase as Thala (Leader) and his screen-name is Ultimate Star. Born on May I in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, he is the second son of three children born to a Malayalee father Subramaniam and Sindhi mother Mohini. His elder brother Anil Kumar and younger brother Anup Kumar are software engineers. Ajith was brought up in Chennai and dropped out of school to become a race car driver and mechanic. He was also a full time garment exporter based in Erode and tested a career in modelling. His modelling in print media not only earned him money but also opened doors to filmdom. Ajith made his debut in the Telugu film Prema Pustagam at the age of 21 and won the Best New Face Award. Then he acted in the Tamil film Amaravathi followed by Pavithra. The film was delayed for more than oneand- a-half years because he was bed ridden with racing injury, which affected his spinal cord. After doing a series of small budget Tamil films, he established himself as a teen icon in the Tamil industry with his first big budget film Aasai directed by Vasantha and produced by Mani Rathnam. The immensely successful movie won the Filmfare Best Movie Award and it was a turning point in his career. Ajith got his first break in Kadhal Kottai directed by Agathiyan and he won the National Film Award for Best Director. Ajith’s performance as an anonymous lover in the film propelled his career to new heights. After the success of the film, he was flooded with opportunities. He performed a variety of roles in different films including Amitabh Bachchan’s maiden Tamil film production venture Ullasam. Ajith’s performance in a double role in Vaali fetched him the Filmfare Best Actor Award for the first time and the overnight success made him a superstar. He won the 2001 and 2002 Filmfare Best Actor Awards for Citizen and Villain respectively. He appeared in nine different roles in Citizen. He played the twin’s role in Villain, one of them as a mentally retarded person. Ajith also played a triple role in Varalaaru, the biggest grosser in his career. After Amarkalam with Shalini, he set up his own distribution company AK International. He married Shalini in 2000 and they are blessed with a baby girl. Ajith played a pivotal role along with Mammootty, Abbas, Aishwarya Rai and Tabu in Kandukondain Kandukodain. His portrayal as an unemployed youth, who hopes to become a music director in Mugavari opposite Jyothika, was well appreciated. He sacrifices his love for the sake of his ambition and later gives up his ambition for the sake of his family in the film. Ajith played a thug’s role in Dheena, directed by AR Murugadoss. Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi and Laila were the leads in the film. The failure of films like Anjaneya, Jana and Attagasam pulled Ajith to the bottom level of his career in 2003 and 2004. Although he was paired opposite leading heroines like Meera Jasmine, Sneha and Pooja, he could not save the movies from box office disaster. His lead opposite Trisha in Ji also was a huge flop. As a result, he spent more than one-and-a-half years without any new offers and that forced him to cut down his acting fees. However, Ajith made a comeback with the moderate hit Paramasivan directed by PVasu and repeated the victory in Thirupathi directed by Perarasu. The success of the films hiked his salary. His huge fan base always earns good initials for his films and he is known as the King of Opening. The success of his three year project Varalaru directed by KS Ravikumar made him a front-runner in the industry. He won the Filmfare Best Actor Award by playing a triple role in the film — as a father and two sons. His first release of 2007 Aalwar directed by debutante Chella opposite Asin didn’t come upto his expectations and it became a major let down in his career. But Ajith, known for his fighting spirit, touched new heights with a sensitive portrayal in Kireedam, a remake of the Mohanlal-starrer of the same title. His love interest was Trisha Krishnan and he won acclaims for his emotional role in it. Anil Ambani’s Adlabs Films marked their entry into the Tamil industry with the film. Ajith’s much hyped big budget Billa that was released last year re-wrote the collection records. The film was welcomed by the audience not only in Tamil Nadu but also in neighbouring Kerala. Ajith’s Billa directed by Vishnuvardhan was a remake of Rajinikanth’s 1980 remake of the Tamil film Billa. Ajith is an active Ambassador of Green Revolution, an awareness campaign to clean up Chennai. He has a student pilot’s license to fly a single engine Cessna A152 aeroplane. He is a professional car racer and has participated in Formula Three for a season. He openly expresses his opinions in front of the media and that occasionally invites controversies.