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Tuesday, March 11, 2008
WELL-DESERVED PRAISE-AJITH KUMAR
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.