Thursday, June 12, 2008


A new look at relationships

Telugu director Veera's maiden Tamil venture KARTHIGAI features two heroines Samiksha and Malavika opposite Vikramaditya, writes KK Moidu

Karthigai is a family entertainer and tells the story of relationships. The film with a high dose of sentiment is based on the bond between a father, son and his siblings. M Anjeneya forays into the Tamil industry by producing the big budget film Karthigai under the banner of Siddi Vinayagar Films Multimedia. M Anjaneya has produced superhit Telugu films with leading actors.
Director Veera makes his Tamil entry by directing Karthigai. He himself pens the story and screenplay of the film and dialogues are by Velumani. Veera has crafted around a dozen Telugu films.
The hero of the film is Whistle fame Vikramaditya. He romances vivacious Samiksha and sparkling Malavika in Karthigai. The rest of the support cast comprises Suman, Kadhal Dhandapani, Suman Shetty, Rani and Satyan. Award winning Telugu hero Srihari, the husband of former item girl disco Shanti plays a pivotal role in the film. Deva scores music for the lyrics of Snegan. Ashokraj is the choreographer and T Rajender is the cinematographer.
The shooting for the first schedule of the film was completed in Bangkok, which include three songs with Vikramaditya and Malavika, Vikramaditya and Samiksha and both the heroines and the hero. The other locations of the film are Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi and Kodaikkanal.
One of the heroine roles of the film is played by Samiksha, the pretty model-turned-actress. She is making a comeback to the Tamil industry as the love interest of Vikramditya in Karthigai. Mumbai based model, Samiksha made her debut in the Telugu film 143 and it was an average grosser. But her Tamil debut opposite Navdeep in the entertaining Arindhum Ariyamalum directed by Vishnuvardhan, a box office hit. Samiksha's role in Arindhum Ariyamalum has only little scope to show her skills.
But her outstanding performance and the success of the movie made the industry notice her. As expected, after the success of the film, leading offers did not knock at her door. The superhit movie couldn't made the cute and tall actress a sought after heroine. She was featured in minuscule roles in subsequent films. She performed item numbers in few films but that could not help her to fulfill her dream to become a front-line heroine.
Samiksha appeared in a couple of scenes and also performed a hot number in the Srikant-Meera Jasmine starrer Mercury Pookkal directed by SS Stanley. The film which tells the story of a couple who don't agree with each other was well accepted by the audience. In Manadodu Mazhaiklam, directed by Arputhan, Samiksha played second fiddle to Nithya Das and that also could not revive her fortune. Samiksha appeared in a glamorous and performance oriented role opposite Shaam in musical hit Manadodu Mazhaiklam. She also paired opposite Karan for the racy number in a college campus in Thee Nagar directed by Thirumalai.
Samiksha couldn't achieve success as a heroine or a second heroine in the industry, where Malayalam heroines rule the roost. She enacted the role played by Jyothika in the Kannada remake of Manmadhan. Silambarasan and Jyotika-starrer Tamil film Manmadhan was a superhit and the film was a turning point and a big break in Simbu's career.
Samiksha made her Hindi debut in the comedy film Mr Hot and Mr Kool and tried her luck in television serials. She became a favourite for the audience after her portrayal of a 21-year-old sweet natured Muslim girl in the Sahara One serial Zaara.
Unlike Samiksha, the other heroine of the film Malavika has been a Fair and Lovely cream model girl. The Bangalore girl was born as Shweta Konnur on July 19, 1979. She came into the limelight with her debut Tamil film Unnai Thedi opposite Ajith. The blockbuster film directed by Sundar C was dubbed into Telugu as Premato Pilicha. She repeated her success in the multi-starrer Tamil film Anandha Poongatre starring Ajith, Karthik and Meena. She proved her acting skills in Rojavanam and hatrick victory put her name in the list of top heroines of the industry.
But success was elusive and the box office disaster of Pooporika Varukirom ruined her heroine dreams. She failed to deliver any hits for the next two years and was stamped as an unlucky actress. The only hit in this period for the gorgeous heroine was Seenu opposite Karthik directed by veteran P Vasu. Malavika hit the Telugu and Hindi silver screen with Priya Nestama and CU at 9 respectively. But the films did not have much sale value even at the multiplexes.
Malavika performed an item number in Surya-Jyothika starrer Tamil film Perazhagan. It was the remake of Malayalam superhit Kunjikoonan. Surya played a double role in the film, one as an ugly looking youth with a hunch back and buck teeths and t he other role as a handsome, rough college student. Surya's double role was enacted by Dileep in the original.
Malavika had the luck to share screen space with legendary heroes like Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan in Chandramukhi and Vasool Raja MBBS respectively. Her item number for the hit-song 'valameenukum' in Chithiram Pesuthadi was a turnaround for her and she was flooded with offers. Her role in Thiruttu Payale as a married lady suffering in Jeevan's hands cemented her place in the industry. Her pairing opposite Jeeva as one of the heroines in Naan Avanillai also was a big success at the box office.
Malavika made a tremendous start to her movie career as a heroine opposite crowdpuller Ajith and enjoyed great success as a leading lady in initial films. She failed to repeat the magic of success after three films. Although she tried her luck in Telugu and Hindi films, she couldn't be a saleable heroine there also. The desperate actress was obliged to perform item numbers for surviving in the industry. Her cameo appearance in films kept the audience on the edge of their seats and directors mainly depended her, not as a heroine, but as an item girl.
Although Malavika has not played the heroine of many superstars, she has had glamorous cameo appearances in superhit films of heroes like Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vijay, Vijayakanth, Arjun, Surya etc. She continued her presence in the industry after her marriage with Sumesh and had more offers than any other single heroines.
Will the audience welcome Malavika's role as a heroine in Karthigai and will Samiksha fetch stardom on her second arrival? The audience expect the leading producer and director of Telugu films to extract a heart-wrenching performance from the artistes in their maiden Tamil venture.
Will Vikramaditya repeat his earlier success of Whistle and Tholaipesi in Karthigai? Cinegoers are eagerly awaiting Karthigai to watch if it is different from other films based on the frequently told stories of relationships.

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