Thursday, May 29, 2008


Versatile and talented

Bhoomika Chawla pursues her acting career after marriage by playing a variety of roles, writes KK Moidu

Unlike other leading ladies of the industry, gorgeous Bhoomika did not disappear from the industry after she got married. She will play a medley of roles in forthcoming Telugu and Tamil films to sustain her career.
Bhoomika Chawla will play one of the most important roles in her career by donning a man's fashion in forthcoming Tamil film. Her role as a girl and her transformation as a man is a challenge to the calm and slim heroine. According to reports the movie is inspired from the Iranian film Baran, which won awards for acclaimed film director-writer Majid Majidi.
Another forthcoming Telugu film directed by Srinivas Kumar, vibrant Bhoomika will for the first time rub shoulders with Telugu hero Srikanth. Although Srikanth and Bhoomika acted in the family genre of films for many years, they never appeared on screen together. One of the highlight of the film is Chakri's music. The film is produced by distributor turned producer Prashant.
Bhoomika is the ladylove of debutante hero Murali Krishna in Telugu film Mallepuvvu directed by Samudra. Bhoomika's character in the film is quite different from her all other roles that she has done so far. The film has eight songs composed by music maestro Ilayaraja.
Svelte Bhoomika is one of the most beautiful smiling faces of the industry. She carved a niche for herself by playing an innocent girl in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil films. Her gorgeous eyes and girl next-door image with pleasing movements won praise from the audience of Bollywood and the South. Her marriage with long time beau Bharat Takur, a millionaire yoga master, did not pause her acting career. Bhoomika has gone one step ahead by venturing into film financing by starting own production company Down Down. Bhoomika not only continued her acting career after her marriage but also made her Punjabi film debut opposite Gurdas Mann in Yaariyan directed by Deepak Grewal.
Bhoomika Chawla was born on Aug. 21, 1978, in Delhi as Rachna and is lovingly called as Guddiya. The tall actress is the youngest of the Punjabi speaking Chawla family. Her father Ajit Sing Chawla is a retired Colonel and mother Bali Chawla is a housewife. Her elder brother also serves armed forces.
Bhoomika Chawla entered to the film industry after doing many commercials for top brands and Hindi music video albums. The campaign for Ponds Talcum Powder made her popular and that helped her for an easy entry into tinsel world. The comely actress with an easy-going mind-set won the hearts of cinegoers with her natural performance. She wants to continue in the industry as long as the audience accepts her and her ultimate aim is to win a Best Actress National Award.
Although Bhoomika was born and brought up in the capital city New Delhi, she moved to the commercial capital Mumbai in 1997 and started her modelling career. The bright-faced college girl with a warm smile learnt the early lessons of acting and expressions from her modelling career. She also tried her luck on the mini screen serial Hipp Hip Hurray on Zee TV.
Bhoomika debuted opposite Sumanth in Telugu film Yuvakudu in 2000. The film bombed at the box office but she gained the attention of directors and producers of the industry. The success of her second Telugu film Khushi established her as a successful heroine of the industry. She was paired opposite power star Pawan Kalyan in the super hit film and she won the Best Actress Award. The success of the film earned her many fans and hyped her as a strong runner for the top slot.
Her hero in Telugu film Snehamante Idera directed by Bala Sekharan was Nagarjuna. The film was a remake of super hit Friends directed by Siddique. Bhoomika was the love interest of crowd puller Mahesh Babu in Okkadu directed by Gunasekhar. Okkadu not only performed well at the box office but also won the Filmfare Award for best film, best director, best actor, best music director for MS Raju, Gunasekhar, Mahesh Babu and Mani Sharma respectively. Okkadu also won Santosham Award for Prakash Raj as the best villain, best art direction for Ashok and MS Raju won the Santosham Best Film Award. Okkadu's Tamil remake Ghilli starring Vijay and Trisha in the lead roles repeated the success. Kannada remake of the film was Aajay and action hero Puneet Kumar played the lead was also a box office hit.
Bhoomika's pairing opposite Jr NTR in Simhadri directed by SS Rajamouli was one of the biggest hit in Jr NTR's career. She played a mentally retarded girl as Indu and got rave reviews for her fabulous performance. The film was remade in Tamil as Gajendra but the film couldn't repeat the success of the original. Bhoomika's pairing opposite Jr NTR in Samba was an average grosser. Bhoomika had enough luck to pair opposite megastar Chiranjeevi in Jai Chiranjeeva. Bhoomika played the title role as a journalist in the heroine oriented film Anasuya. The film won acclaim and was a big hit at the box office. Bhoomika was absolutely comfortable in the role of the film directed by Ravi Babu and he also played a negative role in the film.
Her pairing opposite Jagapati Babu in triangular love story Swagatam directed by Dasaradh was one of the best in her career. Her chemistry with Jagapati Babu was appreciated but the big budget film received lukewarm response at the box office and failed to fulfill the high expectations of the audience.
Bhoomika made her Bollywood debut opposite mega star Salman Khan in Tere Naam. The film was the remake of Tamil super hit Sethu, which made Vikram a dependable leading man. With her charm and grace she portrayed a simple innocent brahmin girl in the musical hit Tere Naam. The film was one of the biggest hit of the year and she was nominated for several Best Debut Awards at different ceremonies including Filmfare Best Actress Award. She won the Zee Cine Awards Best debut actress trophy. Bhoomika and Salman again paired in Atul Agnihotri's directorial debut Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa. She was the ladylove of Abhishek Bachchan in Run, a remake of Tamil blockbuster of the same title. Bhoomika paired opposite debutante Karan Sharma, son of director Romesh Sharma in Amitabh Bachchan starrer Dil Jo Bhi Kahey. She also acted in another Amitabh starrer Family-Ties of Blood, which bombed at the box office. Bhoomika played Gulab Gandhi's role in Gandhi My Father, which explores the troubled relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and Harilal Gandhi.
Bhoomika forayed into Tamil film industry by pairing opposite Vijay in Badri, a remake of Tollywood hit Thammudu. She was the heroine of Srikant's launching vehicle super hit Rojakkoottam and together the two made a cute pair. Her pairing opposite Surya as one of the heroine in Tamil film Sillunu Oru Kadhal was also a box office grosser. AR Rahman and Shreya Ghosal won the Filmfare Awards for the best music director and best female playback singer respectively.
In her less than a decade career, Bhoomika has acted in around 30 films in different languages and paired opposite front-line heroes of the industry like, Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Jr NTR, Salman Khan, Ajay Devgon, Abhishek Bachchan, Vijay, Surya etc. All the three Tamil films, which Bhoomika played the heroine roles were superhits. But the expected boom in her Tamil career did not materialise. The cute Chawla girl is masquerading as a boy in the forthcoming Tamil film and hopes that it will firm her foothold in Tamil cinema.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Comeback trail


After her marriage to Deepak Bagga, Simran had almost bid good-bye to the film industry. As a precursor to her silver screen comeback, the experienced and talented actress began appearing on the mini screen. The beautiful actress will play a meaningful role in the Hari-directed Seval. Her character in the film has a lot of scope for performance and she hopes the role will give the much-needed boost to her career.
Bharath plays the male lead in Seval and he is for the first time teaming up with hit film maker Hari. Poonam Bajwa is the love interest of Bharath in the action-packed entertainer. Vadivelu will play a pivotal role as the room mate of the bachelor hero. Sampathraj and Shanmughasundaram will terrorise the audience in their villain roles.
It is not clear whether Simran will play Bharath's sister role or sister-in-law's role in the film. But she has been cast opposite Prem, who did memorable performances in films like Kannamma and Nepali, where Bharath played three different roles. Prem's tough cop role in Nepali was well appreciated by the audience. Prem will appear in the film without a moustache opposite Simran, who still has not lost her charm.
Hari's favourite cameraman Priyan is the cinematographer of the film and Rocky Rajesh is the stunt choreographer. Seval is produced by leading film distributor Jinna under the banner of Jinna Creations. This is the second time Simran is acting in director Hari's film. Simran was the lady love of Prashanth in Hari's directorial debut Tamizh.
Simran was born as Rishibala Naval on April 4, 1976 and she is the daughter of Ashok Naval and Saradha Naval. After completing her B.Com degree she made her debut in the Hindi film Tere Mere Sapne. After doing a couple of Hindi films, she moved to the South Indian film industry and established herself as a sought-after heroine.
Although she made her debut in the Mammootty starrer Malayalam film Indraprastham, she fetched success as a heroine in Tamil and Telugu films. Simran paired opposite front-line South Indian heroes like Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Balakrishna, Kamal Hassan, Arjun, Sarath Kumar, Vijay, Surya, Ajith Kumar, Madhavan etc. She also got the opportunity to perform notable roles in films like Thulladha Manavum Thullum, Vaali, Kannathil Muthamittal, Kovilpatti Veeralakshmi etc. She had enough luck to perform a variety of roles right from the beginning of her career in the South. Her pairing opposite crowd pulling heroes made her a valuable heroine of the industry. She not only entertained the audience by glamorous roles and dance performances but also handled serious roles with the same ease.
Simran is good in Bharathanatyam and Salsa and that helped her in competing with her professional rival Jyothika Saravanan, who is also a very good dancer.
In her career's peak Simran left the industry after her marriage and settled in Delhi. She has given birth to a baby boy and she returned to the industry through television. Her role as a young girl in Pyramid Saimira's Simran Thirai airing on Jaya TV is a very popular serial.
Her comeback to the industry has gained media attention but Simran did not get lead roles opposite front-line heroes in her second arrival. Her hero in her comeback vehicle Malayalam film Heartbeats was Indrajith. Although her name was heard for playing one of the female leads in the Rajinikanth starrer Kuselan, she was replaced by Meena.
In her re-entry, Simran played the female lead opposite comedian Krishna Bhagavan, who is being introduced as a hero in the Telugu film Jon Appa Rao 40 Plus. Simran also played Balakrishna's grandmother in the Telugu film Okka Magaadu and Surya's mother in the Tamil film Vaaranam Aayiram. However, her performance in these films didn't captivated the hearts of film buffs.
Simran is ready for doing glamour roles as a heroine but the former leading lady is not getting suitable offers. Although she is not the lead in Seval, she can explore her acting capabilities by playing a serious character of different shades in the film.


From Boys to hero


Kadhalil Vizhunthen is a romantic action thriller set in the backdrop of a campus. The film tells a love story in a distinct style. The makers of the film claim a special treatment of the subject and guarantees a new experience for the audience. The movie begins with a lot of suspense, where the hero meets the heroine. The story is about a young lover, who lost his girlfriend but believes that she is still alive. Kadhalil Vizhunthen is directed by PV Prasad, an earlier assistant of V Sekar and Azhagam Perumal.
Nakul plays the male lead of the film and Telugu actress Sunaina make her Tamil debut as a heroine. Other important roles of the film are played by Hari Raj, Livingston and Sampath.
Vijay Anthony tunes for the lyrics of young and talented Thamarai. One of the songs Nakka Mukku has already became a chart buster. SD Vijay Milton is the cinematographer and VT Vijayan edits the film. It is produced by Umapathy under the banner of Atlantic Cinemas.
The hero of the film, Nakul, was born in Mumbai on June 15, 1984. He is the son of Jayadev and Lakshmi and former south Indian heroine and Award winning actress Devayani is his elder sister. Nakul made his silver screen debut in famed director Shankar's Boys. The musical hit Boys presented some highly talented artistes like Bharath, Sidharth and Genelia to the industry.
Nakul's co-stars of the film Boys were already established as good artistes in the industry. Bharath is one of the top young heroes of the Tamil industry. Sidharth Narayan is also one of the most wanted heroes of the Telugu industry. He also debuted in Bollywood with the Aamir Khan-starrer Rang De Basanti. Genelia, the heroine of Boys has played leads in many Telugu films and the beautiful actress is the heroine in the recently released Tamil film Santosh Subramaniam. She also made her Bollywood debut opposite Akshaye Khanna in Mere Baap Pehle Aap directed by Priyadarshan. She is the love interest of Imran Khan, nephew of Aamir Khan in the forthcoming Hindi film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.
Except Nakul, all other artistes who shared the screen with him in Boys climbed the ladder of success in the glamour industry. Although Nakul sang few hit songs for films like Anniyan, Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu, Vallavan, Ghajini etc. he could not fulfil his dream to become a lead actor.
Finally, lady luck smiled on the young actor and he is playing the lead in the big budget Kadhalil Vizhunthen. A few years has made a lot of changes in the appearance of Nakul. Now, the stout guy of Boys can compete with any hero of the industry with his new hairstyle and lean looks. Director Prasad has given him special training in dance, action, dialogue delivery, body language and mannerism to fit the role in the film.
Nakul has worked hard for playing the hero in Kadhalil Vizhunthen. According to reports, he has reduced his weight by more than 30 kilogrammes.
The heroine of the film, Sunaina, has already gained the attention of Telugu industries by playing the lead in a couple of Telugu movies. Nakul's 13 seconds kissing scene with heroine Sunaina publicly in the campus of Pondicherry University has already hit the media headlines.
Will the young hero Nakul, with a new look, achieve success in Kadhalil Vizhunthen with a debutante director and the mileage of a super song?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Up to the challenge


Saucy Namitha secured a place in the hearts of innumerable fans by playing dazzling roles in many films as a heroine, second heroine and item girl. The stupendous success of Billa, where she paired opposite ultimate star Ajith made her a sought after heroine of the Tamil film industry. Oomph girl Namitha's brand equity has gone up by a few notches after she shared the screen with another young hero Vijay in Azhakiya Tamizh Makan.
Full-figured Namitha is shuttling between studios to shoot several films simultaneously with big names in the industry. The busy actress celebrated her birthday this week with 50 orphaned children at Snow World Amusement centre in Chennai, for which she is the brand ambassador.
Her prominent roles in forthcoming Tamil movies like Indravizha, Pandi, Perumal, Idi, Thee, 1977 and Kettavan are going to change her image from a glam-doll to a total artiste.
Voluptuous Namitha will set the screen on fire by appearing in a bikini in Indravizha, which would expose her buxom body. She plays a married super model role as an arrogant rich girl Kamini in the film. Indravizha is an entertainer with a strong subject. Kamini is in love with a married man Santhosh Sreenivasan played by young hero Srikanth. He wants to escape from her clutches, but Kamini does not allow him to end the relationship. Indravizha, written and directed by K Rajeshwar, also features two other heroines Hema Malini and Swarnamalya. Indravizha was the last film signed by late Raghuvaran and Nasser will play the role. The film is produced by Ashok K Kotvani under the banner of ANKK movies and Yadheesh scores music.
Namitha plays a significant role of a folk dancer in Pandi directed by Mathuravan. Her Karakatakari role is entirely different from her other films. Her character in the film will not only put her among the top heroines of the Tamil industry but it will also gratify her fans. Choreographer-Director-Actor Raghava Lawrence is the male lead of the film and Sneha is the other heroine. Srikanth Deva tunes for the film produced by Hitesh Jabak on behalf of Nemichand Jabap productions.
Namitha is the lady love of Sundar C in forthcoming films Perumal, Thee and Idi. She is one of the heroines as an unruly woman in Perumal directed by Vincent Selva. Meenakshi is the other heroine. In Thee directed by Kicha, Namitha plays a politician's role. The film will have two more heroines Ragini and Malavika. Namitha's other forthcoming film Idi will be directed by Shakthi Chidambaram. She earlier paired opposite Sundar C as one of the heroines in Shakthi Chidambaram's Sandai.
Glam-shell Namitha will sizzle the silver screen in the company of supreme star Sarath Kumar again in 1977. Sarath Kumar dons the role of a detective in the action thriller. Farzana is the other heroine of the film. The duo Sarath Kumar and Namitha earlier paired in films like Aei and Chanakya. Her role in Aei was funny and emotional. Her appearance along with Sarath Kumar in the song Arjuna Arjuna in the film was a big hit.
Namitha will play a pivotal role in the Silambarasan starrer Kettavan directed by debutante Nandakumar. Little Super Star Simbu plays three different roles in the film and himself pens the story. Yuvan Shankar Raja composes for the racy entertainer.
Namitha will feature an entirely different role in Brammandam. The movie is the remake of runaway Kannada hit Neelakanta. It will be produced by Gayatri under the banner of GA International. Ravichandran is the hero and Sredevika is the other heroine. The success of Neelakanta has rewarded her many offers from the Kannada industry including Indra opposite young hero Darshan.
Namitha was born on May 10, 1981 in a Punjabi speaking Kapoor family in Surat, Gujarat. She is the only daughter of the family. Her father is a textile businessman and mother is a housewife. After completing her graduation in English literature, she was modelling and that gave her entry onto the silver screen. The former Miss Surat, Namitha was the fourth runner up in the Miss India contest in 2001 along with Trisha Krishnan and Celina Jaitley, who was crowned Miss India.
Charming Namitha entered the tinsel world by debuting in the Telugu film as Bhairavi in Sontham in 2002. Her pairing opposite Telugu front liner Victory Venkatesh in Gemini in the same year made her noticeable in the industry. Both the films bombed at the box office but her female lead opposite Ravi Teja in Oka Raju Oka Rani boosted her career. Her role in Prabhu Deva-Srikanth starrer Oka Radha Iddaru Krushnula Pelli has given her ample scope to display her talents and that captured the attention of Telugu film buffs. Her special appearance in Aithe Enti and lead in Naya Kudu could not establish her as a sought after heroine in the Telugu industry.
The pretty actress shifted her base to neighbouring Tamil industry with Engal Anna where senior hero Vijayakanth was her hero. She tasted commercial success as a heroine in her maiden venture in Tamil. The film directed by Siddique was the remake of Malayalam superhit Chronic Bachelor. The success of the film and her glamorous beginning made her a darling of the industry.
She was offered heroine roles opposite other senior heroes like Satyaraj in Maha Nadigan in the early beginning of her Tamil career. Her pairing opposite veteran heroes also gave her an opportunity to learn the lessons of acting. The tall and gorgeous Namitha with her sharp looks and glamour filled the vacuum of the industry created by leading actresses like Rambha, Simran etc.
However, Namitha achieved success in Tamil industry and had enough luck to pair opposite senior heroes like Arjun, Parthiban, Sarath Kumar, Vijayakanth, Sathyaraj etc. and youngsters like Ajith, SJ Surya, Jeevan, Vijay etc. She was the love interest of Arjun in Aanai, directed by Selva and it was a remake of the Denzel Washington-starrer Hollywood film. She was the ladylove of Satyaraj in Englishkaran and she was also the heroine of Kovai brothers along with Satyaraj and his son Sibiraj. Her pairing opposite Parthiban in Pachakuthira won acclaim for her. Her role as Poovu, who was forcefully married to Pachamuthu, a sadist who terrifies Chennai, won over a lot of hearts and it is one of the best in her career.
Namitha paired opposite Githan Ramish in Nee Venunda Chellam and the movie was a flop at the box office. In the Prashanth-starrer Thangappansamy, Namitha again played a second heroine role as the sister of greedy landlord Thakur Dass played by Vincent Asokan. Namitha's model role in Vyapari, where SJ Surya played a dual role for the first time in his career also featured two other heroines Tamanna and Malavika.
Namitha's pairing opposite young hero Jeevan in Naan Avan Illai directed by Selva was last year's superhit.
Although many heroines are ready to show skin in front of the camera, Namitha's combination of beauty and glamour makes her a hot favourite. She believes that it is the duty of a good actress to make her character look its best and she always succeeds in doing that.
Namitha is riding high in the Tamil industry. She can compete with any leading lady in the industry in both glamour and acting areas. The heroines should take note of her talents and be forewarned, she is on their trail!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Keeping up the good work

Keeping up the good work

Dileep plays the lead in the forthcoming Malayalam film Bodyguard directed by hit filmmaker Siddique, writes KK Moidu

Director-writer Siddique of the famous duo Siddique-Lal has never tasted failure in his career. His movies always have the right ingredients of comedy, sentiments, romance and suspense. Now, for the first time, Siddique will feature Dileep as a hero in his new film Bodyguard. The family-based thriller is a hilarious entertainer. Dileep plays the role of a bodyguard in the film produced by Johnny Sagarika. Ouseppachan tunes for the lyrics of Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri.
Siddique, who has always been successful, is back directing Malayalam movies after five years. His last Malayalam movie, Chronic Bachelor, was released in 2003. The Mammootty-starrer was not only a success at the box office, but it also boosted the Mammootty's career whose previous films like Dubai and Phantom were flops.
The director duo Siddique-Lal created some of the most memorable films in the Malayalam film industry. Both of them were mimicry artistes in Cochin Kalabhavan and director Fazil spotted them in a stage show. They started their film career as assistants to Fazil.
Siddique-Lal duo made their directorial debut with Ramji Rao Speaking in 1989. The blockbuster film was a different treat for the audience. The film was not only directed by debutante Siddique-Lal, the hero of the film Sai Kumar and the heroine Rekha were also newcomers. Sai Kumar played a full-length comedy sentimental hero's role in the film. He later played hero and second hero roles in many films and presently he is the strong presence in the industry in serious and villain roles. Heroine Rekha also played female leads in many films. Her pairing opposite superstar Mohanlal in Aye Auto was a super success at the box office. Vijayaraghavan excelled in the gangster role as Ramji Rao in the film and that earned him many offers for venomous villain roles.
After the success of Ramji Rao Speaking, the duo created some of the all time favourite hits in Malayalam. Before their separation, they directed four films In Harihar Nagar, God Father, Vietnam Colony and Kabooliwala and all of them were commercial hits, noticed for the freshness of the comedy and presentation.
The second film In Harihar Nagar was released in 1990 featuring Geetha Vijayan in her debut film. The famous line of the film 'Thomassukutty Vittodaa' was a whisper in the Kerala society. Although the four heroes of the film Mukesh, actor Siddique, Jagadish and Ashokhan has done full justice to their roles, Jagadish with his protruding eyes became the most popular with the audience. His character Appukkuttan was unique and his famous dialogue in the film was an unavoidable dish on mimicry stages.
Jagadish again won appreciation as Maayinkutty, the friend of hero Mukesh in the superhit Godfather. Legendary dramatist NN Pillai played an important role as Anjooran in the film, which tells the rival story of two families; Aanappara Achamma and Anjooran Muthalali. Tamil heroine Kanaka made her Malayalam debut as a heroine in Godfather. The film was one of the biggest hits and the longest running Malayalam film, it ran continuously for more than 400 days in a theatre in Thiruvananthapuram. The success of the film made her a favourite in the industry and she was lucky enough to play the heroine roles of superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
After making three films with second line heroes, frontliner Mohanlal played the male lead in their next venture Vietnam Colony. Innocent, who played important roles in their earlier films Ramji Rao Speaking and Godfather played a key role in the film as KK Joseph, an assistant of Mohanlal. His witty mannerisms and dialogue delivery created ripples of laughter in movie halls. His roles in Siddique-Lal films made him more popular among the audience.
Although Innocent is one of the most successful comedy actors in the industry, he played an entirely different lead role as Kannaas in Kabooliwala, the last film directed by Siddique-Lal as a duo. Another leading comedian of the industry, Jagathy Sreekumar, was the other lead in the film as Kadalaas. Both of them make their living by collecting and selling rubbish.
Siddique and Lal proved to the industry that the good crafting of a story can achieve success at the box office without the presence of superstars. Although the duo started their career as assistant directors under Fazil, comedy was the genre of their films. After their split, Siddique continued his career as a director whereas Lal turned his attention to acting and production.
Both of them achieved success in different ways after their separation. The Siddique-directed Mammootty-starrer Hitler was produced by Lal. However, Lal never returned to film direction after their separation. But Lal's brilliant performance in different roles has made him a favourite actor. He also established his own production company Lal Creations and produced many hits like Thenkasipattanam, Chathikkatha Chanthu, Thommanum Makkalum, Chanthupottu etc.
Friends, Siddique's second venture after their split, was produced by Lal and Ouseppachan. The film was a roaring success at the box office. In his career of more than two decades, Siddique has independently directed only three Malayalam films Hitler, Friends and Chronic Bachelor and in partnership with Lal has directed five films. But the unimaginable success of the films made him the most successful director in the industry.
According to reports, Siddique will make his Bollywood entry by directing a film for Good Night Mohan. As per his records, success will not be difficult for him in any language. His Tamil films Friends and Engal Anna were super hits at the box office. His recently released Sadhu Miranda starring Prasanna and Malayalam heroine Kavya Madhavan also won rave reviews. The comedy action thriller was crucial for the hero Prasanna. Siddique's script with unexpected twists and turns has plenty of comedy sequences.
From the beginning of his career, Siddique never gave Malayalam titles for his films. His latest film Bodyguard with Dileep in the lead is also not an exception.
Superstar Dileep has failed to deliver any hits recently and pins his hopes on the perfect commercial film directed by Siddique. Calcutta News and Mulla made by success-guaranteed directors Blessy and Lal Jose didn’t perform well at the box office. Although his recently released films were not hits, his hands are now full with offers from reputed directors like Santhosh Sivan, Roshan Andrews and Shafi.
Dileep started his career as a mimicry artiste and joined films as an assistant to director Kamal. He did small roles initially and the superhit Sallapam helped his career. After playing comedy hero roles in films like Punjabi House, Parakkum Thalika etc. he became popular. He was granted superstar status after the success of Joker and Meesa Madhavan. He also tasted success as a hero by playing a variety of roles as a hunchback Kunhan in Kunjikoonan and Radhakrishnan, a man with feminine features in Chanthupottu.
Dileep also tried his luck in a couple of action films and a few like Runway and Lion were a success. However, his first appearance in the Sathyan Anthikkad film Vinodhayathra opposite Meera Jasmine brought him back to serious comedy roles. The film was one of the biggest hits of the year.
Dileep is presently busy with the production of the new film Twenty Twenty by AMMA, for which he is the executive producer. The film will release in 118 centres and will be presented by Dileep's home production company Grand Productions. Twenty Twenty, directed by Joshi, is scripted by Sibi K Thomas and Udayakrishan and the film has in its cast almost all the prominent stars of the industry.
Siddique, a veteran in making quality comedy films and Dileep a household name in comedy come together in Bodyguard. Their joint venture will have few chances for box office failure. Will Siddique maintain his reputation of never delivering flops and will Dileep be a hot favourite at the box office once again?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Back in style

Kunchacko Boban, the young romantic hero, is back in the Malayalam film industry with a film directed by Shafi, writes KK Moidu

Popularly known as Chackochan, Kunchacko Boban is returning to the film industry after an interval of two years. His comeback vehicle scripted by popular duo Rafi-Mecartin will bring him together with the Swapnakoodu team Prithviraj and Jayasurya. Superhit Swapnakoodu released in 2003 was directed by Kamal and the present numero uno Shafi will direct the new venture. The film, produced under the banner of Vishaka Films, is a Ramadan release.
Chackochan, the heartthrob of the youngsters in late 90s, vanished from the industry for the last two years. He recently appeared in a song sequence in Twenty Twenty. The high voltage song in the multi-starrer, directed by Joshi, also features Prithviraj, Nayanthara, Indrajith and Manikuttan.
According to reports, Chackochan wants to feature in mature roles in future projects. Also the heir of the famous Udaya Studio, he has announced his first project as a producer under the same banner.
Kunchacko Boban's ancestral production house Udaya was one of the biggest banners in Malayalam and is producing a film with Mammootty in the lead. Superstar Mammootty is the protagonist playing the role of a police officer. The film will give more importance to humour. The plot is based on the relationship between a cricket loving police officer and a celebrity cricket player. Sreeshanth, the only Indian cricket team player from Kerala, plays a pivotal role in the film, directed by debutante Aashiq Abu.
Kunchacko Boban, one of the promising young actors of the new breed, made his debut in the campus love story Aniyathipraavu directed by Fazil. Shalini played his lady love in the teenage love story. Former child artiste Shalini, who was a favourite of the family audience, made her debut as a heroine in the film. She started her career at the age of three and won the Kerala State Award for Best Child artiste in her maiden film Ente Maamattikuttiyammakku. She is married to Tamil actor Ajith and they are blessed with a baby girl. She quit the industry after her marriage.
Aniyathipraavu gained the attention of the masses even before its release. This is because director Fazil, an expert in making super hits, introduced the young hero Kunchacko Boban, who came from a family of film personalities and a former popular child artiste Shalini as a heroine. The film was a trendsetter and a big commercial success. This catapulted Chackochan to stardom and he became a favourite of the college campus.
His performance in another Fazil directed film Harikrishnans made him one of the top actors in the industry. The male leads of the film were played by Malayalam superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal with Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla as the heroine.
Chackochan paired again with Shalini in another love story Nakshathra Thaarattu. Although the film could not repeat the earlier super success of Aniyathipraavu, he played the lover boy's role in many films like Niram, Priyam, Chandamama, Prem Pujari, Ingane Oru Nilapakshi, Swapnakkoodu etc. A few of them like Niram and Swapnakoodu attained box office success, but other films were flops.
His half-a-dozen films Hridayathil Sookshikkan, Iruvattam Manavaatti, Five Fingers, Jalolsavam, Mullavalliyum Thenmaavum, Junior Senior etc. bombed at the box office. The continuous flops of the films, where Chackochan played romantic hero roles, forced him to switch over to serious roles. His mature roles in Kasthooriman, Narendran Makan Jayakanthan Vaka etc. achieved moderate success at the box office.
However, he could not improve in mature hero roles for a long time due to his boyish looks in a super star dominated Malayalam industry. His heroic role in Kilukkam Kilukilukkam, a sequel of superhit Kilukkam did not match expectations and he faded out from the industry.
Kunchacko Boban received offers from the Tamil industry from reputed director's like Manirathnam and Agathiyan. Unlike other actors, he refused ‘out of the state offers’ and continued in the Malayalam industry by giving more importance to his health and personal life.
Chackochan was preferred by the audience as a lover boy and his change to serious and mature roles was rejected by them. He lost a golden opportunity to play one of the heroes in the campus hit Classmates directed by Lal Jose. Chackochan was the first choice for the director in Narein's role but he refused the offer because of his earlier commitment for a US tour. The success of Classmates earned Narien many offers in Malayalam and Tamil films. The costly mistake made Chackochan realise his loss.
Like other married Malayalam heroes, Kunchacko Boban's career did not light up after his marriage to Priya Ann Samuel on April 2, 2005. The leading Malayalam heroes like Mammootty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi etc. were struggling in the industry as bachelors. But things took a turn after their marriages and all of them were blessed with success and achieved superstar status. Many hoped that after marriage, the teenage sensation Kunchacko Boban will become another superstar. But for the last two years he has not acted in any films as a hero or supporting hero.
Chackochan hails from the Maliampurakal family and his great grandfather Maliampurakal Mani Chacko started the first boat service in Kuttanadu. Chackochan is the grandson of legendary film producer and director Kunchacko. Kunchacko's venture Udaya studio played an important role in the gradual shift of the Malayalam film industry from its original base of Chennai to Kerala. Kunchacko produced films initially under the banner of K&K Productions with the partnership of KV Koshi. K&K produced four films including Jeevitha Nauka, considered as the first superhit Malayalam film. After the separation of Kunchacko and Joshi, Kunchacko produced Achchan, Avan Varunnu and Kidappadam under the banner of Udaya. The box office failure of Kidappadam ended with the closure of Udaya Studio and later re-opened with the help of his friend and Kerala State Minister, late TV Thomas.
After tasting success as a director in Umma, Kunchacko turned his attention to film making and directed around 40 films. The united family of Kunchacko was separated after his death. Kunchako's sons took over Udaya and Kunchacko's brother Chacko Punnoose, popularly known as Appachan and his son's started Navodaya Productions.
Appachan produced many hit films like Manichithrathazhu, Manjil Virinja Pookkal etc. and introduced veteran director Fazil and Mohanlal. The first 3D film in India, My Dear Kuttichathan was produced by Appachan and the film was released in Hindi as Chota Chetan. Appachan and his son Jijo won President's Gold Medal for My Dear Kuttichathan in 1984. Appachan directed the first cinemascope film in Malayalam. The first Indian made 70mm movie Padayottam was produced by Navodaya.
Kunchacko's son and Chackochan's father Boban Kunchacko was also an actor, director and producer. Boban Kunchacko acted in few films produced by Udaya and directed films like Paalattu Kunhikkannan, Sanchari etc.
The contributions of the Maliampurakal family to the Malayalam film industry will be commemorated forever. Kunchacko Boban, who has acted in around 30 films in his one-decade long career and the sole heir of Udaya Studio was doing real estate business for the last couple of years. Will he achieve success as an actor and producer in his second chance and continue the family legacy. The answer is to wait for fate to take its course.