Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shining star

Kamalini Mukherjee makes her Malayalam film debut opposite superstar Mammootty in KUTTY SHRANKU, directed by Shaji N Karun, writes KK Moidu

Bengali beauty Kamalini won the hearts of audience by performing a tiny role in maiden Tamil venture Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. Although her expectation of the role in Kamal Hassan starrer was very high, it was only five minutes long. Her performance in the hit song Parthamudhal Nale of Haris Jayaraj won rave reviews which made her noticeable in the Tamil industry.
Kamalini was flooded with offers from Tamil film industry after Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. The only role accepted by Kamalini was that of Cheran, a homely girl with love for tradition and values in Pirivom Santhippom. But the director of the film Karu Pazhaniappan changed the heroine and Kamalini was replaced by Sneha.
The good-looking actress Kamalini established herself as a leading heroine in the Telugu industry by playing female leads in Meenakshi, Godavari, Style etc. before her entry into the Tamil film industry.
She is a graduate in English Literature and her original name is Roshni. She completed a workshop on theatre in Mumbai. Theatre artist turned model Kamalini made her acting debut in Hindi film Phir Milenge. Actor-director Revathi offered her a role in Phir Milenge by noticing the advertisement featuringg Kamalini. Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty played the lead roles in the film. Phir Milenge, the second directorial venture of Revathi revolved around the subject of AIDS. Kamalini played a RJ's role in the film as the heroine's younger sister. The film bombed at the box office and leading offers from the Hindi film industry didn't knock at her door.
Kamalini made her Telugu debut opposite Raja in Sekhar Kammula's Anand. She played the role of an independent modern woman and the movie was one of the biggest hit of the year and won half-a-dozen Nandhi Awards. She won the Best Actress Nandhi Award from the Andhra Pradesh Government. Her acting ability once again gained her the female lead in Sekhar Kammulas hit film Godawari. The stupendous success of Pellaindi Kaani, Classmates etc. which she played heroine roles made her a busy actress of the Telugu industry.
Kamalini was the love interest of power star Pawan Kalyan in Jalsa. Other two heroine roles were played by Ileana D'Cruz and Parvathi Melton. Jalsa was one of the biggest hit of the year in Telugu industry and also Pawan's career.
Kamalini plays the female lead in forthcoming Telugu film Brahmanandam Drama Company directed by E Srikanth. Sivaji, Ravi Krishna and Brahmanandam play important roles in the film. The film is a remake of Hindi film Bhagam Bhaga starring Akshay Kumar and Govinda.
However, the 28 year old actress Kamalini had enough luck to play the heroine role of megastar Mammootty in her debut Malayalam film Kutty Shranku directed by veteran craftsman Shaji N Karun.
The top ranking Malayalam actor Mammootty and the award winning director Shaji N Karun is working in the film industry for more than three decades, but they are teaming up for first time in entertaining the people in Kutty Shranku. The film tells the story of the protagonist in three different viewpoints of three women. The fourth Malayalam film of Shaji is different from his earlier art house label films Piravi, Swaham and Vanaprastham.
Kutty Shranku produced under the banner of Big Motion Pictures is the maiden Malayalam production venture of Reliance Entertainment owned by Anil Ambani. Kutty Shranku set in the early 60's tells the story of a boat driver, who runs a parcel service to and from Kodungaloor-Kollam in the back waters of Kerala. He is a freewheeler and has no home or religion. Nobody knows his whereabouts, but he has three paramour's in three places on the route and each of them have a different type of relationship with him. These three concubines were not aware about the others and meet for the first time after the mysterious death of the protagonist.
Kamalini is one of the secret lovers of the protagonist. She is the daughter of the popular Chavittu Natakam Aasan in the film. She is also the heroine of the dance drama in which Shranku, played by Mammootty, is the hero. Other two heroines, Sreelankan actress Meenakumari is a mute girl in the film and Padmapriya appears as a rich girl, but accepts Buddhism.
Mammootty plays the protagonist role in three different characters in three styles in a single movie. Mammootty will sing a Chavittu Natakam based song for the film directed by renowned director Shaji N Karun. The visual of the song which starts with Karikkutty...ente kalel, performed on screen by Mammootty and Suresh Krishna has already shot by Shaji N Karun. Isaac Thomas Kottukapally is the music director of the film, which has an entire backdrop of Chavittu Natakam — the folklore dance drama of Northern Kerala. Siddique and Rajeev Kalamasserry plays important roles in the film.
Kamalini had the luck to play an entirely different role in her debut Malayalam film opposite Mammootty. Her role in the film has ample scope for performance and the veteran director Shaji N Karun will definitely utilise her talent. But only few heroines from other states like Padmapriya continued their career in Malayalam. Others like Amrita Rao, Katrina Kaif, Parvati Melton etc. who paired opposite superstars in earlier hit films, disappeared from the Malayalam film industry after a couple of films.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Onam bonanza

Onam has failed to bring a rich harvest of Malayalam movie releases of big banners this year, writes KK Moidu.

Front-line Malayalam superstars Mammootty, Mohanlal and Dileep has disappointed the fans without any new releases for the Onam Festival. Most of the big banners has postponed their new releases to forthcoming Eid, which comes couple of weeks after the Onam. This is the first Onam in the history of Malayalam cinema, without any new releases of the reigning superstars. One of the main reason for not releasing superstar films in the Onam season is the coinciding with Ramadan. The harvest festival of Kerala, Onam, leaves the theatres with small banner films from upcoming heros except Prithviraj and Suresh Gopi.
According to reports, half-a-dozen movies releasing on the Onam festival of the year are Thirakkatha, Thalappaavu, Thaavalam, Sultan, Chempada and Apoorva.
Although Mammootty, Mohanlal and Dileep are not able to satisfy their fans, young hero Prithviraj will have two new releases Thirakkatha and Thalappaavu.


The most important attraction of the Onam is Prithviraj starrer Thirakkatha directed by his mentor Renjith. The film has more chance to win in the Onam race. Thirakkatha tells the inner story of filmdom and earlier films of the same subject like Udhayanaanu Thaaram and recently released Kadha Paryumbol were well accepted by the audience. Prithviraj plays a director's role in Thirakkatha as Akbar Ahamed, who is facing criticism for plagiarising story for his film. Prithviraj made his debut half-a-decade before in Nandanam directed by Renjith. Although Prithviraj has delivered many superhit films in a short period, Renjith, who has created superhits with superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal has failed to deliver a hit for the last couple of years.
However, his forthcoming film Thirakadha is a musical love story and it will be noticed for its commercial ingredients. The film features two leading heroines Priyamani and Samvrutha. Priyamani is returning to the Malayalam screen after an interval by playing a glamorous role as Malavika. Priyamani made her Malayalam debut opposite Prithviraj in Sathyam and the National Award winning actress has achieved success as a heroine in Tamil and Telugu.
Music director Sarath composed the tunes for the film. He returns to the Malayalam industry after five years. But he is very popular in Kerala and won the hearts of mini screen audience as a judge in Idea Star Singer airing on Asianet. Nishant Sagar plays a pivotal role in the film as cinematographer Kevin Paul. Thirakkatha is produced by Varnachithra Subair and Renjith's Capital Theatres.


Prithviraj dons the lead as naxal Joseph, that has shades of the real-life naxalite Varghese, who was shot dead in the forests in the 70's. Madhupal's maiden directorial venture Thalappaavu scripted by Babu Janardhan goes deep into the life of a naxalite youth Joseph and police constable Raveendran Pillai. Both of them share a very good relation but circumstances forced Pillai to kill Joseph, as a part of his duty. But after years, the incident haunts Pillai and he revealed the truth behind the death of Joseph.
Lal is playing the role of constable Raveendran Pillai. Other roles of the film are played by Dhanya Mary, Jagathy Sreekumar, Sreejith Ravi, Maniyanpilla Raju and Manuraj. Atul Kulkarni makes his Malayalam debut by playing a key role in the film.
Thalappaavu produced by Mohan under the banner of Civic Cinemas is distributed by Lal Creations. Alex Paul scores for the film music and Azhagappan is the cinematographer.


Although Suresh Gopi is going through a lean patch in his career without any hits but his hands are full with offers. Suresh Gopi plays the lead in Thaavalam directed by debutante Baiju and produced by Mummy Century under the banner of BMC Productions. Newcomer Ratya plays the heroine role in the film. Thaavalam is all about the background of a graveyard in Kerala and Tamil Nadu border. Theni and Vipin Mohan cranks the camera.
Navya Nair plays a key role in the film and other artistes are Jagathy Sreekumar, Cochin Haneefa, Riyaz Khan, Bijukuttan, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Bindu Panicker, Manraj, etc.
Kaithapram Viswanath tunes for the lyrics penned by Gireesh Puthencherry and Sudhamshu.


Sultan based on the plot by Gopi Manisseril is the third film of young hero Vinoo Mohan. He won acclaims for his previous ventures Nivedhyam and Cycle. Sultan directed by Sree Prakash is a campus film and Vinoo plays the role of medico Sivarajan. His fiancee also studies in the same medical college. Other artistes of the film are Sandhya, Roma, Lalu Alex, Vijay Raghavan, Jagathy and Salim Kumar.
The stroy is written by Vinod Guruvayoor and Jayan Sivapuram. Lyrics are penned by Kaithapram are set to music by M Jayachandran. Produced by Gopi Manasseri under the banner of Abhirami Krishna Productions banner.
Vinoo Mohan, the grandson of late Kottarakkara made his debut on Lohithadas directed Nivedhyam. The success of his second film Cycle earned him plenty of offers and he is to play the lead in Achante Makan, Adhithi, Devo Bhava etc.
Vinoo Mohan is foraying into neighbouring Tamil industry by playing one of the lead in Basha fame Suresh Krishna's film. Bharath plays the other hero's role in the film and the film tells the story of friendship.


The action thriller Chempada is the directorial debut of Robin Thirumala. The male lead of the film is played by Tamil actor Bala, who has done memorable performance in Big B and Kalabham. Sreedevika, who disappeared from the Malayalam films for half-a-decade is returning to the industry by playing the heroine role. She is one of the busiest heroine in the Kannada industry and has paired with leading Kannada heros.
Sanu, Anu Anand, Ronson Vincent and John Jacob play other important roles in the film. The action entertainer Chempada on the back drop of a music troop Red Army imagines mysterious activities other than music.


Apoorva is noticed by the directorial debut of an eighteen year old student Nithin Ramakrishnan. The first year student of Thrissur Law College has earlier created news by grabbing awards by making short films like Niranglude Kottaram and Amrithvarshini. His maiden venture Apoorva is an attempt to present the love and social commitment among students. The film is produced by Dr Samson and Dr Ramakrishnan under the banner of Gauri creations. The director Nithin himself pens the story. Vidhyadharan master tunes for the film and produced under the banner of Gowry Creations.
Apoorva has lot of newcomers like Sanjeev, Helen, Ajay Sathyan along with popular actor Kalabhavan Mani, Vimala Raman, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Innocent etc. Tamil comedian Senthil will also play an important role in the film.
Among the six Onam releases, Prithviraj starrer Thirakkatha directed by Renjith will have more chance of winning the Onam race. Thirakkatha will be noted by the fresh story and the presence of leading heroines like Priyamani and Samvrutha.
Will the young and upcoming hero Bala's Chempada and Vinoo Mohan's Sultan will make any challenge for Suresh Gopi's Thaavalam and Prithviraj's Thirakadha and Thalappavu? Will the teenage director Nithin create a new history in Malayalam cinema?
If the Onam releases can't attract crowds at the box office, the forthcoming Eid releases of superstars like Mohanlal's Kurukshetra, Mamootty's Maya Bazaar and the all-star movie Twenty Twenty is sure to win the heart of audience.