Saturday, June 27, 2009

A treat in store for Mohanlal fans in UAE

By K K Moidu
The week-long festival of Malayalam superstar Mohanlal's 30 years in the film industry was celebrated with an exclusive exhibition-cum sale of 200 caricatures and some rare photographs of the actor at The Bubble Lounge, Dubai World Trade Centre.

Mohanlal, chief guest Yusuff Ali MA, MD, EMKE Group, caricature artist Suresh Babu, photographer R Gopalakrishnan and hundreds of Mohanlal fans were present at the occasion.
The event was organised by Executive in association with City Vision Advertising and Dubai Studio City.
The festival celebration, kicked off on June 23, is an official event of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) 2009 and will go on till June 27.
The UAE will witness unique expressions of the life and works of the celebrity actor.
Suresh Babu has attempted to capture the essence of Mohanlal in his art by creating caricatures of the actor's most vivid characters in a career that spanned three decades.
An exclusive photographic collection of the actor by the well-known photographer R Gopalakrishnan Nair from his debut film Thiranottam to the forthcoming film Brahmaram directed by Blessy, found a place in the exhibition.
Part of the proceedings of the celebrations is being contributed towards a charity for the welfare of people stranded in the UAE due to financial constraints.
The celebration will also include the launch of a limited edition coffee table book - a biographic account of the actor's life and career.
The celebration will culminate in a specially conceptualised musical show directed by Lal Salaam, TK Rajeev Kumar and produced by MB Sanil Kumar, which will showcase Mohanlal's extraordinary journey in the film industry.
The show will also feature a live performance by the actor in a unique monologue musical that will also feature singers Sujatha, Madhu Balakrishnan, Vijay Yesudas and Swetha, dancer-actors Lakshmi Gopalswami and Vineeth.
The UAE is the launch pad for this mesmerising show, which will continue touring the world - USA, Europe and the Far East later.
The first show was held in Dubai at the Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Center last Thursday and the second show will be held at the National Theatre in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fast track to success: Ileana D'Cruz

Ileana D’Cruz stars opposite young actor Nitin for the first time in the forthcoming Telugu film Rechchipo, writes KK Moidu
Svelte beauty Ileana plays Nitin’s female lead in the mass entertainer Rechchipo directed by Paruchuri Murali. The first time pairing of Ileana and upcoming action hero Nitin has created lot of enthusiasm among cinegoers. The commercial entertainer Rechchipo produced by G Venkataramana under the banner of Sree Spectra Media is one of the most eagerly awaited Telugu films.

Rechchipo has all the ingredients for satisfying a larger audience. The big budget film, earlier titled Mirchi, was shot in foreign locations like Tunisia, Oman, Muscat and Dubai. Mani Sharma composes the music.
Although Ileana is riding high on her success after the recently released Kick, the success of Rechchipo is inevitable for Nitin’s career. He is going through a lean patch and does not have a single hit to his credit.

Dusky beauty Ileana D’Cruz was born in Mumbai of Goan parentage. Before starting her acting career, she worked as a model and was spotted by YVS Chawdary in a Fair n Lovely ad film. She made her debut in the Telugu film Devadasu directed and produced by him. She was paired opposite newcomer Ram, the nephew of Telugu producer Sravanti Ravi Kishore in her maiden venture.
But Ileana had the luck to begin her career by playing the female lead in a reputed director’s big banner film. She gained the attention of the Telugu film industry with her beauty and charm. She was flooded with offers from reputed directors and big banners opposite crowd pulling heroes like Mahesh Babu, Jr NTR, Ravi Teja, Prabhas, Sidharth etc. Some of these offers came to her even before the release of Devadasu by just seeing her published pictures.
She gained good reviews for her second Telugu film, the super hit Pokiri, directed by Puri Jagannath. This is a landmark in Ileana’s career. She was the love interest of Mahesh Babu and the success of the film made her a sought-after heroine of the industry.

After doing two Telugu films, the tall, lovely actress made her Tamil debut as one of the heroines in the triangular love story Kedi. AM Ratnam’s son Ravi Krishna played her male lead and his brother Jothi Krishna directed the film made by AM Ratnam banner. She was offered the heroine roles opposite leading Tamil heroes, but was forced to reject them because of her earlier commitment in Telugu films.
Her pairing opposite Jr NTR in the Telugu film Rakhi garnered excellent reviews and commercial success. Her role as Jyothy in Bhale Dongalu directed by K Vijaya Bhaskar opposite Tarun also won mixed reviews and got average success at the box office.
She also had the luck to romance the young generation heroes like Prabhas in Munna and Sidharth Narayan in Aata, which made her a favourite among the audience, especially the youth. She played a college girl role as Nidhi in the big budget Munna directed by debutante Vamsi Paidipally and it was a huge hit at the box office. Her glamorous performance in the song sequence of Aata earned her a lot of fans.
Ileana played one of the heroines of power star Pawan Kalyan in Jalsa. The film, directed by Trivikram Srinivas, is one of the biggest hits in Pawan’s career.
Ileana was the female lead of Ravi Teja for the second time in super hit Kick directed by Surendar Reddy. She won appreciation for her fresh looks and pretty appearance in the film and succeeded in delivering a noteworthy performance.
Ileana will romance Manchu Vishnu Vardhan Babu, son of actor-producer-politician Mohan Babu in the forthcoming Telugu film Saleem. The film will be directed by YVS Chowdary, who introduced her to the silver screen in Devadasu.
Although Ileana has played heroine roles in less than a dozen films, the massive success of her films like Pokiri, Munna, Jalsa, Kick etc. has made her a valuable heroine. She has created new waves in the Telugu industry and is always busy with her hectic schedule, shuttling between various locations. However, heroines are limited to appearing in few song sequences and fill the glamour slot. She is trying to be different and avoids the same kind of roles.
Ileana is in the race for the number one slot in the Telugu film industry. Her screen rivals like Anushka Shetty is keen on making her career in the Tamil industry while Ileana is concentrating on Telugu. Will the success of the forthcoming film Rechchipo make the gorgeous girl Ileana the queen of Tollywood?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shining on new turf: Gracy Singh

Gracy Singh makes her Malayalam film debut opposite Mammootty in the forthcoming film Loudspeaker, writes KK Moidu
Gracy Singh, the leading lady of Lagaan, will be the love interest of megastar Mammootty in Loudspeaker. She plays the role of Annie, a nurse in a private hospital. Mammootty dons the lead role as Mike Chacko in Loudspeaker directed by Jayaraj. Sasikumar plays a pivotal role in the film as Menon, the richest man in the village and a great friend of Mike Chacko. He is one of the popular names in the Kerala media and he is the founder-chairman of Asianet group. He is presently the director of Asian School of Journalism.
Loudspeaker also brings the trio of the Johnny Walker team back. Actor Mammootty, director Jayaraj and scriptwriter Ranjith reunite after an interval of more than one-and-a-half decades.
Gracy Singh from Punjab came into the limelight after playing the role of Gauri in the critically acclaimed Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. She was nominated for the Filmfare best female debut award for her performance, but Bipasha Basu won the award. Gracy also won International Indian Film Academy special award Face of The Year and was nominated for Popular Actress Award in a leading role. She fetched the Screen Weekly award for Most Promising Newcomer and best debut female Zee Cine Award for Lagaan.
Gracy was the female lead opposite Aamir Khan, the producer of Lagaan. The earlier choice for heroine of the film was Bollywood leading ladies like Rani Mukherji, Sonali and Nandita Das. Gracy was finally selected because of her dancing skills and acting talent. Her hard work and full dedication to the role proved that she was the right choice for the role.
A good dancer, Gracy started her career by touring with the dance troupe The Planets. She tried her luck on television before her entry into films by playing the role of Dinky in the soap Amaanat.
Gracy made her film debut as an actress in Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain. She played the younger sister of Kajol as Maya in the film. She also played a minor role as Shanti in Hu Tu Tu directed by Gulzar before tasting success with Lagaan.
She could not repeat the huge success of Lagaan pairing opposite front-line heroes like Anil Kapoor in Armaan and Ajay Devgan in Gangaajal. Lady luck smiled on the charming actress as the heroine opposite Sanjay Dutt in the runaway hit Munnabhai MBBS. The film was a trendsetter and the biggest grosser of the year.
The gifted Gracy has become a favourite among the masses after the success of Lagaan and Munnabhai MBBS. She proved her mettle as an actress by playing the heroine in India's two biggest hits, but she couldn't continue her success story in other films. She paired opposite crowd pullers like Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt in the beginning of her career and later featured opposite Aftab Shivadasani in Muskaan, Tusshar Kapoor in Shart: The Challenge, Kamal Rashid Khan in Desh Drohi etc.
Although she played strong characters in Wajahh...A Reason To Kill and Chanchal, she failed to fetch big returns in terms of popularity. Gracy Singh had the luck to play a lead role in a woman-oriented film Aseema: Beyond Boundaries based on an award-winning novel by Shailaja Kumari. Her role in the film had ample scope for performance as she portrays a teenager, a young woman and an old lady.
Gracy Singh rejected some roles like Sapna in Qayamat: City Under Threat because she did not want to appear in revealing costumes and Neha Dupia got the role. Gracy turned her face away from glamorous roles in an industry like Bollywood and that was her setback. She never performed in films that could not be watched by a family audience. But, she was not worried about the standstill in her career. Being a good dancer, she never performed an item number in films. She now sees opportunity in performing strong characters in other languages like Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films.
Gracy Singh made her Telugu debut as one of the heroines, Padmavathi, opposite senior hero Nagarjuna in Santosham. The film was dubbed in Hindi as Pehli Nazar Ka Pehla Pyaar. She recently made her debut opposite Raam in the Kannada film Meghave Meghave directed by Nagendra Prasad.
Although Gracy Singh has played the heroine in more than a dozen films in different languages, only a couple of films like Lagaan and Munnabhai MBBS did well at the box office. Her debut Malayalam film Loudspeaker is a success-guaranteed project. Will her pairing opposite Mammootty in Loudspeaker bring back her lost glory?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Success not far behind: Kajal Aggarwal

Kajal Aggarwal plays the role of a singer in Modhi Vilayaadu, directed by Saran, writes KK Moidu
Director Saran, who was an assistant of K Balachander, has made remarkable hit films like Gemini, Vasool Raja MBBS etc in the past. He is back now after a couple of years with Modhi Vilayaadu. The film tells the story of a youngster who takes revenge on his enemies. Kajal plays a college student who is the lead singer LR Easwari in a rock band. She pairs with young hero Vinay Rai in the romantic action-comedy entertainer. S Ramakrishnan pens the story and dialogues while the screenplay is by Saran. Santhanam, VMC Haneefa and Kalabhavan Mani play other important roles in the film. Hariharan-Leslie Lewis (Colonial Cousins), the duo who was credited for taking Indian pop overseas, are debuting as music directors in Tamil cinema with this film. They score the music for Vairamuthu’s lyrics.
Modhi Vilayadu is produced by Murali Manohar under the banner of Media One Global Entertainment Ltd in association with Gemini Industries and Imaging Ltd. The story of Modhi Vilayaadu is a universal subject and it was shot in foreign locations like Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Paris and Maldives.

Mumbai-based model Kajal was discovered by film-maker Teja, a veteran in introducing newcomers. Kajal has acted in more than half-a-dozen Telugu and Tamil films as a heroine within a short span of two years. She made her debut as a heroine by playing a village belle in the Telugu film Lakshmi Kalyanam directed by Teja. Kalyan Ram, the grandson of NTR played the male lead as an uneducated farmer. The film was a moderate hit at the box office and the gorgeous Kajal, with an attractive smile, won appreciation for her emotional scenes and gestures. She proved her acting talent in her second film Chandamama, a family drama crafted by creative director Krishnavamsi. Her sizzling performance in some scenes of the film and the glamorous appearances in song sequences won the hearts of fans. After this film, Kajal’s appearance onscreen was celebrated with loud cheers and whistling by fans. She was paired opposite Navdeep in the film and it was remade in Tamil as A Aa E Ee. Kajal confidently portrayed the role of Samyuktha as the female lead opposite Sumanth in Raaj Adity’as directorial debut Pourudu. The family entertainer was produced by Sumanth’s sister, D Supriya. Kajal’s pairing opposite young hero Nithin in Ravikumar Chawdhary’s Aatadista didn’t come upto expectations. However, she is on the fast track to superstardom and bagged two prestigious offers to pair opposite crowd-pulling young heroes Allu Arjun and Ram Charan Teja. Kajal is the love interest of Allu Arjun in Arya 2 directed by Sukumar. The film is a sequel of actor Allu Arjun and director Sukumar’s previous box office hit Arya. Kajal will play the role enacted by Anuradha Mehta in Arya. Although Allu Arjun’s debut film was a hit, the sensational success of Arya made him a successful hero in the Telugu film industry. The bubbly Kajal is the heroine in Magadheera and the hero of the film is megapower star Ram Charan Teja, son of megastar Chiranjeevi. SS Rajamouli directs the film and Allu Aravind is the producer.
Magadheera is a success guaranteed project and her role in the film gives her ample scope to perform. The film will be dubbed and released in other languages like Malayalam and Tamil. The big budget action entertainer is made for satisfying not only Ram Charan Teja’s fans but also all kinds of audience. MM Keeravani composes music of the film. Kajal also tried her luck in the Tamil industry by making a debut in Bommalattam, but her second film Pazhani was released earlier. Kajal paired opposite senior hero Arjun in Bommalattam. The film, directed by veteran Bharathiraja was remade into Hindi as Cinema and in Telugu as Rana. Nana Patekar made his Tamil and Telugu debut and Arjun made his Bollywood debut with the investigation thriller. Kajal’s pairing opposite Bharath in Pazhani directed by Perarasu was a money spinner at the box office. She also had enough luck to be a part of the critically acclaimed box office hit, Tamil film Saroja, directed by Venkat Prabhu. Kajal shot to fame within a couple of years and succeeded in winning the hearts of filmgoers. She is busy with offers from Telugu and Tamil cinema. It is clear that superstardom is within her reach because her forthcoming projects are with crowd pulling heroes like Allu Arjun, Ram Charan Teja and Jr NTR.