Even today, years after Shaji N Karun made Vaanaprasatham, the film is talked about in glowing terms. It has been a long gap for the internationally acclaimed filmmaker. Although he was planning to make another Malayalam film based on a short story called Kadal by noted short story writer T Padmanabhan -- with Mohanlal and Jaya Bachchan in the lead -- he has shelved the idea for the time being.
His new project is a Hindi film on painter Raja Ravi Varma. He has chosen the period in the life of the painter when he lived in Mumbai and painted goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi, etc. while running a printing press. The model who posed for the world renowned painter was a Marathi woman, and the face that came to the filmmaker's mind was that of Madhuri Dixit. The alternative is Vidya Balan. He is yet to decide on who will play the painter's model. The film will be produced by Bobby Bedi.
Soon after finishing his much talked about Vettayadu Vilayadu, Gowtham Menon has moved to his next project, Silandhi. It was reported in this column that the film was a mature love story, starring Sarat Kumar, Jyothika and Tabu. Menon has added one more actor from Mumbai to his list -- Milind Soman.
"I thought of him after developing the character. Rather, my character looks like him," says the director. The minute Menon narrated the story and character, Soman agreed to be part of Silandhi. It was the same with Tabu too, although Shobhana had agreed to do the role first.
While Menon was quite open and forthcoming about the story of VV, he is secretive about Silandhi.
Sri Ramadasu, a huge hit
Ever since Sri Ramadasu was released on Ugadi day, the cash registers have been ringing. The efforts of director K Raghavendra Rao, writer J K Bharavi, music composer M M Keeravani and actor Nagarjuna have resulted in a runaway hit, perhaps even surpassing the quartet's earlier film of the same genre, Annammayya. People are flocking to see this historical, and appreciation is pouring in from all quarters.
Nagarjuna, who has given a superlative performance as Ramadasu, has been hounded by the media for the last few days. Everyone wants to snatch a few minutes of his time to get the required bytes. The success of the film shows there is an audience for a historical made in the mainstream entertainment format.
The cast and crew are now off to Bhadrachalam to celebrate the Ramanavami festival.
Remakes galore for Ravichandran
Soon after the release of Hatavadi, Ravichandran is on a signing spree. None of these new films are directed by him, but he has taken the responsibility of composing music for all of them.
Of the new films, the first schedule of the Sai Prakash directed Oda Huttidavaru is over. His heroines are Rakshitha and Radhika in this film, which, incidentally, is a remake of Cheran's Porkalam. He has also begun shooting for another film with the same director, in which Tamil actress Namitha is the leading lady. The film is also a remake of another Tamil film, Aranmanai Kili. Next in line is a remake of Telugu film Santhosham.
Inputs from Radhika Rajamani, R G Vijayasarathy and Shobha Warrier