Sometimes, mishaps prove to be a blessing in disguise. Take for instance the injury actor Vishnu sustained during the final of the Celebrity Cricket League. It might have forced him out of action for almost three months and delayed the shooting of his next film “Neer Paravai,” but it has also helped him strengthen the bond he has with his unit members and brought to fore the faith they have reposed in him. Says Vishnu: “I had shot just for three days for ‘Neer Paravai,' being directed by National award winner Seenu Ramasamy, when I sustained the injury. Producer Udhayanidhi could have easily replaced me with another hero. But he has chosen to wait for me to recover and I am grateful for it. My arm has healed now, although not completely. I am visiting a physiotherapist everyday to hasten the healing process.”
Inspired by the Eighties
Balabharathi, who has composed music for around 21 films, is known for his work in “Amaravathi,” which incidentally marked Ajith's debut as a hero in Kollywood. Now, the man is looking to impress audiences with his music in “Naanga,” which has been directed by Selva. “The film is set in the Eighties and therefore, I have had to compose songs similar to the hits of the period,” says Bharathi. But then, most chartbusters then were composed by Ilaiyaraja. Does that mean he has reproduced the songs scored by the maestro in “Naanga”?
Balabharathi quickly refutes, saying, “No. What I have done is compose songs in the same ragas used by the maestro. There are eight songs in ‘Naanga.' The first song, ‘Muthamizhilae,' is similar to the hit number ‘Pani vizhum malar vanam' which is based on the raga Thilang. ‘Adiyae' sounds like ‘Maamen oru na maliyapoo koduthan,' which is based on Harikambodhi. ‘Ithazhil kathai' is inspired by ‘Thendral Vandhu,' based on Hamsanadham, while ‘Devathaiya' is like ‘Nee oru kadhal sangeetham' from ‘Nayagan.' This song is based on the raga Kalyani. The next number, ‘Enathu nenjile,' is on the lines of ‘Enge sellum' (Shuddha Dhanyasi) and ‘Enge enge kadhal enge' is based on Sumanesa Ranjani, the raga in which the hit number ‘Etho ninaivugal' was composed. Apart from these, there is a title song and a second version of ‘Devathaiya'.”
Perform your duty without expecting any reward. Think this concept is a little outdated and needs to be done away with? Don't! For, you too could stand to gain if you applied the wisdom of this thought in real life like Appukutty, who is today a celebrity at the national level. Says this year's National award winner for the Best Supporting Actor, “I give full credit to director Suseenthiran who gave me an opportunity to act and producer P. Madhan who made ‘Azhagar Samiyin Kuthirai.' Without them, I wouldn't be here at all.” He goes on to add, “At this time, I also need to emphasise a fact. I had faith in my skill and was willing to work hard. It is these factors that have helped me gain this recognition. I began my struggle to be part of the film industry in the year 1994, almost 16 years ago. Since then, I have persisted and it was only after ‘Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu' people began noticing me.” Well, now that he has realised his dream of making it big in cinema, what more does he intend to accomplish? Says the comedian-turned-hero, who has at least five films in his kitty including ‘Mannar,' ‘Kizhakku Purathu Veedu' and ‘Bheeman,' “I don't look at rewards. My priority is to score with my performance.”
Smile after struggle
Had another person been in Thiagarajan Kumararaja's shoes, he or she might, on learning that “Aaranya Kandam” had won a national award, have bragged about how right they had been all the while about the film. They might have even gone on record saying how wrong the Censor Board officials, who had insisted on 63 cuts in the film before permitting it to release with an A certificate, had been. But then, the person that he is, director Kumararaja does nothing of that sort. “I won't claim a moral victory. The Censor Board officials were just doing their job just as we were doing ours. They were looking at the whole issue from a different angle and cannot be blamed for it. The tribunal in particular was kind and understood the fact that a gangster movie such as ‘Aaranya Kaandam' will have such language and scenes. They realised it was a natural process and not deliberate. It was nice of them to allow the film to be as it was,” says the director of the National award winning film, which had to weather a storm before making it to the screens.