Malavika Sai’s performance in the Malayalam film Puthiya Theerangal, where she played actor Nedumudi Venu’s daughter, led to her being cast in the lead role opposite Mithun in Black Butterfly, the Malayalam remake of Balaji Sakthivel’s Tamil film, Vazhakku Enn 18/9. When director Raj Murugan was casting for Cuckoo, a film about a visually challenged couple, Balaji recommended Malavika to play the heroine. “On hearing the story, I at once realised that here was a challenging role. The seven-day workshop conducted to enable the cast familiarise themselves with the script and their roles helped me a lot. It was there that I met the visually challenged Nandhini who also acts in the film. She is now a good friend. Her confident approach to life gave me an insight into how I should essay my own role in the film. We also interacted with others who were visually challenged during the workshop and it helped all of us understand our roles better,” says Malavika, a Standard X student in DAV School, New Delhi. “The school is very supportive of my interest in films. I wish to play select roles that will lend credibility to my budding career.”

Rock music and romance

Newcomer Arjunlal plays the leader of a rock band from Coimbatore which travels to Malaysia for live shows. “The band members have on principle decided that none of them should fall in love, lest the group breaks up. But, as luck would have it, Arjunlal meets Ishita and the inevitable happens,” says director John Robinson about his forthcoming Tamil film Narumugai. Sharat Kumar plays a top Malaysian police official in this romantic thriller in which Nikita plays the second lead. After working under K. S. Adhyaman, Narumugai is John’s directorial debut.

Paired again

Following Idhu Kathirvelan Kaadhal (IKK), Nayanthara and Udhayanidhi Stalin are again paired in the forthcoming Nanbaenda. The romantic film is directed by A. Jagadish and Harris Jayaraj has scored the music. Incidentally, while Harris has composed the music for all the three of Udhayanidhi’s films, which includes his debut Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, the other constants are cinematographer Balasubramaniam, dance master Dinesh and comedian Santhanam. IKK is scheduled for a February release.