During the making of the Vijay-starrer Azhagiya Thamizh Magan, director Bharathan watched the Malayalam hit Cocktail and was very impressed with it. “It was then I decided to remake the film in Tamil. Much later, when I sought the remake rights, I found that Nikesh Ram of Spellbound had already bagged it,” says Bharathan who then approached the production house. Nikesh readily agreed to produce the film provided Bharathan directed it. That’s how the deal was struck and Bharathan is now in the final stages of pre-production work of the as-yet-untitled Tamil version. “I have made changes to the script to suit the Tamil audience. And, I wanted unknown faces to play the lead characters as the script and the roles were powerful. . I found Nikesh suitable for one of the characters and convinced him to do it alongside another new face, Seenu. Ananya plays the female lead. These corresponded to the Malayalam roles played by Jayasurya, Anoop Menon and Samvrutha Sunil,” says Bharathan, who has earlier written the dialogues for films such as Dhil, Dhool, Ghilli, Madura and the under production Ajith Kumar-starrer, Veeram.
Nikhil’s Tamil debut
Producer Venkata Srinivas’ Production No. 1, co-produced by Mallikarjuna and directed by M. Chandoo, has Swati as the heroine and Nikhil as the hero. “Although this is my first film in Tamil, I have done 10 Telugu films, starting with Happy Days to Swami Ra Ra. I thought this was the right time to spread my wings. I am learning Tamil so that I can get the dialogues right; I intend doing my own dubbing, of course. We are on our first schedule in Pondy and I am enjoying every moment of it,” says an excited Nikhil. Chandoo’s film is a thriller with a lot of fun elements — “a bit like Chandramukhi,” according to Nikhil.
Let love prevail
Whether it is in the urban or rural areas, the attitude towards two strangers falling in love is the same — this is the premise of director Gopu Balaji’s upcoming film Paranjothy. “As far as the couple is concerned, love is a unifying factor. But, for everyone around them, it is sacrilege for two youngsters to fall in love without the consent of the elders. In villages, the sentiment attached to such relationships is stronger, to the extent there have been conflicts between families and communities. In Paranjothy, I have depicted both sides of such relationships and am trying to convey that love can be pure and go a long way in bridging gaps between castes, communities and families,” says Gopu. Paranjothy has been shot in actual locations in an interior village with the backdrop of the residents forming an integral part of the script. “We are shooting extensively in and around Chidambaram.” Gopu has written powerful characters for not just the lead couple, Sarathy and Ansiba, but also for Bose Venkat and Ganja Karuppu.