Director A. Venkatesh is known for his mass entertainers that have set the cash registers ringing. Says Bharath, hero of Venkatesh’s Killadi: “Venkatesh is good at characterisation and scripting that clicks at the box office. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing a college student with strong family values in Killadi. I fall into a trap that creates many problems for me. How I extricate myself from them forms the crux of the story.” Bharath is paired with Nila in Killadi which is scheduled for an April release. Meanwhile, Bharath is busy completing 555, a psychological thriller. “It is a powerful role almost like two contrasting characters being portrayed by one person. While I am paired with a new face Chandini, there will be one more heroine who is yet to be finalised,” says Bharath.

Love and laughter

Working as an executive producer under director Shankar for 10 years gave R. Balaji the confidence to produce Uyir starring Sangeetha and Srikanth. Now the producer is making his directorial debut with Kanpesum Varthaigal with ‘Mirchi’ Senthil and Iniya (Vaagai Sooda Vaa) in the lead. “This is a romantic comedy about a sportsperson who is keen on settling abroad. But his love interest is in India and therein lies the dilemma,” explains Balaji. Kanpesum Varthaigal features six songs by Shamanth. The film, which is in its post-production stage, is scheduled for a February release.

The face of 2013?

In a short span of six years, Hansika Motwani has become a ‘namma Chennai’ girl. Consider these Tamil films she is doing back to back — director R. Kannan’s Settai with Arya, Vijay Chander’s Vaalu with Simbu, Nelson’s Vettai Mannan (again with Simbu), Hari’s Singam 2 with Suriya, Venkat Prabhu’s Biriyani with Karthi and Sundar C’s Theeya Velai Seyyanum Kumaru with Siddarth — and you will realise why she is all set to be the face of 2013. And not just that, Hansika has transformed herself from the plump debutante of 2011 to a svelte heroine of grace and sensuality. “Yes, I have consciously gone in for a makeover. In fact, when Siddarth saw me on the sets of Theeya…, he asked me where I had left my other half! Anyway, I am thoroughly enjoying my busy schedule. Every unit I am associated with is like family. And, particularly, the Biriyani unit…it is a continuous laugh riot when we are all together,” says Hansika.

Adventure on the mountainside

As breezy as the title sounds, Pani Vizhum Malarvanam is a fantasy adventure love story which has been shot in lush green forests, mountains and pepper/cardamom plantations in Kumili and Thekkady. Abhilash, fresh from his role in Neethane En Ponvasantham, and Sania of Oruvar Meethu Iruvar Saindhu fame along with Varsha form the main cast. Director James David (Rameshwaram, Nee Venunda Chellam) who has scripted this romance, says, “It centres around a young runaway couple who land up in the plantations where they get a taste of the lifestyle and culture of the workers, who are a close-knit community. They also come across a mother and son whose love and affection for each other highlights the importance of familial bonds. I have used the scenic backdrop of the hills and have brought in an element of wildlife too.”