Filmgoers will get to see a pretty newcomer when director A. L. Vijay’s Thalaiva releases. Raghini Nandwani from Dehradun dons the role of a north Indian girl in the film featuring Vijay and Amala Paul in the lead. “Earlier I have acted in a Hindi film, Dehradun Diary opposite Adhyayan Suman. This is a murder mystery based on a true incident. Director Vijay had seen the film's posters in Mumbai and got in touch with me. At this point, I am not allowed to reveal too much about my character in Thalaiva,” says Raghini, a Mass Communication student. Now relocated in Mumbai, she hopes to straddle both Bollywood and Kollywood in the coming years.

Breathtaking feat

The title of Bharat Bala’s upcoming film, Maryan, means a man who never dies. But, it’s his spirit that never dies — that’s what the director intends to convey in his script. In Maryan, Dhanush portrays the role of a economically backward but physically strong villager who, in his quest for a job, becomes part of a migrant group of workers in a foreign country. “I was inspired by an incident that happened in 2008 involving three such workers in Sudan, where they were being held hostage and how they escaped. Maryan is largely fictional except that its premise is based on the plight of migrant workers. For authenticity, the story is based in Sudan,” says Bharat Bala. Maryan is into post production and if everything goes as per schedule, Bharat hopes to release it in May. The film’s first promo, released on YouTube, got more than 2 lakh hits in two days. The promo shows Dhanush as Maryan with a spear in his hand diving into the deep sea and hunting on the seabed, all in one breath. It was filmed in the Andamans, 50 feet below the ocean. Dhanush, a non-swimmer, was trained by an international team of divers. He pulled off the breathtaking feat like an ace swimmer, surprising even the divers. It is said that this sequence in the film establishes Maryan as a unique fisherman; the caption reads: ‘He who conquers the ocean in one breath.’

Ready for a fun ride?

There are comedians and there are actors who excel in humorous roles. Shiva belongs to the the latter category. Director Krishnan Jayaraj, who had assisted C. S. Amudhan in Shiva’s earlier film Tamizhpadam, is ready with Sonna Puriyadhu, featuring Shiva and Vasundhara Kashyap in the lead. “It is a youthful, light-hearted romantic comedy set in Chennai. I have exploited Shiva’s talent as an actor-comedian to the fullest. In fact, there is a Hindi song with improvised lyrics by Shiva, which is one of the highlights of the film. Sonna Puriyadhu is the story of a man who wants to remain single all his life. But, bowing to pressure from his mother, he agrees to meet a girl, played by Vasundhara. Thus begins the fun. I have given equal importance to the heroine’s character as the rollicking journey forward in life involves both of them,” says Jayaraj.