In every actor's life comes a year that can either take her to the pinnacle of success or to the depths of despair. Actor Samantha believes 2012 to be that year in her career.
“It is a make or break year for me. I have six important projects happening this year and I am keeping my fingers crossed,” she says. All her projects are with big stars and directors. They include “Neethane En Pon Vasantham” in Tamil (directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon and starring Jiiva), “Eega” in Telugu (directed by S. S. Rajamouli which is to be released as “Ee” in Tamil), “Autonagar Suriya” (directed by Devakantha and featuring Nag Chaitanya), “Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu” with Mahesh Babu and, last but not the least, Mani Ratnam's “Kadal.”
Says Samantha, who is now in Hyderabad shooting for an untitled film starring Siddharth, “All these great projects came to me at the same time and I could not bring myself to say ‘no' to any of them.”
While working on so many big projects, most actors would find it difficult to pick a favourite. But Samantha has no such hassles. She picks Mani Ratnam's “Kadal” as her favourite.
“All of them are great, but I must confess that I am so looking forward to working with him. Having been born and brought up in Chennai, I know what it is to be part of a Mani Ratnam film. I am a big fan of his. I had to audition for the role. I consider myself lucky for having got it, for I know how many girls would want to be in it. He has given me a really strong character in the film and I only hope that I live up to his expectations,” says the lady, who is to join the unit shortly to shoot her portions.
Coming full circle
They say what goes around comes around. That certainly seems to be the case, if one is to go by what director-turned-producer Lingusamy said at a press conference convened to announce the status of his company's next production, “Vazhakku En 18/9.”
“At this point, when I have a produced a movie which marks the debut of four youngsters, I remember with gratitude producer R. B. Choudhary, who introduced me as a director. It is because he placed his trust in me then that I have now been able to introduce so many people to the industry,” Lingusamy said, before going on to talk about the movie that has been directed by Balaji Shakthivel of “Kadhal” fame. “I have seen this film twice. While watching it a second time at home with my mom, I realised it was the work of a man (Balaji Sakthivel) who shot only what he had enjoyed. He has not let commercial aspects come in the way of presenting what he has loved,” he said.
The film, which has four newcomers Sree, Midhun Murali, Manisha and Urmila in the lead, has music by Prasanna and is scheduled to hit the screens sometime in April.
Difficult times call for innovative measures. One person who seems to have understood this well is Ram Shiva, director of “Nanda Nanditha.” Admits the director, “I am not here for art's sake. I am a director who tries to help my producer in every manner possible. I want my producer to make good the money he spends on a project and have therefore tried to keep the costs to a minimum.”
But how exactly has he managed to do that? Explains the director, “Originally, I intended to make the movie, which features Meghana Raj and Hemachandran, only in Tamil. However, I soon realised that I would stand to gain if I made it a bilingual. So, I chose to make it in Tamil and Telugu.”
“Also, to save on costs, I used only that many artistes as were necessary. While Hemachandran plays the hero in the Tamil version, D. Surya plays the lead in Telugu. Meghana Raj plays the heroine in both versions. Moreover, the heroine has a brother in the film. I have made the hero of the Tamil version play the brother in the Telugu version and the hero of the Telugu version play the brother in the Tamil version,” he explains, satisfaction evident on his face.
The director claims that the film's Telugu version, which has already released, is a hit. The Tamil version will soon hit the screens.
Correction: In the column Shot Cuts (MetroPlus, March 13, 2012), the piece titled ‘Driving force’ inadvertently referred to lyricist Na. Muthukumar as a music director. The error is regretted.