Three supporting roles in Telugu films — Nagavalli, Gundello Godari and Doosukeltha — led Suja Varunee to sign up for the lead in Ali Baba Okkade Donga, a comedy film opposite Ali, a comedy actor in Tollywood. “I look for scripts where the character I play has substance. That is how I signed for Tamil films Vaa Deal (starring Arun Vijay) and Appuchee Gramam, a science fiction movie. Meanwhile, the producers of Pencil called me for playing the lead in another production of theirs. When they offered me an interesting role in Pencil too, I jumped at it as the character adds a twist to the script,” says Suja Varunee.
Sounds of love
What do you call love between two visually challenged people? Director Raj Murugan terms it love without boundaries. After seven years as a reporter in Ananda Vikatan, Raj Murugan joined director Lingusamy as an assistant (Bheema and Paiyya) during which he worked on the story and screenplay for his pet project. “This is what transpired into Cuckoo. I have used the song of the bird as the reference point to the love between the hero Tamizh (played by Attakathi Dinesh) and heroine Swatantrakodi (played by Malavika). Normally, love is coloured by what we see of each other, which most of the time becomes superficial. When you have to depend only on the other four senses to explore love, the intensity increases,” says the director. The songs, with lyrics by Yuga Bharati, have been tuned by composer Santosh Narayanan; the film’s cinematography is by P.K. Varma (Attakathi).
In 2011, he produced the short film Samooha Unarvugal, based on his story, which focussed on blood donation. Following this, actor Gopigandhi started work on a feature film that would send out a larger social message to viewers. “Muthal Maanavan is my pet project, and therefore I decided to do the hero’s role too, in addition to writing the story and producing it. In debut director Gandhi, I found a talented person to translate my thoughts on celluloid. Every mother has certain aspirations for her son and has expectations on how he is towards her. On the other hand, every son also realises his responsibilities towards his mother. Many a time, these get clouded in the course of life’s distractions and pressures. Muthal Maanavan will highlight these aspects, and I hope it will send out a socially relevant message to all families,” says Gopigandhi who has three new faces to keep him company in the film — Aishwarya, Dhanu and Ramya.