Way back in the early 1960s in the mountainous region of North Arcot district, there lived an adept, one-armed bandit. It is based on this character that director Thanjai Raghupathy has cast himself as Aththimalai Muthupandi in the film of the same name. “It is a period film, but the story starts in the present time and goes back to the time when Muthupandi was a feared bandit. He moves up the local popularity charts due to sheer dare-devilry. His cousin is played by new comer Sarathy. When another cousin of theirs, Shobana enters the scene, a love triangle ensues. But, the story is essentially about the escapades of the bandit,” says Raghupathy.
Hard to fathom
Following the success of Tamizh Padam directed by C.S. Amudhan, his former associate Krishnan Jeyaraj has just completed the filming of Sonna Puriyadhu. Actor Shiva, who has carved a niche for himself in the comedy space (think Chennai 600028, Va Quarter Cutting and Kalakalappu), plays the lead. So, what’s different about Sonna Puriyadhu? Says Shiva, “What the title suggests. You have to watch the movie to understand the strong belief of the lead character — that marriage curbs individual freedom and right to live life the way one wants to. I play a dubbing artiste for Chinese films being released in Tamil. My popularity goes up, I thoroughly enjoy the adulation, and I do not want to sacrifice this for marriage, despite the pressure around.”
Just as Samar has hit the theatres, Vishal is awaiting the release of Madha Gaja Raja, and looking forward to starting work for Pattathu Yaanai with Aishwarya Arjun. Once that’s done, Vishal will start work for his first Telugu film for director Shashikant. “Director Sundar C’s films are commercial entertainers. In his Madha Gaja Raja, I play a cable operator in Udhagamandalam, where I meet and fall in love with Anjali. When four of us friends from college days decide to reunite in Chennai to help a few others, I meet Varalakshmi. That’s where the problems start! As for Pattathu Yaanai, I play a cook from Karaikudi. The role is filled with humour and, of course, there’s lots of action, too,” says Vishal.
Director Madhan Kumar’s Yaaruda Mahesh is heading for an early release, and the film’s lead Dimple Chopade seems ecstatic about her first Tamil film. Pune-based Dimple has completed five Kannada films, of which one has already released. Dimple has also signed a Telugu film directed by Swami. “My Marathi theatre background has helped. It was while I was in Mumbai that I heard of the auditions for Yaaruda Mahesh. I am happy I was selected. Having learnt Sanskrit in college, I found the South Indian languages easy to understand. My Tamil is definitely better than Telugu. After Yaaruda Mahesh, I have two projects to be finalised in a month or so,” says Dimple.