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A success team reunites

AFTER "RED" it will be "Raja". This time round the female leads for the Ajit starrer are Jotika and Priyanka Trivedi. After "Poovellam Un Vaasam", "Raja" brings Jo and Ajit together. And it is Ezhil who is at the helm again. Ezhil's directorial debut began very successfully with "Thulladha Manamum Thullum", that starred Vijay and Simran. Though Ezhil also did "Pennin Manadhai Thottu" and "Poovellam... " he has opted for the same technical team that worked with him in his maiden venture, for "Raja". It means "Raja"s composer will be S. A. Rajkumar once again. Probably the box office bonanza that "Thulladha ... " offered made Ezhil opt for the same crew all over again. And "Raja" promises to be an action and emotion packed fare from the Ajit-Ezhil duo.

Kindling fans' interest

Parthiban knows the art of doing different things ... differently. So when music critic Subbudu gave the nod to play the role of a critic in Parthiban's "Ivan", the film made news. "Ivan" is now much talked about for another unique feature — the film has nearly 20 villains! Name a "villain" and he is there in "Ivan". Yet surprisingly "Ivan", that stars Parthiban, Soundarya and Meena, is neither a complete action film nor does it have more than a couple of fights! Then strange should be the ways of villainy in "Ivan". The proposition could prove interesting. The hero is a do-gooder and a motivating force, they say — of course, that's nothing different.

Conviction matters

It looks as if we'll never see the last of our cinematic "goddesses". The next "Amman" to enter the fray is actress Meena as "Padai Veetu Amman". But the making of the film lends some interesting insights. Vinu Chakravarthy is a sorcerer who tries to quell the power of the deity, in the film. The actor refused the role straightway — Devi being his family deity.

The makers refused to relent and Vinu Chakravarthy sought the permission of his spiritual guru before accepting the role. And again not without condition — the actor in the face and form of Vinu Chakravarthy should not be shown decrying the Goddess, even if it is only in acting.

The director did not have to worry at all. The graphics obsession has paved the way for many a fantasy. So with the help of EFX graphics, they intend to change the appearance of the "magician" every time he indulges in an act against the deity.

Almost a trend

It seems to be a season of "Boys" — both young and not so young (don't forget "Panchathanthiram"). P. A. Art Productions is all set for its "Kadhal Samrajyam".

It is Agathiyan who will wield the megaphone for this comedy venture, which has an impressive array of sons of famous fathers (Malaysia Vasudevan, S. P. Balasubramaniam, Gangai Amaran and `Major' Sunderrajan) — Yugendran, S.P.B. Charan, Venkat Prabhu and Goutham — talented youngsters who deserve a break. Aravind is another hero. The female interests of the film are television artiste Santhoshi and Anjana from Mumbai. May the best boys and girls win.

New look

When Vijay turned STAR, many existing shows were shown the way out. Few escaped the axe — Maximum Media's "Apoorva Raagangal" was one. And not without reason. With innovation as the key, the brain behind the project, Subhashri Thanikachalam, had conceived a novel way of presenting light music shows.

Leading playback singers were roped in to croon with the fresh talents. So naturally for every young singer who got a chance, it was a dream come true! As some of the winners, Gurucharan, Ranjith, Mahathi and Srivardhini said, it was the experience of a lifetime.

Now a new "Apoorva ... " show, revamped and refurbished, comes to your homes, every Sunday, from 10 to 11 a.m. The earlier concept and manner of execution continue, but the setting, the duration, the number of rounds and most importantly, the anchor, are different. Yugendran, the singer, is the presenter — his casual approach, sense of humour and music acumen should add pep to "Apoorva ... ". In fact, Vijay's programming head, Suresh Iyer wanted the name of the show changed too — but Subhashri was reluctant.

Naturally ... after all "Apoorva Raagangal" has carved a niche for itself as a name to reckon with in the light music scenario on television. So the changed version is a case of old wine all right ... but the new bottle does look enticing!

(Malathi Rangarajan with inputs from

S. R. Ashok Kumar)

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