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Super hero makes a clean sweep

"SPIDER-MAN"has created box office history, grossing $114 millions in the first three days of its release in the U.S., far surpassing the three-day record of $90.3 millions set by "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in November last. Again, the film has witnessed record breaking openings in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines last weekend. "Spider-Man" who belongs to the super hero ilk, will land in India on May 24. And watch out folks, he is going to speak Hindi, Tamil and Telugu too!

Sure winner

Mas Movie Makers' ``Thenkasi Pattanam'' is not just another film for Napoleon. ``When I acted in AVM's `Yajamaan', Rajnikanth told me that it would earn me a good name and it came true. Mammootty said the same when we did `Edhirum Pudhirum' together and it proved right. Now Sarath Kumar feels the same way about `Thenkasi Pattanam'. Actually the role, which I have done in the film, is what Sarath Kumar wanted to do. Later he opted for the other role." The film is about two friends and has Samyuktha Varma, Devayani, Vivek, Aswathi, Vinu Chakravarthi, Srividya, Kovai Sarala and Paandu.

The original film in Malayalam that was also called "Thenkasi Pattanam" was a super success (275 days). It was a box office hit in Telugu ("Hanuman Junction" — 125 days) and is now being made in Kannada also. Said Napoleon: "We started shooting on January 18, and finished the film on April 6. We shot in Coimbatore for more than 25 days. Every day there were more than 2,000 spectators waiting to see the stars. So we arranged that on each day at 1 p.m. and again at 6 p.m., the artistes would talk to the fans. Krishna Sweets provided sweets to the unit members everyday. Director Rafi is from Malayalam cinema but is quite comfortable in Tamil. So we did not feel that we were working with a Malayalam director at all.''

Daunting task

Partibhan's "Ivan".

Canning a lengthy shot in one go is simply not done these days. Actor-director Parthiban seems to be keen on reviving the trend. "Our seniors like `Sivaji' Ganesan and our counterparts on stage have made a name by delivering lengthy dialogue at a stretch," he says. So he is trying it out in his new venture, "Ivan". Each shot in the climax of the film runs to a length of 360ft., 290ft., and 230ft."As only 400ft. film cans are available nowadays (one has to wait for at least a week for a 1,000 ft., film) I decided to try filming a shot with it," says Parthiban and adds that the film has come out very well and will surely appeal to the masses.

Confident of success

Laila... full of optimism

Laila has just finished shooting for ``Unnai Ninaithu'', directed by Vikraman. "The outdoor shooting in Bangkok was a pleasure mixed with business. I feel the film will be another box office success from Vikraman, and I am sure it will boost my image," she says.

Wholesome experiment

"Arpudham"... Lawrence and Anu Prabhakar.

Producer R. B. Choudhary is on a new mission and if it proves a success, it would augur well for Tamil cinema. His Supergood Films has churned out big hits with popular heroes. But he wished to make small budget films with strong storylines that would give him a chance to promote young talent — and "Punnagai Desam" was made. The film has been a box office success and an enthusiastic Choudhary and his Supergood team have gone on to make two other small budget films as planned earlier. The just-released "Varushamellam Vasantham" is one. The third is "Arpudham", starring Lawrence and Anu Prabhakar. Kunal is the other hero. Incidentally, Kunal is becoming a regular inclusion in Choudhary's films these days. If these two ventures succeed Supergood plans to go ahead with more such small films. "Arpudham" is being directed by Fazil's assistant Arpudhan.

A coincidence?

This takes us to an observation about the names of new directors from the Choudhary camp. The Sarath Kumar starrer "Maayi" was made in Telugu by Supergood films. The film was called "Samudhiram" and its director was Samudhiram. They made a film called "Shahjahan" with Vijay as the hero and later produced "Punnagai Desam", which was directed by Shahjahan. Now `Arpudham's director is Arpudhan. This Supergood link is both interesting and intriguing!

Training to dub

Dubbing artiste Hemamalini, who has been the `voice' of many a yesteryear heroine from Rathi and Ambika to Meena and `Silk' Smitha, has opened an institute for formal training in dubbing, the first of its kind in the entire State. With her experience of having dubbed for more than 900 films, she may work wonders with the aspirant's voices.

Planets said it

Artistes and politicians are known to keep an eye on the planetary positions. Now why are we saying this here?Two personalities from the film industry S. S. Chandran (AIADMK) and Sarath Kumar (DMK) have already made it to Parliament. Napoleanis a member of the Legislative Assembly in Tamil Nadu. Now actor Radha Ravi has been given the ticket for the Assembly by-election in Saidapet constituency. Incidentally, he is now the secretary of the Iyal Isai Nataga Mandram. How did he manage it? Grapevine has it that he showed his horoscope to the confidante of Amma's astrologer who said that his chances of winning were bright.

(Compiled by Malathi Rangarajan and S. R. Ashok Kumar)

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