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A matter of pride

OUR VERY own action king and the inimitable supremo of Indian cinema, come together for "Yudh", in Hindi. At a press meet in Mumbai recently Amitabh Bachchan introduced Arjun to the journalists at the Sun `n' Sand hotel, as a patriotic hero from the South. Arjun will act as an army man in "Yudh", while the Bachchan will be doing a guest role. Arjun said that the opportunity to act with the Big B is an honour, and a matter of pride for him.

Comic fare

Jayaram, who displayed his skill in comedy and mimicry in "Thenali", is gearing up to present another laugh riot, "Naina". Directed by Manobala, the film has Jayaram in a dual role, as father and son. Manya is the young heroine opposite the son while the father is paired with Banupriya. She plays the old man's second wife. It is humour season in cinema now. And in keeping with the times, "Naina" promises to have you in splits.

Husband-wife team

Husband, director Rajakumaran, will wield the megaphone, while wife, Devayani, will play heroine. The film is their maiden production to be made under the banner of Radhe Films. Titled "Kadhaludan", it has Murali playing the hero. "Vinnukkum Mannukkum", Rajakumaran's earlier film, was surely not a runaway hit. It is a film more known for bringing the couple together through a dramatic marriage. Rajakumaran's "Nee Varuvai Ena" proved a more popular venture. "Kadhaludan", they say, has a very different story — but that line from the maker's side is nothing new. Let's wait for what the film has in store.

Novel pastime

Meena is a voracious reader these days. Recently you saw her glued to a book in between shots, on the sets of Thiruvalluvar Kalaikoodam's "Namma Veetu Kalyanam". Historical novels in Tamil seem a favourite — so after Kalki's `Sivakamiyin Sabadham' it is now Sandilyan's novel that Meena is hooked to.

Talking about "Namma ... " Meena said that it is her first film with director V.Sekar. "I missed the chance to work with Sekar when he made ``Pondatti Sonna Kettukanum'', due to date hassles, but I got the chance to do the Telugu version, which was a runaway hit."

Sheer guts

Vikram seems to be a hero with guts. His "Dhool" with Raima Sen and Jyotika is to be released on Independence Day — the day when Rajinikanth's "Baba" will hit the screens.

Thanks to the maestro

Even after years of experience in cinema as a talented singer and dubbing artiste, S. N. Surendar is waiting in the wings for recognition that's overdue. "But whenever Ilaiyaraja's composition requires two or three male voices for a particular song, my voice is invariably one of them. The maestro never forgets to call me," says Surendar, who has sung for Vivek in the recently released "Devan", together with Unni Krishnan.

All these years Surendar has been giving the impression that he is more at home in melody... But the singer begs to disagree. " Not at all. I have earlier sung for Vadivelu in "Rajasthan". I feel I can do justice to any style. Ilaiyaraja had asked me to change my voice to suit the comic mood of the song and when I came out after the recording, he gave me a broad, satisfied smile," says Surendar as he leaves for the studio to sing another number. Needless to say, the composer was Ilaiyaraja.

The background score of the yet to be released "Ivan" includes Surendar's voice too.

Big boost

The tussle for one-upmanship does not stop with politics. Balachander's "Anni", is a much talked about serial that appears on Jaya TV. Now the channel has made a prize catch — Tamil film producers now offer clippings of songs and scenes from their yet-to-be-released films.

Film industry folks, had joined together to ban film personalities from giving interviews to channels but that seems to have been broken by Jaya TV.

Murali Raman of Jaya TV feels that it will certainly boost the image of the channel. "We have signed an MoU with the Tamil Film Producers Council. A half an hour slot will be given to them everyday and the money we get from the slot will be shared between both." So on Mondays and Thursdays it will be `Movie Munnottam' (trailers of the forthcoming films), on Tuesdays it will be `Muthal Katshi' (information about the recently released films with the highlights), on Wednesdays `Theatre Pakkam' (public views and interviews with producers) and on Fridays `Pudhiya Geetham'(songs from the just-released films) will be telecast. What more can a film buff ask for?

Celebration time

Vijay will be 28 tomorrow. . His Fans Association has made elaborate plans to celebrate his birthday at the St.Bede's school grounds.

Around 10,000 people are expected to attend the function, during which Vijay will give away notebooks and texts to about 500 students.

He will also visit a few charitable institutions in the city and give the inmates a meal on that day. The budget, he coolly says, may run into a few lakhs of rupees.

The highlight will be the music cassette release of Lakshmi Productions' "Youth". Incidentally, the producer, director, cinematographer and the hero of "Youth" are all youngsters.

Tail Piece: Sunder C. will direct the Kamal Hassan starrer "Anbe Sivam" and not Priyadarshan as told earlier.

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

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