T he 17th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert on December 11 in Oslo, Norway, will see A.R. Rahman joining a star-studded line-up of musicians in a live performance. The galaxy includes Barry Manilow, Jamiroquai, India.Arie, Florence + The Machine, Herbie Hancock, Robyn, Elvis Costello and Colbie Caillat. Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington will host the event, which will be broadcast around the world.
Rahman, currently in the middle of his world tour, will perform for the first time in South Africa this month. Rahman's performance will be part of the festivities relating to the 150th anniversary of Indian presence in the nation and caps off a national celebration of Indian culture in South Africa. The tour kicks off on November 20 at The Sun City Superbowl and travels to Cape Town on November 24 at the Grand Arena. He will also perform on November 26 at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.
Says Rahman: “It feels really good that Indians are included in such functions. I feel it's worth the sacrifices I've made in the past decade, exploring not-so-safe choices in my musical career, and being adventurous…”
Lots on his plate
V ersatility is probably Bharath's middle name. Since his debut in 2003 with Boys, he has acted in more than 18 films; three more are in the pipeline. He's played them all — from a city slicker to a rustic hero. And, it is expected that Thiruttani, Vaanam and director GNR Kumaravelan's Yuvan Yuvathy will give him some more scope to exploit his talent. “ Thiruttani is a typical Perarasu film with all the commercial elements. But, there is a message here for the youth — to fight injustice. In Vaanam, a remake of Telugu film Vedam, I play a rock star in a band. It is not a typical one-hero film. There are five of us who come from different parts of the country and finally meet up. Yuvan Yuvathy, which will probably be released first, for Pongal, is about a village youth who has aspirations to live a city and embrace modernity and all its attendant luxuries. His father, however, wants him to remain in the village. How he deals with the situation and emerges winner is what the film is all about,” says Bharath.
W hile she was assisting her husband Jayapandyan in his directorial ventures, Jayanthi must've nurtured a secret ambition to branch out on her own as an independent director. And, thus was born Madhuvum Mythiliyum. Starring Bhuvan, Sriji, Jeeva and Aarthi, the story veers around the question of whether it is right or wrong for friendship to turn into love. Says Jayanthi: “When childhood friends grow up and become adolescents, sometimes, friendship turns into love. How do children deal with such feelings? How do parents see this relationship? I've attempted to unravel these complex situations in Madhuvum Mythiliyum.
Return of the romcom
T wo years ago, when director K. Rajeshwar wrote the story for a film he wanted to make, his close friend and Bollywood director Rajkumar Santoshi evinced interest in making it in Hindi. And, Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani went on to become a big hit for Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. “The time has now come for me to make it in Tamil. While the Hindi film had an element of fantasy, my film — Thideer Nagaril Oru Kadhal Khana — will be a realistic romantic comedy. I intend to make it a thorough entertainer,” says Rajeshwar, who introduces his son Ranjan as hero in this film.
C inematographer-turned-director Pavan Sekar is making a thriller, Yugam, with Rahul Madhav ( Adhey Neram Adhey Idam) and Dipti Nambiar ( Pattalam) in the lead. They play a newly-married couple who moves into an apartment. Right from the word go, misunderstandings arise between the couple. Yugam chronicles the unpleasant developments in the first 24 hours of their life in the apartment. “It is based on a true incident. I've used this as a basis for developing the story. The characters are woven around the theme of misunderstanding and how it affects relationships. I've also shown how one can overcome these obstacles to lead a harmonious life,” says Pavan Sekar.
D irector Mugil has cast the son of yesteryear actor Pandiarajan, Prithvi, opposite Mumbai model Ishita and Keralite Devika in his Thekku Maasi Veethi. It is said to be an action film with romance and sentiment thrown in. Says Prithvi: “I want to prove my worth based on my own talent, not just because I am Pandiarajan's son. Therefore, I've trained well in all aspects of acting, including fights, stunts and dancing.”