SHORT TAKES Kool is nearly complete and it's been hectic work for the entire team
A bbiah Naidu studios is a blur of hectic activity. It's the last day of shooting for Golden Star Ganesh's “Kool” when a pumpkin will be broken after the last shot to mark the end of the films shooting. There're the usual, curious onlookers craning to get a good look at their favourite star. It's a song sequence and while the mercurial cinematographer, Ratnavelu has finished lighting the choreographer is checking last minute details. Shilpa Ganesh, also the producer breezes in, plonks in front of the monitor and admires the lovely set she's created overnight. Ganesh emerges from the arc lights and introduces us. Shilpa is a bundle of nervous energy. Her emotions today are obviously a conundrum of relief and expectation. “It's not been easy, believe me,” she sighs. “This is probably the only industry where you have to pay and beg people to work.” The art director refused to pick her calls and Shilpa had to design it herself. Ganesh plays a Micheal Jackson fan and the set, on the lines of ‘Hard Rock Café' looked elegant with old bikes and a jeep strategically placed. “She's extremely hard working,” says Ratnavelu, who's also dejected at the lack of professional commitment in the Kannada film industry. “The art department is unbelievably inept. They're neither creative nor are they able to deliver what you ask for,” says the soft spoken cinematographer. “Well it's been worth it. We saw the rough cut and the film looks good,” says Shilpa. “This film would not have been possible without Ratnavelu sir's co-operation. He's committed, hardworking and of course I don't have to tell you about his talent.” How does she rate Ganesh the director? “He's good for someone who's directing his first film. He had little choice.” Shilpa is an interior designer and is planning a dream house in the near future.
“Kool” was started with fanfare but had teething problems with “Mussanje Mathu” Mahesh storming out of the film in the initial stages. Ganesh has overcome adversities and a hurdle created by a few adversaries but with the help of Ratnavelu has completed the film. “My wife is a hard taskmaster,” says Ganesh after finishing a tough dance movement. “He's strained his thigh and is in pain but we have to finish,” says the concerned wife but tough producer. Will she produce another film? “Of course. I don't want my daughter to grow up with a domestic help but I'll find a way,” says Shilpa with a smile.
“Ala Modhalaindi” a small Telugu film made with a shoestring budget is creating waves. It's a charming love story directed by a lady, Nandini with two of the best performances in recent times by Nani and Nitya Menon. The latter especially is a revelation.
Even the usually over the top Ashish Vidyarthi is wonderful in a cameo. The film released sans fanfare or publicity is raking it in by sheer word of mouth. Watch it if you understand Telugu because the lines crackle or wait for remakes in a language you understand.
S. Shiva Kumar