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Total entertainer

S. Shiva Kumar
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SHORT TAKES Anna Bond brings together Puneet and Suri, and expectations are running high

Right now pre-occupied with telly showPuneet Rajkumar
Right now pre-occupied with telly showPuneet Rajkumar

“Anna Bond” is easily the most eagerly awaited Kannada movie. Even though “Paramathma” was a damp squib “AB” was sold for a record price because it re-unites Puneet with Suri who directed the blockbuster “Jackie”. The film has roused a lot of interest among fans who're busy speculating on social network sites about what the plot could be. Puneet on the advice of Tamil star Suriya is now constantly accompanied by a personal trainer and has worked hard for a chiselled body. Much of the crew is the same with Sathya Hegde as cinematographer and Harikrishna scoring the music. A lot will depend on Hari's work because a large chunk of the credit for the success of “Jackie” success was credited to the songs becoming instant hits.

Priyamani and Nidhi are the two leading ladies while Jackie Shroff plays the baddie. The unit has just returned from a 10-day schedule in Spain where two songs were canned. “We were surprised. The sun was beating down, but it was terribly cold. Nonetheless, I think we've captured some lovely locations,” says Suri. The ‘talkie' portions are over and only two more songs remain to be shot. “I know expectations are mounting but we have to learn to live with it. Ultimately the fate of the film lies in the hands of the public,” says Suri.

Puneet is more philosophical. “I always try to do my best. I know the rest is not in my hands,” says the unassuming star who's right now more worried about reactions to his game show on TV. “Believe me it was hard work. Much more than shooting for a film, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'm doing it because it gives me the opportunity to interact with all kinds of people.” Puneet is also gearing up to release a book he's written about his father. It promises a feast of rare pictures and anecdotes for fans. “I'm not too worried about ‘Anna Bond'. I'm only worried because of the expectations it's generated. It's the usual entertainer with Suri's style of narrative and shot taking style. The songs in Spain were shot in exotic locations where Rajni Sir's ‘Sivaji' was shot. I'm keeping my fingers crossed,” says the star.

***

The last time I interviewed Kamal Hassan a few years ago I asked him if he had watched any good films off late. “I recently watched an old film. I was floored. It was shown on HBO and the film is ‘ Godfather'. Absolute classic. I said it then and I'm saying it now. Performances do not have to be the latest when you're looking at the greatest. The credit goes entirely to Coppola,” gushed Kamal. Well it's the fortieth anniversary of the cult classic ‘The Godfather' and my dream is still to watch the uncut version on the giant screen. It's also the one film that's spawned more remakes than Kurosawa's “Seven Samurai”.

Kamal's “Thevar Magan”, which many in Tamil cinema consider the best screenplay ever is based on an emotional extract from the film. Are great films planned or do they just happen? Well you could say they happen because of the planning and execution. “Godfather” other than having outstanding characterisation and performances boasted of brilliant cinematography by Gordon Willis and a haunting score by Nino Rota.

When you re-visit some films after a period of time you sometimes wonder how you appreciated it the first time. ‘Godfather', like Kamal says, is timeless. If you are a film lover and have yet not watched the film I suggest you read Mario Puzo's extraordinary book first. Then buy the collector's edition DVD set which also contains a fascinating disc about the making of this classic.

S. Shiva Kumar

sshivu@yahoo.com


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