Tinsel Town Columns

When the atheist actor met the pontiff

While shooting for his new film, Suyambulingam, actor Kamal Haasan visited the head of the Vaishnavite Mutt at Nanguneri, Vanamamalai Jeer

While shooting for his new film, Suyambulingam, actor Kamal Haasan visited the head of the Vaishnavite Mutt at Nanguneri, Vanamamalai Jeer   | Photo Credit: HAND OUT

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Social media was abuzz after news spread that Kamal Haasan had visited a Mutt in Tirunelveli, and met its head

Suyambulingam is quintessentially a South Tamil name, prevalent in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts.

It is the name of Lord Siva, the presiding deity of Uvari, a coastal hamlet in Thoothukudi district. When actor Kamal Haasan decided to remake the Mohanlal-starrer Drishyam into Bhavanasam in Tamil, he chose that name for the lead character he plays.

Tamil writer Jayamohan, who is also well-versed in Malayalam and has worked with successful directors like Lohithadas, has penned the dialogues for the film, shooting for which is on in Tirunelveli.

Kamal has roped in another writer, Suka, a native of Tirunelveli, and one of the associate directors of Balu Mahendra, to bring authentic Tirunelveli slang to the dialogues.

As shooting was in progress, there was news that Kamal had called on the head of the Vaishnavite Mutt at Nanguneri — Vanamamalai Jeer. And suddenly, it became a hot topic on social media. The bone of contention was that the actor, a self-proclaimed atheist, had called on a man of religion. 

Jayamohan, however, on his website explained the reasons behind the visit.

As film shooting is not allowed in temples under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department, the Jeer permitted Kamal to film a few shots in the outer praharams of the Vanamamalai temple that is under the control of the Mutt.

Later, Kamal in the attire and make-up of Suyambulingam, with holy ash smeared on his forehead, met Jeer. Both reportedly enjoyed their time together.

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Encouraged by the success of recent movies with novel premises, popular choreographer and actor, Raghava Lawrence, has announced his next will feature two stories — named Kizhavan and Karuppu Durai — each lasting an hour long, put together as film, titled Oru Ticketla Rendu Cinema.

When asked if the two movies would be connected by a single theme or idea, the actor denied it.

He said, “The only connection will be that I play the lead in both these films. There is no thematic similarity between the two.”

Mr. Lawrence said the success of innovative films had provided him the much-needed confidence.

“In this age of smartphones, all one needs to do is make a good film. The audience will take care of the rest. This is certainly not a new concept, it has been done in the West. I just wanted to try it out here,” he said.

Lawrence said he will play a 50-year-old man in Kizhavan and a youth in Karuppu Durai. “One will be a full-fledged comedy and the other, a script with a message,” he said.

He will be paired with actor Lakshmi Rai in Karuppu Durai, while he is in talks with actor Andrea for the other role.

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Printable version | May 23, 2019 1:34:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-columns/tinsel-town-column/article6380567.ece

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