On a roll

Raring to go Shantanu and Chandini PHOTO S.SIVA SARAVANAN  

E ven today, his dad, director K.Bhagyaraj's Thavani Kanavugal gives Shantanoo goose bumps. “Especially the scene in which, director Bharathiraja (in the film) holds Bhagyaraj and tells him ‘you are my hero'.” The film about a small time guy making it big in the films, written and directed by Bhagyaraj, was a big hit of the 80s. “I like the innocence of his on-screen characters. Characterisation of Rasukutty is memorable,” says the proud son. He also recalls the classic Indru Poi Naalai Vaa and other films such as Darling Darling Darling.

Working with my dad was a great learning experience, Shantanoo says about his new film Sidhu Plus Two directed by Bhagyaraj. “It will figure as one of his best films in my career. For the first time, I have done action, there is a lot more dancing, more pathos…it was a mature performance. A change from a light-hearted school boy character which I played in my debut film Sakkarakatti.” As it was a K. Bhagyaraj film, the film opened with a lot of expectations. “Sidhu… is a mix of everything. The on-screen fight scenes between my father and I got a good round of applause from the audience,” he says about the feedback.

Shantoo says the going is really tough for young actors as the film industry is highly competitive. “Hard work is the key to success. Filmmakers are experimenting with novel subjects. Off beat films such as Nandalala and Myna are successful and so are the commercial ones like Boss Engira Baskaran and Chennai 600028.”

New films

The young actor will be next seen in the epic drama Aayiram Vilakku directed by Hosiman. Also, Kandaen, an out-and-out romcom, directed by Mukilan, who has worked with directors such as Pandiarajan. “It has a bunch of newcomers. Popular comedy actor Santhanam has also acted. It was fun and I had to pick up the local Madurai slang for the movie.” Newcomer Chandini, a Miss.Chennai winner who played the heroine in Sidhu Plus Two is equally charged about her debut film. “I completely trusted Bhagyaraj Sir. He moulded me the way he wanted the character in the film.” The film is about Siddharth (played by Shantanoo) who fails in his class XII exams, flees home and reaches Chennai. Pavithra (Chandini) also reaches there for the same reason. The situations they encounter form the rest of the story.

An ardent fan of Bhagyaraj, she says the film is a good start to her career. She has an equally important role as the hero's.

“I loved his Indru Poi Naalai Vaa, Thavani Kanavugal and Mundhanai Mudichu,” gushes the actor. Chandini looks forward to her new film Padithurai, produced by actor Arya. The film is an adaptation of the renowned Tamil writer Nanjil Nadan's Ettu Thikkum Madhayaanai.