Friday, October 29, 2004

Vijay wants villain's role

[Friday, October 29, 2004]

Vijay has acknowledged that he was floored by Sathyaraj's role in "Amaidhippadai".

The star, shining brighter after "Gilli" and "Madhurey", said he appreciated the performance of the character named Amaavaasai very much and would like to do a similar role.

"It has been my desire for a long time to do such a villainous role," said Vijay.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Straight from Vijay's heart

[Thursday, October 28, 2004]

Can you classify Madurey a big hit like Ghilli?

When asked this, Vijay says "though Madurey cannot be equated to the mega success of Ghilli, it has collected a huge revenue. All distributors and exhibitors of Madurey have made enough profits. Everybody appreciated my performance as a district collector in the movie".

Asked about his rise to stardom, he says, "I cannot say my growth in filmdom is overnight. I took cautious steps to establish myself in the industry. I thank all my directors, producers and my fans for my steady climb. I take success and failures alike. I give my best for any movie. When it fails, I feel for a while.

"But immediately I begin to concentrate towards my next to achieve more success.

"I have no plans to act in other languages now. After Ghilli, all my concentration is towards rendering a big hit. My forthcoming venture Thirupachi for Supergood Films would be a racy entertainer sure to make it big with masses, the actor adds.

Friday, September 24, 2004

No problem with Ajit- Vijay

[Friday, September 24, 2004]

"There is no problem between Ajit and me. Some people are playing the mischief between us. They are predicting a full-scale war between us. But it is not happening. Ajit has not made any comments about me and nor have I.", Said Vijay.

The filmdom is abuzz with reports that Ajit is very unhappy with Vijay putting dialogues, which are aimed at him. From Thirumalai the problem started when Vijay made fun of bike racing and in another film made fun of a character name `Thalai’ which was the name of Ajit’s character in a film.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thirupachi- Adhu get bank finance

[Thursday, September 23, 2004]

IDBI has now financed 'Thirupachi' and 'Adhu' the two Tamil films in the making.

IDBI recently financed 'Anniyan' , For the Vijay’s 'Thirupaachi' the bank has sanctioned a loan of Rs. 4 crore.

Producer R.B Chowdhary is happy because the interest rate in the banks is almost 50% less than private financiers. Thirupaachi has also been insured for a sum of Rs. 6 crore since IDBI insists on insurance for the project.

Similarly, IDBI has also sanctioned a loan of Rs. 2 crore for Sneha’s 'Adhu' . Vishwa Sundar, the producer of 'Adhu' is the brother of Oscar Ravichandran who is producing 'Anniyan' .

Adhu ‘s shooting is over and the film is ready for release.

Vijay for feel good subject

[Thursday, September 23, 2004]

Vijay is on a look out for a feel good subject.

He agreed that there was similarities in his action films and was looking for a feel good subject like 'Poove Unakkagha' etc.

He said that after Thirupachi he was going to act in a film for Dhanu and it would be a feel good film.

He agreed that Madurey was not as successful as Ghilli but distributors were happy because no one lost the investment. He said that experimental films would be produced at his own expense. Since lots of money was invested his priority was to safeguard it.

Madurey he said had lot of similarities with some hit films but it was new to him.

He was doing a guest role in his dad’s film Sukran and next year he would give his dates to his dad, he revealed.

Vijay visited the Apollo Specialties hospital in Chennai on Rose Day and spent time with the cancer patients.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Ghilli victory tour

[Monday, August 30, 2004]

AM Ratthinam and the Ghilli team along with Vijay and Trisha will go on a weeklong tour. The team will visit the theatres in Nellai and Chennai where the film is running past 100 days. Vijay who is shooting for Thirupachi felt happy for the success and said that Ghilli and Madurey which had scenes shot in Meenakshi temple in Madurai were hits and hence every film would have a shot in the temple.

He expressed happiness on hearing that Vikram got the award and added that he never did a film with an eye on awards and instead looked at the subject with an eye of a commoner.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Madurey, Aug 27th, 2004

Director: R Madhesh
Cast: Vijay, Sonia Agarwal, Rakshita, Pasupati, Vadivel, Sita.

The narration shuttles between Madurai and Chennai. It opens in Madurai, where villain K T R performs last rites, throws hero Madurey's photo in the fire and exclaims, "He haunted me while alive, I don't want him haunting me as a ghost!"

The scene shifts to Chennai where the supposedly 'dead' Madurey is shown, indulging in his expected 'heroic' acts, fighting with the local rowdies, rescuing damsels in distress, singing dream songs with his two sexy neighbours (Rakshita-Tejashri), who vie with one another, not only for maximum attention from Madurey but also for baring the maximum skin!

Madurey chooses the more buxom one to fall in love with. There being not much passion or intensity in his wooing, one suspects Madurey just chose whom he felt was the better of the two!
Truth has to come out and time for a flashback. H. Maduravel, the duty-conscious collector of Madurai, takes on the might of local rowdy K T R, using his fists and legs rather than his brain, and the advantages of his post. Helping Maduravel is his pretty assistant Susheela (Sonia), who, however, maintains a stoic expression whatever the goings on.

Susheela's sneaking into K T R's den is one of the more ridiculous scenes of the film. The whole Maduravel-episode is very loosely etched, the director not much bothered about the seriousness or dignity of the post of collector. Some research here would have helped.

Pasupati makes the most of his role, more controlled here than in his earlier films. The saving grace of the film is hero Vijay. He goes through his role with perfect composure and confidence, the loose script not much bothering him. In fact, Vijay here is more outgoing and expressive, infusing his performance with subtle nuances. The only jarring part is when he repeats his punchline, 'Ithu Echarikka Ille, Kattale'.

It's Madhesh's debut as director after an apprenticeship with Shanker. Producing, scripting and directing it, he seems to have concentrated more on the glamour and the frills, alternating action with dance numbers, and missing out on a coherent script.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Tips from cousin Vijay

[Friday, August 13, 2004]

He looks like a shy cousin of Vijay (a shinier star after ‘Gilli’). And he is. Vikranth, son of Vijay’s aunt, is making his debut as the hero in ‘Karka Kasadara’.

Asked if Vijay gave him any tips, Vikrant says: "Yes, he asked me not to ignore even minor expressions. He also advised me to pay attention to all departments like ‘action’ and romance." The hero in the making promises to live up to the reputation of his better-known ‘big brother’.

Diya and Lakshmi Roy are Vikranth’s two heroines in the film under the R. V. Udayakumar, who has also written its story, screenplay and lyrics.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Interview with Actor Vijay
Friday, August 06, 2004
A string of failures put a question mark about his career. Yet, actor Vijay turned his fortunes around after the success of Thirumalai last year and the stupendous run of Ghilli (remake of Telugu blockbuster Okkadu).Two successive hits have given a new lease of life to the actor and he has now re-established himself in the Tamil film industry as a name to be reckoned with.

Flush with success, Vijay has a few offers lined up and is awaiting the release of his next film Madurey, produced and directed by Madhesh.The actor who has been in the show biz industry for more than a decade now, says the success of Ghilli brings with it greater responsibility as fans would be expecting greater things from him now."I was confident that Ghilli would make it big. But the success entails more responsibility for me to keep continuing the good run", he adds.

"My forthcoming movies Madurey and Thirupachi have different story lines with a mix of action and humor", Vijay says.
On Ghilli's big success.

I was confident that Ghilli would make it big among the masses. The movie produced by A M Rathnam and directed by Dharani was a pulsating action film with a romantic base. Even the songs and stunts in the movie appealed to the masses. The success of Ghilli has made me more responsible now. I have to choose the right scripts and work in order to sustain the good run.

You evince keen interest on working in action-oriented movies.

Today, in Tamil filmdom, action-packed movies are the order of the day. Hence, keeping in line with the trend, I am working on action films. Once the trend changes, I will think of doing different films. Thirumalai, Ghilli and the forthcoming release Madurey too have stunt sequences that would appeal to action-lovers.

You have developed a liking to work in Telugu remakes...

Yes, all my film which were remakes from Telugu have done well here. I don't thing it is wrong. Even now, I have zeroed in on a couple of recent Telugu hits. I might venture to do one of them.

On your forthcoming films

Madurey will be released in the third week of August. Sonia Agrawal and Rakshitha are the leading ladies in the film. Produced and directed by Madhesh,Madurey is a story that revolves around a happy-go-lucky-youngster (which I portray). The movie has come out very well. Ever since Madhesh narrated the script to me, I was impressed with the story line that I gave the go-ahead to the project. I am confident that Madurey will appeal to people of all age-groups. I am also acting in a movie titled Tirupachi, produced by R B Choudhary and directed by Perarasu.

Vijay turns producer

[Friday, August 06, 2004]

Vijay is soon to launch his own production company. Named after his son Jason Sanjay the first film will be directed by Ramana. Ramana directed him in Thirumalai, which was a comeback film for Vijay. Despite Ramana giving a flop with Sullan, Vijay has decided to give the director a major break.

Meanwhile Vijay’s Madurey is likely to be released only by August end since they do not want to clash with Vasool Raja MBBS scheduled for August 12.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Trisha rebuts 'Gilli'-fed gossip

[Tuesday, July 27, 2004]

Popular Tamil-Telugu heroine Trisha has had to rebut several rumors at the same time.

In an interview with the mass-circulation Tamil weekly Kumudam, the actress attributed the rumors to the phenomenal success of "Gilli", starring her and Vijay.

The first and the most predictable rumor was about her relations with Vijay. "We are just friends," was her equally predictable reply. She added that the source of the rumor was a joint party in a big Chennai hotel to celebrate Vijay's success in "Gilli" and her own birthday.

Another rumor was that she had driven her father out of her home, as she found it infra dig to live with a man working at a hotel. On the contrary, she said, she was proud of her father Krishnan holding a good post in Benz Park Hotel. Her mother too is working as an executive with Apollo Tubes.

A third rumor, also hotly denied by Trisha, was that she attempted suicide. A fourth, and obviously false, rumor was that she had actually died!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Ghilli’s record break

[Saturday, July 24, 2004]

Ghilli which reaches it’s 100 day mark on July 25th has so far collected Rs 30 crores from all centers. The film’s collection in the first four weeks from Chennai alone was to the tune of Rs 1.60 crores. The film released all over the State met with unprecedented response. The film according to distributors has overtaken Autograph and Padayappa collections. With the response from theatre and distributors being good, Vijay now has a long list of producers waiting with Rs 4 crore to book him. He has signed only Super good film'’ Thirupachi. It is a film about the violence taking place in a village Thirupachi located in Madurai- Ramanathapuram districts.

Currently he is working in Madhura directed by Madhesh (associate of Shankar). Madhesh who is also the producer is leaving no stone unturned to make the film a big extravaganza. The success formula that Vijay learnt from Ghilli is that he should mix action with comedy like Rajnikant for a box office success. Already he has proved his supremacy in dancing and his ability to execute action scenes without a double. Now in Ghilli his ability to do comedy has been brought to light. Apart from the fast screenplay the film boasts of songs aimed for the mass. The Apidi podu podu song along with other fast numbers and good choreography has made the film a big hit. In Madhura he plays a vegetable vendor in Koyambedu market.

Despite the long queue of producers Vijay has decided that he will not take any signing amount till the subject is ready. Next year beginning he will sign Kalaipuli S Dhanu’s film if the subject is good. For Thirupachi the costar is Trisha. Vijay who is now enjoying the much-deserved success with his family in London has not forgotten to pay due credit to director Dharani. Dharani has been presented with a swanky imported car. Incidentally Thirumalai remade in Telugu as Gowri with Sumanth- Charmy in the cast is ready for release.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Eradicate Child Labor : Vijay

[Thursday, June 24, 2004]

Vijay called for eradication of child labor. In the morning he was greeted by his mother Shoba at the Kalayana mandap named after her. The actor drove in with his wife Sangeetha. S A Chandrashekhar , Vijay's father too greeted him. Later speaking to the media he felt that the children whose parents are not educated are the cause for child labour. He cited the observation of President Abdul Kalam that a country will not be a developed nation without attaining complete literacy.

Later in the evening he attended a function for his fans. Cake was distributed to all. Vijay sang two numbers from Ghilli. Then he gave helping aids to the handicapped and mentally challenged persons and undertook to bear the entire education expenses of a top ranker in the plus two exams.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Vijay causes stampede

[Wednesday, June 23, 2004]

It was no ‘mela’ but a matinee idol that created a stampede in the temple town of Madurai the other day.

Several members of the Vijay Fans' Association received bruises, lost their chappals and got their dresses torn as the police resorted to a lathi charge to control the mob that had gathered to witness the shooting of the film 'Madura' in front of the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai Tuesday.

Police said the film producers did not inform them about the shooting of a scene in which Vijay, who acts as a police officer, holds discussion about a law-and-order problem (yes!) with a junior official near the temple. As the scene needed a crowd, members of the association had gathered at the venue. According to the police, suddenly the crowd swelled. There was a stampede which called for police action.

According to the association office-bearers, the film producers had sentimental attachment to Madurai since several successful films including 'Gilli' were shot here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Platinum Disc for Vidyasagar

[Tuesday, June 15, 2004]

Music director Vidyasagar is on a roll. His tunes in Ghilli have climbed the top of the charts. The busy music composer shares an excellent rapport with producer A M Rathnam. Vidyasagar's scintillating music for Rathnam's movies - Run starring Madhavan, Dhool starring Vikram and the recent Ghilli with Vijay in the lead have been a major contributor for the success of these movies.

As a move to honor the music director, Rathnam organized a mega function in Chennai on Sunday during which Vidyasagar was presented a platinum disc.Rathnam hailed Vidyasagar as a hardworking person who had the ability to come up with good tunes anytime. Among those who took part in the function were actors Vijay, Prakash Raj, actress Trisha, director Dharani and Five Star Audio proprietor Kalyanam.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Ghillli, April 17th, 2004

"Ghilli" ... on a winning track

IT'S ACTION unstoppable and a sure hat trick for Dharani. "Dhil" took off at break-neck speed and went on in the same vein till the final frame, "Dhool" followed a similar fast track course and now again "Ghilli" begins, moves and ends on an incredible top gear.

For the finicky and the fastidious the happenings are bound to be unrealistic and even impossible but for the man on the street, who enters the cinema hall looking for sheer high velocity action, screenplay writer and director Dharani's "Ghilli" provides a sumptuous three-course fare.

The mind-boggling pace, however, sets in with Prakashraj's entry. Ghilli is the nickname for the popular kabbadi player Velu (Vijay). His father (Ashish Vidyarti), an assistant police commissioner, is a martinet who finds his son (who still has his arrears to clear before he gets his degree) incorrigible. His mother (Janaki Sabesh), on the other hand, dotes on him. His younger sister Bhuvana (`Baby' Jennifer) is the typical sharp and inquisitive schoolgirl. Velu goes to Madurai for a kabbadi match. But circumstances force him to lend a helping hand to Dhanalakshmi (Trisha) who is fleeing from the cantankerous Prakashraj, a State Minister's son, madly in love with her.

From then on it is a hectic run for the two with Prakashraj and his henchmen, who seem to be teeming all over the place, close on their heels. The role is like any other you've seen him do in ever so many flicks. The names of the films may change but Vijay has been the same. But in this Sri Surya Movies' production, the portrayal as a whole is on a different plane. Righteous anger, affection for the family, soft romance and agility on the playground, show us a different Vijay. The hero has portrayed the part with finesse and feeling.

Trisha is not a mere glamour doll in "Ghilli." Agony, ecstasy, sense and sentiment are expected of her and she manages quite well. Ashish and a soft character, you think, just wouldn't jell. But no, he seems quite comfortable playing the strict dad. Jennifer is impressive. But the actor who steals the show with nonchalance is Prakashraj, as the eccentric, middle-aged doter Muthupandi, who is willing to go to any length to get his sweetheart. Some may brand it as overacting and a few may find him crude, but with his villainous glare and comical gimmicks, Prakashraj emerges as a formidable drawing force - you just cannot hate this `bad man.'

Enthused by `Ghilli's mood, composer Vidyasagar has filled up his score with racy beats and reverberations - sorry, melody has no place in this fast paced venture. Dances are equally speedy, and Nagendra Prasad's (the hero's friend) footwork equals Vijay's. Crisp cutting of scenes bears testimony to veteran V. T. Vijayan's editing skills. Not very realistic, yet artistic are Maniraj's set designs. Gopinath's camera effectively captures the quick actions. `Rocky' Rajesh's stunt conceptions are commendable despite the unbelievable somersaults in the air. But at times the action looks so dangerous that they bring you to the edge of your seat.

Dharani does not depend on duets (there's just one), item numbers or a weather-beaten comedy line (Dhamu's idiosyncrasies in the name of humour cannot come under this category at all) to pep up his screenplay. But if he thought making Hindu Gods appear with mobile phones and the like makes a song sequence humorous (!) sorry Dharani, it's not in good taste.

With his finger right on the pulse of the viewer, and Vijay, the hero whom the masses today identify with, and Prakashraj, the inimitable villain in tow, this remake of the Telugu flick, "Okkadu," comes a clear winner.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Udhaya, Mar 28th, 2004

Like Virumbukiren, Udhaya is another movie that has had a long and torturous journey from production to release. Launched way back when Vijay and Simran were a hot pair, the movie was stalled for various reasons. Its director Azhagamperumal has since made two reasonably successful movies Dum Dum Dum and Joot and its producer 'Pyramid' Natrajan recently had to go to court to get a married Simran to finish up the song sequences required to complete and release the film. Not surprisingly, the movie has aged considerably and has continuity issues but unfortunately, those are not its only problems.

Udhayakumar(Vijay), who has rejected a scholarship at the prestigious Princeton University in order to serve his country, joins as a substitute teacher at the same college he studied in. In one of his experiments, he successfully generates a controlled nuclear explosion that he believes will be the source of power in the future. He falls for Basandhi(Simran), one of his students but soon comes to know that she is engaged to be married. Dejected, he moves to Chennai and finds a job as a reporter at a magazine. He is recruited by a group with a charismatic leader(Nasser) who promises social change. Towards that end, the group convinces him to build a bomb that can be safely stored and moved in any form.

One of the positive aspects of the movie is that the way the story proceeds belies our initial expectations. With Simran, who is unhappy with her engagement, her aunt who wants to make Simran her daughter-in-law in order to get her hands on her wealth and Vijay, who falls for Simran without knowing that she is already engaged, the movie sets us up for a love story along the lines of Kaadhal Mannan or Vijay's own Vaseegara. But the movie switches tracks completely, catching us a little offguard. As it brings in the revolutionary group, it becomes more an action movie than a romance.

But it is the same switch in tracks that proves to be the movie's undoing too. As long as the movie revolves around romance and life in the village, it proceeds smoothly even if predictably. But whenever the movie jumps to science, it is on terribly shaky grounds. Right from Vijay's experiment in the lab(he picks up a small globe out of a beaker, watches it explode along the lines of a Diwali cracker and jumps in joy on having generated a controlled nuclear explosion that is supposed to be tomorrow's source of power!), the movie's take on anything scientific is laughably amateurish and silly.

Vijay appears rather uninterested most of the time and looks like he himself doesn't believe that he is a scientist. He must be really glad Gilli came along soon after to erase this movie from people's minds. Simran too reflects VIjay's disinterest and looks particularly old and washed out in the two recently filmed song sequences. Nasser does a neat job as the group leader. Vivek is wasted in a role that has little scope for comedy. None of Rehman's tunes are real catchy.