Saturday, January 17, 2009


The most successful Indian musician to go global, A. R. Rahman turns 43 today. Apart from his millions of Indian fans who shower accolades on him by the hour, Rahman’s incredible talent had attracted the attention of the famed TIME Magazine which referred to him as the ‘Mozart of Madras’.

Born as A. S. Dileep Kumar in the year 1966 in Chennai. His father R. K. Shekhar Mudhaliar,was a composer and conductor for Malayalam-language films in Keralite cinema. His father died when Rahman was nine years old, and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income. His family converted to Islam from Shaivite Hinduism in the late 1970s. Rahman was also a student at PSBB for a short while before changing schools. During these early years, Rahman served as a keyboard player and an arranger in bands such as “Roots” with childhood friend and percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony and Raja.

Rahman is the founder of the Chennai based rock group, “Nemesis Avenue”. He played the keyboard and piano, the synthesizer, the harmonium and the guitar. His curiosity in the synthesizer in particular increased because, he says, it was the “ideal combination of music and technology”. He began early training in music under Master Dhanraj. At the age of 11, he joined, as a keyboardist, the troupe of Ilaiyaraaja, one of many composers to whom musical instruments belonging to Rahman’s father were rented to. Rahman later played in the orchestra of M. S. Viswanathan and Ramesh Naidu, accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship to Trinity College of Music in London, where he graduated with a degree in Western classical music.

In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam’s Tamil film Roja.The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a first-time film composer. Rahman has since then gone on to win the award three more times . His soundtracks gained him recognition in the Tamil Nadu film industry and across the world for his stylistic versatality in his pieces including in Western classical, Carnatic, Traditional/folk, jazz, reggae and rock music. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman’s debut for Hindi–language films, made in the Mumbai film industry.

Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. He made an album Vande Mataram (1997) on India’s 50th anniversary of independence to commercial success. He followed it up with an album for the Bharat Bala–directed video Jana Gana Mana, a conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents/artists of Indian classical music. Rahman has written jingles for ads and composed several orchestrations for athletic events, T.V. and internet media publications, documentaries and short films.

In 1999, Rahman, along with choreographers Shobhana and Prabhu Deva Sundaram and a Tamil cinema dancing troupe performed with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany, for his “Michael Jackson and Friends Concert.” In 2002, he composed his maiden stage production Bombay Dreams (2002) following a commission from musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, a success in London’s West End. With Finnish folk music band Värttinä, he wrote the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production and in 2004, Rahman composed the piece “Raga’s Dance” for Vanessa-Mae’s album Choreography.

In the last six years, Rahman has performed three successful world tours of his concerts to audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, UK, Canada, the US and India .


Rahman is the 1995 recipient of the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award for contributions to music. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his first West-End production. A four time National Award winner and conferred the Padma Shri from the Government of India, Rahman has received six awards for Best Music at the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and eleven awards for his scores at the Filmfare and Filmfare Awards South each. In 2006, he received an honorary award from Stanford University for contributions to global music. Rahman is also nominated for a Golden Globe for Slumdog Millionaire in the category of Best Original Score.


Raj Television Network's maiden production venture "Kadhalna Summa Illai" will hit the screens for Pongal. At a time when, movies from Malayalam remakes have become a norm in Kollywood, director Illankannan has opted to redo a blockbuster Telugu movie "Gamyam".

The movie features Ravikrishna, Kamalinee Mukherjee and newcomer Sharvanand in the lead roles. Speaking about the movie, Illankannan said, 'Kadhalna Summa Illai is a feel-good film that revolves around these three personalities. Ravikrishna and Sharvanand have played their part well. Kamalinee is a rare talent who combines good looks and performance. Sharvanand enacted the same role in the original too.'

Raj TV, a prominent Tamil satellite Channel, is foraying to film production with this movie. Thanking the production house, Illankannan says, 'they had given me enough liberty. The movie has enough thrills and spills in it. It is about two youths, who have different outlooks on life and are opposite to each other. They meet and begin a journey together. What happens next between them forms the crux'.

The major highlight of the movie is a 'thiruvizha' song shot in an extravagant manner. The song featuring Ravikrishna and Tejashree was shot at Prasad Studios where a huge set was erected by GK.

According to Ravikrishna, this would be a trend-setting film. Illankannan is a youthful director. I am happy and thrilled to have been involved in the project.

Due credit should be given to every member of the crew. All of them have worked hard, Ravikrishna says and adds, 'it is a different film from my earlier ones. I play an easy-go-lucky youth, who is never serious about anything in his life'.

On his part, Sharvanand, says, 'I feel privileged to have made my debut in Tamil with such a good script. The script is a proven-winner in Telugu. But, Illankannan deserves all credit for making necessary changes in the script to suit the Tamil audience'.

Vincent, a former associate of P.C Sreeram, has cranked the camera. Nasser, Ilavarasu and Crazy Mohan are also in the cast. Vidyasagar, Anil and Manisharma have scored music for the film.

Pongal Releases


Villu produced by Ayngaran International. It is the only film that exhibitors are willing to pay reasonable MG, while other films they are only taking the bookings.

As of now the release schedule is as follows-

AVM’s A Aa E Ee on Friday, January 9. The buzz on the “feel good family movie” is good, due to the 360 degree publicity campaign carried out by the producers. It is releasing worldwide in 85 screens, which is impressive for a small film.

Ayngaran International’s Villu, is releasing in nearly 432 screens worldwide on Monday, January 12. It is a very wide release with 155 of them in overseas markets, the highest ever for a Tamil film. In Kerala, a Vijay fortress it is releasing in nearly 70 screens like a big Mohanlal or Mammootty film! The film releasing two days before the festival day is going to take a gargantuan opening.

Sun Pictures has already bombarded its viewers with Padikkathavan trailer. The Dhanush-Tamannaah starrer will release in 250 screens worldwide, Dhanush’s biggest ever release. A lot is riding on the film releasing on Pongal Day January 14, for Dhanush, as he is on the verge of a hat-trick of hits.

Raj TV’s Kathal Na Summa Illa has announced more than a week back that they will be releasing for Pongal and has also published a theatre listing. The film may have only a limited release on Pongal Day, Jan 14, as theatres prefer the biggies.

Captain Vijaykanth’s Engal Asan is also scheduled to release on Pongal Day, January 14, all over Tamilnadu. The film is getting more theatre bookings from B and C than the A centers.

The above five films have got theatre bookings in most places, while Guru En Aalu, Newtonin 3am Vidhi, Perumal, which had also announced Pongal release has now backed out due to lack of screens.
Posted by N.THYAGARAJAN at Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009


The fight of Nayan Tara with a toddy shop owner in Kottayam has become cynosure of all the eyes. Nayan Tara who was in Kottayam to participate in a private function, was staying in a star hotel. When she came down from the hotel for a breakfast, a lot of people began to assembled to see the actress. But a toddy shop owner, who was fanatic of the actress began to click with his camera. The actress requested him to stop taking photo of her in the restaurant. But the toddy shop owner did not respond to her requests. Hence, she went near the photographer and pulled the camera from his hands and dashed it on the ground.The body-guards of the actress who too were watching the scene began to pull the man out when Nayan Tara tried to beat him up. Luckily there was no manhandling of the actress. The actress did not file any complaint with the police, hence, the toddy shop owner was saved from the arrest.