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Saturday, March 17, 2001

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In the land of the Yuppies

``ERUMUGAM''. ``WHAT on earth is that? Surely, it must be a spelling mistake. It must be Arumugam''. Director Saran must have heard this dialogue a number of times, but everytime they ask him that question about his new movie, he patiently explains ``Upward mobility. A modern day rags to riches story''.

Saran's next directorial venture that comes in a package which includes Ajit and Paarthen Rasithen heroine Laila, is called precisely that: Erumugam. Another byte of gossip about this film - A. Purnachandra Rao, who is producing `Dhil' will be producing this movie as well.

Ajit who owes his `beat-up guy' action hero image to Saran from the days of the hit, `Amarkalam' stars once again and rises from humble origins to an enviable position. In this, he is ably aided by Mumbai import heroine Richa Pallod. At the moment, Richa is doing the heroine's role in Alli Arjunan (again being directed by Saran), besides sharing the limelight with Vijay in `Shahjahan'.

As usual, the director handles screenplay, dialogue and story. Vairamuthu will put pen to paper for the lyrics, which will be set to music by Kadhal Mannan music director Bharadwaj. Cinematography is by Venkatesh, editing by Suresh Urs and art by Mohana Mahendran.Word has it that recording of the songs has begun on March 16. Actual shooting will start in mid June, go on till July and August, followed by post production work in September. The director has indicated a Deepavali release if all goes well.

Saran, a Balachander disciple is convinced that ``Erumugam'' will catch the fancy of the Tamil audience, much like Paarthen Rasithen did, with its subtly different theme. His earlier movies, `Kadhal Mannan' with Ajit, `Amarkalam' again with Ajit have touched that chord with the movie watching public.

After ``Erumugam'', Saran hopes to direct Vijay, cast in a double role opposite Aishwarya Rai. If one were to go by Kollywood gossip, this is going to be one of those expense-intensive movies. The producers have pulled out all stops on expense, the grapevine whispers. `Erumugam' time for director Saran too!

By Ramya Kannan

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