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Thursday, May 10, 2001

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Fiesta for film buffs

WHEN WE were students, if the Government plied buses specially for ladies, we were thrilled beyond measure. Now the word 'specials' (food, magazines, TV programmes, elections, etc) is the order of the day. In keeping with the current trend, May Day Specials were announced by all the television channels, but only by Sun TV (as compared to its satellites) on a lavish scale. The day began well with "Vanakkam Tamilagam". It was only at night that I realised that it was the best programme of the day.

Actor Napolean was interviewed for a half-an-hour. He was chatty and had a refreshing sense of humour. He traced his entry into and rise in the film arena. What appealed to me was a very relevant message which, he conveyed. On an average, man's lifespan is about 60 years, he claimed, of which 20 years are spent in eating and drinking, another 20 in growing up and then growing old. The remaining active 20 years should be spent in a worthwhile manner, he opined. That explains his role in the activities of the Cine Artistes Association. Is that why he is entering politics, he was asked but the ending was abrupt. Was he projected because he is the Rising Sun's candidate for Villivakkam? No, we shall be generous hearted and give them the benefit of the doubt since the programme was worth a vanakkam!

This was followed by an interview with the newly-weds, actress Devayani and director Rajkumar. Her attempt to talk in Tamil was appreciated. Her new-found happiness was evident in her behaviour... giggling and biting nails. The couple claimed that there was initial opposition to their marriage but later everybody accepted it. Devayani emphasised that reel life, which was money-oriented, was different from real life.

Daringly different hero-cum-producer Parthiban's inaugural function of "Aelaelo" followed. There was too much hype about the show, and hence it did disappoint. Fans of Kamal Hassan garlanding him, stole the show. The pleasant surprise was Sudha Raghunathan's difficult rendering of the title song and rich rendering of Bharathiyar's "Chinanchiru Kiliye".

C. Sundar is a lucky director and the penalty he pays is being interviewed on the television quite often. Hence, he had nothing new to add. He was emphatic that today, light-hearted comedy subjects made by him are most well received.

There was a discussion on the making of Ajit Kumar's "Citizen". Judging from his expressions, costumes and make-up, the terrorist's role is sure to bring him bouquets all the way. Efforts never fail Ajit! It made me want to check the release date. Now isn't that proof enough about the interest it has generated?

The movie telecast in the morning was "Aboorva Sahodarargal". It sure enough highlights Kamal Hassan's stupendous efforts and skill at playing the dwarf but surely does not warrant a telecast for the tenth or eleventh time. Everyone at home including the children and servants are rattling off the dialogue and songs much earlier than the original. Why telecast it umpteen times over when the basic theme is revenge?

Actresses Simran and Khushboo were not spared either but what was appreciated was their inordinate patience at answering all the questions. The day ended with one of the superstar's more interesting stories, "Basha".

The people were fed with movies and movie-based programmes. Was there anything forceful to convey the powerful message of May Day, of the Triumph of Labour? Not that I saw of!

THARA MOHAN RAO

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