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Awaiting superhits


Gods never fail ... Vijayashanthi in "Sri Bannari Amman".

WILL THE Tamizh Puthandu (New Year) releases kick-start the box office? The past year has been bad for the Tamil film industry as there were no major hits. It desperately wants at least one of the films released this week to be a blockbuster. Normally eight to ten films are released for Tamil New Year, but this year the number of films has dwindled as production has come down and only five will make it to the theatres. The following films are slated for release on April 12-14:

Tamizhan: GV Films, one of the big banners, is making a come back after a gap of seven years with a big budget action drama starring the young superstar Vijay and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra. The story is about a young man who wants to give back something to the society. According to Vijay, "The film will surely make every Tamil proud, as there is a strong message for the youth". The members of the technical crew are all debutants — director Majith, cameraman Ekambaran, and music director Imman. Said producer G. Venkateswaran: "The film has a powerful storyline and of course all the ingredients of commercial cinema". The film was sold at a record price to distributors on the `puja' day itself and will be released with 130 prints. Vijay needs a blockbuster very badly as his last two films did average business.

Gemini (AVM): The biggest banner in Tamil films is also making a comeback after a gap of five years. The story is about the gang wars in Chennai and is loosely based on two real life goons, Sellu and Vella Ravi. Confessed director Sharan: "I have been inspired by gang wars in Chennai. In the film it is a clash between two gangs one led by Gemini (Vikram) who attends evening college and the other by Teja (Kalabhavan Mani). " The heroine is a new face Kiran and Malayalam character actor Murali plays the DGP's role. According to producer AVM Saravanan, "Sharan has made all of us proud with this wholesome family entertainer." For the first time a Vikram film is being released with 104 prints. The music of Bharadwaj's and Sharan's mind blowing picturisation are said to be the highlights of the film.

Tamizh: The film has Prashanth and Simran in the lead role and is directed by debutant Hari, a former assistant of Sharan. Like his mentor Hari too is telling the story of a bitter feud between two gangsters Nassar and Ashish Vidhyarthi set in the backdrop of the temple town of Madurai. Tamizh (Prashanth) is an upright and honest guy whose lover Meenakshi (Simran) is a schoolteacher. One day Tamizh gets drawn into the battle between the two gangsters, giving a twist to the story. According to the director, "The film has a very different look and feel about it. Prashanth, Nassar and Ashish Vidhyarthi as a 68 year old man have all come out with stunning performances". Amudha Durairaj has produced the film that was made on a reasonable budget. Prashanth needs a big hit and hopefully `Tamizh' will turn out to be a winner.

Rajyam: Guru Films `Rajyam' is an action packed family entertainer produced and directed by Manoj Kumar. Vijaykanth is not playing a police officer for a change but instead is a private detective. Malayalam's top hero, Dileep is Vijaykanth's younger brother and character actor Murali is in a negative role. Shilpa Shetty's younger sister Shamita Shetty of ``Mohabbatein" fame and Priyanka Trivedi are the heroines. The story is about how Karthikeyan, the ace detective saves his brother Surya who is framed in a murder case. Manoj Kumar, director said, "It is a full length family entertainer where the sentiments are well worked out. The film will please all section of viewers". Another highlight of the film according to the director will be a song that was picturised from Kanyakumari to Chennai! A lot depends on `Rajyam' for Vijaykanth and his fans.


Action-oriented fare ... Prasanth and Simran in "Tamizh".

Bannariyamman: Vijayshanthi is Goddess Bannariyamma and it is her 175th film. This Amman film has the usual story of good triumphing over evil. The film is directed by Bharati Mohan and has music by T. Rajendran.

The highlight of the film will be Kushboo and Sukanya who will be making special appearance in two Amman songs and the comedy track of Vadivelu.

The film made on a shoestring budget has been snapped up by distributors and is expected to do well in the interiors. Like all Amman films, `Bannariyamman' too is a safe bet.

SREEDHAR PILLAI

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