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Secrecy robs the charm

WHO IS the heroine of ``Baba''? Nobody knows. Manisha Koirala is in the film. Sanghavi is very much in it. So is Kiran of "Gemini" fame. A couple of actresses also say that they are in the film. The secrecy has taken away the charm. Why this confusion? Generally when a new face is launched, the director of the film makes it a point to brief the press. But when the same director makes it big, he does not come out with such details about the film. This kind of secrecy has become the trend with Maniratnam, Shanker and a few others. Among the heroes Rajnikanth seems to be following it. But why? Even if somebody does copy his work, he cannot match Rajnikanth's stature. So why the fuss?

Making rapid strides

Karunas, of ``Nanda'' fame, is simple and straightforward. He was late by a few minutes, for the shooting of ``Baba'' one day. "When I told Rajnikanth that I had been to the doctor as I was suffering from joint pain, he was very concerned and suggested a couple of exercises," he says. Karunas is now doing more than half a dozen films. "I am willing to play any role but mostly I am given comedy characters. I am happy and I try my best to fulfil the expectations of the director," he adds.

Youthful team

It's not just young heroes who are much sought after these days. It seems to be boom time for young technicians too. So, not surprisingly, it is a young team that comes together in Goldmine Pictures' "Bala". Shaam is the hero of the film and the ravishing Malayalam actress Meera Jasmine is the heroine. Meera is also doing "Run" with Madhavan. Her bubbly screen presence, they say, reminds one of Jyotika. "Bala" and "Run" will tell us more. Deepak is the new, young director of the film. Remember the film "Engineer", starring Arvind Swamy that was begun quite sometime ago and is yet to see the light of day? Gandhi Krishna was its director. Deepak who was Gandhi Krishna's assistant then, is the youngster directing "Bala". Deepak has also worked in the editing line under Lenin-V.T. Vijayan. The youthful group seems to be complete with Yuvan Shankar Raja composing the music for "Bala".

Making hay ...

The minute Vikram became a star with ``Sethu'', the producers of films in various languages, which he had acted in earlier, began to dub the films in Tamil. Nearly five of Vikram's films are to be screened in the theatres of Tamil Nadu this week and one among them is "Thrill", that has Laila as the heroine. It has a song, which has the names of Vikram's films, right from "Sethu" and "Vinnukum Mannukum" to "Kasi", "Dhil" and "Gemini". ``When I was struggling it was these films which gave me work. So when they want to use my fame now I do not have any say. Why must I think about it?" says Vikram. Vikram is surely different from othersuccessfulheroes.

Tense moments

Indian stars, particularly Tamil stars, seem to be having trouble of some kind in foreign countries these days. Recently Kamal was held up for a while by the immigration officials in Canada. Now Kushboo faced a problem of a different kind. Jayadevi's "Power of Women", which is being shot in Toronto, Canada, has Kushboo and singer Hariharan in the lead. The unit was shooting in a busy area. After a shot on Kushboo was over they wanted to take a long shot of Hariharan. So Kushboo waited on the road. The shot was cranked on Hariharan in a moving car. Only later did the unit remember that Kushboo was waiting for them some distance away. So they went back but the actress wasn't there. A frantic search began, but it was in vain. It was a pleasant surprise that awaited them when they got back to their room late in the night because Kushboo was there, waiting for them.

``I always carry the visiting card of the hotel I stay in. So when the unit left me on the middle of the road and went away, I waited for some time for their return. When they did not come I took a taxi and reached the hotel, and waited for the unit to return. It was the unit which got panicky, I was cool as usual, '' says Kushboo.

Quite a challenge

Bharadwaj, who gave the incredibly popular number of recent times, with "O! Podu" in "Gemini", is not the composer for the film's Telugu version. The person in charge of the music this time is S. P. Patnayak. Whether he will be able to produce an equally popular number, is a pertinent question. And for that we will have to wait and see (or hear?).

(Compiled by Malathi Rangarajan and S. R. Ashok Kumar)

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