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A launch away from city



A moment captured at the function in Madurai, for the launch of "Sandiyar".

KAMAL HAASAN'S new film "Sandiyar," story with a rural background, was launched with great fanfare at a function held in Madurai recently. The actor chose Madurai because that was the scene of action. "I am going to shoot in and around Madurai for more than a month. I wanted to have this puja at my birthplace, Paramakkudi. But it is a small village and does not have the facilities needed for a huge gathering like this. Another reason for selecting Madurai is that it has done yeoman service to Tamil and its rich cultural heritage," Kamal Haasan said.

Is it a sequel to "Devar Magan"? An emphatic no is the answer. It is an entirely new story and is not in anyway linked to Kamal's past ventures. Abirami, the heroine, is a new face. Puja for the film has been performed only after fixing the release day - Deepavali. Kamal Haasan was showered with rose petals all the way to the podium at the Medical College grounds where the function was held. Napoleon, who is playing an important role in the film, expressed his happiness about getting a chance to act in a Kamal film. "When I made my debut, Kamal was already a veteran. I've got this opportunity after 12 years. Perhaps like the rare Kurinji bloom," he said.

Bharatiraja said that he always wanted to have the launch function of his film in Madurai but Kamal Haasan had actually done it.

AVM Saravanan became nostalgic. "Kamal told me, `You took me to Madurai when `Kalathur Kannamma' was released. Now it is my turn. Soon I'll be inviting you for a function to be held there,' and I'm here," he said. The event was embellished by the screening of scenes from Kamal Haasan's films. Chandra Haasan proposed a vote of thanks.

S. R. ASHOK KUMAR

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