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Fireworks in the tinsel sky

S.R. ASHOK KUMAR

The festival of lights has always been associated with new releases. It is no exception this year.



LIVING UP TO THE IMAGE: Vija in "Sivakasi.'

Cinema buffs are eagerly awaiting Deepavali which usually will see the release of at least four films. So what is the line-up like this year? Vikram's ``Maja" and Vijay's ``Sivakasi" were sure starters with Lohitdas's ``Kasthurimaan" joining at a later stage.

Others in the reckoning are Balu Mahendra's "Adhu Oru Kanna Kalam," with Dhanush and Priyamani in the lead, and ``Perusu," that has new faces directed by G.K. making his debut. A surprise addition is ``Bambarakannalae" with Srikanth in the lead.

Satellite tie-up

For pre-launch publicity, Vijay and father-director, S. A. Chandrasekaran went to Sivakasi to meet the workers in the fireworks factories. The event has been tied up to a satellite channel, which will telecast it on the festival day.

"`Sivakasi' is totally commercial with all the ingredients that make a box-office hit," says Vijay. ``I was quite happy to see the finished product. Three months of hard work has yielded good results," says Vijay.

Will it be a success like "Thirupachi?" ``I think it will do better than that. My name in the film is Sivakasi and I have projected a firebrand image, which I hope will go down well with the audience. There is the mother sentiment and the songs, especially the one shot in New Zealand, are melodious."

So what is the next project? Vijay has started his home production, ``Aadhi" with director Ramana. ``Then it is "Puli" where I'm playing a police officer," adds Vijay.

Balu Mahendra, director of ``Adhu Oru Kanakkalam," is confident that his lead pair, Dhanush and Priyamani, will be spoken about for a long time to come. ``Dhanush is a wonderful actor. I have tried to make the best use of his powerful eyes and body language. Priyamani, again has beautiful eyes which, you will find, speak volumes.

Dhanush is as unassuming as ever. ``I have a feeling that this film will prove to be important in my career. I always wanted to do a film directed by Balu Mahendra and my dream has come true. It has come out very well and I'm waiting for the release and audience response. Dhanush is already busy with ``Pudupettai" directed by brother Selvaraghavan. He was leaving for Hyderabad for shooting and said that he would return to Chennai for a day to celebrate Deepavali provided Big Brother allows him. "After this film I am now immersed in "Pudhupettai" with my brother Selvaragavan.

Surprise

Srikanth is happy to celebrate the festival with a movie release. ``This was unexpected. The decision to release the film on Deepavali was taken on Wednesday," he says. ``It is entirely commercial. I have not played a role like this so far," he adds. He has Namitha and Arthi Agarwal to romance. Story, screenplay and direction are by Parthy Bhaskar.

Tough competition

It takes some courage for a rookie to compete with big names. Debutante director G.K. is doing exactly that. ``Perusu" is the tale of a man popular with the masses. His colourful personality is based on the life of Veeramani, hero of Ayodhya Kuppam. ``I spent many months at the slum studying the people, their lifestyle and their problems. It was fascinating. All this will reflect in the film," says G.K., director, who is also fielding all newcomers in the cast.

``Anbe Vaa," with Vivek slated for November 4 may be released a few days ahead.

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