Date:23/10/2002 URL:
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Ready for the fights


IF AN actor can skip around trees wearing his soles, and the grass, thin with his quicksilver moves, and still manage to look both doleful and brooding he's a `romantic hero'. If he can plaster badly dressed goons, and still not crease his linen trousers, he's an `action hero'. Now Shaam, gym-trim star and hero of marshmallow movies is getting the categories mixed up with his new action flick - `Bala'.

At the `Bala' audio release on Sunday evening, the cast gathered in the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, and guided by compere James Vasanthan, popular TV anchor, came up on stage and discussed their individual roles in the movie.

Shaam confessed that action's exhausting. He even insinuated that he should have been paid more, since rearranging villains' faces is a lot more complicated than shaking a leg, and hip, and knee... Impeccably dressed, good looking and soft spoken, with a side-kick in tow to hold his cell phone, Tamil cinema's new action man hardly looked like someone a desperado would be nervous about meeting in a dark subway. Nevertheless, `Bala', which director Deepak promises has `six fight sequences and just five songs' is undoubtedly focussed on `action'. However, in the three music videos shown at the audio release, Shaam's the romantic hero at his most romantic. There's water, of course. When he's not in rain-drenched linen, he's in shower-drenched leather. Ditto for Meera Jasmine, except in her case, most of the time she's cavorting around the sets in a water-retaining sari.

The movie's music is courtesy Yuvan Shankar Raja, the son of Illayaraja. The music director, who seemed faintly embarrassed about being the focus of attention when he was called on stage, said that he kept `the youngsters' in mind when he composed the music tracks.

When actor Prashanth, looking like an action hero on holiday in his grey and orange Nike tracksuit, praised the movie's young cast the visibly excited producers beamed. Bala's producers Raju Mahalingam and Raja Balu used the occasion to inaugurate their new production banner `Goldmine pictures' before Ibrahim Rowther, president of the Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Association, formally released the movie's music. Shaam said that `Bala' would probably be out about 60 days after his next movie `Lesa Lesa' is released. (`Lesa Lesa' is slated to hit the big screen by December 5).

By Shonali Muthalaly

Photo: T.A. Hafeez

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