- Director Maniratnam has come full circle with his new film 'Alai
Payudhe', slated for an April release. Few know that Maniratnam's first
film was not in Tamil. It was a small budged Kannada film titled 'Pallavi
Anupallavi', starring the then unknown Anil Kapoor. There was a film in
Malayalam too starring Mohanlal who hadn't yet attained superstar status.
Mani ventured into the Tamil scene and it was his 'Mouna Ragam' (second
film in Tamil) that got him recognition. The Mohan-Revathi - Karthik
starrer had a small knot, but the story was told well. The technical gloss
was visible, but not such that it would overpower the narration. Then came
films like 'Agninachatram' and 'Nayakan' and Mani never looked back. And
rising success, increased the size of his canvas too. His films became
technically more glossy, at times to the detriment of the content. Like
the disappointing 'Thiruda Thiruda', which despite all its technical
grandeur and some very catchy numbers by Rehman flopped miserably at the
Films like 'Roja' and 'Bombay' got him acclaim at home, and in its dubbed
Hindi version in the North too. But when he tried his first Hindi venture
'Dil Se', it was rejected by the audience despite the presence of star
names like Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. Its Tamil version too was a
miserable flop. 'My films take time for the audience to understand,' said
Mani, hoping it would have a slow pick-up. But nothing happened as
expected. And now Mani has come full circle with his new venture 'Alai
Payudhe. He reportedly did not want any songs in it, but commercial
constraints probably dictated that he take Rehman. 'Alai Payudhe' is a
film that has a small star cast and a simple narrative style, like 'Mouna
Ragam'. It has Shalini and Madhavan playing the romantic lead. Madhavan
has done a few serials for the small screen, modeled for a couple of ads.
and acted as one of the heroes (Abbas was the other) in a Kannada film.
This is his first film in Tamil. Shalini has just two films on the floors.
The other is 'Piriyadha Varam Vendum' with Prashanth (a remake of the
Malayalam film 'Niram).
Madhavan and Shalini play a young couple who fall in love and get married.
Their post-marital problems threaten to disturb the relationship and that
forms the rest of the story. The film also depicts the happy marital life
of another couple whose marriage had been arranged by the elders. Love
marriage versus arranged marriage seems to be the premise on which the
story line is based. Arvind Swamy and Kushbhu make friendly appearances in
the film. There is also the chubby vivacious Swarnamalya, an actress from
the small screen. Cinematography is by P.C. Sriram. Incidentally, P.C.
Sriram was the cinematographer for the Kannada film in which Madhavan had
starred. Music is by A. R. Rehman and the tunes have more melody this
time. The film is produced by Maniratnam's Madras Talkies.
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