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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mahesh Babu at Big FM Studio Hyderabad

It can’t get BIGGER than this, what tweaked millions of ears tuning in to BIG 92.7 FM on Wednesday, 10 October, its none other than the appealing voice of Tollywood prince and renowned film actor Mahesh Babu who was ON-AIR LIVE for the first time in radio interacting exclusively with BIG FM listeners.

BIG 92.7 FM, India’s No.1 FM station in its continuing endeavor to bridge the gap between listeners and their favourite film stars invited the heartthrob Mahesh Babu to host the show live with Hyderabadis favourite RJ Sekhar who host the breakfast show ‘BIG Sandadi’ on BIG 92.7 FM.

As BIG 92.7 FM partners Mahesh Babu’s most awaited film Athidhi, ‘Prince’ as he is called by his fans also met the 10 lucky winners of the ‘Athidhi’ contest run by BIG FM. The contest was run to create exciting content around the theme of the movie and to deliver value to the BIG FM listeners.

“Today is the happiest day of my life, meeting Mahesh Babu was like a dream come true, Thanks to BIG 92.7 FM who translated my dreams into reality” said –Shakuntla, a lucky winner of the ‘Athidhi’ contest.

Venkatesh's Chit Chat on Tulasi

Venkatesh’sTulasi” is releasing worldwide on October 12, 2007. On this ocassion, Venkatesh met the media today at his office at Ramanaidu Studios, Hyderabad. He speaks at length about the movie and much more in this interview.

Q: Can we begin with the film?

A: Yeah, “Tulasi” is another high voltage drama but neatly packaged with all the ingredients. In one word, it is family entertaining emotional drama. Basic storyline is simple. You can find good dosage of everything. It begins with romance and then moves to sentiment and then you see high voltage action and ends pleasantly.

Q: What is your character does in the film?

A: I am playing an architect. My name is Tulasi Ram in the movie. Title is chosen because of the character’s name.

Q: How different it is from other films?

A: I can’t talk about other films in general but from my past films, it is different in the sense it has more commercial values. Music is pleasant, Editing is neat and clear. There is big action sequences. It is a minimum guarantee movie.

Q: Is it faction film?

A: No, the factionism is just one aspect but we didn’t touch it much. My character is silent but violent. He has reason for that. It is more of a romantic drama and sentiment film.

Q: How is the response for the music?

A: Music has already been a big hit. I am happy. Devisri Prasad is young and energetic guy and he has given peppy numbers. Actually I knew him from the days of Satruvu. He used to came with his father Satyamoorthy and knew his talents.

Q: Nayantara and you are working together again after Lakshmi!

A: It is good to be paired with her. She is hardworking and glamorous girl. Glamour is required for her role and she does good job.

Q: Heard that child sentiment is crucial to the film?

A: Yes, it is the first time that I am doing. The chemistry between the kid and me was fantastic. It would be major highlight. A charming and cut kid named Atulith played that role.

Q: How do you rate Boyapati as director?

A: He is good director. I knew him since he worked for my films like Pavithra Bandham. We didn’t have any communication gap. He shoots commercial angles well.

Q: Another hero (Rana) is coming from your family. How do you feel?

A: It is too early to talk about. Let him come. He just informed recently and it was all of a sudden. But I am happy that Rana is trying to continue our legacy.

Q: Will you be doing multi-starrer movies?

A: If a technician has guts and daring attitude to make a film with superb characters, I would die for working with in multi-starrer movies. I have already declared my willingness but no one is coming forward. I would like to do more variety too.

Q: Forthcoming movies?

A: I haven’t yet decided. Discussions are going on.

Holidays with family. Nothing about my next film has been finalized yet.

Happy Days : Pichimaalokam perspective

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There is a saying, success succeeds like anything. Happy Days became a super hit in USA as well as in India. I hear that Happy Days ticket is selling at Rs 500 price in black at Viswanath, Kukatpally. I also heard people are giving standing ovations when Sekhar Kammula’s name pops up at the end of the movie.

Having said that, let’s see what is going on.

  • Some of the reviews mentioned how can Rajesh speak Telangaana when he is from proddutur.
  • Some say., few of the side actors did not act well.
  • Some say it has no story, some say it is not realistic.
  • Oh., It is not a mass movie and caters to only A centers.

I would like to ask all these folks.,!!

  • Can you stop a train and make it go back words by showing a finger.
  • Can a hero fight 100 people a at a time and casually kill them.
  • How can hero fly, run like a cheetah and jump on buildings.

Are they realistic!!

Movies are for entertainment. Irrespective of whether a movie is good or bad, the only term that works in the industry is success. When people accept a movie it is called a Hit. When they reject it is called a flop. These days every flop movie is also a hit and there are success meets where you can see director and the whole team lying. The other day a director was seen on TV speaking with half closed eyes, his hand on his heart , how his flop movie (with a festival name) is doing well in all centers. I feel like putting all these liars on polygraph tests.

Happy Days is a genuine hit. It is heartening to see when a good movie becomes a hit. Let us congratulate Sekhar for providing us with clean family entertainment. He is trying to make simple films, he had the guts to release it along with big movies. Let’s stop whining about why Pandu’s mother did not act well. Let’s stop crying about how can Juniors hit a senior. Every movie, every person, every one’s life has some glitches. What matters is did we do well over all.

We are all human beings, and no one is perfect. If every movie has to be perfect, no one can make one. Can you name a perfect movie. There is none. It is just like asking for a wife who looks like Aishwarya Rai and expecting her to cook well and sing too. It is just that unreal.

Please take a step back, relax and enjoy your life. Let’s stop brooding and enjoy Happy Days. If you cannot, Please take a walk. Take a break, be positive and be happy. We are all blessed to have someone like sekhar in telugu industry. If he can’t make perfect films, he is just making films that a segment of people really like.

Happy Days!!
O Pichimaalokam

Why politicians are averse to Chiranjeevi?

Many people are awaiting the entry of film actor Chiranjeevi into politics. But a few group of people are against his entry. And who are they? None other than our politicians. According to sources, politicians of all political parties do not want Chiranjeevi to enter politics. And many of them do not want to join the Chiranjeevi's party, in case he forms one. The reasons are obvious.

If Chiranjeevi enters into political arena, the political career of many of our politicians, irrespective of their party affiliations, will come to an end. He will take fresh faces into the party and give them tickets, like NTR did when he floated the Telugu Desam in 1982-83.

Secondly, the politicians do not want to join Chiranjeevi even if he invites them for the simple reason that Chiranjeevi will call the shots and they will be reduced to just puppets. And which politician want to take orders from a film star?

Cricket: Tendulkar set for 400th one-dayer

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India superstar Sachin Tendulkar will on Thursday become the second player to feature in 400 one-day internationals.

Tendulkar will open the batting against Australia in the fifth match of the seven-ODI series against Australia, with the tourists leading 2-1.

Meanwhile, uncapped batsman Subramaniam Badrinath, 27, comes into the squad to replace the injured Gautam Gambhir.

He hit a double century for India A against South Africa and said of his chance: "It's a dream come true."

Badrinath added: "Playing for India has been a childhood dream for me and I am delighted that I am close to achieving that now."

Gambhir will miss the rest of the series after sitting out Monday's victory over the world champions.

The toss in Vadodara on Thursday could be absolutely crucial, with no team yet able to post a win when batting second.

Their batsmen had struggled until that triumph in Chandigarh, in which Tendulkar made a battling 79 and Sourav Ganguly weighed in with 41.

Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar warned last week that senior players' places would come under threat from the likes of Badrinath unless their form improved.

He said of the Tamil Nadu right-hander: "Players like Badrinath are waiting for their chance and you cannot ignore them.

"It's a professional set-up and nobody can take their place for granted."

The squad for the remaining two matches will be decided after Thursday's encounter.

Meanwhile, Sree Santh, India's fast bowler, has admitted he taunted Andrew Symonds after the Australian batsman was dismissed on Monday.

Santh told reporters he used the words: "Hard luck, you're going to lose now" to the Queensland all-rounder, but denied allegations that he had also clapped in his face.

The irony was that the hot-headed Santh had been rested for the encounter, but was in the vicinty of Australia's batsmen as they walked back to the dressing-room.

India have lost just once in five matches in Vadodara, a city in the dry state of Gujarat, and racked up 341-3 in beating West Indies here in January.

The only other player to reach 400 caps in one-dayers is Sanath Jayasuriya, 38, who on Wednesday was playing his 402nd match in Colombo against England.

Trade Buzz: Happy Days Ticket At Rs 500

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The black tickets of 'Happy Days' are sold out at Rs 500. One is getting tickets only for the next day's evening show. It never happened even for the big budget films of big stars in recent times. The tickets are being sold in black at cheaper rates, say Rs 200 in the outskirt theatres. Rising to this demand and heavy traffic at the theaters, a private show was screened in Prasad's labs on 8 th October to cater for the families those obligate Sekhar Kammula to show the film.

Going by this tempo the film may collect Rs 15 cr - 20 Cr, say trade pundits. "The budget incurred on it is just Rs 3 Cr but see the response!!!! That's incredible but the film deserves", opines a film director.

Sekhar Kammula is in deep hangover of the success of this film.

Ramoji Rao Learning Lessons From Ravi Prakash

Ramaoji Rao's ETV is known for giving no individual recognition for the News Reporters. On the other hand TV 9 Ravi Prakash made it a revolution by giving recognition for many of the reporters and News Readers working with him. There are many celebrities from TV9 right from Kareem, Swapna to Deepti Agarwal and many. But Ramoji with bureaucratic mentality always wished that ETV should sound the names of only his family.

But now looking at the progressive approach of Ravi Prakash, media baron Ramoji is learning to pacify his employees. There is heavy retrenchment in ETV from many weeks. The only reason is less salaries and lack of recognition. To stop that exodus, Ramoji started giving individual recognition for a few reporters and analysts.

So TV9 has indirectly taught a lesson to ETV.

Ramaoji Rao's ETV is known for giving no individual recognition for the News Reporters. On the other hand TV 9 Ravi Prakash made it a revolution by giving recognition for many of the reporters and News Readers working with him. There are many celebrities from TV9 right from Kareem, Swapna to Deepti Agarwal and many. But Ramoji with bureaucratic mentality always wished that ETV should sound the names of only his family.

But now looking at the progressive approach of Ravi Prakash, media baron Ramoji is learning to pacify his employees. There is heavy retrenchment in ETV from many weeks. The only reason is less salaries and lack of recognition. To stop that exodus, Ramoji started giving individual recognition for a few reporters and analysts.

So TV9 has indirectly taught a lesson to ETV.

Why 'Yamadonga' 50 Days Cancelled?

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There are impressions that the 50 days function of 'Yama Donga' were cancelled although initially intended to perform in Guntur on 14th of this month. The reason is that once the 50 days celebrations are carried, people will understand that the tempo of the film has lost and hence the closing ceremony is done with the function. To avoid such impressions, Rajamouli and team are planning to perform the function only for 100 days.

But will the film sustain until then? Now itself, only 15-20 percent collections are being made. The new releases like Tulasi and Athidhi are lined up. Amidst all this, will this 'Yamadonga' run for 100 days?! Need to wait and see.

Meanwhile, we may not know if Rajamouli and team changes mind and celebrate 50 days function as planned. Apart from this, it is said by film circles that Yamadonga completed 50 day run in less than 200 theaters. But Rajamouli and team says that it ran in 400 centers. What is to be believed?

Telugu Film News October 10, 2007

Guna Sekhar to direct Venkatesh
Guna Sekhar is likely to direct Venkatesh next venture as per the sources of idlebrain.com. Bhogavally Prasad who produced Chatrapati in the past is likely to produce this film. If all goes well, the muhurat of this film will be held on 22nd of this month on the eve of Vijaya Dasami. Venky’s latest film Tulasi film is due for the release on 12 October.

Mahesh Babu to become RJ
Mahesh Babu is all set to don yet another exciting role of Radio Jockey. He is going to don this role for a few minutes when he visits Big 92.7 FM on the evening of 10 October. He will also distribute the prizes for a contest held on Athidi film on Big FM. Mahesh Babu’s Athidi is all set to hit the marquee on 18 of October.

KM Radhakrishnan Music for Tarun film
Music of Tarun’s next film in the direction of Vijaya Bhaskar will be scored by KM Radha Krishnan. Ileana plays female lead. Jagapati Babu does a special role. Bellamkonda Suresh presents this movie. Abburi Ravi pens dialogues. Sakhamuri Pandu Ranga Rao produces this film on Sri Lakshmi Devi Productions banner.

Some Ramblings - Happy Days

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Nostalgia has a funny way of casting softer light on most things that are past, however painful they were at the time of the happening. And it is even kinder on that interesting period, when a person is thrown into the throes of early adulthood, along with several others with a similar bent in a group setting, and challenged to discover his individuality, to chart his own path and mark his own place in the world. Nostalgia is never judgmental, it is never too harsh, and more importantly, it understands. It understands the awkwardness of that period, the level of intelligence (or the lack of it) at that time, and the painful adjustments that a person had to make to fit into the group, and therefore is never too critical of any decision he made, that has changed the course of his life. It understands that this is the first brush of the person with the real world, one where there are no guarantees, safety nets or fall back positions/people, one where the impact of each result is very hard-hitting, and one where hard truths and bitter lessons are handed down in its own ruthless heartless ways. After subsisting so long on the cozy comfortable wings of the parents, the rude shock of having to fend for himself, and survive all by himself, certainly disorients even the best of minds, and the confusion is certainly compounded by awakening sexuality, raging hormones and discovering of the opposite sex. The age becomes a melting pot of all that is wondrous, confounding, complicated and interesting. Oh, there is also that other painful part in a student's life - studies. Nostalgia also has the great power of transforming all the efforts that went into that aspect - the hardwork, the heartburn, the preparations and the examinations - into fond memories. It does that regardless of the place of his education, irrespective of his discipline and immaterial of the nature of his study. All the raw images of yester years with rough edges seem to smoothen out with passing time, attain a gloss and ultimately get haloed in due course, when viewed through the forgiving lens of nostalgia. And that seems to be prime reason why it is so hard to let go of that period, because it is not just a happy memory, it is also a painful one, it is an exciting one, it is an interesting one, above all, it is a memorable one, just like how it is with the first crush, first love and the first heartbreak.

Thematically (cinematically) speaking, the period is a gold mine of ideas. Pick any emotion during the adolescent period, pick any experience in that early adulthood time, and the situation would lend itself quite easily to be explored to the fullest, and the result would be one that is universally understood and instantly identifiable. The period does not belong to just one generation and the experiences are not relegated to one selected sect. There is a commonality in the theme that spans generations, and all that is different is how each generation comes face to face with the same old truths of coming of age and how each tries to confront/overcome/learn from it. Take the old movie "velugu neeDalu" of the 60s, and the song "bhale bhale manchi rOjulae, maLLee maLLee ika raavulae" for example, and one can clearly see, that the future, that held added responsibility, marriage, kids, and even the prospect of unemployment, was as much uncertain and daunting back then as it is now. Move a couple more decades down the line to "Siva" in the 80s, and the song "Botany paaTHamundi maatinee aaTa vundi" makes the case clear enough during the lines "undigaa September March painaa, vaayidaa paddhatundi daenikainaa", that studies were as much a bother, and getting over them was much as a headache back then, as it is now. The appeal of those themes crossing over many ages, eras and periods is unmistakable, and it is more because of the instant identification of the pain. John Hughes, the famed Hollywood maker during the 80s, who specialized in movies that dealt with teenage angst, the eagerness to fit in, the rebellious nature and other troubled aspects during the school/college days ("Pretty in Pink", "16 Candles", "Breakfast Club", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" etc), carved a niche for himself in this genre. He did so not in the usual heavy-handed way that teenage movies get brushed off, but by treating each problem on its own merit, fully exploring the reasons behind and consequences of such angst, in a very intelligent, sensitive, and importantly, an adult way. Ultimately it comes down to the choices as a writer, when penning a teenage/coming of age/nostalgic movie, how does the writer deal with pain, the prevalent permanent fixture in teenage. Does the maker try to understand the mechanics of that age, empathize with the decisions, and provide the right motivations for his characters, or does he just want to romanticize that period, paint the complete portrait in broadstrokes and gloss over the painful parts?

"Happy Days" makes a case for the latter, as Kammula tries to take the easy route, both as the writer and the director, reducing the movie to a glorified music video, than trying to represent the real voice of a generation, that desperately wants to be heard. First, the writing. It is a fair choice that Kammula tried to deal only with the issue of romance, as against other pressing, and thematically richer, aspects of the student's life. (A movie is never what it is about, than how it goes about doing it.) And since "Happy Days" is projected as something a little closer to real life, the romance aspect - the falling in love, the courting, the heartbreak and the eventual patchup, was expected to be little more sincere (read awkward, clumsy, embarassing, not to mention, cute and funny), and all that the characters get to mouth are "nuvvu ivaaLa baagunnav", "nuvvu ivaaLa chaalaa baagunnav", "nuvvu ivaaLa chaalaa andamgaa unnav" at regularly timed intervals, sporting soft, dewey looks, that look cute on a puppy dog for any length of time, but on a person, wears off very quickly. Hiding behind the fact that this is closer depiction of real life, and that nobody would talk like a Kalidas or Devadas when dealing with romantic issues, would be a cheap cop out. Since it avails all the other advantages of commercial movie format, like songs, story arcs, and dramatic situations, that are otherwise denied to stricter formats like documentaries where melodramatic words would feel out of place, the above dialogues (and many more like them peppered liberally through the length of the movie) amount to nothing more than bad writing.

Observe the following two contrasting situations, how writing (read, dialogues) is important to elevate the emotion of the situation. 1. Mani Ratnam's "Gitanjali" - another case of horrible writing, written in typical Ratnam style, in stuttering spurts with botched beginnings and abrupt endings ("yae? yae?", "andukae!", "yae?", "nuvvu naaku isTam laedu", "yae?", "naenu chacchi pOtunnaanu"). But "Gitanjali" still rises above its mediocre writing, because of the seriousness of the subject, and the way it is handled with all the right sensitivity and sensibilities. 2. Trivikram's "Nuvve Kavali" - take the scene, where it becomes evident to Madhu than Tarun is in fact in love with her, as he talks about leaving Madhu and all their past history means nothing in the end ("veLLipOyina kotthallO phone lu chaestaav, uttaraalu raastaav, konnaaLLaki avee taggipOtaayi, eppuDO okaTO, renDO, uttaraalO, phone lO, nee illu, nee moguDu, nee pillalu, nee busy lO nuvvu paDipOtaav, konnaeLLaki nannu poorthigaa marchipOtaav"... or something to that effect). The sitution is real-life like, the dialogues, very much grounded in reality and far removed from theatricality, speak with all the honesty and sincerety, and convey exactly how and what the character feels. Compare it to "Happy Days", (that already treads on very thin ice (plot)), where every alternate dialogue is a "nuvvu chaala baagunnav" during the courting phase, "pOvae/pOraa, nuvvu evariki kaavaali" during the tiff phase, or a "sorry, nuvvu naaku kaavaali" during the patchup phase. If Kammula wanted to depict the feelings visually, instead of relying on the word, even that does not come across any fresh or any interesting either, as the camera overdoses on fluttering eyes, self-conscious and unnecessary smiles, slow motions and countless montages (Compre it with "Kaadal", which tries to depict the same adolescent love, visually, without the aid of any words or any camera gimmickry, for greater effect and better results). The writing point needs to be stressed, because the potential in most of the situations that Kammula chose to depict in the student life (ragging, courting, betrayal, jealousy etc) for drawing out the right effect, is too great to be frittered away in clunky and tired dialogues.

Next, the acting. It is quite unfortunate that a worldwide search for talent netted these guys and gals, most of whom, cannot talk right, leave alone acting right. With exception to Nikhil (who seems to be a very good prospect and a quite competent one, both in terms of dramatics and dialogue delivery), none of the other leads seem to have a basic comprehension or even a minimum understanding of what constitutes Telugu, with their terrible accents and irritating dictions. If this is indeed how college people speak in real life, as though Telugu is not their mothertongue but some special third language requirement they take to honor the curriculum requirements, it is a sad day for Telugu movies, Telugu language, and Telugu culture as a whole. It is high time that Telugu makers take the route that Tamil filmdom has taken a long time ago - pay scant respect to the looks and concentrate on what it takes to make it right - right acting and right writing. The deplorable state of the language (and the prospect of it getting even worse) is never more evident than in "Happy Days", which needs to be appreciated on this one count, of bringing this burning issue to the fore, albeit unknowingly. With exception to Telugu, probably no other filmdom willingly allows its language or its culture to be butchered or subverted to this extent, in the name of fashion or style, and it is quite unfortunate that makers as Kammula, who proclaim themselves as torch-bearers of good Telugu cinema, stand as mute spectators or unwitting participants in this carnage of the language. Right acting is not just putting on the right wear and looking good on the screen. Dialogue delivery is inherent to good acting, in just the same way as bad delivery and mock accents make up terrible acting. Non-existent plot, mediocre writing and horrendous acting - "Happy Days" is just false advertising.

If this is what Engineering students are, how they walk, talk, sound and move around, enough to say, that students of other non-Engineering disciplines aren't missing much!

Exclusive Hot 'n' Spicy Namitha Photo Gallery

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Jayaprakash Reddy Frightened With His Voice

Jayaprakash Reddy is known for frightening audience with his huge body and effective dialogue delivery that stands as an epitome for villainy. Freshly he gave his voice for the Tamil actor Ponnambalam in the film 'Bhayya'. DTS got vibrated with the voice of Jayaprakash Reddy that aptly suited the role of Ponnambalam.

It proved that Jayaprakash Reddy can excel well as a dubbing artiste as well. There is a standard set of dubbing artistes for Tamil actors among Telugu actors- for example Babu Mohan for Senthil, Kota for Manivannan and Goundamani, Brahmanandam for Vadivelu etc.

So, for Ponnambalam we may have Jayaprakash Reddy. But that actor gets big roles very seldom. He appears only while fighting in general.

Cinema Stills

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