Thursday, November 6, 2014

Top 10 Dropped Tamil Films We Wish Were Completed!

Sometimes a script has been written, the cast and crew have been finalized, the producers are on board and a film is announced. Then, even after part of the film has been shot, the film is dropped altogether. There can many reasons for this to happen; producers decide to back out, the cast and crew gets busy with other projects, or controversies regarding the film's story. Here are some of the most anticipated Tamil films over the years that never actually made it.

1) Jaggubhai
Director: K.S.Ravikumar
Cast: Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai

This was supposed to be the Superstar's next film after the average-grosser Baba (2002). AR Rahman was signed as the music director and the project was supposed to take off sometime in 2004. Even a photo shoot featuring Rajni in a terrorist-like look commenced and garnered much hype. However, Rajni and Aishwarya Rai became busy with Chandramukhi (2005) and Raincoat (2004) respectively while Ravikumar went on to work on Varalaru (2006). The project eventually got shelved. However, story has it that the movie was immediately dropped just after a few days of filming because the script was too similar to Baasha (1995). Ravikumar then went on and reused the name for his next movie with a different cast and script for his 2010 film with Sarath Kumar and Shriya Saran. 

2) Robo

Director: Shankar

Cast: Kamal Haasan and Preity Zinta

After completing Nayak: The Real Hero in 2001, Shankar announced his plans to direct a science fiction thriller with Kamal Haasan and Preity Zinta titled Robo. However, the film was dropped after a while as a film of that scale would require a big budget and there was an issue with funding. Shankar then moved on to work on Boys (2003). Shankar would later rewrite the script and cast Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai for the sci-fi blockbuster with a similar premise, Enthiran (2010). 

3) Mirattal
Director: A.R.Murugadoss

Cast: Ajith Kumar and Asin

Not to be confused with the 2012 film starring Vinay Rai, this film was originally announced in March 2004 as a revenge story with a photo shoot already taking place. This would have been Murugadoss and Ajith's second movie together after the the former's directorial debut, Dheena (2001) which earned Ajith the title 'Thala.' Yuvan Shankar Raja was signed as the music director. However the movie failed to launch after Ajith left the project due to disagreements and attempts to rope in Madhavan failed. Murugadoss then revamped the story by adding the Memento-inspired short-term memory lost aspect to it and proceeded by directing Surya in Ghajini.

4) Puli
Director: S.J.Suryah

Cast: Vijay and Simran

Taunted as S. J. Surya's dream project, this was supposed to be the director's second movie with Vijay following the highly successful Kushi (2000). However, Vijay was on the rise to become a commercial entertainer with all the formulaic masala flicks he did throughout the 2000s and this script did not fit the image he was trying to build. The project was dropped but later revived in Telugu with Pawan Kalyan. Vijay then went on to star in another film with the same title in 2015.

5) Yohan
Director: Gautham Menon

Cast: Vijay and Aishwarya Rai

This film was planned as a spy thriller revolving around a third generation NRI who joins the CIA. His father, who is a US senator has him sent abroad on a mission to pose as a local Tamilian to solve a mystery that could endanger the American people. Sounds promising right? Director Gautham even had plans on making multiple sequels with each one taking place in a different city surrounding a different mystery. Sounds promising, right? Even AR Rahman was supposed to be the music director with Menon producing it himself. Sadly, Vijay felt the film would be too radically different for his fan base to accept and dropped the film at the last moment claiming it did not suit his image. 

6) Arunachalam Vs. Chitra (AC)
Director: S.J.Surya

Cast: Simbu and Asin

The teaming up between the man behind New (2004) and Anbe Aaryire (2005), and the man behind Manmadhan (2004) and Vallavan (2006) was highly anticipated by those who enjoy these kinds of movies with mature themes. Asin was signed up as the female lead and a photo shoot also commenced. However, the delay of Vallavan apparently led SJ Surya to pursue other projects and the film was eventually shelved. 

7) Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikkalam
Director: Gautham Menon

Cast: Trisha

The film was supposed to be an AR Rahman musical starring Trisha and four male newcomers; Nikitha, Satish Krishnan, Veera Bahu and Deva. It was supposed to be an urban film set within the IT world. However, the project was delayed and eventually canned even after more almost 40% of the filming was completed due to unknown reasons. Gautham Menon then went on to direct Vaaranam Aayiram (2008) and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010). 

8) Kettavan
Director: Simbu

Cast: Simbu and Genelia

This was supposed to be Simbu's 25th film. Initially, the script was dropped then revived again with Simbu in talks to direct it himself once Osthe (2011) was completed. The film was rumoured to be a much more intense psychological thriller than Manmadhan. However, the film appears to have been put on hold again and there is no news on if the film will be made or not. 

9) Dhruva Natchathram
Director: Gautham Menon

Cast: Surya, Asin and Daniel Balaji

Yes, Gautham Menon tops the list as the director with the most shelved projects. Initially titled Thuppariyum Anandham, this film would have been Menon and Surya's hat trick had it materialized. The film would be set both in present day Pondicherry and back when the French still ruled the territory. There are many stories on why the film was dropped. The most popular one is that Gautham had presented Surya with an uncompleted script which he could not commit to, leading him to sign up for Anjaan (2014). Another story states that the film places more importance on other characters that were allegedly supposed to be played by Simran and Parthiban, and Surya's screen time would be very limited considering his status as a leading man in the industry. This led him to leave the project.

10) Marudhayagam
Director: Kamal Hassan

Cast: Kamal Hassan, Vishnuvardhan, Nassar, Sathyaraj and Pasupathy

This film probably has been shelved the longest in this list and though rumours of it being revived always surfaces, little proof of that exists. The film was launched at a grand scale by Queen Elizabeth II herself with Her Majesty visiting the sets alongside Tamil Nadu's chief minister at the time. Problems first rose in late 1998 when a group complained that the film misinterprets their community's historical figure. Then, another group complained that the film would glamorize the main character when he is allegedly a traitor. Extensive sets built were abandoned as the number of complaints grew. The British company that was supposed to fund the film also back out after it was alleged the film might be anti-British. Most of the film's sets and props were then used for another Kaml Hassan sterrer and directorial, Hey Ram (2000) which lured much controversy as well but went on to become a critical success. Though a trailer of the film was eventually leaked online, there is no saying when filming will resume. 

11) Idhu Maalai Neerathu Mayakkam

Director: Selvaraghavan

Cast: Dhanush and Andrea Jeremiah

This film, which would have been brothers Selvaraghavan and Dhanush's next venture after Mayakkam Enna (2011) but was canned and relaunched several times. It began filming in late 2006, but was then shelved and revived in late 2008 with Dhanush and Andrea Jeremiah in the lead roles. Dhanush was alleged to sport four distinctive looks for the film depicting various stages of his life, from a school boy right up to an elderly man. However, the project was shelved for unknown reasons for the second time. Now, rumour has it that Selvaraghavan's wife, Gitanjali will be directing the remaining portions of the film, although another report stated that this is a completely original film under the same title. 

12) Madras Talkies' Untitled Project
Director: Mani Ratnam

Cast: Aishwarya Rai, Akkineni Nagarjuna and Mahesh Babu

After the mediocre Kadal (2013), Mani Ratnam was all set for a comeback with an action thriller starring his muse Aishwarya Rai and Telugu stars Akkineni Nagarjuna and Mahesh Babu. However, Babu opted out of the project and negotiations with Ram Charan failed, after he claimed that the film lacked any commercial elements. There were then reports that Nivin Pauly was approached for the project although he denied it ever happened. The film appears to have been dropped now with Mani busy filing OK Kanmani (2015) with Dulqueer Salman, Nithya Menon, Prakash Raj and Kanika.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Yennai Arindhaal: What is it be about?

Following the disappointing Ek Deewana Tha (2012) and the mediocre Neethaane En Ponvasantham (2012), Gautham Menon appears to be gearing up for a highly anticipated comeback with Yennai Arindhaal in early 2015. We will first look at what we know so far about the film before we finally speculate on what the story could be about. Let's start!

The last time Gautham Menon did a movie with a major movie star was with Surya Sivakumar in Vaaranam Aayiram (2008). Now, he is teaming up with Ajith Kumar for the first time, which did not seem possible at one point. Back in 2010, Ajith was supposed to make his 50th film with Menon but things did not work out and they both went on to pursue other projects. All that appears to be untrue with the two big names now teaming up, much to fans delight. Unlike most other Tamil movie stars, Ajith does not shy away from doing multi-starers like, Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000), Mankatha (2011) and Arrambam (2013). This film also has a big star cast.

Not much has been revealed about the movie, which is pretty common for movies by big directors with big actors. They do not need the added hype than fans' expectations. This is good as it does not spoil the film with badly-made trailers and keeps audiences excited. However, Menon has revealed that Ajith will be appearing in four different looks in the film, but no mention on whether any of them requires him wearing the khaki uniform. He will be playing a father to Baby Ankitha though, although it might one more closer to his actual age, unlike in Vaaralaaru (2006) and Aasal (2010).

From one of the released posters, we can see Ajith in a more younger look with short black hair, a thick moustache and khaki slacks, which is his look in the portion with Trisha in it. 

Another two posters show him with a rugged, bearded look in much darker settings. Leaked stills shows him in this look filming with Arun Vijay.


One still shows him slightly plump with stubble in his natural grey hair, which is said to be his look in the portions involving Anushka.

Trisha is teaming up with Gautham Menon for the second time after the romantic classic Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010). She has gone on record by saying that she will be playing Ajith's wife in this film, which will be a much more intense love story than VTV. That is a huge sigh of relief as if there are two genres that Gautham is a master at, it is action thrillers and romantic dramas. From her saree-clad look in this still, she appears to be playing a more mature, orthodox Indian woman. 

Nothing much has been said about the other characters, although Menon has teased us with some information. Arun Vijay will be playing the second male lead opposite Parvathy Nair. Anushka Shetty will be playing an internet professional with newcomer Amit Bhargav as her admirer. Thalaivasal Vijay, who has played villainous roles in many films, will be playing a supporting role. What is most interesting is Vivek, who starred in Menon's debut, Minnale (2001) will be working for the second time with him in this film. Minnale was the first and last time Gautham Menon gave in to the norm of having a separate comedy track for commercial films. Since VIP (2014), Vivek seems to be transforming from a comedian to more of a comical actor. This suits Menon's style of storytelling more as seen from what VTV Ganesh did; casual funny dialogues with no over-the-top comedy. 

Another report alleged that Arun Vijay will be playing a negative part in the film. 

Is Anushka playing Ajith's second love interest in the film's other half? 

With a moustache like that, could Vivek be playing some kind of police officer? 

Another interesting fact about this project is the importance placed on the music, which is almost always considered a character on its own in a Gautham Menon film, even when it is not there like in Nadunisi Naaygal (2011). Harris Jayraj is teaming up with Menon for the first time since 2008. No matter which music director Menon works with, you can always expect beautiful songs and equally fantastical background scores. One song sequence was filmed in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer while another lullaby number with Ajith and his on-screen daughter was shot in Sikkim. Some scenes were even shot in Malaysia, although there is no report on whether it is for a song sequence. 

Now, let's speculate on what the story could be about. Word on the streets is that this is Gautham Menon's third Tamil police flick after Kaakha Kaakha (2003) and Vettaiyaadu Villaiyaadu (2006), although none of the released movie posters and leaked shooting spot images shows Ajith in a full police uniform. His co-star Trisha has explained that Ajith will be playing a radically different character from what he usually does. The khaki pants, hairstyle and moustache does lead us to believe that it should come as no surprise if Ajith plays some high-ranking civilian-clothed officer, as that it a territory Gautham Menon is yet to explore. 

Ajith appears to have two heroines, Trisha and Anushka, probably each for one half of the film. Since Ajith has four different looks in the film, this could imply that it is about different parts of his life. Gautham Menon is notorious for killing off at least one of his heroines in many of his films. Trisha probably plays his first wife who appears in the film's first half and is killed by a villain who has a grudge against Ajith's character. Their daughter probably dies with her, or maybe survives, even growing up to be Parvathy Nair's character. 

Ajith's character then might want to seek revenge, thus his more rugged look. Arun Vijay probably plays a friend or college who appears to be nice at first but has a secret sinister agenda, if it is true he is playing a villain. 

That is all I can speculate for now. It is not my intention to spoil this movie for anyone as like every other regular person out there, I am not sure what the story is about. Like all other fans, I like to fantasize about what the film is going to be about as the hype surrounding it continues to grow. All I do is put my thoughts into words to share with everyone else out there. Let's hope the movie lives up to our expectations. I know Gautham Menon will deliver after three years of his last release. Will update this blog after a teaser or trailer is released. Do comment below regardless if you agree or disagree with me. Cheers!