Will Smith wants to play Barack Obama in a film.

The 40-year-old actor admits he would be unable to say no if the US President-Elect asked him to take on the role.

He said: “If I’m ordered by my Commander-In-Chief to star in the film, then I’ll do my duty as an American.”

Although Will is a staunch supporter of Obama, he insists he has no plans to follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzengger and move from acting to politics.

He said: “It’s a whole lot more fun to be a movie star. The President is a difficult job with a whole lot of lives on the line with every decision you make.”

“In my job I can just bring joy. I don’t have to bring bad news so I think I’ll stay in my position for quite a long time.”

In addition to portraying Obama, the actor recently revealed he would like to play former South African President Nelson Mandela and soul singer Marvin Gaye in a movie about their lives, but fears he isn’t “man enough” for the roles.

He said: “I’m not certain I’m actor enough yet. I love both of those, and I need to make sure I’m man enough.”


The Rajnikanth starrer Endhiran, which has Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as his lead pair, is being produced by Sun Pictures on a whopping budget of Rs. 140 crores. Endhiran’s director Shankar, known for his penchant for creating extravagant sets in his films, has erected a huge glass chamber to can just a few scenes of a duet. Sources close to the Endhiran unit say that it is impossible for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Rajni to stay in the glass chamber for a long time and hence only a very few shots will be picturised in it and not the entire song sequence. The necessity to erect such an extravagant set is to enhance the visual effect, it is said.

Naan Kadavul song review

January 15, 2009


Produced by K.S.Srinivasan, directed by Bala and starring Arya and Pooja in the lead roles. This film’s tagline ‘Aham Brahmaasmi’ ( an upanishadic line) says it all—the search for God inside you. The movie is supposed to portray the life of an Aghori, of a saiva (?) sect which practices cannibalism. Suitably the movie has Varanasi as its backdrop. Bala has crafted it painstakingly for almost three years now and with maestro Ilayaraja handling the music department, this film has generated a lot of curiosity. Bala is well-known for his intense films.

Om Sivoham…

Vocals: Vijay Prakash.

Lyrics: Vaali.

A rather longish song, but very well conceived, full of siva-bhakti. The use of appropriate native percussion instruments, sankha, drums and some fascinating tabla work add the right amount of awe to the presentation of Shiva as the fearsome, all-destroying Rudra. You hear a bit of ‘rudram’ and some descriptions in praise of Shiva in his varied manifestations. The swirling beats, now dipping, now blazing, bring to your mind’s eye the thandava of the Lord. Quite well sung too.

Kannil Paarvai…

Vocals: Shreya Ghosal.

Lyrics: Vaali.

Gentle, pathos-laden lyrics—is it sung by a visually challenged girl? The song itself moves on a slow rhythm with curving sangatis, in what appears to be Tilang raga with a generous Hindustani touch. Is that the dilruba we hear at the start and in the first interlude? This too adds pathos, The violin pieces too are sober. When Shreya goes to a higher pitch, the words are not distinctly heard. The dholak –like rhythms suit the mood of this song. Haunting.

Madha un…

Vocals: Madhumita.

Lyrics: Vaali.

A tiny number set to native rhythms. Must be his own old hit.


Vocals: Madhu Balakrishnan.

Lyrics: Ilayaraja.

The cry of a deeply anguished soul in search of lasting peace. Sung with lovely ‘vinayam’ by Madhu Balakrishnan. Again some pleasing tabla work. Is that the guitar that is made to sound like the ‘tundana’ that the mendicants use? Adds a startling touch. The violin and the flute sangatis too flow along as if afraid to break the pensive mood of the number itself. Looks like Mayamalavagowla, but could be Vagulabaranam raga too.

Amma Un Pillai…

Vocals: Sadhana Sargam.

Lyrics: Vaali.

The same mettu of song no.3, but notice the different feel of the rhythm—here it is all tabla. Again a sober number, that of a woman crying out against loneliness. Also observe how the dramatic violin sangatis are quietly set off by soothing notes from the veena and other instruments. You get to hear guitar and keys too. Clear articulation from Sadhana.

Oru Kaatril…

Vocals: Ilayaraja.

Lyrics: Vaali.

A repetition of song no.2, with very few changes in lyrics. Ilayaraja sounds flatter after you hear Shreya. At least he has articulated the words well.


The songs look very purposeful and thankfully not frivolous. The theme of the movie itself is obviously a serious one, going by the mood the album conveys. Of course there’s nothing new or striking here, but there is an indefinable mellowness about the music itself. Frill-free and polished Ilayaraja stuff!

Starring: Ravi Krishna, Sharvanand, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Tejashree, Nasser, Ilavarasu, Crazy Mohan.

Direction: Ilankannan

Music: Mani sharma, E.S.Murthy, Vidyasagar

Production: Raj Television Network

Kadhalna Summa Illa; the title might suggest a love story that is strong in its emotional content. But, the movie is much more than just love. It is also about a man who discovers life as it should be during his quest for love. Even though this is basically about a man who falls in love with a woman, there is very little romance in it as we see in regular movies and that is what makes Kadhalna Summa Illa, a remake of the Telugu hit Gamyam, different.
Telugu actor Sarvanand debuting in Tamil (also part of the Telugu original) plays a millionaire who knows very little about the realities of life. He lives in a world of his own which consists mostly of over the top partying and similar stuff. A typical spoilt brat, one might think. But he seems truly smitten when he sees Kamalinee Mukherjee (also part of the Telugu original), it is like some part of him wants to change for the better. But as he discovers, Kamalinee is poles apart from him in terms of background, upbringing and lifestyle.

She is someone who believes in serving society and is quite active in this direction, and he sees no way to woo her but to take up her cause as his own. Even if unwillingly, he does. And gets quite close with her. But his past comes back to haunt his present and Kamalinee is quite upset, and she leaves him for good. He is not able to sleep easy after that; he wants to find her out and claim her back and his journey in search of her takes him through the many colors of life. He sees many people, one of whom is played by Ravikrishna (played by Naresh in the original), who is a petty thief but helps him honestly in the search for his love.

The film is an honest execution of a neat script. The director, Ilangkannan, has not felt it necessary to fill in any commercial ingredients like duets, and rightly so. What makes the movie different is its theme itself: a man’s journey through life. There is no opposition to his love, there is no regular villain in the movie, it’s just a man’s destiny that takes him through many experiences. And, there are a couple of very good messages. At a point in the movie, the hero and his friend come upon a group of naxalites, an incident which ends in a shootout with the police. The naxalites claim to be fighting for the peoples’ cause, but the director has managed to convey effectively that they have chosen the wrong path. The movie also shows how the rich and prosperous can make themselves much more valuable to society.

Performances are competent throughout the movie. Sarvanand is apt for the role and does his part neatly, having played the same character once before. Kamalinee does what is required but one feels there is a lot more in her than what she has delivered. Her look is inconsistent throughout the movie.

The surprise packet however is Ravikrishna. Many doubts have been raised about his abilities but he proves that he is not as wooden as many think he is. All he needs is good opportunities. The scene stealer is M.S. Bhaskar. Appearing in just one scene, he makes the most memorable moments of the movie, recreating with aplomb what Brahmanandam had done in the original.

Technically, there is not much that can be said about the movie, the music is just about average. Even with all the positives, the movie has its innate limitations that do not allow more than a certain level of liberty to spruce up proceedings. It is not a regular entertainer, but it is definitely a good attempt that won’t disappoint you if you are not intent on a full-length commercial movie.

Raj TV must be commended for showing the courage to venture into film making with such a project and more so for releasing it amid high competition. However, one fears that the movie could find it very hard to survive, given the opposition that it faces.

Verdict – Kadhalna Summa Illa: Worth a watch for Pongal

Villu Movie Review

January 12, 2009


Villu movie is as usual a treat for all vijay fans. But for others..??? Check out the review here

Another Jack Ryan Movie

January 12, 2009

Screenwriter Hossein Amini has been hired to tackle a new Jack Ryan movie for Paramount Pictures. The erstwhile intelligence analyst and all-American do-gooder created by novelist Tom Clancy has not appeared onscreen since 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears.”

Mace Neufeld and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura are producing the project for Paramount. “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi was on the hook to direct and produce a new Ryan installment, but his packed schedule made his involvement unworkable.

Other producer credits remain undecided.

With a new Jack Ryan installment in the pipeline, Paramount is establishing a muscular franchise lineup: “Iron Man” and “Transformers” are moving toward sophomore editions; “Star Trek” and “G.I. Joe” will launch in the summer as potential multifilm properties; and “Tintin,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Beverly Hills Cop IV” are in development.

Amini is best known for his literary adaptations of Henry James, Thomas Hardy and Elmore Leonard. His new Ryan film is planned as an origin story, not derived from Clancy’s novels and ultimately featuring a new, younger star.

The first onscreen Ryan adventure, “The Hunt for Red October,” grossed $199 million worldwide in 1990 with Alec Baldwin in the role. “Patriot Games” (1992) and “Clear and Present Danger” (1994) brought in $178 million and $208 million worldwide, respectively, with Harrison Ford playing Ryan.

Ben Affleck took over the role in a sort-of prequel in “All Fears,” which grossed $177 million worldwide.

Amini, repped by Endeavor, was nominated for an adapted screenplay Oscar in 1998 for “The Wings of the Dove.” His other credits include “Jude” and “The Four Feathers.” He has “Golden Compass” sequel adaptation “The Subtle Knife” in development at Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Co. drama “Shanghai” in postproduction.

49 songs have proven to eligible for inclusion in the ‘best original song’ category for this year’s Academy Awards. The list was made available today from the folks at the Academy. So, who’s your favourite to nab the golden statue?

These will soon be whittled down to just five (which make up the nominations). Those five will then be performed at the ceremony in LA in February.

The official release:

On Tuesday, January 6, the Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the Music Branch in Los Angeles. Following the screenings, members will vote to determine which three, four or five songs become nominees in the category.

A DVD copy of the song clips will be made available to those branch members who are unable to attend the screening and who request it for home viewing. A mail-in ballot will be provided.

A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any film. If more than two songs from a film are in contention, the two songs with the most votes will be the nominees.

To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 22, 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

“Another Way to Die” from “Quantum of Solace”

“Barking at the Moon” from “Bolt”

“The Boys Are Back” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Broken and Bent” from “Role Models”

“By the Boab Tree” from “Australia”

“The Call” from “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”

“Can I Have This Dance” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Chase the Morning” from “Repo! The Genetic Opera”

“Chromaggia” from “Repo! The Genetic Opera”

“The Code of Life” from “My Dream”

“Code of Silence” from “Save Me”

“Count on Me” from “The Women”

“Di Notte” from “The Lodger”

“Djoyigbe” from “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”

“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E”

“Dracula’s Lament” from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

“Drive” from “Fuel”

“Forever” from “They Killed Sister Dorothy”

“High School Musical” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Gran Torino” from “Gran Torino”

“I Thought I Lost You” from “Bolt”

“I Want It All” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“In Rodanthe” from “Nights in Rodanthe”

“It Ain’t Right” from “Dark Streets”

“Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”

“Just Getting Started” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Just Wanna Be with You” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Little Person” from “Synecdoche, New York”

“The Little Things” from “Wanted”

“A Night to Remember” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Nothing but the Truth” from “Nothing but the Truth”

“Now or Never” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire”

“Once in a Lifetime” from “Cadillac Records”

“Right Here Right Now” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Right to Dream” from “Tennesee”

“Rock Me Sexy Jesus” from “Hamlet 2”

“Scream” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“The Story” from “My Blueberry Nights”

“Sweet Ballad” from “Yes Man”

“Too Much Juice” from “Dark Streets”

“The Traveling Song” from “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”

“Trouble the Water” from “Trouble the Water”

“Up to Our Nex” from “Rachel Getting Married”

“Walk Away” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

“Waterline” from “Pride and Glory”

“The Wrestler” from “The Wrestler”

“Yes Man” from “Yes Man”

“Zydrate Anatomy” from “Repo! The Genetic Opera”