Friday, December 28, 2007

Bhutto death drives Pakistan into "uncharted waters"

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan put its paramilitary forces on "red alert" across the country on Thursday after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto sparked violent protests by her supporters.

President Pervez Musharraf denounced what he called a terrorist attack and appealed for calm after angry backers of the slain former prime minister took to the streets across Pakistan, from the Himalayas to the southern coast.

The unrest was predictably fiercest in her native Sindh province and its capital, Karachi.

"Police in Sindh have been put on red alert," said a senior police official. "We have increased deployment and are patrolling in all the towns and cities, as there is trouble almost everywhere."

Reports said security was deteriorating in Karachi, where thousands poured on to the streets to protest. At least three banks, a government office and a post office were set on fire, a witness said.

Tires were set on fire on many roads, and shooting and stone-throwing was reported in many places. Most shops and markets in the city shut down.

At least 20 vehicles were torched in the central Sindh town of Hyderabad.

There were also small protests in Rawalpindi and the nearby capital, Islamabad.

Protesters blocked roads with burning tyres and chanted slogans against President Pervez Musharraf in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir in the mountainous north.

Police said they had been ordered to block the main road between Punjab province and Sindh province, apparently to stop the movement of protesters.

Disturbances were also reported in the southeastern city of Multan, although details were sketchy. In the eastern city of Lahore, Bhutto party workers burnt three buses and damaged several other vehicles, police said.

Trouble was reported from the interior of Sindh province, including the Bhutto ancestral home at Larkana, police said.

"The situation is not good in the interior of Sindh. A large number of people have come out on the roads in many cities to protest," said senior police official Fayyaz Leghari.

Wrong calculation by Tamil directors – Cheran

Cheran is an entity in himself as he delivers his films without incorporating obscene scenes.
But when you look at it, 99% of Tamil films do incorporate some obscene scenes. When Cheran was asked about this during the shooting of 'Raman Thediya Seethai,' this is what he had to say.

"Nowadays, clothes are becoming briefer. One cannot dismiss this as a result of the influence of films. There are other reasons too for this.

Years ago, films did not have obscene scenes. And they ran for many number of days. Nowadays, they accommodate certain obscene scenes in films. Directors think their films will click only if there are some obscene scenes. That's the mistake they make.

As a family, no one wants to watch films with obscene scenes. That is why I never feature distasteful scenes in my films.

Each one of my films has a message. Disabled people should not lose hope in life. Youngsters should have self confidence. About 10,000 youngsters live in Chennai with dreams of cinema in their eyes. What is the way out for them? I have conveyed meaningful messages on these topics in my films. And they have definitely been of help to many."

Peak into Pazhani

Directed by Perarasu and expected to release for Pongal next year is the Bharath-starrer Pazhani. Cast as his lady love is Kajal Agarwal and as his ever-loving sister is Khusbu. The movie has quite a fair share of the brother-sister sentiment and a good amount of bone-crunching action. The climax fight sequence was supposedly shot in five different locations. The word is that following this movie, Bharath will possibly be seen as an action hero!

All songs in the movie have been written by Perarasu. The opening song has been shot in Central Jail with almost 1000 prisoners playing a part in it! Another noteworthy song in the movie is the kuthu song featuring actress-dancer Suja. This song marks Perarasu’s debut as playback singer! The song believed to stand as a testimony to Perarasu’s lyricist skills is the one that talks about the love and bonding between brother and sister.

Mirugam Protests!

Mirugam has been affected by controversies for sometime now.

First it was the Samy-Padmapriya episode and then a problem with the Animal Welfare Board of India. A 'Jallikattu' (bull fight) scene had to be deleted from the film due to the protests of the board as the sport amounted to cruelty against animals.

But the Mirugam team decided to protest against this. The protest, which was lead by the movie's producer Karthik Jai, was supported by many youngsters who participate in the sport along with the organizers of Jallikattu events.

Director Samy and lead actor Aadhi also participated in the protest.

Mirugam hit the screens on December 14th.

Lakshmi is next!

Asin has always insisted on dubbing for her films, even though her mother tongue is Malayalam. Another actress who does her own dubbing in Sneha. Sandya too is known to dub for her films.

Now Lakshmi Rai joins this club. Lakshmi has been living in Chennai for over two years, but she has not been able to pick up the language so much. But the unit of Dhaam Dhoom feels that her style of Tamil speaking will suit her role in the film.

In Dhaam Dhoom, Lakshmi plays an Tamilian lawyer settled in Russia. The hero of the film Jayam Ravi runs into her in Russia where she helps him get out of a legal issue.

The film is expected to hit the screens for Pongal. The film was being directed by Jeeva, but after his untimely death, his wife has taken over the reins.

A Rajni film in 2008?

2007 has been the year of the Superstar. Sivaji, the biggest film ever in the history of Indian Cinema gave Rajinikanth the biggest hit of his career. The film opened to record bookings all over the world.

His next flick post Sivaji was expected to be the animation film Sultan, directed by daughter Soundarya. The film will be hitting the screens end of 2009. But looks like the actor might have a release in 2008.

It is heard that Rajinikanth has agreed to do dance director turned actor turned director Raghava Lawrence's film.

Lawrence recently screened his Telugu film Don starring Nagarjuna for the Superstar at Four Frames. It is also heard that the film will be produced by Rajini’s mentor K. Balachandar.

It seems that Rajni is impressed by Lawrence's all-round abilites-in Don he has handled not only the direction and choreography, but he has also composed the music, written the dialogues, story and screenplay!

Em Magan team begins next venture

The team behind 2006’s successful family movie, Em Magan, is back with their next venture. Like that film, the new film is also innovatively titled – Muniyandi Vilangiyal Moondramaandu.

The film stars Bharath in the lead role. As in Em Magan, Vadivelu is sure to have the audience in splits with his comedy. Directed by Metti Oli, Thirumurugan Muniyandi... has Vidyasagar, who gave rustic melodies for Em Magan, composing the music. Vairamuthu is the lyricist.

The team is quite confident that this movie too will turn out be a hit like their earlier one. The shooting for Muniyandi… starts today.

Nayantara’s Lakshmi in Tamil

Telugu movie Lakshmi, a major hit in Telugu this year, which starred Venkatesh and Nayantara in the lead roles, is to be dubbed in Tamil. Lakshmi is a relationship drama that will appeal to family audiences.

The film is directed by popular Telugu director V.V. Vinayak and produced by M.S. Rathna and S. Dharmasastha for Sri Sai Rathna Movies. Music is by Ramana Gokula, who has previously scored music for Vijay’s Bhadri in Tamil.

After her jaw-dropping glamorous role in the super hit Billa, one will get to see Nayantara playing a traditional girl in Lakshmi. The success of Billa, which has enhanced Nayan’s image in Tamil Nadu may be one of the reasons for the dubbed release.

The film will hit the screens by January.

Dhaam Dhoom

Dhaam Dhoom is a forthcoming Tamil film which was directed by Jeeva, until his death, from when P. C. Sriram and Jeeva’s widow, Annez, voluntarily agreed to complete the project. The film stars Jayam Ravi, Lakshmi Rai and Kangana Ranaut in the lead roles.

The film will have four songs composed by Harris Jayaraj. However, the title might not be kept due to the new Tamil Name-No Tax system.

The film will be filmed in Prague, Czech Republic and India from February 2007.

A photoshoot has already taken place in Chennai consisting Jayam Ravi surrounded by duplicate snow. Despite the fact that the film had been stalled temporarily as the director, Jeeva died from a heart attack in late June 2007, his guru, P. C. Sriram and his widow, Aneez, have agreed to complete the film voluntarily. The film is expected to release in 2008.