Christmas weekend has been race for producers with all big releases lining up for December 20-21 dates. There is competition among Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi films. For film goers, there’s a lot to look forward to.
The big releases are Seethakaathi, Maari 2, Adanga Maru, Silukuvarpatti Singam and Kanaa, in Tamil. KGF, in Kannada. Padi Padi Leche Manasu and Antariksham 9000 KMPH, in Telugu. Njan Prakashan, Ente Ummante Peru, Pretham 2 and Thattumpurath Achuthan in Malayalam, and Zero in Hindi.
Here’s a glimpse into these films:
Directed by Balaji Tharaneetharan, Seethakaathi is a Tamil film based on the life Ayya, a theatre artiste turned actor. The film stars Vijay Sethupathi and Archana (of Veedu fame) as leads. It is produced by Passion Studios.
J Mahendran, Mouli, Rajkumar, Bagavathi Perumal, Karuna and Bharathiraja will be seen in supporting roles. Actors Parvatii Nair, Remya Nambeesan and Gayathrie have cameos in the film.
Music is by Govind Menon, who has also composed for Vijay Sethupathi’s 96. Lyrics is by Madhan Karky and Thiagarajan Kumararaja.
Director Balaji Tharaneetharan said about the film,
“Seethakaathi is inspired by a stage play I saw a few years back. It was soulful act, the theatre artistes performed as if there was a huge crowd, when only a few were in the audience. After the performance, I spent some hours talking to them. I was surprised by their childlike excitement. Appreciation and applause meant a lot more to them than money. I left with lots of doubts, questions and imaginations, and that resulted in Seethakaathi.”
Maari 2 is directed by Balaji Mohan and produced by Dhanush’s Wunderbar Films. It is a sequel to 2015 Maari, and stars Dhanush and Sai Pallavi in the lead. Tovino Thomas plays Beeja aka Thanatos, the villain in the film. Dhanush is the hero don.
Krishna, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Vidya Pradeep, Robo Shankar and Kalloori Vinoth play their friends and other supporting roles. Om Prakash is the cinematographer. Amaran has worked on production design. Prasanna GK is the editor.
Music is by Yuvan Shankar Raja, who is collaborating with Dhanush after a decade. They have worked together on Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram (2007) and Yaaradi Nee Mohini (2008). One of the songs in the film has been choreographed by Prabhu Deva.
Talking about Maari’s character in the film, director Balaji Mohan said, “Maari is neither good nor bad. The core of the film is about what happens when too much hatred and love is given to the same person, and how it reflects back. There is a pleasant surprise post interval.”
Adanga Maru is by debutant director Karthik Thangavel. The film is a cop thriller starring Jayam Ravi and Raashi Khanna in the lead. Actors Sampath, Mime Gopi and Azhagam Perumal have important role.
It is produced by Sujatha Vijayakumar and Anand (Jayam Ravi’s brother-in-law) under Home Movie Makers. Music is by CS Sam of Vikram Vedha fame.
Director Karthik spoke about Jayam Ravi in an interview, and said, “All credit goes to him. Initially, my script was raw and rustic. He kept insisting I should tone it down so the film is a treat for universal audience.”
“He could have easily ignored this script, there is a long queue waiting for his time. I really admire how he stood beside me, kept suggesting things, and accepted my opinions too. All this has resulted in a good film,” Karthik said.
Silukkuvarupatti Singam is this week’s other action-cop film. Directed by Chella Ayyavu, the film stars Vishnu Vishal, Oviya and Regina Cassandra in the lead. Music is by Leon James.
Vishnu Vishal said about the film to Deccan Chronicle, “We thought that the famous catch-phrase ‘Silukkuvaarupatti Singame!’ uttered by Sivakarthikeyan in one of his films would suit the story perfectly. I play a police constable from the Silukkuvaarupatti village. Regina plays a teacher.”
Kanaa is sports film about a young girl from a village who dreams of playing women’s cricket at the nationals. It stars Aishwarya Rajesh in the lead with Dharshan and Sathyaraj.
The film is directed by Arunraja Kamaraj of Nerupu da fame, and produced by Sivakarthikeyan who also plays a cameo in the film. Blade Shankar, Ilavarasu, Ramadoss, Rama and Savari Muthu have other roles. Music is by composer Dhibu Ninan Thomas.
Director Arunraja said that a lot of research has gone into the making of Kanaa. “I observed that while 1000 boys attend cricket division selection matches, only 60 girls participate in the women’s cricket division matches. My script will throw light on the struggles of one such courageous woman. It’s a sports film, and an emotional film about a man and his daughter who aspires to become a cricketer.”
KGF is directed by Prashanth Neel and produced by Vijay Kiragandur under Hombale Films. It is a period drama that tells the story of Kolar Gold Fields since the time of its discovery.
The film stars Yash and Srinidhi Shetty in the lead. Tamanna makes a special appearance in one of the songs. KGF releases in Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu on the same day. KGF: Chapter II the second part of this film will later as a sequel.
Vishal, the producer of the KGF in Tamil Nadu, said that the film is ‘an experience in itself’. He lauded technicians who worked on the project, saying, “KGF will do to Kannada cinema what Baahubali did to Telugu.”
Padi Padi Leche Manasu
Starring Sharwa and Sai Pallavi in lead roles, Padi Padi Leche Manasu is a love story directed by Hanu Raghavapudi. It is set in Kolkata, and some parts have been shot in Nepal too. The film is about the various phases of a couple’s relationship. How they get back together after break-ups and fall outs is the story.
Music for the film is by Vishal Chandrasekhar. It is produced by Cherukuri Sudhakar and Prasad Chukkapalli. The film stars Sunil, Murali Sharma, Vennela Kishore, Priyadarshi and Priya Raman in important roles.
Antariksham 9000 KMPH
Directed by Sankalp Reddy, Antariksham stars Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari and Lavanya Tripathi in lead roles. It follows the life of four astronauts who face challenges on a space mission. While it sounds like a usual space thriller, Antariksham is one of the very few Indian space films.
In 2014, director Gunnam Gangaraju made the first Telugu space comedy in called Amruthamlo Chandamama. Director Kasilingam’s MGR-starrer Kalai Arasi in 1963, was a Tamil film that dabbled with the idea.
Antariksham‘s director Sankalp told Indian Express, “We shot all zero gravity scenes using ropes. Keeping actors on rope for days or even hours is almost impossible, it puts their health at risk. These scenes had to be shot in a go. We shot for 70 days out of which it took us 40 days to shoot the anti-gravity scenes.”
Njan Prakashan is a comedy film directed by Sathyan Anthikkad. It stars Fahadh Fassil in the lead, and is produced by Sethu Mannarkkadu under Full Moon Cinema. Sreenivasan has written the film and has worked with the director after 16 years. Sreenivasan also stars in the film.
Nikhila Vimal, who debuted in the director’s 2009 film Bhagyadevatha, is the female lead. S Kumar is the cinematographer. He has worked with the director on films like Jomonte Suvisheshangal and Vinodayathra.
Sathyan has worked with composer Shaan Rahman (of Jimikki Kammal fame) for the first time in Njan Prakashan. Sathyan is known for his collaborations with Ilaiyaraaja
Ente Ummante Peru
Ente Ummante Peru is by debutant director Jose Sebastian. It stars Tovino Thomas in the lead, and is said to be a family film about the bond between a mother and son. Urvasi plays Tovino’s mother.
The film is Tovino’s sixth release in Malayalam this year after Aami, Maradona and Theevandi and others. It is written by Jose and Sarath R Nath, and produced by Anto Joseph and CR Salim.
Urvashi, Mammukoya and Hareesh Kanaran have important roles. Jordi Planell Closa is the cinematographer and Mahesh Narayan is the editor.
This is a sequel of the 2016 film Pretham. Directed by Ranjith Sankar, Pretham 2 stars Jayasurya in the lead again. He had the role of a mentalist in the previous film. He was brought in to investigate something supernatural that was affecting people’s lives.
Dain Davis, Sidhartha Siva, Durga Krishna, Amit Chakkalakkal and Sania Iyapan have supporting roles. The film is produced jointly by Ranjith Sankar and Jayasurya, and distributed by the duo’s Punyalan Cinemas.
Director Ranjith spoke about the film to The New Indian Express and said, “In Pretham 2, there is fun, humour, suspense, and horror all packaged neatly in what is essentially a holiday entertainer.”
This is a family-comedy written by M Sindhuraj, and directed by Lal Jose. Kunchacko Boban stars as the lead. Debutant actor Sravana, a first year MA Literature student plays the female lead. The film is set in a village, and follows the life of a young fun-loving person called Achuthan
Hareesh Kananran, Kalabhavan Shajon and Nedumudi Venu have other roles in the film. Actor Kunchacko Boban and director Lal Jose are working together after three years for Thattumpurath.
Their previous film together was Pullipuliyum Aattinkuttiyum, which was a box office hit.
Zero is the big Hindi release this week. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in the lead. Shah Rukh plays a disabled man Bauua Singh in the film. He finds a companion in Anushka’s Aafia, a scientist who is disabled. Katrina Kaif is a Bollywood superstar called Babita Kumari. The film is about the relationship between the three of them.
Zero is written by Himanshu Sharma and directed by Aanand L Rai. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Brijendra Kala have supporting roles, and Salman Khan makes a special appearance. Zero has been co-produced by Colour Yellow Productions and Gauri Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment.