Here’s a recap of the significant stories in entertainment across Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films, and sometimes the odd television series as well.
The second instalment of Mani Rathnam’s magnum opus is gearing up for release on April 28. Kickstarting the promotions for the sequel, the makers announced that the first single ‘Aga Naga’ will be out on March 30. Composed by AR Rahman, the song has vocals by Shakthisree Gopalan and lyrics by Ilango Krishnan.
This doubles up the excitement as a shorter version of ‘Aga Naga’ was featured in the first part, depicting the first meeting of Karthi’s Vandiyathevan and Trisha’s Kundavai. Ponniyin Selvan 2 is written by Mani Rathnam along with Elangi Kumaravel and B Jeyamohan and is produced by Rathnam along with Subaskaran of Lyca Productions.
After being a rage across the world, SS Rajamouli’s RRR finally topped off its successful run with an Academy Award at the recently held Oscars 2023. The film won the Best Original Song award for Naatu Naatu. The peppy track was composed by MM Keeravani, sung by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava with lyrics by Chandrabose. The song earlier bagged the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Golden Globes.
MM Keeravani received the Oscar award along with Chandrabose. India had a great run at the Oscars this year with Naatu Naatu and The Elephant Whisperers (Best Documentary Short Film) both winning awards, becoming the first Indian productions to win an Oscar.
Madhyamam.com recently released a list of unforgettable characters from Malayalam cinema. Selected among over 10,000 characters and voted by prominent members of the socio-political field, the top ten characters were unveiled recently.
Mammootty’s Amaram from Achutty bagged the top spot, followed by Mohanlal’s Sethumadhavan from Keereedam and Shobhana’s Ganga from Manichitratazhu. Mammootty and Mohanlal made another appearance in spots 4 and 6, respectively, while characters played by Fahad Faasil, Manoj K Jayan, Thilakan, Jagathy and Manju Warrier bagged the other spots.
Seen in a new and rustic avatar, Nani plays Dharani in Dasara, a drunkard who is bold when he is inebriated but naive when sober. The trailer promises a violent saga with a lot of bloodshed. While the trailer does not reveal what triggers Dharani, it is understood that he rises to lead an important power struggle in the Singareni coal mines.
Directed by Srikanth Odela, the film also stars Keerthy Suresh, Samuthirakani, Deekshith Shetty, Shine Tom Chacko and Sai Kumar. The film has music by Santhosh Narayanan. It is all set to release in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi on March 30.
Fahadh Faasil, who was last seen in the survival thriller Malayankunju, plays a boy-next-door character in Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum. The film’s teaser gives us glimpses of Fahadh’s character on various occasions. Directed by debutante Akhil Sathyan, the film is backed by Sethu Manarkad of Full Moon Cinemas. Justin Prabhakaran has composed the score while Sharan Velayudhan has cranked the camera.
Nagathalli Chandrashekhar’s next film is said to be a triangular love story, similar to his cult classic America! America! (1997). The yet-to-be-titled film stars Nirup Bhandari of RangiTaranga (2015) fame and Shanvi Srivastava. Pruthvi Ambar of Dia (2020) fame has joined the cast of the film.
The film is said to be a tribute to America! America! with significant portions of the film to be shot in Seattle. Mano Murthy who composed music for the cult hit returns to collaborate with Chandrashekhar, SK Rao is the cinematographer.
Jayam Ravi’s which was released recently on 10th March is said to premiere on Zee5 on March 31. The streaming platform announced the news on its Twitter account. The action entertainer follows a harbour worker who doubles up as a gangster. Directed by Kalyan Krishnan, the film co-stars Priya Bhavani Shankar and Harish Uttaman. Sasikumar’s Ayothi will also stream on Zee5 from March 31.
The makers of Venkat Prabhu’s Telugu-Tamil bilingual Custody recently released the first teaser of the film. Starring Naga Chaitanya as a tough police officer who believes in truth, the teaser promises an action entertainer. While Aravind Swamy plays the antagonist, the action entertainer co-stars Krithi Shetty, Sampath Raj and Priyamani.
Produced by Srinivasaa Chitturi, it is presented by Pavan Kumar. Maestro Ilaiyaraja and Yuvan Shankar Raja have composed the music, SR Kathir has lensed the film and Venkat Raajes has handled the editing.
After being lauded by critics and audiences alike, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Nanpakkal Nerathu Mayakkam has been given another stamp of approval; this time from the New York Times. The Mammootty starrer bagged the top spot in their Five Best International Features listicle. Other films in the list include the French film Jumbo, the Norwegian film A Human Position, the Czech film Domestique and the British film The Show.
The makers of Panja Vaisshnav Tej’s upcoming PVT4 recently announced that Joju George will be playing the main antagonist in the film. According to the character poster, he will be seen as Chenga Reddy and this will mark his debut in Telugu cinema.
Directed by debutant Srikanth N Reddy, the film co-stars Sree Leela and is produced by Suryadevara Naga Vamsi and S Sai Soujanya. The technical crew includes Dudley as the cinematographer, Navin Nooly as the editor and AS Prakash as the production designer. The film is set to release on April 29.
The Rishab Shetty directorial Kantara is reaching new shores after its tremendous run at the box office. The film was screened at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session on nature conservation at Pathe Balexert.
The actor-director reportedly delivered a speech at UNHRC, talking about climate, conservation and the environment. He said, “Environmental sustainability is the need of the hour. As an actor-director, my aim is to make an impact at the grassroots level.”
Actor Kavin, whose recent film garnered a lot of appreciation and success, announced his next. Helmed by choreographer-actor Satish and produced by Raahul of Veetla Vishesham fame, it is said to be a romance drama.
Interestingly, the makers revealed that Anirudh Ravichander has been roped in as the music director of this untitled film. Satish, who is making his directorial debut, earlier collaborated with Anirudh for Nelson’s Beast.
Jaggesh’s Raghavendra Stores, which was earlier aimed as a direct OTT release, is now slated to hit the screens on April 28. Directed by Santhosh Anandram of Rajakumara and Yuvarathna fame, the film follows the life of a 40-year-old unmarried cook. Produced by Vijay Kiragandhur under Hombale Films, it co-stars Shwetha Srivastava of Simple Agi Ondh Love Story (2013) fame. It has music by B Ajaneesh Loknath.
Arulnithi’s next film Kazhuvethi Moorkan will be with SY Gowthama Raj of Ratchasi fame. Releasing the film’s poster, the actor announced the film’s title on social media. Also starring Dushara Vijayan of Natchithram Nagargiradhu fame, the film is backed by Ambeth Kumar’s Olympia Movies.
Set in Ramanathapuram, the rural entertainer co-stars Munishkanth, Sharath Lohitashwa and Yaar Kannan. The technical crew of the film includes D Imman as the music composer, Sridhar as the cinematographer and Nagooran as the editor.
Aneesh Anwar, who last directed My Great Grandfather (2019) took to his Instagram to announce his next film, Rastha. The film's tagline reads, "On the way." Rastha stars Sarjano Khalid in the lead. From the making video, it looks like the film is set in the backdrop of a desert area and revolves around a few people who get stuck there.
Produced by Linu Sreenivas, the film co-stars Anagha Narayanan, Sudheesh, Irshad Ali and TG Ravi. The story and dialogues were penned by Shahul and Fayiz Madakkara.