Suhasini partly scripting Guru

On Mani Ratnam’s Guru

I have scripted the first 20 scenes of Guru. Mani bought me a ticket and asked me to go to England, where my sister lives. He sent me blank paper and some ideas, so it was a paid holiday. Mani grew up in the city, whereas I am from a small village even though my family was full of lawyers. I went to a government school and know the nuances of village life better. Guru is a village film in the beginning, before it shifts to the city.

On working with Mani Ratnam

Mani wanted me to work in Anjali, but he thought even that wasn’t good enough for me. He wanted to have something substantial to cast me. I would like to be directed by Mani Ratnam but, of course, it is not a big deal. I know the man. I think Balachander will make me act better. Mani’s characters will be good but, when it comes to performance, I think Balachander is even better; or, for that matter, Bharati Raja, Mahendran or Kranti Kumar. Mani has considered me for many of his films — Mouna Ragam, Nayagan (for the daughter’s role). He is a good director — he does not need a co-director. He just needs help with writing so he can concentrate on the making. I wrote the dialogues for Iruvar.

Read more from the Rediff’s interview with Suhasini Maniratnam.

Malgudi ‘Doordarshan’ Days are back

T.S. Narasimhan, the producer of the hit 80’s television version of R K Narayan‘s Malgudi Days is back with the next installment. Shankar Nag who directed the 80’s show, has passed away. The ‘new’ Malgudi Day will be directed by Kavitha Lankesh. And I first read it on rediff, in an interview with Kavitha Lankesh.

To select 15 stories was quite challenging. I had to select new stories, as tales from Swamy and Friends had been done by Shankar Nag. So, I had to read all the works of Narayan again and took stories like Lawley Road, Snake Song, Salt and Sawdust.

I am getting a positive response. You should know that, when Shankar Nag directed the serial, there were more black and while TV sets and no private channels to compete with Doordarshan. Of course, Nag’s efforts were also classy. Things are different now, yet the reactions I have been getting are wonderful. I think my efforts have been widely appreciated.

From the interview, it seems like the broadcast has already begun. I’m sure it will be interesting to watch the post-2K Malgudi Days.

Vijay Super Singer – Lifeline Round

vijay tv super singer

In this week’s Vijay TV Super Singer, the lifeline round brought in 5 contestants who were eliminated or who dropped-off due to personal reasons. It included Harish, Sowmya, Archana Iyer, Nitinraj and Vijay. Vijay seems to be the most luckiest than anyone in this competition. He was eliminated thrice in the prelims but managed to get back into competition because someone else dropped off. Also his singing gets better as the rounds proceed. Couple of weeks back when he sang, Illamai Itho with an intonation of a drunkard, I whistled from the living room.

The lifeline round was judged by the public voting method. So each contestant were given a number, and the viewers dialed-in or sms-ed to register their vote. One out of these five contestant was to be selected and others would get eliminated. Here’s what happened –

Sowmya sang her best song to date, Konjam Nilavu. And she rocked. Personally after Swathi, Anitha and Maya, Sowmya is also one of my favorite among the females. Earlier to this round she was eliminated and was brought-in by voting system of the previous round. Konjam Nilavu is a tough song to sing on stage. I dont know if Anupama also sang it in one shot during the recording. Neverthless its a song that allows you to travel through your pitches. Especially the lines, Enn Pirandhen Endra Kaelvi Vaarathu. Ingu Nee Irundhaal Athu Konjam Meerathu. Vandu Naaaan…, calls for a versatile singer. And I think Sowmya did a fairly good job. The most important thing was that her lyrics were clearer than the original version rendered by Anupama.

Harish Sivaramkrishnan, who dropped off due to his official work came back with a wildcard entry. He sang the Ennavaley Adi Ennavaley. Ofcourse Unnikrishnan was there judging him. And did a very good job by singing it one pitch lesser than the original. In the original version, Unni Krishnan picks it up at a higher pitch, making the words sound lighter and also resembling a female intonation. But I loved Harish’s version. And I’m sure he is going to be tough to compete with if he enters the finals.

Vijay, who stormed back into the contest with his drunkard version of Illami Itho, took a melodious number this time. He sang Nilaave Vaa from Mouna Raagam. Except for some places where he experimented he sang exactly the SPB version. And he did it perfectly well. Some place I thought they played a back-up tape of the original for him. While he was fine, I think he has strong competition from Sowmya and Harish to reach the finals.

Archana Iyer, who also dropped-off in the previous rounds due to her exams came back with her favorite, Thoodhu Varuma. And yeah an OK job. Ofcourse, she sang it in her own style which is appreciative but the flavor of the song suffered because of that. Neverthless it was a decent attempt with original style.

Nitinraj, whom I thought didn’t have enough versatality did a super job yesterday with his version of Kanaa Kandenadi from Parthiban Kanavu. And he did it really well that I had to change my opinion on him. He might be a strong contender for the finals.

The finals team has 4 contestants – Anitha, Maya, Nikil and Goutam. One out of these 5 lifeline contestants will join them. And its going to be huge show for the rest of the weeks at Vijay TV’s Super Singer.