Back with Mani
O Kadhal Kanmani is awaited with great anticipation. Releasing today, it marks the return of Mani Ratnam to the romantic genre, and the directora��s re-association with cinematographer PC Sreeram after more than a decade. Sreeram says, a�?It was very rejuvenating to be back with Mani Ratnam. His kind of energy perfectly complements mine.a�? Co-starring Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen, it has music by AR Rahman.
The eleventh hour
Thappa Yosikkatheenga is gearing up for a June release. Raja, who has earlier played supporting roles in various films, essays the lead. According to debutant director Sultans, the USP of the film is that it has been shot in an 11-hour period at a single location. a�?This saves a lot of money for the producer,a�? he smiles, adding that the film with 46 actors will be a colourful and breezy family entertainer.
Raghava Lawrence is back with Kanchana-2, the sequel to his hilarious comedy-horror flick, Muni 2: Kanchana. Lawrence writes, directs and acts, sharing frames with Taapsee and Nithya Menen. Kovai Saralaa��who was one of the contributing factors for the earlier filma��s successa��is a part of this one, too. Releasing today, it is a laugh riot to watch out for.
Art enthusiasts AA Wazir and his son Salim present their latest collection of vintage hand embroidered dhaniyas. Featuring traditional embroiderya��using cotton and silk threads on a cotton base, decorated with mirrorsa��the pieces are around 50 to 60 years old. From `4,990 onwards.
Till April 28. Details: jaypore.com
Play of light
Philips introduces Ambilight, an ambient lighting technology patented for Philips TVs. Part of the new Ultra HD TV, it projects light from the back panel. Ambilight is dynamic and changes according to the content being played.A� From `1,55,000.
Asahi India Glass recently launched Swytchglas.Ita��s a special glass that goes from transparent to translucent (and vice versa) at the press of a button. It can be used in homes, commercial spaces, spas and salons. From `52,000 per square metre.Available at Madras Glass and Plywoods Details: 66591837
Sign up for a contemporary living room with heritage accents at the newest furniture stop, Gulmoharlane.com
When Saurabh Ailawadi and his wife, Shweta Mewara, were looking for inspiration to set up a furniture store, they found the perfect setting in the Pink City. Brimming with highly-skilled craftsmen and strong architectural aesthetics, Jaipur forms the base from where their online venture, gulmoharlane.com operates. a�?The name, Gulmohar Lane, sounds very Indian and elegant, bringing back memories of summer evenings and streets lined with the flaming orange of its flowers,a�? explains Ailawadi who, with his wife, has worked in design for over 10 years. They wanted to create products that were simple yet tasteful. The designing is handled by Mewara, while Ailawadi takes care of the business end of things, making their start-up a cohesive unit.
Room in focus
a�?Wea��ve started with living room furniture because we found a gap in the market for genuinely good wood furniture. When youa��re buying sofas online, all you can see is how they look. Until it arrives at your doorstep, you have no clue if ita��s going to be comfortable. So while we aim to make our products good looking, we also pay attention to comfort and quality,a�? insists Ailawadi. Reminding us that this is not a luxury brand, he rates it higher both in quality and cost than competitors in online furniture retail. a�?Ita��s because the fabric we use is designed by us from scratch, and our highly-skilled karigaars employ the eight-way hand-tied technique of coiling the springs. Plus, the wood used is either mango, sheesham or teakwood, never plywood,a�? he reveals.
Take a seat
Whether ita��s hand-tufted or classic sofas youa��re after, youa��re sure to find a match for your home in a collection that includes styles like the Chesterfield, Soho, English Roll Arm, Empire and Gulmarg. Apart from sofas, splurge on ottomans, benches, wingback chairs, coffee tables and leather arm chairs. Most of the pieces come in classic shades like walnut, dark chocolate, beige and indigo, but a few like the Paris collection crafted from ikat fabric, infuse some much-needed colour into the mix. The leather for their timeless wingbacks, priced from Rs 35,000, is sourced from an exporter who supplies to Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton, and the colours available include ebony, chestnut and espresso. An interesting feature is that buyers can customise products, be it with the fabric, size or fill (options range from polyfibre to down feathers). Having spent quality time in the palaces and heritage homes of Jaipur as research, the duo is now focussing on other products like cushions and mirrors, apart from hand-tufted beds in their e-store.
Rs 11,500 upwards. Details: gulmoharlane.com
Featuring gold plated and fabric wallpaper, Studio Marvel aims to be your only destination for makeovers
From a mere alternative to painting your walls, wallpaper today meansA� making a statement with highly embossed or gold plated options and more. Given the demand for wallpaper solutions, Chennai-based Studio Marvel is confident about finding takers for new-age trends. With access to 50,000 designs, imported from countries like Germany, Korea and Spain, their new store is reportedly the largest wallpaper address in South India. Clients include Toni & Guy, Naturals and other commercial establishments in the city. Talking about Studio Marvela��sA� USP, director of the company, Moin K Abdul Razack, says, a�?a�?We offer lifetime warranty and we dona��t sell on roll basis, but based on the wall space. Thus, therea��s no wastage.a��a��If you have a wall in, say, your living roomthat requires a pick-me-up, you can choose from options like 3D wallpaper and contemporary floral patterns fromRsA� 35 per sq foot (approx). They install it free of charge
Their highly-embossed wallpaper could actually pass for moulded wall textures. There are bold prints and plain options in a variety of modern colours. For a luxe touch, go for a pureA� 24 kt gold effecta��think French boudoir or Middle East impact (priced at Rs 40,000 per sq ft). And for an edge to your office space, they offer customised flooring, with anti-skid features. Imagine, you could put your company logo on the floor.
From Rs 35 per sq foot. Details:43123300
Vivek Karunakaran launches two collections at The Park, with live music, dance, art, food and of course, celebrity models
or those who believe that fashion shows should be more than a ramp walk and cocktails,Vivek Karuna-karana��s Mercedes Luxe Royale will be a pleasant surprise. Conceptualised by the city-based designer, this event, to launch his Spring Summer collection that was showcased at the Delhi Fashion Week, is more a�?productiona�� than fashion show. So expect live music, art, dance, even dinner a�� a�?a complete package,a�? as he describes it. And fear not, the designer is not straying from the tried-and-testedA�A� tradition of displaying ones creations on sizzling models (expect to see Rachel Bayros, Parvathy Omanakuttan and Sucheta Sharma, among others), but he is however, doing away with the ramp, and working with the available space at his venue, The Park.
Off the ramp
Taking place simultaneously at 601, The Leather Bar and the lobby (the models will have a 200 ft catwalk between all three outlets), this event, sponsored by Mercedes Benz and in partnership with the Madras Midtown Round Table 42, happens to be a fund raiser, with all proceeds from tickets going towards building classrooms for government schools in Pallikaranai. And besides the fashion (choreographed by Sheetal Sharma) and food (601 will offer a three-course sit down dinner, while The Leather Bar and lobby will offer unlimited finger food), guests also have some art watching to look forward to. a�?Prakrit Art Gallery is contributing paintings by renowned artists that will be auctioned during the evening,a�? says the designer, adding that there will be plenty of entertainment as well, with music by Maalavika Manoj and a dance show by Lourd Vijaya��s dance group from Bengaluru.
Fall in line
And thata��s not all. To wrap up in style, Karunakaran has created The Tribe. a�?This is a regimental and military-inspired collection,a�? he explains, adding that the entire mood of the venue will be complementing this collection. Created for the modern man and woman, it features a�?camouflage print created with embroidery, battalion patches embroidered with zardozi and stars used as a statement printa��. a�?We are also styling a few personalities like Sharath Kumar, Radhika, Parvathy Nair, Neville Bilimoria and Ranvir Shah, in something inspired by The Tribe, but depicting their personalities,a�? he reveals, adding that their celebrity walk will conclude the show.
On April 19, from 7 pm. Tickets (Rs 7,500 at 601, Rs 3,000 at The Leather Bar and lobby) on eventjini.com
Addressing sensitive topics like gender bias, sexist jokes and sexuality, Gender Talk a�� Big Hero, Size Zero by authors Anusha Hariharan and Sowmya Rajendran, launches tomorrow
Sexist jokes, the meaning of consent, gender stereotyping a�� these are some of the topics that Sowmya Rajendran and Anusha Hariharan talk about in their book Gender Talk a�� Big Hero, Size Zero. Rajendran, who barely weeks ago unveiled Wings to Fly, an inspiring book for children about paralympian Malathi Holla, jumped at the opportunity to write about a topic that she feels strongly about. a�?When Tulika Books commissioned us to write a non-fiction book for young adults, we knew that it had to be on gender violence,a�? says the co-author, who has a masters in gender studies from the University of Sussex, UK. To be launched tomorrow at Ashvita Bistro, via a panel discussion on the subject, this book uses statistics and excerpts from news reports to not only introduce readers to the many shades of gender violence, but also point out how to identify and avoid them.
One of their examples in the book is from the Nirbhaya protests. a�?A lot of people resorted to foul language without realising that the words they were using were actually derogatory towards women,a�? she says, explaining that ita��s pointing out instances like these that will help young readers identify and move away from conformist behaviour that they come across in their peer circles where a�?behaviour is imitative,a�? and the pop culture they consume. And with the authors targeting an audience of 13 plus, they have enlisted the help of Niveditha Subramaniam to pepper the book with illustrations. a�?It has a good balance of text and cartoon strips, and for those who want to dig deeper into the subject, we have suggested links for further reading,a�? shares Pune-based Rajendran, who, along with her co-author Hariharan, who did most of research for the book, will join human rights lawyer Gulika Reddy for the panel discussion at Ashvita Bistro tomorrow. One of the main focusses of the discussion will be about how gender violence is relevant to young people, Rajendran shares.
On April 18, from 5 pm at Ashvita Bistro. The book is priced at Rs 225. Details: 9884981271
Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Cast: Vincent Da��Onofrio, Anton Yelchin, Chris Marquette
The film is a tale of bromance focussing on older brother Buddy (Marquette) who joins a gang while the younger one, Jacob (Yelchin) is sent to New York to study. When Jacob returns after many years, he realises Buddy has been working with mobs. And when an assassination goes wrong, the brothers must fight for each other. While the plot fails in the cowboy setting, Chopraa��s noir style comes through, in what is a lukewarm film.
Cast: Simha, Linga, Saranya
The plot centers on the plight of four friends who come to Chennai with dreams of making it big. There is a realistic tone, the first half finely crafted and executed. It’s in the second, that the screenplay meanders, with the director losing his grip and the film ending abruptly. Simha takes over the second half and then ita��s mainly his struggle to find a suitable place of dwelling. But the actor has not much to do and is listless here.
With O Kadhal Kanmani releasing today, its leading man recalls how Mani Ratnam was once his calling card on campus
It may still be early days for Dulquer Salmaan in the Tamil film industry, but he can already check off a name from his directors wish list, which has won him a lot of envya��Mani Ratnama��s. The hero of O Kadhal Kanmani says he still cana��t believe his luck. a�?I grew up watching Thalapathi. In fact, that was the only DVD I took with me when I went to university in the US and the one film I showed all my foreign friends,a�? begins the 28-year-old, who debuted in Tamil last year with Balaji Mohana��s Vaayai Moodi Pesavum. Though the film didna��t do well, Salmaan hasna��t let that colour his expectations from his latest release.
Speaking about the breezy love storya��that reportedly turns the spotlight on the relevance of marriage todaya��the actor says, a�?The first day was a little hard, seeing seniors like Mani Ratnam and (cinematographer) PC Sreeram on set. But with their experience, they knew what must be going through Nithya (Menen) and my heads, so they eased us into it by shooting a song, Aye Sinamika. From then on it got better. I barely remember going back to my vanity van; I was always on set, enjoying the infectious energy,a�? says Salmaan, who admits that all through the 42-day shoot he made sure he was punctual and knew all his lines so that he didna��t waste anyonea��s time.
Working with the ace director was also an opportunity for the actor, who has dreams of making a film someday, to pick up pointers. a�?I observe all my directorsa�� craft. Mani Ratnama��s eye for detail is incredible. He creates these extremely believable spaces that just sweep you into the world he is building,a�? he says. However, questions of when hea��ll wield the microphone are met with a laugh. a�?I have scripts in my head, but I am very bad at putting them down on paper,a�? says Salmaan, adding that when he finally occupies the directora��s chair, he wants to tell a�?real, honest storiesa�?.
Talking about comparisons between O Kadhal Kanmani and Alaipayuthey, he feels ita��s because the director hasna��t done too many love stories. a�?In most of his films, the romance is a parallel track to something more powerful. And when he does do a love story, it is rooted in the everyday, with people travelling in buses and trains.a�? Having expressed a wish to work in at least one Tamil movie every year, Salmaan has been following the work of directors like AR Murugadoss and S Shankar. a�?I dona��t know if Ia��d suit big budget films, but Ia��d love to do them,a�? he says, adding that he doesna��t want to put anything out there thougha��hea��d rather directors approach him because they think hea��s worth it.
According to Vairamuthu
When director Mani Ratnam, composer A R Rahman and lyricist Vairamuthu team up, expect magic. With the music of O Kadhal Kanmani already topping the charts, the lyricist tells us, a�?a�?It was great working with the maestro (A R Rahman). We worked a lot on Naane Varugiren. Rahman and I would alter our timings to work with each other and finish most of the recordings by evening. a��a�� As for the story of the film, the 61-year-old tells us, a�?a�?It is about the changing lifestyle, attitude and values of youngsters. Globalisation and technology has changed our lives and in a very short span. Go watch the movie.a��a��
An outside take
R Madhavan, the star of Alaipayuthey, observes that the similarities between the 2000 release and OKK are deliberate. a�?Mani Ratnam told me this is Alaipayuthey 2. I think there was a conscious attempt to make it look alike. But knowing him, there will be a surprise thrown in,a�? he says. Speaking about Salmaan, he hopes the actor will become a bigger rage than he himself was post Alaipayuthey and promises us wea��ll see his best performance yet. a�?Mani Ratnam wona��t let anA� actor go wrong as a performer; hea��ll coaxA� the best out of you,a�? he states.
One of Hollywooda��s greatest actors, Russell Crowe gets behind the camera to recreate battle scenes
Last year, Russell Crowe sparked a controversy when he spoke about how growing old has changed the way he selects his scripts. He asked his female counterparts not to play the a�?ingA�nuea�� forever. Later, the 51-year-olda��a part-owner of the rugby team, South Sydney Rabbitohsa��made news for his plans to take the Australian rugby league to Las Vegas, to boost the popularity of the game. More recently, the Scientology enthusiast earned laughs when he mimicked how the late Michael Jackson used to make prank calls to him. The Academy AwardA� winnera��forA� films like Gladiator and A Beautiful Minda��has now turned director with The Water Diviner. A historic drama based on a true story, it is about an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey in search of his three missing sons, four years after the World War I battle at Gallipoli. More from him:
How was the experience of directing a film?
Taking the directorial helm was not just a career risk; it was a big life risk. If The Water Diviner proves commercially successful, I will be able to bring back other films to direct in Australia, to work in the city I want to work in and, crucially, be more present for my sons, Charlie, 10, and eight-year-old Tennyson.
What liberty does an actor
have while choosing a film?
An actor, even an Oscar-winning one, does not usually have that level of control. People go, a�?You are a movie stara�� you can surely call those shots.a�� But I am not that kind of an actor. I look for the role that excites me and work with whoever that director happens to be.
The film realistically portrays battle scenes.
My reading of the Gallipoli battle stories quite often talked about the noise that rose up out of no-mana��s land after a particular engagement. I realised no one had really portrayed that before. You see, in this movie, there are men who are bleeding out and people with severed limbs. You understand more about the horrifying experience it must have been. What was most deeply touching with that scenario was how well those young actors did it. That whole sequence was just two takes. And you dona��t take these things home. Ita��s too weighty a thing to carry around and youa��ve got a lot of responsibilities when youa��re shooting a film like this.
Only two takes?
I took the actors through a lot of preparation. That is why you do it, so they can be in the pocket of what theya��re doing immediately. They dona��t require any time to warm up; they are just there, willing to give that sort of performance. But I contemplated that situation and how I would shoot it for a long time before we did it, and I spoke to the actors about four months prior to the shoot.
Are you a two-take director usually?
No, Ia��m going to shoot as much as I need to. But part of that preparation with the actors was my own preparation and the rest of the crewa��s preparation. Take one is valid and usable. I dona��t believe in the warm-up stuff. Wea��ve done our rehearsals and done our preparation and when we say a�?actiona��, that could well be in the movie, so leta��s be on point. That individual is there at your requesta��and ita��s a privilege for you that that person agreed, whether ita��s the production designer or the DOP or the costume designer, to be on your set so you need to get the best out of them.