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Young turks

Filmmaker Nagabharana's son Pannaga is making a short film in English on drag racing



FRESH IDEAS Pannaga and his team on the sets

Make way, the youngsters are here. They are bursting with fresh ideas and dare to turn them into celluloid. While most youngsters prefer to face the camera few dare to take up the daunting task of direction. Children seem to grow up in fast forward. There's Kala Prabhu. Kalaipuli Dhanu's son who made a couple of short films and is directing his first feature with Bhagyaraj's son as hero. I thought it was just the other day that I spotted Pannaga as a child artiste in his papa Nagabharana's films. Today he sports a Dhoni haircut and is wrapping up a 45-minute short feature in English called No one knows. It's about `drag racing' a phenomenon that was till very recently spoken about in hushed tones. It involves bikes and cars, starts after the city sleeps, takes place on M.G. road and Sarjapur road and is illegal. You could call it the daredevil version of dance bars. Youngsters bet and lose big money. Anyway Pannaga is not preaching. "I'm trying to delve into their psyche," says the youngster who's witnessed many of these races. He plans to send the film, being made on a shoe-string budget, to short film festivals. Isn't the whole purpose lost if youth here cannot watch the film? "I'll definitely hold shows for them," says Pannaga, who's managed to rope in the racers for his film. He plans to join a course in film direction at a school abroad. "This film should help me get into one of the prestigious schools," he says with the confidence of youth. We'll await his films for the paying public. It's always easy making films for a niche audience.

***

The news about Mohini is amusing. Nobody who's seen the film has a good word to say, but fortunately for Babu the theatres don't look like haunted houses. The collections are good. Don't be surprised if there's a deluge of movies with heroines clad in white walking aimlessly in misty forests.

Bommarillu, in Telugu starring Siddarth and Genelia is a love story that's stormed the box-office. This is the producer Dil Raju's fourth consecutive hit. The prefix is because he's always bet on new directors. The success of the film has resulted in Tamil producers clamouring and bidding for the dubbing rights.

It seems like ages since we watched a Kamal Hassan starrer. Rama Shama Bhama was his last release. His much-awaited Veteyadu Vilayadu is still in the cans thanks to an unscrupulous producer. The good news is that Kamal will face the camera again today for the ambitious Dashavatharam. He plays ten roles and will again dip into his seemingly inexhaustible repertoire. This film too has had its share of problems with Rahman walking out only to be replaced by Himesh Reshamiya. Cinematographer Ravi Verma too has been replaced by Jeeva. Kamal has always proved that delineation of different characters is not about donning various getups but body language. Anyway no actor uses his eyes like this chameleon does.

S. SHIVA KUMAR

sshivu@yahoo.com

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