Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Anbudan... Gauthami

I'm not a big fan of interviews of movie stars on our Tamil channels. They usually feature an uncharismatic interviewer asking cliched, predictable and uninteresting questions while sitting in gaudy sets. Clips and bits of song sequences from the actor's movies, seen a million times before, are screened at regular intervals, further reducing the time the actor has to actually talk. So once the initial excitement of seeing the artists in a real setting(as opposed to the movie screen) wears off, the programs become very pedestrian.

Ofcourse a big reason for this lack of enthusiasm about such interviews is the overload of them. Ever since the satellite channels debuted, every important festival day is filled with interviews with the stars (usually the same stars, whose movie is being released that day, on all the channels!) under a variety of names. Apart from this, we also have the actors appearing in regular programs on other days. So the aura associated with seeing an actor being interviewed has been lost. It wasn't always this way though. I still remember those days when I eagerly looked forward to Malarum Ninaivugal on Sunday morning on Doordarshan, even though it mostly featured old actors who had been around long enough to have a lot of memories.

The latest actress to jump on this interview bandwagon is Gauthami. Her new program Anbudan..., where she interviews actors (atleast so far, its been just actors), debuted 3 weeks ago. Gauthami's star status(any actress who debuted as Rajni's heroine, went on to become a leading heroine, acting with all the major actors and is currently dating Kamalhassan has a very high star status, IMO!) and the high-profile nature of her subjects(so far, she has interviewed Kamal, Simbhu and Karthik) made me check out her program. Unfortunately, she hasn't brought anything new to the table and I didn't make it through the full program both times I caught the show(I missed the first episode with Kamal, which got some good praise).

Like most interviews, the questions were real safe(and hence, uninteresting). The one good thing was that they didn't show clips from the actor's films. Instead, they had clips of the actor's acquaintances(friends, other actors, a film's crew members, etc.) recounting their experiences with him. Though I didn't last till the end of the program, I heard from my wife that the show ends with Gauthami getting a cast of the actor's hand.

From what I heard from my parents back in India, the show is Sun TV's answer to Vijay TV's popular show Coffee with Anu (Sun TV seems to be doing this kind of copying rather blatantly now since they also have a show called Asatha Povadhu Yaaru, which is a copy of Vijay TV's Kalakka Povadhu Yaaru. They haven't even bothered to have a name that sounds different!). The casual nature of the interview, the clips of the actor's acquaintances and the final touch of getting a souvenir from the actor(in the end, Anu Haasan gets her coffee mug signed by her guest) are all apparently borrowed from Coffee with Anu.

As far as the interview went, Karthik made for a good interview subject. He was very casual and easygoing and managed recover nicely when Gauthami stumped him at a few places. While I knew he did his MS in the US, I did not know that he worked as Manirathnam's assistant. His experiences about that stint(when someone called out "andha thottiya eduthitu vaanga", he said he looked behind him before realizing that the order was directed at him!) were fun. But he didn't reveal what film he is doing next.

I'm just hoping that Gauthami manages to nab Rajni for 1 interview (maybe a special episode coinciding with Sivaji's release?!). Now that would be an episode I would definitely watch fully :-)

35 Comments:

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, it was really hilarious how gauthami created a suspense abt whom she was going to interview in her first episode and how it turned out to be Kamal..well, I guess she didn't have to work real hard to get his appointment :). But Rajni..no chance!!

-San

 
At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

I feel that Gauthami isn't cheery enough.. You have to be bubbly and vivacious while doing star interviews (and also innovative, if possible!).. which I feel Gauthami seriously lacks in her presentation. There is very little or any excitement or life in her speaking tone, which seriously eats into the overall effect of this show.

(My personal heart-to-heart with G)

Madam, now that you have decided to appear on TV, can it be mentioned that your weight (or 'over' rather) surely irks a good cross section of your viewers. It was not too long ago, that you ran around still slim and beautiful. Wonder what happened?

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

san, didn't get to see that first episode :( but u're right... she wouldn't have worked hard at all for that interview :)

sandya, true. she did smile and laugh a lot but still the spontaneity and excitement was lacking...

and yeah she has put on some weight but defly way better than some other actresses we've come across right? :)

 
At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Karthik Sivakumar,
His next film with Selvaraghavan, titled Ithu Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam.

Regarding these shows, I too find them a bore. There is just too much cinema on TV. Even interviews of big stars is not a big deal at all. Coffee with Anu is alright, she does manage to ask some interesting questions. But I prefer Anu to Karan Johar's idiocy. I think people are entitled to their privacy and their own world. Not everything has to be shown to public.

Sandhya,
Gowthami has just recently kicked cancer out. So there will be some problems with physique. Even the great Lance Armstrong changed physically after his first cancer recovery, and his natural body tone changed. Anyhow, she has not added weight on horribly like some other actresses.

-kajan

 
At 6:17 AM, Blogger Shanthi said...

Rajani vandhaalum the show will not be interesting with Gauthami in Sun TV ;) Vijay TV is gr8 :D

 
At 6:19 AM, Anonymous sriram said...

bb, Yes your parents are right, SunTV has been remaking Vijay TV programs. Anbudan is inspired from "coffee with anu" on Vijay. However I dont know if it is an answer to Coffee with Anu. The quality of presentation and content are totally different. Coffee with Anu and Anbudan are targeted for different audiences. Same can be said about Asathapovathu yaaru and kalakkapovathu yaaru.

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger Issac said...

It's no wonder she create any majic. Nowadays Sun TV wanted to copy all the good programs that other channels broadcast. They tried create another 'Coffee with Anu' and ended up in some CRAP.

Sun TV had already used its Muscle Power to hijack the highly successful 'Kalakku Povathu Yaaru' team from Vijay TV and renamed it as 'Asatha Povathu Yaaru'. May be, we can call it as 'Media Mafia'.

It clearly shows that Sun TV is run out of ideas and it can only rely on some big movies and Heavy-duty Serials.

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

Sun TV sucks. Ever since the day I decided to shell out 15bucks for this channel, I have regretted it. Unfortunately it isnt as easy as calling dish network on the phone and asking them to switch to Vijay TV from Sun. Otherwise, I would have done that long time back. I wonder how they get away with shameless lifting like this. The entire junta there lack self-esteem. I guess all the talent behind-the-scenes have probably left SUN for greener pastures.


Gautami's interview is only as interesting as her guests are. She doesnt add much. The first episode was mildly interesting because of Kamal.

Karthik's next movie is with selvaraghavan. Lucky guy. He has associated himself with Mani, Ameer and Selvaraghavan in his first few years. Wonder why Gauthami didnt ask him about this and about how he managed to land ventures successively with directors of this calibre. Even before Paruthiveeran came out he was booked for Ithu maalai nerathu mayakkam.

I found that despite his US education and background his demeanor and his way of talking lacked sophistication(and probably betrayed his village roots?). Iam not sure if its Paruthiveeran's hangover effect. But Surya looks and sounds more sophisticated than him right now. Maybe with time,he'll come around.

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger KK said...

Seems like Sun Tv is trying to catch up with some lost audiences.... Before sunday program's used to be pathetic... now they are copying from Vijay Tv... Which is copying from Hindi channels... because Koffee with Anu is a copy of Coffee with Karan...
Kamal's interview by Gautami is there in Youtube...

 
At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Indira said...

I remember one interview of Satyaraj with Swarnamalya. This was a few years ago. She totally got into the wavelength of the actor and knowing his penchant for nakkals and casual way of speaking bith of them were actually giggling all through the interview. It was fascinating to watch and i didnt miss a minute of the interview.

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vijay is owned by Star so the entire gamut of shows like Coffee with Karan and The Great Indian Laughter Show(Kalaka...) and Nach Baliye(Star Jodi) were remade into Tamil.

Sun TV never had good content they always depend on Movies for anything and everything to fill up hours left blank by Serials.

Vijay TVs Lollu Sabha and Madan's Thiraiparvai, other innovative programs and its younger look have made it the numero uno channel in Tamil.

Sun is busy mopping up the IPO money to invest it in buying more movie release. To get a good price their count down show will deride the movie in what ever possible way. All number 1 movies are of people close to the party since they would have already sold the movie to them.

All said and done Sun TV for long has been the only profitable channel in India, the practically rule south Indian market, it is now being shaken up by ETV and Vijay so it is gonan try everything possible to be the leader.

-KP

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Prin said...

Yes Balaji, I agree with your description of the typical Tamil interview.....distressing!!!

Well, from what I've seen, I've been reasonably impressed with Koffee with Anu. I actually found myself stuck to my seat for one particular fest starring Madhavan and Shriya, with comments from Charan, Abbas, Seeman, Sundar C.......seemed very 'professional'

Check these out (Links) In part order:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItMecBMnWJw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yAfYCzQsJc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc4OPqGU8Ew

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50XJiODamug

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86RNES8pEC8

All I can say it was really energetic.....well you normally don't see two top quality stars male and female - who haven't even acted with each other to date - hug on television :) And.....Maddy's past is a tale of its own.

See it and respond

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous ram said...

balaji, i agree with you on most of what you said while I want to add something- the stars play a very important role in making the interview interesting...ppl like Bhagyaraj, Prakashraj and Parthiban always have something interesting to say...among actresses, I recently watched Priya Mani's interview and was very impressed...casual-aa thamizh-la pesinaa which was a treat to listen to...Suriya used to be terribly boring but he's kinda okay these days...he's still way too reserved and diplomatic to be dubbed, "involving!" but he sure can relate to a crowd of ppl as he showed in his new year programs last year...

prin, appreciate u posting the links...will check it out after i get home...thx...

 
At 12:36 PM, Anonymous ram said...

along the lines of "anal arasu" here comes Radhika's Arse! Well, not quite...but thats how I first read it when I saw this on Indiaglitz:

Radhikaa’s Arase In Mumbai!

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger kuttichuvaru said...

well, Anbudan looks like it has been modelled on Koffee with Anu.... but Koffee with Anu is far better!!

I felt Gauthami's show off with a SONY Vaio laptop in the first episode with Kamal was very artificial!! looked very immature to me!!

 
At 4:51 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

The moment all channels go on DTH Sun TV will have tough competition.
They are surviving because they have a large movie library.

They have the rights to telecast all rajini and Kamal movies even the ones that are owned by Raj TV.

But other channels dont have the same luxury.

 
At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for some reason gauthami's lappie looked pericham pazham worthy. she doesnt bring anything unique to the show and has no personal style. there is hardly any show prep either. both karan's and anu's show has a lot of prep involved. i dont see anbudan lasting very long. it'll die a thanga vettai death very soon.

gayatri

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

prin,thanks for thelinks. youtube vaazhga. Yeah,I can see a hell of alot of difference between Cofee with Anu and SUNTV's borefest.

 
At 11:07 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

I read somewhere that Anu haasan had also opened a fast food/ice cream parlor? or something and she was busy managing the chain. Amazing that she finds time to do prep for these programmes too.

 
At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Vijay, Anu opened a juice bar (similar to Jamba Juice in the US) where they have custom juice concoctions. She goes to an exercise class, Kalaripayattu, in the midst of her very busy schedule for Coffee with Anu. Entrepreneur, TV Anchor, Health Freak.. she's got it goin' on! :-)

 
At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Prin said...

Despite the temptations of not to listen to an 'legal' downlaod, I came across 3 Sivaji songs today. However some sources claim these were early versions.

* Vaa...ji Vaa...ji Sivaji Sivaji - A soft, brisk melody rendered soulfully by Hariharan and Madhushree, a legendary number - grew on me from the first listen.

* Sahana - Rendered by Udit Narayan, howevr sources claim this is unused and the new version is sung by AR Rahman and Chinmayee. A middle eastern feel to yet another soulful fantastic number.

*Oru Kodiyil Sunlight - A quick full numbered rap song as per 50 Cent's style by Blaaze. It will appeal to the youth but has some atrocious tamil and some junky beats. A let down from Rahman, more of a Yuvan number.

Any questions anyone? What did you think?

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

......anbudan Gowthami interview in no way compares to Coffee with Anu....why is it that these people seem to never learn that actors and actresses are not necessarily good at EVERYTHING...why not give the job to someone who would perform well....

as for the weight problem, i do feel bad for these actresses...i mean they live on like no food while they're acting....so give them a break...let them eat and enjoy life at least after....why the need to always point out the weight issue?? ...do we want the emaciated look to become the next big thing in kollywood too??? i'm all for being healthy and all that...but honestly, give them a break...don't always harp on peoples' appearances...

 
At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out tamilstylez.net forum for 3 songs from sivaji!!!!!!!!!

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous raj said...

actually, cofeee with anu started off as coffee with suchi and Suchi was better I thought. Anu is oh-so-familiar and her rapid-fire questions are bland and give no particular insight into the interviewee's personality. Suchi had the knack of hitting some tender spots with questions - maybe thats why our insular tamil celebrity club couldnt stand her.
Still, Anu ispreferrrable to the bland gauthami. If not for Kamal, it would have been a washout on day one itself

 
At 7:52 PM, Anonymous ram said...

off topic: just a random thought...been awhile since u've had any guest posts by k or k...edhaachu post pannungalen...

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

kajan, i remember selva announcing something with karthi but thot that had been scrapped when he went to direct in telugu... guess not...


kk, will chk it out on youtube. thanx :)

indira, not sure i saw that one. but there was one where satyaraj interviewed satyaraj. i think i wrote about that in a post too... that was an interesting interview...

KP, "To get a good price their count down show will deride the movie" - interesting... that idea never crossed my mind :)

prin, will chk out the videos. thanx :)

ram, true. the subject does add something the interview. and those examples u've mentioned r always fun :)

kuttichuvaru/gayatri, she used the laptop for simbhu too but for karthi it was indoors and the comments from people were on tv. guess they felt the same about the laptop :)

sriram, adhenna DTH?

anon, i'm guessing that the program gets other hi-profile stars only cos the interviewer is gauthami :)

raj, who is suchi? any other movies/programs i might have seen her in??

 
At 8:45 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

Balaji, DTH is direct to home(directv, dishnet)
Currently. Sumangali Cable vision has monopoly over the cable distribution. Whether you believe it or not, rival channels are blacked out by Sumangali Cable.

Moreover the top 20 channels have just Sun programming(gemini ushe etc). This affects the TRP ratings of other channels. So Sun has been getting good revenue on ads.

Currently JayaTV and Vijay TV are on Tata Sky(partly owned by rupert murdoch). Raj is unable to join them because Sun is threatening Raj. Once all channels are on Direct to Home it will be the survival of the fittest based on the quality and content of the programs.

lets c wht happens.

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous sriram said...

I am great fan of Gautami but her presentation sucks. To be more precise "thoongi vazhiyardu". Anu hassan is too chirpy.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Simply Senthil said...

Balaji,

DTH stands for "Direct to Home" which requires a device called Set Top Box and a dish. Viewers need to pay only for the channels they watch. For more info, check here.

Suchi @ Suchitra is a popular RJ of the Chennai FM Radio Mirchi. She is quite known for her bubbly voice and enthusiastic presentation. She has acted in Ayidha Ezhuthu as one of the associates of Surya.

Coffee with Anu was started as Cofee with Suchi and lasted for only few episodes.

 
At 10:35 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sriram/senthil, thanx for the answers. didn't realize there were so many things going on behind our satellite channels :)

 
At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suchi is actually kanda naal mudhal karthik's wife.

 
At 2:17 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

and Suchi also song the remix song "ennaasa mythiliye" if Iam not wrong..? I saw her in one special programme on SUN TV sometime back interviewing a celebrity and she was pretty good

 
At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to add everything together, if you had watched JayJay movie. She is the one who comes in the climax as the RJ trying help the lovers join back together. She plays herself in the movie.

She sang the song in the same movie called May Matham 98il and of course the famous starting nonsense for the song Uyirin Uyirae from Kaaka Kaaka.

-KP

 
At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking abt Goutami n her talk show..... it sucks and shes using her show to advertise herself and literally begging for film chances !!!!

 
At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the previous anonymous reviewer. gauthami is using this show to PLEAD for opportunities. some of her questions are RIDICULOUS -- e.g. "if i were to act now what role will i be suited for?" she's asked this question on 3 different segments. this is LOUSY and i'm glad SUN TV has shelved her show.

 

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