Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Multi-starrers


That's the first official poster for Twenty 20, a Malayalam film that brings together all the big stars of the Malayalam film industry - Mammootty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Dilip, Jayaram and Prithviraj, to name a few. The film is being made for AMMA, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, and all the actors have acted without taking any salaries. Directed by Joshi, who has delivered some memorable hits, including another Mammootty-Mohanlal starrer No. 20 Madras Mail, this one is also supposed to be a murder mystery.

Multi-starrers allow more than one character to gain importance in the movie. They greatly expand the director's choice of stories and pave the way for more character-driven movies. Not to mention the excitement for us viewers in seeing two or more popular heroes compete on screen. But true multi-starrers have been few and far between in Tamil cinema as all our heroes, after just a few movies, refuse the share the screen with other actors, blaming everything from the directors not allotting equal roles for the actors to their fans' insistence to see only their idol on screen. And when there happens to be a story that features more than one interesting character, our actors will simply end up playing all those roles!

Suyamvaram, the guinness record-setting film was touted to be a multi-starrer but it didn't have any of the really popular actors(Rajni and Kamal only appeared in the opening credits that was filmed during the film's launch and actors like Vijayakanth, Vijay and Ajith did not appear in the film). Though they had only two popular actors, films like Pithaamagan and Pattiyal are probably better examples of multi-starrers in the true sense of the word. And even if the actors involved had varying levels of popularity, films like Kurudhippunal, Thalapathy, Vaanathai Pola and Kandukonden Kandukonden could be called multi-starrers too.

The Tamil cinema fan that I am, the Twenty 20 poster had me dreaming about a similar poster with Rajni and Kamal in the middle, flanked by Vijay and Ajith on one side and Vikram and Surya on the other. When any movie starring just one of these actors triggers so much excitement, can we even start to imagine the excitement and hype a film starring all of them would generate? But then I read about Mammootty and Mohanlal fans clashing about the placement of their heroes on the poster as Mohanlal fans were unhappy about their hero not appearing in the center of the poster, on par with Mammootty. If this is the case in Kerala, which is supposed to have a high percentage of literate moviegoers and whose movie stars have fans and not fanatics, then what chance do we stand?! I'm guessing not a single poster will be left untouched and not a single movie screen will be left unharmed. And every single slight, imagined or true, on any of the heroes as they appear in the film will result in clashes between their fans. I'm not sure any director would dare direct such a film for fear that the fans' ire will be directed at him if he is viewed as not being fair to their hero.

So, while actors in Hindi and Malayalam film industries put aside their egos to appear together, I guess we have to be satisfied with hero-centric films where everyone surrounding the omnipotent hero is turned into a cardboard figure present solely to sing praises about him. Sigh...

15 Comments:

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Srijith Unni said...

Balaji, one of the main reasons, that multistarrers do not happen in tamil is because the renumeration for each of them, will make it the costliest movie in the world, even before the actual filming, the script or the publicity is in place, unless they work without salaries for some cause like this one. Their ego clashing is totally another thing.

Recently I heard rumours that someone is planning to remake Race, the hindi movie with ajith. I was wondering who would play akshaye khanna's role, but quickly came to know that it would be a double role, with ajith doing both. Probably he would do anil kapoor's and sameera reddy's roles as well..! sigh!

Unless we reduce the hype given to these stars, we cannot dare expect any such movies..

 
At 5:31 AM, Anonymous vani said...

rajini kamal ..hmm..can u imagine the opening credit dilemma, who's name to appear first. Even during thalabathy time, mani had to have different versions of the climax to satisfy the mallu and tamil audience.

Btw, u called me a "snarky" ..* sob sob *

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous vani said...

Not sure if you've seen this , Robot shooting in Peru.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKnn9AGBaBQ&feature=related

 
At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rajni, Vijay and Ajith have thousands of Fan Clubs in TN. About 60% of revenues come from B and C centers where fan clubs play an important role in the publicity of the Film. These guys will be the first to say No to any multi-starrers.
Surya too has a lot of Fan Clubs these days but they are more moderated, i guess.
In Kerala and in the North you don't have Fanclubs for Actors.
If Rajnikanth, Ajith and Vijay can have the Guts of Kamal and say NO to Mushrooming Fan clubs things might improve. Cinema would be watched for Content. That's a pipe dream!

 
At 1:31 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

It is almost impossible for our Tamizh movie megastars to come together to act in a movie. Most actors with their bloated egos just would not even think of doing it.

 
At 2:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Multi starrers with all major Tamil stars can pnly happen here ... in cyberspace.

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Vani:
Mammoty dies in Malayalam Thalapathy and not Rajni. Someone who started this rumor must be having a last laugh! It's been going around for almost 17 years now!

 
At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Prin said...

Balaji, some confirmed films, you could call multistarrers:

Prithviraj, Srikanth - Maa
Prithviraj, Vikram - Asokavanam
Prasanna, Sibiraj - Kavasam
Jeeva, Srikanth - Drogi
Navdeep, Aravind Akash - A AA E EE
Venkatesh, Kamal - Marmayogi

and plus, if you've noticed the ladies are startin to get together but not the men:

Rajashi Raja with (Lawrence): Snigdha, Meenakshi, Kamna, Kiran, Mumtaj, Samiksha

Nootruku Noor (Vinay): Sneha, Sandhya, Lakshmi Rai, Gajala, Bhanu, Kasthuri, Maheshwari

hmmm, ye I see wat you mean, NO BIG STARS =D

 
At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it really bothers me that women just don't even count as stars -- but 50 years ago when sarasvathi sabatham was made, it was a multistarrer because of padmini, savithri and devika as well as the famous male names.

but in terms of recent films, that bala movie with surya and vikram might count a little bit.

 
At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Reagan said...

what about Aayitha Ezhuthu? its a multi-starrer too,are we forgetting that?

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Naveen Pillai said...

BB i think you should do a music review of Vaaranam aayiram. Pretty awesome soundtrack imho

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Ravi K said...

"it really bothers me that women just don't even count as stars -- but 50 years ago when sarasvathi sabatham was made, it was a multistarrer because of padmini, savithri and devika as well as the famous male names."

In Tamil films these days the females are little more than eye candy to hang on the arm of the hero. How many roles can you think of from today like the ones enacted by Padmini, Savitri, Devika, etc.?

 
At 6:12 AM, Blogger Abbas said...

Balaji,

You can read this news on the after-shock effects of making these multi-starrer.

http://thatstamil.oneindia.in/movies/heroes/2008/11/04-mammootty-mohan-lal-fans-clash.html

Now we can understand why this doesn't happen in Tamil

 
At 2:37 AM, Blogger just mad said...

Hey Balaj(i),

Your dream will ever be a dream and never become true. Am not cursing.

The answer is in the question itself.

These multi-starrers in Malayalam are ready to act in a movie without taking any salaries.

I remember, once Kamal commented for the question - "Would you and Rajini act together in future?" and his answer - "If there is any such story and producers, its a ready to go from me right now"

( Thank god, he said story and producers - not the other way round )

So, its next to impossible in Tamil Cinema.

Yes, everybody would be enlightened even about the rumors of such a film. :)

Interesting !

- Thalaivar Vazhga ; Thalaivar Vazhga

 
At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,

Arnt you looking for something like this???
http://vi.sualize.us/view/3d248921c34e15786947012d66ed3d52/

 

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