Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Time for Heroes

Sun TV screened ‘A Time for Heroes’ on Sunday. It was a show organized by the Heroes Project to promote AIDS awareness and was held in Hyderabad in October. The primary attraction ofcourse was that it was attended by many top stars from all 4 South Indian film industries. But though it mostly followed the format of awards shows, the reason behind the show made it seem more worthwhile than those shows.

Here are some highlights that I can remember, from the show (in no particular order):

- Like the Filmfare awards show, this one too was preceded by a behind-the-screens look with interviews with the technicians, peeks at the rehearsals and chats with the stars as they got ready for the show. I liked this segment since it appreciates the people who do the grunt work to make the show run smoothly but who usually don’t get the credit for it.

- Sun TV donated proceeds from the advertisements to AIDS awareness programs, which I thought was a nice touch.

- Among Tamil stars, I saw Kamal, Vikram, Sarathkumar & Radhika, Simbhu, Prabhu Deva, Sadha, Sandhya, Genelia, Revathi and Sumalatha. The Telugu cineworld seemed to be represented better probably since the show was held in Hyderabad. The Andhra CM was the Chief Guest.

- Kamal and Jayaram introduced Sidharth, a 3rd standard student, who played drums to their kunnakkol (term courtesy my mom). It was the best part of the show since it was very different from what we usually get to see and introduced a really talented youngster.

- Sun TV's interviews with the stars were pretty standard stuff. Dr.Rajasekhar and his wife Jeevitha were two who said something useful. They did a Q&A session between them and answered questions on patients’ privacy concerns, etc. Though sloppily done, it was something useful instead of the standard “I am honored to attend this show”-type replies.

- Sarathkumar and Radhika introduced a couple who are both HIV + but whose son is not. Sarath’s speech about them was very good.

- Richard Gere was classy. He gave a great speech that was very heartfelt and joined in with some vocal background music for the final song.

- Sania Mirza spoke well. It’s the first time I’ve seen her (apart from a couple of pics of her on the court). It was clear why Simbhu wants to make her act in his movie :-)

- Was nice to see Amala after a long time (she came with Nagarjun). She could still give today’s heroines a run for their money.

- Usha Uthup sang songs from all 4 South Indian languages in her distinctively accented voice.

- Sadha predictably danced for Kannum Kannum Nokia… and Andankaakka…

- Shriya danced solo for the Mazhai song and with Tarun for a song from Enakku 20 Unakku 18 . “Damn excited!”, was her response on being chosen as Rajni’s heroine.

- Chinmayi sang Oru Dheivam… with suitable sobriety. But there seemed to be an audio problem and her voice sounded layered.

- My favorite singer turned out to be Vasundhara Das. She sang just the female segments of Erimalai Naane… and Dating…. The songs sounded exactly like they do on CD and she was very stylish on stage.

- Worst segment was the dance for the song from Manmadhan. The guy (I think he’s a Telugu hero) looked flabby and didn’t dance well, and the gals were dressed pretty skimpily.

- All the stars came together on stage finally to sing a song composed by Ilaiyaraja. But not much rehearsal seemed to have gone into this. Only a few of them put their hearts into it while many were silent, mumbling or worse, talking to their neighbors and laughing. While it was admittedly a star show, I felt the seriousness of the cause deserved a more solemn rendition of the closing number.


At 10:44 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

I really enjoyed Siddharth and his magical drums!

I also liked Prabu Deva's lil number... it was really nice to see him on stage after a long time, and when the kids went and got him, I wanted to cry =P.

I was so syked to see Suresh Peters sing!!!!!! 2 of my favorite people on the same stage on the same day, wow! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT??? LOL!

I liked Sangeetha's dance... And I was surprised, cuz she didnt look like how she was in Pithamagan, I was like nooo.. that aint her.. is it???

Tarun looked good with his long hair...

HOWEVER... I disagree about Sania's "spoke well" comment. She was choppy, lame and sounded really stupid. Pretty people should just keep their mouth shut =D.

Anyways.. Amala looks the same as how she used to be.. that woman is one gorgeous woman!

At 10:59 PM, Blogger NS said...

I thought Kamal and Jayaram were really good at the Ghatam n Mridangam, but that lil one totally blew me away... Awesome talent!

That bit of highly artificial and irritating "oodal" between Radhika & Sarathkumar b4 his speech, was disgusting to say the least...

The song by IR is a wonderful melody... been listening to it over the last 2 days, very soulful...

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

prasanna, oh this was the kid u mentioned? didn't realize that...

merino, which song did suresh peters sing?
u're right about sangeetha. i didnt believe my wife when she said that she was the 'pithamagan' actress!
about tarun... that was my wife's exact comment too :)

nithya, oh yeah... forgot to mention kamal's ghatam. yet another talent!!
missed the sarath-radhika 'oodal'... good thing seems like :)
i've been humming that melody too. u've been listening to it?? u got the cd or something??

At 1:00 AM, Blogger NS said...

BB, i got the song from here..

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Raju said...

Chinmayi wrote a post on this in her blog. Nice to know that the cine stars are joining together for a good cause..

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

Pretty much similar thots. That manmadhan guy was Vishnu, don't know his pstats. Gere was classy and composed. Kamal and Jayaram couldn't match their kannakol with Siddarth's sticks. He was too good. I saw Maddy peeking out at the end of that piece. Very few of them can talk/perform well on stage! Das ponnu was good as you said. Usha mami's mallu song sounded more like tamil ;-)
Was that the same Sangeetha? The dance numbers were not that great! Prabhu Deva could have done better with that song. The kids who opened with their chorus were good. Better show than inthiya thollaikatchigalil muthal muraiyaga movies.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched bits and pieces of this program while hanging out with friends down in Virginia over the long weekend. I liked Kamal's backstage speech where he professed to a feeling of guilt for not thinking about having a program like this and instead depending on a foreigner to have approached them to help out. I liked Sangeetha's brief speech too. Don't remember what she said though :)

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Ganesh said...

Naa intilo suntv ledhu so I didnt see
but looks like I havent missed that much.
BTW Balaji did you listen to audio blogs in my site,
I have featured new composers Jay Krishnan and Aditya and also new singer Radhika.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

bhuvan, true but in a hero-dominated industry like ours, such roles r gonna be really difficult to come by. even the current heroines rarely get good roles, let alone older character actresses!

nithya, thanx :)

munimma, vishnu? maybe he's the son of mohan babu who was also present.

gopi, "Don't remember what she said though"... considering what merino felt about sania mirza's speech, i was probably in the same boat with sania as u were with sangeetha :)

ganesh, illapa havent had a chance to listen. can't listen @ work and rarely sit in front of comp at home except @ night which is when i type up my posts :) will try to listen over weekend...

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Visithra said...

I caught bits of the prog - totally enjoyed the siddharth part - if im not mistaken hes trained by sivamani

given both actors dont practice the art - they did a really good job

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi balaji
didnt u get my mail to u abt the whole prog?:D
ya the sleazoid is mohan babu's son vishnu:)
u 4got sunitha sarathy and rahul nambiar!!!

At 9:20 PM, Blogger P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

i also saw the show. It was quite enteraining show with a difference mainly coz of its cause. I agree with you about the final song, only Kamal Haasan sincere rendition for the whole song is all five languages and others were just playing around. Btw, Illayaraja commposition was good and the tune had the required emotions

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kamal mentioned on backstage that when he was talking to some of the small kids who were infected with HIV, he came to know that one of the girl's name was the same as his daughter's and he got completely emotional.

Though, I didn't hear Vasundara's rendition of the BOYS song, I had a feeling that she did a lip-sync for "Erimalai naane' !!

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...


Suresh Peters sang "Intha vaanam sinthu aanantha kanneer" from his Minnal Album...

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