The audio launches for Tamil films in Chennai have been quiet affairs. At least till now. But Shankar's (Jeans, Indian) upcoming movie, I, may well change things.
Planned for September 15, the unveiling of I's music at the huge Nehru Stadium in Chennai will be an equally huge affair with American actor and one-time Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in attendance.
Talking to HT over the telephone from his Chennai office, the movie's producer, Ascar Ravichandran, said that there was a close link between I and Schwarzenegger. What it was, he would not say, suggesting that we wait for the film to hit the screen - probably during Diwali - to find out.Earlier, Ravichandran had said that Vikram, who plays the lead in I, had taken tips from Schwarzenegger on body building. The American actor is well known in this field, and has written several books on the subject.
Did the movie cost Rs 180 crores as was being said, making it one of the most expensive movies to be shot in India? Ravichandran denied this. "I have never spoken about I's budget till now," he averred. "As far as I am concerned, the film is worth is Rs 10,000 crores." So wonderful is the movie, a movie that is absolutely gripping without the usual sickle swings, gun shots and bloody mess that one sees so often in Tamil cinema. Also, Vikram is superb. Amy Jackson, the British-model-turned-Tamil-actor, will be his lover, and she will appear as a village belle!
I was filmed across eight countries, and there was a long schedule in China with Vikram losing and gaining weight, and even getting himself tonsured for his part.
Lensed by PC Sreeram and set to music by AR Rahman, Shankar's magnum opus on celluloid has Santhanam, Suresh Gopi, Ramkumar Ganesan and Upen Patel essaying a variety of characters.
But in the meantime, the buzz about the September 15 event is getting louder: a fashion show by the movie's costume designer and a performance by the internationally renowned artist, Ana Yang, will be some of the highlights of the evening.
One, however, hopes that the film will finally live up to all this song and dance.