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P Vasu: Will he deliver the goods

IndiaGlitz [Friday, October 29, 2004]

The choice of Director P Vasu to direct Chandramukhi is a topic of hot debate in film circles. One section feels that after the `Baba' debacle Rajnikanth should not have opted for Vasu who is considered out of date with the present moviegoers. Rajni is said to have been impressed after seeing the Kannada film `Aptamitra' . Everyone knows that Kannada filmdom is at least 20 years behind in audience taste. Vasu to shine in such a language needs not much effort.

Vasu started his career with Santhana Bharathi as co director. They assisted director Sridhar. Later on they parted ways to do independent films . Vasu had directed Rajnikanth earlier in 'Panakaran' (1990), Mannan (1992) and Uzhaipaali (1993). `Uzhaipalli' was one of the biggest flops and it literally brought the Vijaya Vahuni to a close. Vasu came on his own only after 'Chinna Thambi' (1991).

P Vasu started with some quality Movies, including his debut 'Panner Pushpangal' (1981), which he co-directed with 'Santhana' Bharathi. In fact the Bharathi-Vasu combination looked promising. They also did 'Mella Pesungal' and 'Saahasamae Jeevitham' (Telugu). 'Santhana' Bharathi became a permanent fixture with Kamal's production house and P Vasu was a Rajni camp follower.

Vasu ruled the early 90's with his sentimental tearjerkers, The joke in film circles was that Vasu came to the studios with a `thali' (mangalsutra) and a script. He started using sister-brother- mother- father sentiment. Some of the movies he made during the early 90's were 'Velai Kidaichiruchu' (Sathyaraj), 'Nadigan' (Sathyaraj, Kushboo), 'Chinna Thambi' (Prabhu, Kushboo), 'Kizhakkukarai' (Prabhu, Kushboo), 'Mannan' (Rajni, Vijayshanthi, Kushboo), 'Rickshaw Mama' (Sathyaraj, Kushboo), 'Walter Vetrivel' (Sathyaraj, Sukanya). With Vasu's `sentimental' trick getting stale he started rehashing his own films. The failed films were 'Idhu Namma Bhoomi' (Karthik, Kushboo) (it sent Radha Ravi the producer to ICU and plunged him in debts), 'Vanna Thamizh Paattu' (Prabhu, Kushbu), 'Senthamizh Paatu' (Prabhu, Sukanya, Kasturi), 'Cooli' (Sarath Kumar, Meena), Mr. Madras (Prabhu, Sukanya, Vineetha), Love Birds (Prabhu Deva, Nagma) and Amma Vandhachu (K Bhagyaraj, Kushboo)..

Vasu' bounced back in 1997, with 'Vaaimaiyae Vellum' (Parthiban), followed by Pathini, Seenu (2000), Kaakkai Chirahinile (2000), 'Malabar Police', Ponnu Veettukkaaran (1998), Asathal (2001) and Kadhal Kisu Kisu (2003).None of them helped Vasu. He then shifted to Telugu films where he met with only failures. Seeing that Karnataka was lapping up old sentimental hits of Tamil remade in Kannada, Vasu caught the next flight to Bangalore and convinced Dwarkesh that Fazil's `Manichitrathazhu' could be remade as `Aptamithra'. Rajni andVasu havedenied that ` Chandramukhi' is not a remake. If true then it makes the project even dicier. Vasu should come up with some real good stuff for the `Thalaivar' fans. Chandramukhi is like `Padayamma' says the superstar. Reading between the lines one can easily guess that this is yet another `sentimental stuff'.

Vasu is a great storyteller but every film of his hinges on one `sentiment' and on a particular scene. If the scene fails to click the movie bombs like mad. But then Vasu should also be credited for making Tamilnadu people to believe in a storyline of Chinna Thambi.

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