July 13, 2006
On July 6, Vijay — an actor who has been churning out similar-looking films at regular intervals — faced the camera after a long gap of six months for Pokiri, a remake of one of the biggest hits in Telugu.
The original, also called Pokiri, starred Mahesh Babu and Ileana and was directed by Puri Jagannadh. Following its stupendous success, Ileana became the hottest heroine in Telugu and Mahesh Babu, already a superstar, consolidated his position.
Vijay’s last film Aathi, produced by his father S A Chandrasekhar, was a disaster. It was reported that distributors who lost a lot of money wanted the reimbursement from the producer. Shocked by its failure, and the criticism that he was repeating himself in his films, Vijay decided to become choosy.
A lover of remakes from Telugu, he was supposed to do a Tamil version of Dharani’s Bangaram, until that film’s failure made him look at other options. When Pokiri stormed the Telugu box office, Vijay didn’t think twice.
Prabhu Deva, who has made the very successful Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana with Siddharth and Trisha in the lead, has taken on Puri Jagannath’s role as director. It is the dancer’s first directorial venture in Tamil.
With Vijay being an excellent dancer, and Prabhu Deva an exceptional choreographer, we can expect some great dance numbers in Pokiri.
Then began the hunt for a heroine. Trisha, one of Vijay’s most successful co-stars, was ruled out mainly because she was his heroine in the forgettable Aathi. Vijay’s last success was Sivakasi, where his co-star was Asin, the hottest heroine of the moment.
Asin has been extremely choosy about the roles she would like to portray. She found the role of an aerobics instructor interesting. The character is a lot like the real life actress — friendly, chirpy and vivacious. Also, like Vijay, she has stayed away from the camera for a while, sticking to commercials and becoming a brand ambassador of products like Mirinda instead.
On July 6, a pooja was held at the Ganapati temple at AVM studio in Chennai.
Vijay’s mother Sobha Chandrasekhar did the clap for the first shot — that of Vijay and Asin meeting in a lift.
Pokiri in Telugu was the story of a suave, cool mafia man called Pandu, who falls in love with an aerobics instructor, Shruthi. The film had lots of action, romance, fun and glamour – everything needed for commercial success. Like the heroine, the female audience also fell for the sophisticated Mahesh Babu, despite the fact that he played a mafia man.
Vijay is probably expecting the same result with his Tamil version. At present, his fans are mainly young men who like action. Asin is sure to get a lot of applause, like she did in Ghajini.
With distributors falling over each other to buy it, Pokiri is being regarded as one of the hottest films in the making.