South star Vijay goes international with ‘Yohan’

AR Rahman will compose the music for the Eros film co-produced and directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon

Looks like Vijay is all set for the global stage while keeping his feet firmly rooted in the Indian ethos, or so director Gautham Vasudev Menon would have us believe. Menon’s Photon Kathaas Productions (PKP) has inked a deal with Eros International and Future Film Production (UK) for Vijay’s forthcoming action thriller Yohan Adhyayam Ondru (John: Chapter 1). Menon will direct the film that is expected to begin shooting in the second quarter of 2012. AR Rahman, the Chopin of Chennai, will compose the music. He is, of course, a shareholder in Photon, so the music is bound to be excellent.

Menon says, “I am really looking forward to filming an all-out action film after Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu. Also interesting because I will be working with Vijay for the first time. Yohan will be made like an international film while still retaining all the elements, especially music, that makes Indian cinema work. AR Rahman has already composed a theme song for the film, which is simply outstanding. PKP (of which I am a part of) and I have found the ideal partners in Eros for a film on this scale, which needs to be produced and released on an international scale.”

Rahman said, “This is a completely new direction for both Gautham and me. We hope to come out with a product which is different yet rooted experience for the audiences.” In case you think one Yohan isn’t enough, PKP has plans to feature the character in several films including sequels and prequels. The first Yohan will be shot mainly in the UK.

While we are on Menon, Cineswami can safely reveal that the buzz around the excellent Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa’s Hindi remake Ek Deewana Tha is that there is none. No buzz that is. It’s a poor remake compared to the Tamil original, Prateik is terrible compared to Simbu and Amy Jackson is not a patch on Trisha Krishnan, or so unit hands who have seen the completed product would have us believe. Rahman’s tunes are supposedly great, but then again, he merely had to dust off his brilliant VTV music. On the other hand another Menon film, the Tamil Neethaane En Ponvasantham is carrying tremendous buzz. It stars Jiiva (his spelling, not mine) as a 21-year-old engineering student and Samantha as a 20-year-old psychology student and needless to say, therefore it must be said, love blossoms. It helps that the film is named after one of Ilaiyaraaja’s classic songs from Ninaivellam Nithya that is hummed all over even today.

Meanwhile, our Kollywood insiders tell us that Vijay is not that enthused about his Pongal release – Shankar’s 3 Idiots remake Nanban – where he steps into Aamir Khan’s shoes. The reason being that since it’s a Shankar film, even if Vijay has put in the performance of his life, the credit will go to the director and not the star. Therefore Vijay’s hopes are pinned on Murugadoss’ Thuppakki. It’s fair game there because Murugadoss’ 7aam Arivu didn’t exactly cover him with glory. Whatever the fate of the film, we know it’ll look good, because Santosh Sivan is shooting it. Or will it? Urumi didn’t look that great visually….


Happy Birthday, Rajinikanth