Gautham Vasudev Menon part of multiple anthologies
It’s raining anthologies in Tamil cinema. As many as 5 different anthology films are being made by popular Tamil filmmakers and the common link in all of them is Gautham Vasudev Menon. The director, who is known for dabbling in multiple projects at a time, has been working on back to back films during the pandemic period.
Amazon Prime’s original ‘Putham Pudhu Kaalai’, which will be the first to release on October 16, is a compilation of five films. Along with GVM, directors Sudha Kongara, Rajiv Menon, Karthik Subbaraj and Suhasini Mani Ratnam are helming a segemnt each. All the stories are set and shot during the COVID-19 lockdown time.
Gautham Menon’s film in the anthology has an interesting title — ‘Avarum Naanum/Avalum Naanum’. Veteran MS Baskar and Ritu Varma star in it. Sudha Kongara’s segment titled ‘Ilamai Idho Idho’ has Kalidas Jayaram, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Urvashi and Jayaram in the lead roles. Karthik Subbaraj’s film titled ‘Miracle’ stars Bobby Simha and ‘Petta’ fame Muthu Kumar. Suhasini Mani Ratnam’s film is titled as ‘Coffee, Anyone?’. Suhasaini herself is playing one of the leads alongside her cousins Anu Haasan and Shruti Haasan. Rajiv Menon’s segment titled ‘Reunion’ is headlined by Andrea Jeremiah, ‘OK Kanmani’ fame Leela Samson and Sikkhil Gurucharan.
Next on the line is ‘Paava Kadhaigal’, a Netflix anthology of four films helmed by Gautham Menon, Vetrimaaran, Vignesh Shivan and Sudha Kongara. Unlike the usual anthologies that are mostly love story based or feel-good ones, this will be a very intense film that reportedly has honour killing as the common theme. Gautham Menon himself is playing the lead role in his film along with Simran. The segment is titled as ‘Vaanmagal’. Vignesh Shivan’s film titled as ‘Love Panna Uttranum’ stars Anjali and Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin. Sudha Kongara’s film ‘Thangam’ has Kalidas Jayaram, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj and GV Prakash’s younger sister Bhavani Sre as the leads. In Vetrimaaran’s film, ‘Or Iravu’, Sai Pallavi and Prakash Raj will be seen as the leads.
‘Kutti Love Story’ is another anthology in the making. Besides Gautham Menon, it also has films helmed by Venkat Prabhu, AL Vijay and Nalan Kumarasamy. The project’s formal announcement was made recently with a interesting promo video in which the four directors narrate a particular romantic scene from their respective films. Buzz is that Amala Paul would be playing the lead in Gautham Menon’s segment. Nalan Kumarasamy’s film will star Vijay Sethupathi. Complete details including the cast, crew and the OTT platform in which the film will be released is expected to be out soon.
Disney + Hotstar, the 3rd biggest OTT player in India after Netflix and Amazon Prime, is also coming up with an anthology film. Gautham Menon, Pa Ranjith and Venkat Prabhu will be directing the films. The project is still in the initial stages and an official word has not yet been made.
Apart from ‘Paava Kadhaigal’, Netflix is backing another highly ambitious project that will bring together 9 leading filmmakers from Tamil cinema. Mani Ratnam is headlining the project, which is said to be planned as a web series based on the 9 human emotions — Navarasas. Gautham Menon is already confirmed to be part of the project. Other names doing the rounds are Bejoy Nambiar, Karthick Naren, Arvind Swamy, Siddharth, Jayendra Panchapakesan and KV Anand. The makers are currently holding talks with top actors from Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu industries to star in it. A huge announcement is likely to be made shortly.
Besides these OTT projects, Gautham Menon also has a couple of other feature films planned for theatrical release. The long delayed Vikram starrer ‘Dhruva Natchathiram’ is said to be in the final stages of production. ‘Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha’ starring Varun got stalled at the halfway stage due to the virus outbreak. Shoot is expected to be begin soon after the situation better and the restricions are lifted.