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Solla Marantha Kathai

(Cheran - Rathi)

After earning critical and commercial acclaim for his debut directorial venture 'Azhagy' the Partibhan - Devayani - Nandita Das starrer, cinematographer -director Thangar Bachan is on to his second film titled 'Solla Marantha Kathai'. And playing the hero is Cheran who shifts from direction to acting and paired with him is Rathi.

Produced by Panchu Arunachalam for P.A. Art Productions, it centers round a village youth who completes his education and tries in vain to get a job. The director chose Cheran because he fitted the bill, and also because it would be more realistic casting an actor with no image for the role, rather than a known face. Says Thangar Bachan, "I had also watched Cheran direct his artistes in 'Pandvar Bhoomi' for which i was the cinematographer. I was amazed at the expressions he brought to his face, and when i was casting for my film, his was the first name that came to my mind".

For Cheran it was like a dream come true. Says the director-turned actor, " I'd always wanted to be an actor, but then i became a director. I'd pushed the desire out of mind, till Thangar Bachan offered me the role". A scene was taken where Cheran is part of a long queue that is standing in line at an employment exchange. An officer comes out and showers abuse on the men in the queue, leading to a near riot.

An 80-day shooting schedule was held at locations in Bunrooty, Cuddalur, Vadalur and Chidambaram. The supporting cast has folk singer Pushpavanam Kuppuswamy who plays Cheran's friend; Kambar Jairaman, Kalairani, Satish (who played the teenage Partibhan in 'Azhagy'); Selvam, debutant Rinthiya, Kokila, Pyramid Natarajan, Manobala, Satyapriya, new face Aishwaria, Anuja, Kumari Muthu & Janakraj.

Composing the songs is Illaiyaraja who had also scored the music for the director's earlier film 'Azhagy'. Editing is by V.T.Vijayan, sets designed by Muthuraj, stunt by Super Subbarayan and lyrics by Panchu Arunachalam. Thangar Bachan, apart from penning the story-screenplay-dialogue and directing the film, is also its cinematographer.

Malini Mannath
published on 22nd August 2002 

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