Amitabh in Tamil, Rajini in Mumbai


(Photo by Yogen Shah/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Amitabh Bachchan has nothing left to prove. Yet the 76-year-old veteran always seems ready for new challenges.

That he is doing a Tamil film (which also has a Hindi version) is now well reported in the media, but what is of interest to know is that Bachchan is putting in the efforts to speak his Tamil lines himself.

Being shot bi-lingually, it would have been understandable if he had chosen to shoot one time and just mouthed the Tamil dialogues during the dubbing. But sources in the film unit say that Bachchan is speaking the Tamil dialogues himself in shots that involve close-ups. Those scenes are shot separately for the Hindi version. For long-shots, the dialogue becomes immaterial, and hence those scenes become common. Bachchan is getting lessons in Tamil to get the part right.

Bachchan’s Tamil film is (aptly) titled Uyarndha Manithan (Tall Man), while the Hindi version is titled Tera Yaar Hoon Main. The movie also stars SJ Suryah and Ramya Krishnan, whom Hindi audience may remember from Baahubali.

Tera Yaar Hoon Main/Uyarndha Manithan is directed by T Tamilvanan, who, it should be said, is not among the frontline directors in Tamil.

So why did Big B agree to do a film with a relatively lowkey director and a team that does not belong to the A-list, so to speak?

Well, the director Tamilvanan says the Bachchan was impressed with the script and agreed to be part of the project without any hangups. The story apparently revolves around two strangers brought together by circumstances and how they become close later. Going by the stills, it looks like a rural tale.

After the 2010 Malayalam movie Kandahar, this is Bachchan’s first major foray outside of Hindi. To be sure, he has done Bengali films before. In South India, he has done movies like Amrithadhare (Kannada) and Manam (Telugu). But those were primarily guest appearances. He is also doing a Telugu movie, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, with Chiranjeevi. But again, he has only a guest role.

So Uyarndha Manithan looks like a movie that is worth looking forward to.

Meanwhile, just as Bachchan is speaking Tamil, the souther superstar Rajinikanth, though not exactly speaking Hindi, will be in Mumbai, shooting for his new venture Darbar. The film, directed by AR Murugadoss (Hindi viewers may remember him from Ghajini and Holiday), gets going in Mumbai from April 10. It also features Nayanthara in the female lead.

Rajini’s previous movie centred in Mumbai was Baasha, probably his biggest cult movie ever.

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