Preview: Kuselan / Kathanayakudu

The stage is set and all eyes are now on Thursday night’s mega release Kuselan. Kathanayakudu as it is named in Telugu will feature the Superstar who has been riding higher than ever after last year’s runaway hit ‘Sivaji‘. The film also stars Meena, Vadivelu, Nayantara apart form the Thalaivar himself, and has been directed by P.Vasu who is back with a bang after the roaring success of ‘Chandramukhi‘ which also featured Rajnikanth. Incidentally Rajnikanth isn’t playing the lead role in Kuselan and will instead be playing himself in the film. The lead roles are being played by Pasupathy in Tamil and Jagapathi Babu in Telugu, the rest of the cast is more or less the same for both versions. Kathanayakudu will see Sunil and Bramhanandam don the mantle of comedians, that Vadivelu and Santhanam handle in Kuselan. The music is done by G.V.Prakash who is the nephew of maestro A.R.Rahman, and is already quite a hit amongst radio stations and TV channels. Kuselan is being produced by K.Balachander’s Kavithalaya while Kathanayakudu will be produced by Aswini Dutt‘s Seven Arts. K.Balachander also produced A.R.Rahman’s debut film Roja, now that’s some trivia you never heard before! Who am I kidding? You guys are too smart for that. If you haven’t read by now then for the record Kuselan/Kathanayakudu are remakes of the Malayalam movie ‘Katha Parayumbol‘.

Now for a brief mythology lesson, Lord Krishna and Sudama were childhood friends. Krishna slew his uncle Kansa to become the King of Dwaraka while Sudama remained a poor brahmin. Sudama was also called Kusela, which means a poor person or a beggar. When Sudama was going through a rough phase and struggling to feed his children, his wife reminded him of his friendship with Krishna. Sudama though reluctant to seek Krishna help, finally gives in to his wife’s nagging and agrees to go. Ashamed to go empty-handed Kusela leaves home with some puffed rice remembering that it was Krishna’s favorite. Krishna wass pleased to see Kusela and treated him with full royal respect. On seeing the warmth in Krishna’s welcome Sudama was overwhelmed and in his embarassment concealed the main reason for his visit. He even tried hiding his gift but Krishna grabbed it and was overjoyed to see that Kusela had brought his favorite snack. After spending a day catching up on old times, Kusela left dwaraka with his heart full of guilt. On returning home Sudama found his wife dressed in a very rich attire waiting for him outside a mansion where his hut initially stood.  great riches and a mansion waiting for him. Inside the house he found great riches and understood that Krishna had sensed his plaight even though he preferred to keep mum during their meeting. Legend has it that for every handful of puffed rice that Krishna ate, riches began appearing in Kusela’s hut.

Now let us cut to the present and look at the movie. Pasupathy (Jagapathi Babu) is a barber living peacefully in a village with his wife meena and three kids. One day a film unit arrives in the village to shoot a movie starring the ‘Superstar’. Kuselan confides to a friend that he and the superstar were classmates in school and the news spreads across the village. Everybody now wants to be friends with them and strengthen ties with their family. A big man in the village wasnts to make a film with the superstar and asks Kuselan to help him get introduced. Does the film get made? Does the Superstar remember his childhood friend? Does he help Kuselan find a bettter life? Is there an interesting sub-plot? What about the much spoken about comedy track? Is this preview a total waste of time? Find all your answers when it releases on Thursday night!

I saw the trailer and couldn’t help but notice a few things. This is Nayantara’s third appearance with Rajnikanth in as many films. Prabhu is again in the movie as a police chief heading Rajnikanth’s security. I’m praying for another ”Enna Kodumai Saravanan Idhu” moment that can be immortalized on youtube for ages to come. I also see an over-sized Khushboo in the stills and hope she has a meaty role in the sub-plot. Even remake-shastri Priyadarshan was moved by the original mallu version and he has announced it’s Hindi remake. The name floating around is ‘Billoo Barber’ and none other than Shahrukh Khan has been signed up to play the Superstar’s role. Irfan Khan will play the lead role. At this point I don’t have any info on the ladies who’ve been signed up.