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From Silukku to MS

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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From Silukku to MS • Losing the Zombie War • Nothing’s for Free

Vidya Balan appears to have found her next film. If the grapevine is to be trusted, the actress has committed to starring in Tamil filmmaker Rajiv Menon’s biopic of legendary Carnatic classical singer MS Subbulakshmi.

Menon, who has directed such refreshingly original Tamil films as Minasara Kanavu (dubbed into Hindi as Sapnay) and Kandukondain Kandukondain, is reportedly in talks with financiers over the funding of the film, which is expected to be a lavish musical. Balan, who is believed to be a big fan of the late artiste, is likely to dive into Menon’s project after wrapping up Shaadi Ke Side Effects opposite Farhan Akhtar, and her Kahaani director Sujoy Ghosh’s next film.

Some years ago, Menon was trying to put together an Abhimaan remake with Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, but that film never happened even after talk that Shah Rukh Khan would replace Abhishek.

Losing the Zombie War

According to the industry grapevine, everyone from actor Kunal Khemu to directors Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru is feeling demoralised and disappointed by Saif Ali Khan’s alleged lack of interest in their zombie comedy Go Goa Gone, which the Shor in the City director-duo are helming for Saif’s production company Illuminati Films.

Saif reportedly volunteered to make a special appearance in the film when it became clear that the project needed a big-name star to justify its substantial budget. But sources in the unit reveal that the actor-producer has repeatedly dilly-dallied with dates, causing a significant delay in the film’s production. Now, the movie is more or less complete, except for the scenes to be filmed with Saif. Khemu, who is dating Saif’s sister Soha Ali Khan, brought the film to Saif two years ago, when the directors approached him to star in the film, but admitted that they didn’t have the funds to put the project together. Saif’s involvement saw Go Goa Gone take off the ground, but now the actor-producer himself may be responsible for grounding it.