Contest of Words: The Sandamarudham Audio Launch Report

“Listin Stephen is a clever producer,” everyone observed at the audio launch of Sarath Kumar’s Sandamarudham. Besides unveiling the audio, Listin also managed to announce three other projects that are being made under his banner, along with Sarath Kumar’s and Radikaa’s production house. Dhanush’s Maari, Vikram Prabhu’s Idhu Enna Mayam and Bobby Simha’s Paambhu Sattai were officially announced. But Balaji Mohan, AL Vijay and debutant Adam, the directors of the respective films, finished their speeches in a minute saying it’s too early to talk about their movies. So did the actors. But AL Vijay gave some extra information: Idhu Enna Mayam will be completed in 10 days.

Then, Sarath Kumar revealed that Rajinikanth watched the trailer of Sandamarudham. “Rajini sir liked the trailer and also the villain role that I play. He remarked that the audience like villains a lot these days. I’m very glad that he shared his feedback,” said Sarath Kumar.


Although there were about 30 celebrities, our recurrent nightmare – of listening to a slew of speeches – didn’t take place. We heaved a sigh of relief. But our happy moment was short-lived. Sarath Kumar began calling a long list of guests on stage to wish the teams. The list included Mohan, Jayasree, Charlie, RB Choudary, Vijayakumar, RK Selvamani, Nirosha, Ramki, AL Alagappan and… Radha Ravi.

Thankfully, a couple of guests were too shy to talk on stage. But audio launch regulars – RK Selvamani and Radha Ravi – were in no mood to pass the opportunity. While RK Selvamani gave some tips to the young artistes in the crowd, about sustaining their market, Radha Ravi delivered a harangue. As Radha Ravi’s tirade went on, many checked their watches. Some walked out to smoke. Some started getting phone calls. Some played Candy Crush.

But we are made of hard stuff, you know. We listened to his whole speech and wrote this report. Also, Radha Ravi taught us some “bad words.” That was our consolation prize.


“Usually, the best speeches are saved for the last. I think, that’s why I was called to talk last… But I’m not a great speaker,” began Radha Ravi. He was almost right. Because, he didn’t speak. He bellowed. The whole 20 minutes.

By now though, we have learnt not to sit next to the speakers if we find Radha Ravi in the guest list. And despite some prep – breakfast and two mugs of coffee – we felt exhausted.


The sunny side:


  • Bobby Simha was adorably shy, for he had to sport his shades. “Madras eye-nga! Style illa!” And RK Selvamani embarrassed him more by remarking, “Bobby Simha looks like vintage Rajinikanth.” Oh, and we also learnt that Bobby came by an auto. We couldn’t find out what happened to his Lancer.
  • All young actors – Dhanush, Vikram Prabhu, Bobby Simha, Prasanna, Bharath and Naren – kept their speeches short. Happy tears!
  • James Vasanthan, music director of Sandamarudham, is a man of candour. He revealed how reluctant he was to compose songs for Sandamarudham, which has been directed by A Venkatesh. “I thought I was not the right music director for Venkatesh, whose films have got a lot of adi dhai, kuththu, sandai and item songs. Despite that, I agreed when Sarath sir approached me. But the first song that Venkatesh asked of me was an item number. However, they gave me the freedom to compose a melody in the raga Kanada, which is not used in film music these days.” The composer also introduced his group of singers, who debut in Sandamarudham.

The sorry side:

It was clearly not director Balaji Mohan’s day. He was continuously (five times on our last count) referred to as “Balaji Bhavan” by this particular producer who gave a long speech.

Adding fuel to the fire was a veteran artiste, who, after his emotional speech, said, “I loved Balaji Mohan’s Jigarthanda. What a film!”