The audio release function of Madras happened at a bright auditorium. An extremely bright one at that. While our photographers were excited at the prospect of such a well-lit venue, we weren’t that pleased. For starters, our old eyes were more used to the dark confines of Sathyam Cinemas. And to top it all off, we were fortunate enough to be seated amidst a crowd of annoyed babies clad in pink. As soon as Santhosh Narayanan went onstage, a couple of them started wailing loudly. But the musician, to his credit, didn’t let it get to him and began introducing the songs in the album.

Kakidha Kappal by Gaana Bala was easily the best of the lot. Its catchy tune (and unique orchestration) was a hit with the audience. At one point, it felt like everybody was singing along with Gaana Bala and the staid atmosphere of the Taj was rent with raucous roars and wolf whistles. Sean Roldan and Santhosh Narayanan’s aasthana singer – Pradeep Kumar- teamed up for a lovely rendition of Aagayam Theepidithal followed by a formal introduction of the film’s cast and crew.

Apart from Karthi Sivakumar and Catherine Tresa, the cast comprises entirely of new artistes. Poster Nandhakumar plays the villain while Kalaiarasan and Mime Gopi play supporting roles. Speaking about the film, P Ranjith said, “We have tried to show the other side of North Madras in this movie. Most Tamil films portray them in a bad light – as a mafia gumbal or slumboys. When you watch Madras, you’ll definitely notice the difference.”

For actor Karthi, portraying Kaali, the north Madras boy, was a challenging experience. “Ranjith made me live the character. My first shot was at 4.30 in the morning. He made me stand in line at the water tank. People around me started laughing when I spoke the dialogue.” But, Ranjith, Karthi said, was also a hard taskmaster. “He is a very good captain. He jokes around with us but also makes sure that he gets what he wants. Even when he scolds us, konjam chellama dhaan pannuvaaru.”

The soundtrack of Madras was then duly launched by actors Suriya and Sivakumar. The movie is gearing up for a July release.