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Weekend Playlist – S Shankar Special

Shankar At The 2.0 Trailer Launch

2.0’s release draws to a close, and the spotlight is on director Shankar. The movie has been in production for close to 3 years and is India’s most expensive film. So expectations are sky high, despite the frankly underwhelming trailer. Credit this to Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, and their combined presence; but also to the excitement that comes with having Shankar’s name on the film.


Shankar has said in the past, that he thinks both like the creator and audience while making a movie. He is known for his socially relevant films, his vigilante stories, and has come to be associated with ‘scale’ – the scale of a project. In the past, he has been in China for a month to shoot a song (Pookkale from I), he has spent Rs. 20 crore on a single track (Endhira Logathu Sundariye from 2.0), and from all its extravagance, we know songs are important to him and his films.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular songs from his movies:

Mukkabla from Kaadhalan (1994)

Though Prabhu Deva’s cameo in Chikku Bukku Rayile from the director’s previous movie Gentleman had turned him into a sensation, this song made him in an overnight star. Set in country-side, Shankar’s earliest penchant for technology came out here, as Prabhu Deva’s clothes dance to AR Rahman’s tunes.

Poovukkul from Jeans (1998)

In this classic you’ll see the Seven Wonders of the World, and the idea was, at the price of a movie ticket. You’ll also see the wonder that is Aishwarya Rai, as described by Vairamuthu’s in his lyrics. Shankar took his crew globe-trotting for this song, where the actors dance in front of all the wonders, to AR Rahman’s music.

Ale Ale from Boys (2003)

Shankar brings the best of his two most loved worlds together in this song – technology and picturesque locations. It was filmed in Tasmania, with cinematographer Ravi K Chandran who used 62 cameras to bring alive a ‘time-freeze’ technique, which, back then, we had only seen in movies like Matrix.

Andangkaaka from Anniyan (2005)

We see Shankar’s zany sense of creativity once more here. Along with his choreographer and art directors, he paints an entire village for its shoot. He then hires a hundred lorries and ambassador cars, and paint faces on them. The result is this song – a fantasy world from to a child’s imagination.

Vaaji Vaaji from Sivaji (2007)

Perhaps in an attempt to match Rajinikanth’s stature, Shankar, and his art director Thotta Tharani, opt for a royal setting here. They recreate what appears to be the Roman Colosseum, and have lights resembling a tree canopy as a constant through the song. They reportedly spent about Rs 3.5 crore on this song. Anyway, it’s a delight to watch.