Reporting by Janani K; Photos by Sriram Narasimhan. Photos from the press meet are below the report.
Celebrities trickle into Sathyam Cinemas one by one. There’s music playing. The music is from the Malayalam sleeper-hit Bangalore Days, but it’s not quite the same. The lyrics are in Tamil. There’s a little less magic. Arya enters. He’s followed by Bobby Simha, Sri Divya, and Rana Daggubati. The audio launch of Bangalore Naatkal begins. A trailer and two songs later we realise why Bobby Simha never danced in any of his earlier films. He struggles to keep up with Arya and Sri Divya’s pace in ‘Mangalyam’.
The crew is present, and includes editor Mohan, Jayam Raja, Dharani, Katragada Prasad and T Siva. Supporting artistes Pattimandram Raja, Rekha, Saranya Ponvannan and Sri Ranjini share their experiences. It’s a happy crew. They unanimously extend their appreciation towards director Bommarillu Baskar and cinematographer Guhan.
The host has some startling news for us. She says Sri Divya dubbed for herself in the movie. Sri Divya, meanwhile, had a handwritten list of people she meant to thank. Nevertheless, reading it out was a challenge because she couldn’t understand her own writing.
By then, the noise levels from the fans was making it hard to hear anything. Bobby and Rana Daggubati had to keep their speeches short. Bobby said, “I’ve noticed that Baskar always prioritises the values of upper-class families in his films. Bangalore Naatkal is an apt debut film for him in Tamil.” Rana and Arya got the loudest cheers. So loud that Rana waited for them to pipe down. They never did. So instead, he even joined them. Finally, when he could speak, he said, “When I watched Bangalore Days, I wanted to reprise Fahad Faasil’s role. So, I decided to buy the rights of Bangalore Days. But, I was in for a disappointment. I found out that the rights had been sold to PVP Cinemas for thrice the amount I had quoted. Now, being able to play that role is the icing on the cake. For five years, I’ve dreamt about seeing my picture on a Tamil film poster.”
Arya got the loudest cheers. After a while, he had to tell the crowd, “Bro, it’s not funny anymore.” Saranya Ponvannan could be heard commenting, “Ivanga inniki romba overa panraanga la?” (Today, they are going out of the line, isn’t it?). Arya, when he could finally speak, said, “Baskar sir’s hard work and planning was so meticulous. Guhan has brought grandeur on screen with his work.”
At last, at11:30pm, the audio was released. A late start, with hardly any of the celebrities getting time to talk. And a really noisy crowd.