Tamil Photos

Inji Iduppazhagi Audio Launch Report & HQ Photos


Reporting by Niveda Manohar; Photos by Sriram Narasimhan. Photos from the audio launch are below the report.

The security guards at Sathyam Cinemas wore smiles I’d never seen before. As I passed, I could hear hushed fragments. “Anushka eppo ya varuvanga?” (When will Anushka come?) That was the prevalent mood at the audio launch of Inji Iduppazhagi. The hall, fairly silent until then, erupted when Anushka arrived. Fans cheered. The flashlights from the cameras were blinding.

Inji Iduppazhagi (or ‘one who is curvy like ginger’ is a phrase from this Devar Magan song) is the story of an overweight woman who goes through a weight loss programme. The host for the event, comedienne Aarthi, is of healthy proportions herself. She kept the audience entertained with a series of quips, about the good and the bad of being fat. When as many as 25 guests went on stage, we knew we were in for a fairly lengthy event.

Director Mohan Raja launched the trailer of the film. By moving his ‘Iduppu’ a little. He was all praise for the story. He said it was the need of the hour, with so many people who suffered from self-esteem issues. Produce turned actor AL Azhagappan said that earlier, producers used to prefer casting actresses who had healthier and fuller figures. Today, they prefer thin and underweight actresses. He hoped Inji Iduppazhagi would set that trend back.

MM Keeravani said the story had touched him personally, because of his own weight issues. “I used to be very thin when I was young. I wanted to sing like SPB, and hence tried to put on weight like him. Since then, no matter how hard I try, I’ve never been able to lose the weight I gained.” He also thanked Ilaiyaraja for letting the team reprise the original Inji Iduppazhaga song.

The biggest surprise on stage was Bharath, who plays Anushka’s younger brother in the film. Bharath is known for his roles as the ‘fat kid’ in films like Pokkiri. With the drastic weight loss he had undergone, Bharath was almost unrecognisable. What was really touching was the way he called Anushka the sister he had never had, both during and after the film’s shoot.

Nasser was welcomed with whistles and cheers by the audience, and repeatedly called thalaivar (leader). Nasser said he was proud of his ‘daughter’ Anushka. He said she had boldly taken a role any other actress would have hesitated over. On the subject of Arya, he said, “Everyone thinks Arya is a ‘ladies’ man, but he is equally fun and charming with everyone on the set.”

Kanika Kovelamudi, the writer behind Inji Iduppazhaga, said several people had discouraged her from pursuing the film. She was told that she would never get actors to agree to such a script. Today, she’s happy that a brave team came forward to support her concept. Director Prakash Kovelamudi, also the son of legendary Tollywood director Raghavendra Rao, said he was indebted to his actors. Especially Anushka, who had transformed herself for the film.

When Anushka came on stage, she had to wait before she could speak. The cheering refused to die down for a few minutes. Known as the female ‘superstar’ in the male-dominated star cast Tamil-Telugu cinema, Anushka talked about the significance of the film. She said it’s about the insecurities a girl faces, and a story that everyone would be able to relate to.

Arya heaped the most lavish praise on Anushka, when he said her dedication was ‘a combination of Kamal Haasan and Vikram’.

As I walked out of the hall, I noticed a large crowd queued up outside. Braving the rain just to get a glimpse of Anushka. Today wasn’t their day, as Anushka was quickly whisked away in a car. The security guards though, were saying goodbye to the actress with a big grin.