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Mani Ratnam revisits his “Roja”scape, Kashmir, with Karthi and Sai Pallavi

Ace director Mani Ratnam revisits Kashmir, the landscape of his cult hit, Roja once again for his next flick. The untitled movie, which unfolds in the backdrop of picturesque Kashmir, has Karthi and Sai Pallavi in the lead roles. The plot and background the movie is under the blanket, but reports suggest that Karthi will appear as a pilot and, similar to the 1992 blockbuster Roja, the story revolves around some terrorist activities in the region.

Roja is considered as a cult classic in mainstream Indian Cinema and a blockbuster in almost all major languages. The movie, which told the struggles and love of a newlywed Tamil couple in a terrorized Kashmir, opened up a new window into the state and its issues with Mani Ratnam’s gripping storytelling and Santhosh Sivan’s mind blowing cinematography. The movie also catapulted Mani Ratnam and composer AR Rahman international acclaim. Roja also bagged three major awards, the Music Director, Best Lyricist and Best Feature Film for National Integration at the National Film Awards.

The untitled project was in the air for some time with different actor combinations. It was first reported as a multistarrer, multilingual movie with Dulquer Salman, Karthi, Sruthi Hassan, and Nithya Menon in the lead. Later, Mani Ratnam revamped the script due to some date clashes of the lead actors and zeroed in on Karthi and Sai Pallavi as his lead pair. Reports suggest that Sai Pallavi’s outstanding performance in the Mollywood blockbuster Premam; caused Mani Ratnam handpicked her to play the female character.

This is the first time Karthi performs in front of Mani Ratnam. Earlier, he had worked as an assistant director with the veteran filmmaker in his movie Aayutha Ezhuthu. Initially, Karthi was offered the role played by actor Sidharth and Karthi refused it to work as assistant director with Mani Ratnam because he wanted to be a director at that point of time. Later, Amir’s Paruthiveeran changed his career forever and the young actor is flying high with hits like Madras and Thozha.

Mani Ratnam has roped in AR Rahman to play the score and Ravi Varman to crank the camera. According to sources, the movie will start rolling from June in Kashmir.