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Ananth's Staying Alive is a true story

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Courtesy: IndiaFM
Monday, July 30, 2007
Ananth Mahadevan spends his waking hours in studios these days. Reason? His three films Victoria No 203 (starring Jimmy Shergill and Soniya Mehra), Aggar (starring Tusshar Kapoor-Shreyas Talpade-Udita Goswami), Anamika (starring Dino Morea, Minissha Lamba and Koena Mitra) and his offbeat venture aimed at international festivals titled Staying Alive (starring himself and Saurabh Shukla) are all set to hit the marquee in Aug-Sept. And Ananth is ensuring post-production of the four films goes smoothly.

Interestingly, the genres of the three films are also different. While Aggar is a suspense drama in classic French Noir style, Victoria No. 203 is a modern day version of the 70s hit of the same name and Anamika is a spectacular romantic mystery.

Though the above three are commercial films, Staying Alive is a new attempt. It is a festival oriented film that Ananth has made. Talking about the film Ananth says, "Staying Alive is the film about a newspaper editor who suffered a third heart attack and is admitted in the ICU of a hospital and on the bed next to him is an underworld guy who had a first heart attack. There is a contrast between these two people. The underworld guy is petrified of dying while the newspaper editor is laughing at death because after three heart attacks, death becomes a joke to him."

Explaining the context he says, "The film is about how this newspaper editor ends up changing the underworld guy's attitude towards life forever. This is a true story which had actually happened in real life. It's a black comedy."

While the film is in Hindi, why a title like Staying Alive? "Because I couldn't get the correct Hindi equivalent of Staying Alive", responds Ananth immediately.

The film stars Saurabh Shukla who is playing the underworld guy and Ananth Mahadevan is playing the newspaper editor. Navni Parihar is playing Saurabh's wife and Sunita Chayya is playing Mahadevan's wife. Theatre actor Chandan Sanyal plays Saurabh Shukla's son in the film.

The film will be doing the rounds of festivals before its mass release. "Shemaroo has acquired the rights of Staying Alive. The film will initially be sent to international film festivals and then eventually it will be released in India later this year." It is a 95 minute film with no music.

It has been a challenging experience for Ananth to work on four projects at once, "This has been one helluva learning and growing process for me. I didn't want it all to happen together but the quirk of star dates ensured that I am tested to the hilt. To focus on four scripts and switch from one to the other and not lose sight of the target was an experience of a lifetime. It was a treat to work with the likes of international stars like Om Puri and Anupam Kher and absolute professionals like Tusshar and Shreyas" says Ananth.

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