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Jackie Shroff to star in Tamil director Kasthuri Raja's comeback film Paandi Muni

Shroff will play an ascetic who believes he has spriritual powers that are inferior only to Lord Shiva.

Manigandan KR

Well known Tamil filmmaker Kasthuri Raja, father of director K Selvaraghavan and actor Dhanush, is back to directing films.

Kashturi, known for films like En Rasavin Manasile (1991), Kummi Paattu (1999), last directed Idhu Kaadhal Varum Paruvam (2006).

The veteran director-producer, who has been a part of the Tamil film industry for over 40 years, announced his new project, titled Paandi Muni.

Interestingly, the film will feature Hindi film actor Jackie Shroff in the lead, along with Nikesha Patel and Bengali actress Meghali.

"I am in that stage of my life where I don't have to do films now. My sons wish that I visit Hong Kong, America, Russia and Australia along with their mom. However, I cannot do it. I can't leave this place or the film industry.

I have been working on this script from 2006 and I am very sure that this will be a big hit. In fact, I am so sure that I have been walking with my head held high. I have decided that from now on, the movies that I make will be like this," the director told media persons at a function organised to announce the project.

Showering praises on Shroff, who was also present at the press meet, the director said, "I narrated this script to Jackie Shroff for over an hour in Mumbai. Suddenly, the man went missing. I wasn't sure where he had gone. A few minutes later, he emerged in a saffron attire looking like a swami.

"Directors like us imagine several characters but we need good actors to visualise what we have in mind and present it to us in flesh and blood. I was stunned by the manner in which he had given life to the character I had in mind and that too in minutes. What I saw stunned me. It inspired me so much. After looking at Jackie, who dressed himself up as an aghori [an ascetic from the Shaiva cult], I have been inspired so much that I have now enhanced the character and the script."

Shroff will play an ascetic who believes he has spriritual powers that are inferior only to Lord Shiva.

"Jackie will play an aghori in this film. He is a devotee of Lord Shiva, who believes his spiritual powers are second only to Lord Shiva himself. He has so much power that he can even breathe life into a body. The story takes place 50 years ago. The film is also a triangular love story.

"On the one hand, there is love that is based on compassion, on the other, there is love that is based on violence. Both are at loggerheads. At one point, compassionate love is overcome by violent love. It is then that the aghori comes into the picture. The film will be a horror thriller."

Cinematographer Madhu Ambat and music composer Srikanth Deva have also been roped in for the film.