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Thalaivi teaser: Arvind Swami plays MGR in Jayalalithaa biopic


Thalaivi, which is directed by AL Vijay and stars Kangana Ranaut as Jayalalithaa, is being made in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu.

Haricharan Pudipeddi

The first-look poster and teaser of Arvind Swami in the upcoming Jayalalithaa biopic Thalaivi, as the late actor-turned-chief minister MG Ramachandran, was unveiled on Friday on the occasion of MGR's 103rd birth anniversary.

The two stills feature Arvind Swami donning MGR’s iconic hairstyle and greeting people. The teaser gives us a glimpse of Arvind Swami as MGR from the popular hit song, 'Naan Ungal Veetu Pillai', from the 1968 Tamil film Pudhiya Bhoomi.

Arvind Swami looks uncannily like MGR and even recreates the star's signature steps flawlessly.

Thalaivi, which is directed by AL Vijay and stars Kangana Ranaut as Jayalalithaa, is being made in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. It has been titled Thalaivi in all three languages.

Ranaut, who was seen last year on the big screen in Judgmentall Hai Kya (2019), spent close to six months prepping for this project. She underwent training in Bharatanatyam, learnt Tamil, and spent hours in prosthetic makeup sessions.

The project was announced along with its title and first-look poster on 24 February 2019, the 71st birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa.

It’s worth mentioning that when Ranaut was chosen for the role, the decision received some backlash. Soon after the announcement, Vijay clarified his stand on roping in Ranaut in an interview with The Times of India newspaper.

“This is a pan-India film," he had said, "and Kangana is apt for the role. She is one of the biggest stars in India today and I think it is right that a top star plays the role of an important politician. This way, the story will also reach audiences across India.”

The film has music by GV Prakash Kumar while Nirav Shah is the director of photography. Veteran writer Vijayendra Prasad of Baahubali (2015) fame has been roped in to oversee the script and story.

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