Biriyani is an upcoming Indian Tamil romantic comedy thriller movie written and directed by Venkat Prabhu. Produced by Studio Green, the movie features Karthi and Hansika Motwani in the lead roles alongside Premji Amaren, Ramki, Nithin Sathya, Madhumitha and Mandy Takhar.
Yuvan Shankar Raja composed the score and soundtrack of Biriyani, which marks his 100th film, while Sakthi Saravanan and Praveen-Srikanth handled cinematography and editing, respectively.
Filming started in November 2012, lasted for over nine months and took place primarily at Chennai, Hyderabad and Ambur.
Following the release of Mankatha, Venkat Prabhu was reported to be writing a script for Suriya. In December 2011, he was signed up by Studio Green, the production company owned by Suriya's cousin K. E. Gnanavelraja, while later the month the director informed that Suriya had agreed to be part of his next film, which he was planning to shoot in 3D.
Further more, the media carried reports that it would be a bilingual, made simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu, and feature Telugu actor Ravi Teja, Sonam Kapoor and Taapsee Pannu in other lead roles.
In April 2012, while Venkat Prabhu was still working on the script, giving it the final touch, Suriya chose to work with director Hari on the sequel to his Singam first after completing Maattrraan, which prompted Venkat Prabhu to make another film for Studio Green instead with Suriya's brother Karthi in the lead.
The film was named Biriyani, and the director stated that the same team of his previous four films, comprising music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja, cinematographer Sakthi Saravanan, editors Praveen K. L. and N. B. Srikanth and costume designer Vasuki Bhaskar, would work on Biriyani.
He made it clear that the film planned with Suriya earlier was an "entirely different script", and that he would work on that project later, while revealing that Biriyani's script was initially intended for actor Vijay.
Venkat Prabhu's brother Premgi Amaren, who had been part of all his brother's ventures, was given an "almost parallel role" as the lead character's best friend in Biriyani. For the lead female role, the production team first approached Samantha. Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz were also considered for the role, but in early July 2012, Bengali actress Richa Gangopadhyay was selected for the role, who said that she played "a typical girl in it; someone who's mischievous and not-so innocent".
However, she left the project by mid-October 2012 due to "changes in the role and script". After Gangopadhyay's exit, Venkat Prabhu expressed interest in casting Nayantara for the role. while later the month Hansika Motwani was finalized to play the leading lady of the film. Motwani told that she played a journalist named Priyanka, while classifying the film as a "black comedy thriller".
Sources reported that the film had two female leads and that Neetu Chandra had been approached to play the other lead. Venkat Prabhu was also keen on casting Bollywood actress Diana Penty for the role, which finally went to British Indian model and actress in Punjabi films, Mandy Takhar, who said that she played a "strong, modern girl", describing her character as "sexy and sensous", that she said was "not what I am".
Takhar, who Venkat Prabhu zeroed in after seeing her photos from her Hindi film Bumboo, added that she had allotted 20 days of shooting for the film, had to put on weight for the role and had done a pole dance in the song "Mississippi". Further more, sources indicated that the newly married couple Sneha and Prasanna had been roped in for the film, although Venkat Prabhu refused to comment about this.
Later, in an interview to The Hindu, Prasanna stated that he played an important role in it. Ramki was recruited in November 2012 for an important role. Meena was also approached by the director to play a pivotal role, but she declined the offer. Nithin Sathya and Sampath Raj, two regulars in Venkat Prabhu's films, joined the cast in December 2012.
Additions to the cast included television actor and mimic Badava Gopi, playing the role of a cameraman, Uma Riyaz Khan, Madhumitha, Bangalore socialite Sangeetha Gopal, and Sam Anderson. Reports suggested that Canadian film critic Review Raja had done a dance number choreographed by Shobhi during his visit in Chennai.
The film's principal photography was to start in August 2012, but was delayed because of changes in the script and the cast. A set of a hotel worth 1 crore was errected in Chennai, where action scenes and songs were shot for the film. Motion capture technology was used to film a fight sequence involving Karthi, Nitin Sathya, Murugadas and Panchu Subbu which was shot with a multiple camera setup at Puducherry.
The unit then took a break as Karthi moved on to shoot his other film All in All Azhagu Raja simulataneously, and filming was continued on 30 March 2013 in Hyderabad.
Vijay Vasanth, Vaibhav Reddy, Ashwin Kakumanu, Aravind Akash and Mahat Raghavendra, who had all been part of Venkat Prabhu’s Mankatha, dropped by Hyderabad for a day to partake in the shooting. Although a 14-day schedule was planned in Hyderabad, the unit returned within three days to Chennai, after facing with opposition from the stunt union of Andhra Pradesh.
The crew was allowed to shoot a fight sequence on a train, for which 40 lakh had been paid in advance, after which they returned to Chennai and resume the shoot there, where new sets had been created at the AVM studios, the Binny Mills and the Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR). By mid-June, the entire talkie portion had been canned. The final song, choreographed by Kalyan, was shot in July 2013.
Although the team had planned to shoot the song in a foreign country, it was eventually filmed in Meenambakkam, Chennai, where two sets had been created, with Venkat Prabhu intending to shoot the song in the style of a Broadway musical, who went on to add that "the backgrounds in the song will keep changing throughout".
Yuvan Shankar Raja is composing the soundtrack and film score for Biriyani, continuing his association with Venkat Prabhu, which will be his 100th film. Besides poet Vaali and the director's father Gangai Amaren, who regularly work in Prabhu's films, Niranjan Bharathi, who penned the song "Nee Naan" in the director's previous venture Mankatha, and Madhan Karky were brought on board to write the lyrics, the latter collaborating the first time with Yuvan Shankar Raja.
Actor Karthi made his debut in playback singing song titled "Mississippi". In late July 2013, four leading contemporary music directors, G. V. Prakash Kumar, S. Thaman, Vijay Antony and D. Imman, were roped in to sing the number "Thirumbi Vaa", which was termed as a "motivational song" by the director. The audio rights of the soundtrack were acquired by Sony Music in May 2013.
On August 16, The audio tracks of Biriyani songs were leaked online causing an uproar from the team. Yuvan Shankar Raja was disappointed as this was his 100th film. Due to the leak, the planned audio launch was subsequently cancelled, and the album would go directly to stores on 21 August 2013.
Finally the movie is ready for September Release.