Karthi on working with director Pandiraj in Kadaikutty Singam: Each character has its moment in the film
It's been more than a decade since Karthi broke into the Tamil feature film scene with a stellar performance as the lead hero in director Ameer's Paruthiveeran. Since then, he has been part of a range of memorable films such as Aayirathil Oruvan, Naan Mahaan Alla, Madras and Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, which released last year. Karthi's role as cop in Theeran Thirumaran fetched rave reviews from across the board. Now, he has shifted gears with a complete rural family drama, Kadaikutty Singam, which talks about family values, long-lost traditions and farming.
Talking to Firstpost in an exclusive chat, recalling how Kadaikutty Singam happened, Karthi said, "Pandiraj sir told me the one-liner of Kadaikutty Singam four years back, and we used to discuss the story often, but it somehow didn't materialise. We had been just talking about the one-liner, and later, I insisted on him for a narration. He then started working on the script and would call me after completing the scenes. Sometimes he would read me the sequences over the phone and even break during the narration because he has roots in such a big family. Even the audiences can relate to the characters in the film with someone in their family."
The film has Sayyeshaa playing the female lead and Arthana Binu and Priya Bhavani Shankar in important roles. "I couldn't imagine Sayyeshaa in a village girl role. But after the makeover and costume, she aced her part and made us take back what we had assumed. She memorised her lines and delivered them perfectly. Her character will be loved by the audience, and I feel this role is going to be an important one in her career."
He further added: "Priya Bhavani is my college junior, and she plays a big-mouthed girl who is pretty much her in real life. Not every heroine has the image of a girl-next-door. Arthana is too young for her performance and dedication. She had a few emotional sequences, and she even maintained her composure off-screen to make it feel real."
Directed by Pandiraj and produced by Suriya's 2D Entertainment, Kadaikutty Singam has a pivotal rekla race (bullock cart) sequence. Talking about the scene, Karthi said, "I learned horse riding and was familiar with animal behaviour. But bulls are not as friendly as horses; they are attached to only those who rear them. I spent several days practicing with one bull but had to shoot with a different one. The rearer accompanied me throughout the rekla race sequence."
Showering lavish praise on National Award-winning director Pandiraj, Karthi said, "I was amazed by his writing. With an ensemble cast, it is not easy to make every role unique. But Pandiraj sir has nailed it. Each character has its significance and moment of performance. After I saw the first copy, I fell for his writing skills. Also, he gives painstaking attention to dialogues. He feels dialogues are the element that connects the audience with the characters on-screen. He has placed many colloquial statements in this film, and there will be subtitles for them. While writing the dialogues, he mentions the character's body language too."
Sathyaraj, a family friend of Sivakumar, has shared screen space with Karthi for the first time. About working with a veteran like Sathyaraj, Karthi said, "Pandiraj wrote the character Ranasingam having Sathyaraj sir in mind. But when we narrated the first half of the script to Sathyaraj sir, he thought that his character wasn't substantial and didn't agree to do the role. With the type of projects he is taking up recently he felt his character has no scope. So we developed the script and went for a second narration; he was surprised by the way Pandiraj perfected his role. His character, though aged, is not somber. He plays a wise and witty father in the film."
On a concluding note, Karthi said, "To write a story on the joint family is not that easy because the new-gen directors don't know the ideology of it. We are becoming more nuclear but our strength is and will always be our families. Kadaikutty Singam reiterates the importance of family values and relationships."
Updated Date: Jul 12, 2018 15:41 PM