KM Sarjun on making long awaited directorial debut with Echcharikkai, and upcoming film with Nayanthara

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Aug 24, 2018 10:36:45 IST

Director KM Sarjun’s long delayed maiden film Echcharikkai, a thriller featuring Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar, Sathyaraj and Kishore, is finally set for a release this week. Even before the release of his first film, Sarjun made a mark in the industry with his two popular but controversial short films – Lakshmi and Maa – eventually earning an opportunity to collaborate with Nayanthara on his second project which is currently on floors. In this exclusive chat with Firstpost, Sarjun talks about making Echcharikkai, reasons behind its delayed release, and his next project with Nayanthara.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in a still from

Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar in a still from Echcharikkai. YouTube

A former associate of filmmakers Mani Ratnam and AR Murugadoss, Sarjun signed Echcharikkai two years ago. Despite completing the film as planned in just 28 days, it did not get released on time and has taken the team nearly a year to bring it to the theatres. “Each film has a journey and Echcharikkai is no different. When there are five to six releases each week, it’s extremely difficult to find a decent release window. Echcharikkai didn’t face any financial problems. It got made as planned, but we struggled to find a distributor to release for the longest time. This has been a long journey. I’m relieved the film is finally getting released.”

Echcharikkai is inspired from British thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed. “It’s not entirely based on the British film. A portion of Echcharikkai – the whole kidnap angle - is inspired from The Disappearance of Alice Creed, but the rest of the story is original. I’ve duly given credit to the sources of inspiration,” said Sarjun, trashing reports that the film is an adaption of Liam Neeson-starrer Taken.  

The film stars Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar and Sathyaraj in key roles. Sarjun is all praise for his actors. “Despite his seniority, Sathyaraj sir was extremely professional. If the shoot was at 9 AM, he’d be there on time and shoot professionally. Varu, on the other, was very easygoing. She’d like to indulge herself in everything but is very fun to work with. If not for the support of my cast and crew, I couldn’t have completed the film in 28 days. The best part about working on this project is that I was respected by the artists even though I was a debut director. They placed their faith in me and I believe I’ve not let them down.”

Asked if he preferred doing a thriller over other genres as his first film (as most debut directors in recent times followed the same path), Sarjun said, “Honestly, I wanted to launch myself with a romance script and was not interested in doing a thriller initially. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a producer for my romance script for two years. I couldn’t do an action film because it needed star actors. I can’t write comedy, so that option was ruled out. I like horror but I didn’t want to launch myself with a horror film. Naturally, I was left with the thriller genre and I chose to work in it.”

As Sarjun heaves a sigh of relief at the release of Echcharikkai, he is excited about his next film with Nayanthara. “It will be an emotional horror drama. When I met her for narration, she told me she’s already done two horror films Maya and Dora, and wanted something different. Even though my story is an out-and-out horror film, it’s quite emotional and that’s what really impressed her. We’ve already completed first schedule of shoot,” Sarjun said, adding that it was his short film Maa which earned him the ticket to work with Nayanthara. “Producer Rajesh of KJR Studios saw Maa and called me to appreciate. He asked me if I have any interesting scripts and that’s when I pitched to him this horror script. He had already worked with Nayanthara in Aramm. He suggested we take the script to Nayanthara and everything else fell in place.

Updated Date: Aug 24, 2018 10:36:45 IST