Tamil director Lokesh Kanakaraj made an impressive start with his debut film, ‘Maanagaram,’ which was a blockbuster.
His second film ‘Kaithi’, releasing this Diwali, is much awaited. The trailer suggests a thriller is in store. What makes ‘Kaithi’ intriguing is the absence of a heroine and the regular song and dance.
Karthi plays the lead role of a kaithi (prisoner). Malayalam actor Narain shares the screen with him in a key role.
The policeman’s uniform is not going to let go of Narain. What began with a role in Malayalam film ‘4 The People’ followed him to Tamil cinema with ‘Anjathey’, a cop role he is best remembered for. Narain, however, is eager to explore other characters and not be stereotyped.
So what made Narain step into the shoes of a policeman again in ‘Kaithi?’
One reason is Karthi, with whom he shares a close friendship.
“Karthi called me up and spoke about this role,” recalled Narain. “We know each other well and often discuss cinema. Since he had signed ‘Kaithi’ I knew the content must be good. When he mentioned that the director had made ‘Maanagaram’ it rang a bell. I liked the film. So I decided to meet Lokesh.”
Within 10 minutes of narration, Narain was keen on the role.
“‘Kaithi’ is a content-driven film. I play Bejoy, a policeman of the special task force. Bejoy has a mission that he has to accomplish. He is a duty-bound officer. There is a goodness in this man and in what he is trying to do, though at times he becomes very vulnerable. I had to bring in that — Bejoy’s commanding attitude and his helplessness.”
‘Kaithi’s’ story happens over one night. Karthi plays Dilli, who has a 10-year-old daughter and has a story from the past. Karthi has performed the stunt sequences himself and driven a lorry too.
“In most of the scenes I have a fractured hand so I don’t get to do many action sequences like Karthi,” said Narain, who grew up in the UAE and studied at Sharjaah Indian School and Abu Dhabi Model School, before moving to India.
“For over 40 days we filmed in the night. The scenes were intense and we were on the run in the middle of dust strewn environment. It was not easy. But we enjoyed making the film — a film that was the kind we have wanted to work in. Once the film was done, I missed the company and the sets,” he said.
Narain has completed two Tamil films — ‘Champion’ with director Suseenthiran where he plays a football coach. The second is ‘Othaikku Othai.’ He plays a hero in the flashback portion of the story. “I am a college guy. It’s an impactful role,” he said.
In the works is Malayalam film ‘Kallan’ with debutant director Piyush where Narain plays the lead.
‘Kaithi’ also features Ramana and George Mariyaan in important roles. It releases in the UAE on October 25.