Director SG Charles directing Venkat Prabhu on the sets of Johaar-1597218144872
Venkat Prabhu and director SG Charles on the set of the movie. Image Credit:

The Twitter post by actor-director Venkat Prabhu was enough to pique curiosity of readers. Prabhu known for his fun comedies — ‘Chennai-600028,’ and ‘Saroja’ — tweeted, “I still can’t believe Charles you trusted me with this role even when producer Nithin Satya had his own doubts.”

‘Lock-Up’s’ trailer shows Prabhu playing a policeman and sporting a salt-and-pepper look. Interestingly, this investigative police story has Easwari Rao also in khaki uniform. She is playing Police Inspector Illavarisi.

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Debutant director SG Charles said that he was particular while casting and chose his actors with care to show a new aspect about them.

“Vaibhav plays a policeman too but his role is one that no actor will be ready to play,” added Charles who has written the script. “Vaibhav was ready to explore the character.”

Vaibhav and Venkat Prabhu in Lock Up-1597218137082
Vaibhav and Venkat Prabhu.

‘Lock-Up’, a whodunit thriller, is based in Chennai. What happens during a situation faced by three policemen — one a straightforward police officer, the second manipulates things for his own self-interest and the third sits on the fence — is what makes up the film.

“It’s a tug of war between the three,” said Charles. “Venkat Prabhu plays Sub-Inspector Moorthy, a man who has a motive in everything happening around him. He was initially keen on producing the film but I convinced him to do the role.”

Popular television actress Vani Bhojan is paired opposite Vaibhav.

Shamna Kasim alias Poorna plays a key role. She is Mallika a slum dweller and a mother of two. Praising her performance, Charles said, “Initially she was apprehensive about taking on a mother’s role but after listening to the script she was keen to go ahead.

‘Lock-Up’ is produced by Tamil actor Nitin Satyaa. Aroll Corelli has scored music. Santhanam Sekar cranks the camera.

Charles had another producer in the beginning but he was taking time. That’s when Nitin Satya called Charles showing interest in making his film.

“He had heard the story from Venkat Prabhu. Things immediately fell into place and in a month’s time we began shooting. I went to him with a bound script and he was happy that I could give him a budget and stuck to that till the end,” said Charles who has been writing and directing plays since young for church culturals. Winning appreciation for his work egged him on to seek a career in cinema. After assisting directors Mohan Raja and Saravanan, Charles now goes solo with ‘Lock-Up.’

‘Lock-Up’ streams on Zee5 from August 15.