The press meet of Kuttram 23 was held at Hotel Blueton in Chennai on 14 July. Directed by Arivazhagan of Eeram fame, it has Arun Vijay and Mahima Nambiar of Saattai fame in the lead roles. Vishal Chandrasekhar of Jil Jung Juk fame is the music director of the film. The movie is the first production venture of Arun Vijay and Inder Kumar under the banners of ‘In Cinemas Entertainment’ and ‘Redhan – The Cinema People’.
With friendly ribbing, jokey questions and answers, with a good-cop/bad cop debate thrown in apart from the usual ‘Oscar moment’ of thanking all and sundry, and posing for pictures, the event had a genial, relaxed atmosphere about it. Arun Vijay and his co-producer dressed in identical white shirts, looked dapper while they posed for pictures.
Arun Vijay said he was excited about his first production venture, and that he was essaying the role of a cop. After the success of his role as Victor in his last movie Ennai Arindhal, Arun Vijay was wary of choosing scripts. He didn’t want to deliver a movie which didn’t live up to his previous standards. He said the “V factor” where the character’s name starts with a V – works like a charm for him. After Victor, it’s now Vettrimaran in Kuttram 23.
Without giving the plot away, Arun Vijay said that the movie was an adaptation of Tamil crime novelist, Rajesh Kumar’s novel. He plays the role of an Assistant Commissioner stationed in Chennai. He said the movie has Thambi Ramaiah, Aravind Akash of Saroja fame and Abhinaya playing supporting roles. The movie also sees his father, Vijayakumar in a cameo role. Vamsi Krishan plays the antagonist.
Arun introduced Indher Kumar to the gathering saying although he lives in Bangalore, he was originally from Thanjavur. Indher Kumar seemed wrought with nerves, fumbling a bit with the microphone. He excused himself for speaking English, saying his Tamil was very bad. Arun Vijay piped in the remark, “I introduced you as a Tamilian from Thanjavur and you say this. Sigh!” His address was mostly about expressing his gratitude to everyone involved in the movie: the director, family members, media and press, cameramen, technicians, cast, and of course, Arun Vijay.
Director Arivazhagan spoke about the movie in an unassuming manner. After deciding that he would pursue a career in thriller movies, he zeroed in on medical-thriller for his fourth film, he said. He said the movie revolved around an issue that is pertinent and “close to our heart” and had involved a lot of background research. Being a voracious reader, Arivazhagan feels the print medium can be more inspiring than the visual medium. And that’s why he has always wanted to do a film adaptation of a novel. The movie only takes a “knot” from a Rajesh Kumar’s novel and Arivazhagan has developed it, he said. To Arivazhagan, this project is a culmination of three of his desires: working with Arun Vijay, doing a medical-thriller, and doing novel-based film.
The Q ‘n’A session involved more gentle ribbing and laughter.
The first question wanted the director to divulge the name of the novel. Arun Vijay casually dismissed the question with, “How can we tell you the novel? You might read it and discover the plot?” The reporter persisted by asking whether it was a stand-alone novel or a series. The director was noncommittal again when he said it was based on a crime novel that he had read in recently. Asked about the significance of the title, the director gave a laconic answer as, “the movie will explain the title”. Another reporter jumped in with , “how is it not similar to past medical-thrillers like Thani Oruvan and Kaaki Sattai?”. The director explained that Thani Oruvan explored this genre in a very small way, and Kaaki Sattai revolved around organ-trafficking. He assured the gathering that this movie had none of these themes and it explored an entirely different dimension. A rather patronising reporter asked if the director realised that divulging the real theme of the movie would help with the movie’s promotion. The director calmly reassured him saying the trailer would partially reveal the theme of the movie.
A senior reporter accused Arun Vijay of compromising on his “cop look” referring to his overgrown hair. Arun Vijay immediately defended himself saying, he was on a break from shooting and hence the look. Another reporter cut in with, “policemen are known for their crass and atrocious behavior; is it fair to show them in a good light in the movie?” The director patiently walked him through a moral science lesson, saying it all depended on how we perceived it and there were always two sides to a story.
Arun Vijay confirmed that the movie will be released late August or early September. He added that they had plans of doing a Telugu remake of the movie.