Karthi-Jyothika starrer Thambi is all set for release on Friday, 20 December. Ahead of the release of the film, director Jeethu Joseph along with actors Karthi Sivakumar and Nikhila Vimal speak about their experiences and the film.
Speaking about how director Jeethu Joseph decided to take up the project, he says, “I was narrated the script of Thambi by Rensil D’Silva and Sameer Arora when I was in Mumbai. Just as I was instantly attracted to the story, Karthi and Jyothika too approved of the script immediately. The presence of two brilliant actors added a lot of value to the script. Even before I decided to work on the script, the actors had already signed up for the project with producer Suraj Sadanah. They are as dedicated as actor Mohanlal.” He adds that there were four brains behind the screenplay of Thambi. “Though the script has been penned by Rensil D’Silva and Sameer Arora, it also has the contributions of Manikandan (penned dialogues for Vikram Vedha) and myself. Rensil and Sameer hail from Mumbai and I from Kerala, so we brought Mani on board to capture the essence of the Tamil culture that had to be adopted,” said the director.
The film will deal with the relationship between people residing in two different families. Despite the several bonds in a family, Jeethu is said to have thrown light on the bond forged between siblings thus giving equal screen space for the lead actors. The thriller will also have its share of comical elements. “A man is said to change his behaviour and attitude according to the circumstance he is put in. And that is exactly what Karthi does right through the film. I have made sure to include all the aspects required to keep them glued to the screen while also leaving them with a smile at the end of the film,” said Jeethu Joseph.
The film supposedly cannot function even if one character is taken out of it. All of them are said to hold importance, have a motive and connect with the narrative. “Karthi is a very dedicated and talented artiste who takes effort to understand his character and perform. He is excellent right from emotional to action sequences. Jyothika has already proved her acting prowess with her earlier outings. I admire the way she pulls off her roles in every film. In order to give her best performance in this too, she requested for her lines two weeks in advance. Sathyaraj who plays an essential yet non-typical father of the siblings has performed well,” said Jeethu.
Thambi is said to have started off as a big story, later shortened. To fill the loopholes in the narrative, fresh sequences were written and added after taking in the opinions of the crew. Speaking about screenplay and the language barriers he faced, Jeethu says, “I am not sure of whether I’ve created a perfect film, but I do know that every character has been written clearly and interpreted carefully. Language has never been an issue for the film. I got the actors to perform by writing down the dialogues in English.”
Karthi plays Saravanan in the film. His journey begins in Goa and transitions to Kerala eventually.
Speaking about how he was roped in to the film, Karthi says, “I was very impressed with the one-liner narrated by the writers. On hearing the entire script, I was thrilled to be a part of it. On knowing that Jo anni was also part of the project gave me immense happiness. We agreed to work on the project only after we were convinced that both of us had good screen space. Only later was Jeethu roped in as director.”
Karthi says, “Just as Paiyya revolved around two characters, this will also have a special element. I don’t wish to reveal what it is, but all I can say is that I resonated with the character deeply”.
He also adds, “I have admired his Malayalam films and Papanasam especially for their unique treatment. I’m glad I got to work under his direction”.
Speaking about his female co-stars, Karthi says, “I have never got a chance to witness Anni perform on set. She is extremely dedicated and hardworking. Sowcar Janaki ma didn’t seem like she was 88 years old. She was so lively and dedicated. At times she even cooked food for the crew.”
Thambi features Nikhila Vimal opposite Karthi in the film. The actress has earlier worked in a couple of Malayalam films and in Prasath Murugesan’s Kidaari.
Speaking about Jeethu Joseph and her experience on set she said, “A few years back, I was to feature in a Jeethu Joseph film but the dates clashed and I couldn’t. Unlike other directors, he kept up the promise he made of casting me in one of his films later and called me for Thambi. He was frank about my role and that impressed me very much. The outstanding technicians and crew also made me want to work in the film. I was able to meet Surya sir and the family members of Sathyaraj sir too.”
Nikhila adds, “Karthi sir is one of the few actors who does not want to be typecast and is willing to perform any role be it a commercial subject or content-oriented one. He is also one of those rare actors who is concerned with the performance of their co-stars even if they’ve completed their portion. Many a time I would ask him if I could rehearse my lines looking at him and he would agree without a second thought. This is the first time I’m encountering someone like him. Jyothika ma’am too was very helpful on set. She has a very gentle approach,” says Nikhila.
Thambi also features Ilavarasu, Hareesh Peradi, Anson Paul, Seetha, Mahanadi Shankar, Master Ashwanth, Sowcar Janaki, Ramesh Thilak, Nedumudi Venu and others in significant roles. RD Rajasekar is handling the camera, Govind Vasantha is composing music, VS Vinayak is editing and Prem Navas is on art. There are three songs in the album – a duet, a festival song and a temple song featuring Karthi.
The Tamil-Telugu bilingual has been shot in Ooty, Palakad, Coimbatore, and Goa. The makers had wrapped up the film in 65 days, as per their original plan. Recently, the trailer of the film had dropped garnering more than 2.7 million views.