Unity Special

Interview: Gautham Karthik & Santhosh Jayakumar talk about IAMK, reuniting for a different genre & more

Two minutes into a conversation with director Santhosh P Jayakumar and actor Gautham Karthik, and one can easily sense a great rapport flowing between the duo. Working together in last year’s smash hit ‘Hara Hara Mahadeva Ki’ and now joining hands again for the adult horror comedy ‘Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu’, Santhosh and Gautham seem to be glowing with confidence and stay eager to watch on the audience’s response to what they call – a genre-breaker in Tamil cinema.

Director Santhosh is a clear-minded, straightforward person. Right at first, he admits that HHMD was just a ‘tester’ to check the pulse and the acceptance of the audiences to kinky humor. However, he is quick to clarify that IAMK would be a pure adult comedy which would have its double entendre and venereal comics in full swing.

In quick succession, the director-actor duo has done two films under the same category. But when asked about a third possible outing, both of them reply in one voice, saying that it would not happen immediately for sure. “Both of us have the interest to try new genres. We don’t want to get stereotyped. And that is why I have opted for a family entertainer next, and Gautham has gone in for a rural action film,” says the director. “We will come together later – it may be a franchise or it may be a completely different storyline.”

“When we were discussing our next project after HHMD, I myself asked Gautham for his favorite genres. Out of his options, I was able to fit the horror genre in my story comfortably. So we opted for the genre, and also wanted to include some glamour in it as it was what people expected a lot in HHMD itself,” said Santhosh.

Talking about picking this genre twice in such a short span of his career, Gautham Karthik said “I don’t want a tag saying that I am a romantic hero, or an action hero. I want to do all types of films. In our industry, we are struggling for content. When writers and directors are ready to take a new step, it’ll open up the horizons. So that is what I expect when I listen to a story, and I don’t see how close by it comes.

IAMK is also one of the fastest shot films in Tamil cinema, wrapping up in 23 days. Talking about the extensive planning culture that is required for such a shoot schedule, Santhosh says “Not only before the shoot, we need to be alert and running at all times. I completed oversea schedules of both IAMK and Ghajinikanth in a single trip to Bangkok, shooting with 2 teams at the same time. It was strenuous and requires great planning, but is not an impossible thing to do.”

Gautham Karthik, who is in a variety of films right now, was also asked about his favorite genres and the kind of film  that he wishes to see himself someday in the future. Pat came the reply, saying that he is ready for experimentations, but he has two things that he wants to try out. “First, I want to do a romantic action film. But my dream genre is to do a historical film like Jodha Akbar, maybe not in that scale, but a period film. There are lots of spaces which are yet to be explored, we have to wait and see what exciting comes up.”

With the horror genre inclusive, a section of film buffs are sure to be skeptical about the formulaic backstory usual which is now becoming a stale factor in Kollywood’s horror comedies. But Santhosh PJ has other ideas. His film ‘Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu’ strays away from a back-story in the first place. It tries to provide entertainment in a different form, untouched by the directors of Tamil cinema till date. On Friday, we shall get to experience it.