Tamil movie 'Thambi' starring Karthi and Jyothika in the lead roles has hit the screens as a Christmas – New Year release. Director Jeethu Joseph has made his second outing in Kollywood, after Papanasam, with this muti starrer movie. Here are the excerpts from the special interview of team Thambi with Onmanorama.
The audience was expecting a Jeethu Joseph movie in which Suriya and Karthi would share screen space. But the movie has Karthi and Jyothika in it..
Jeethu Joseph: It was not me who chose them. They were already roped in when this project came to me. I really liked this combination. The rest of the cast was fixed after that.
Where did you find the thread of the plot?
Jeethu Joseph: The story of this movie is not written by me. It was written by Bollywood screen writers Rensil Dsilva and Sameer Arora. I did make some minor changes in their story while directing the film. They are from North India and I am a Malayali. So, it had to be perfect in Tamil. So, Manikandan, the screenwriter of Tamil blockbuster ‘Vikram Vedha’ too had joined in while preparing the screenplay and dialogues. Hence, the screenplay of Thambi is jointly prepared by a few of us.
What is the theme of the movie?
Jeethu Joseph: This is a family movie which is thrilling as well. It is about the events that happen in two families. It is quite interesting.
Karthi has many getups in the movie. How many characters do you actually play?
Karthi: I do not don multiple getups; but just two looks. The movie begins in Goa and slowly gains momentum. So, my character has two looks. In fact, I play only one character that treads through two different paths. This transition is actually a unique factor of this movie.
Jeethu Joseph: Both the looks are unique. Karthi has approached both the getups quite differently. He has done an incredible job. You would understand that when you watch the film.
This movie is produced by your younger brother Sooraj. What did you feel while acting with this brother (Karthi)?
Jyothika: I never expected all this to happen. I am, in fact, amazed about everything, especially since the movie is also called Thambi. I feel extremely happy when I think about it.
Whom do you think is difficult to work with, Karthi or Suriya?
Jyothika: With Suriya. It is definitely difficult to act alongside Suriya. We would fight a lot, just like any husband and wife would fight at home.
Suriya had said that he cannot cry on screen without applying glycerine but Karthi could. Isn’t that an appreciation for your talent?
Karthi: As far as I am concerned, the story of the movie is important. I believe all these are determined by the plot. I cannot say that all movies would have such situations. There should be genuine emotion; only then would it work.
There are already quite a few Tamil movies that portray the brother – sister relationship. How different is Thmabi from all that?
Jeethu Joseph: You should watch the movie in the theater to know that. There are unique identities for all the characters in Thambi. They have specific aims as well.
Karthi: As Jeethu has pointed out, there indeed is something special about the movie. You have to watch the movie in the theaters to experience it.
Jyothika is often referred as the Lady Kamal of Tamil cinema. How was your performance in Thambi?
Jyothika: No one calls me that. In my opinion, it is only Urvasi ma’am who deserves to be called the Lady Kamal.
Jeethu Joseph: I must, however, say that Jyothika has delivered a wonderful performance in this movie. She is a thorough professional when it comes to hard work and dedication to make a character perfect and also the way she prepares before filming a scene.
A movie has released earlier with the title Thambi. Why did you still choose that title?
Jeethu Joseph: We tried quite a few titles. But, this is the one that suits the story.
Karthi: Though we thought about lots of titles, we couldn’t select one. The titles that we had thought were already booked by someone else. That is why we didn’t get any of those titles. Jeethu sir said that Thambi would make an excellent title for this movie. Later, when I thought about it, the director that is deep inside me too had agreed that it is the best title.
There is amazing scope for performance in a Jeethu Joseph movie...
Karthi: He is a director who gives lots of freedom. He would allow the actors to bring out their best. Meanwhile, he would extract from the artist what is exactly required for the scene.
Jyothika: One thing I really liked a lot was that he makes sure that there is logic in everything. He would think whether a scene has logic and how would the audience accept it from their point of view. These days, most people wouldn’t think about all those things. I really liked the way he dealt with it.
Nikhila Vimal: Jeethu sir always looks for perfection. He wouldn’t allow us to give our 99%, nor does he want us to aim for 101%. He makes sure that he gets 100 % of what is required.
Why did Nikhila accept this offer despite knowing that Karthi and Jyothika would be playing the lead roles?
Nikhila Vimal: This movie has an amazing team of well known artists and technicians. Who would say no to a movie in which Jyothika and Karthi are acting? However, I was a bit scared about whether I would have anything to do in it. But I got a good character and space to perform as well. Thambi is actually my come back movie in Tamil.
Besides, Karthi, Jyothika and Nikhila Vimal, an ensemble cast of Satyaraj, Soukar Janaki, Anson Paul, Hareesh Perady, Ilavarsu and Bala play pivotal roles. The camera is cranked by R Rajasekhar. The music of Thamb is composed by Govind Vasant of ‘96’ fame. The movie is produced jointly by Viacom 18 studios and Parallel Mind Productions owned by Jyothika’s brother Sooraj Sadana.