Legendary cine icon Kamal Haasan is back again in another form, shape and shade that the audience have never seen him in before. The South Superstar will be playing a narcotics bureau officer in upcoming bilingual thriller Cheekati Rajyam (Thoonga Vanam in Tamil).
The film is an adaptation of the 2011 French Film Sleepless Night and Kamal says it will keep the viewers gripped.
“It’s a fast-paced thriller which will keep you on your seat right till the end, while making you uncomfortable,” the actor quips.
At a time when filmmakers in the south are taking a long time to wrap up their films spending weeks on graphics, Cheekati Rajyam was completed at a record speed in just 60 days. Kamal asserts that he’s looking forward to working in a similar way, even if it means his directorial ambitions could take a backseat.
“I’m aiming at giving quality films at great speed,” he says. “I’m willing to sacrifice direction to be able to achieve that. This film has no graphics, it’s very practical.”
Cheekati Rajyam marks the directorial debut of Rajesh M Selva, who has worked on the film for more than seven years. Kamal says that they have tried a new style of camera-work in the film.
“We brought in special equipment and nowhere the camera was anchored, except for maybe two to three shots. The rest of the time, the camera was like a boxer always on the move,” he reveals.
Kamal, who is known for his versatality as an actor, explains that it was the character which drew him in towards the film.
“Despite the film being a pacy thriller, the essence of the character is not lost. In fact, you can feel the pain felt by the actor in the film,” he shares.
The veteran actor has also starred in a lot of remakes in his illustrious career, including 2015 film Paapanasam.
When asked if his plan of making films at a great speed, is one of the reasons for shifting to remakes, Kamal says, “It is part of the planning but don’t think remakes are easy. It may become relatable for the audience, but it does not become a good film. You can take a James Bond movie, copy it and still ruin it.”
The actor, who turns 61 on November 7, says he doesn’t believe in looking back to reflect on his career.
“I will only look forward because if you start looking back, you will be trapped in a world of nostalgia. For me, if I look back I can only see mistakes -- not one or two but thousands,” he laughs.
The multi-lingual star admits he had to maintain high fitness level to ensure he’s in a position to perform action sequences in Cheekati Rajyam.
“If you see the action sequences in the film, you will be surprised that I’m sitting here without any injuries,” Kamal expresses. “They were very carefully crafted and safely done. It’s not about 300 feet of fighting, just a few quick punches that makes you feel taken aback. That’s the kind of violence I always like,” Kamal adds.
The actor says he has a packed calendar in 2016, which includes the much-hyped Vishwaroopam 2.
“The film is almost ready. We will be working on its CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) for the next five months and hopefully will be able to release the film next year,” he adds, with a smile.
Cheekati Rajyam, which also features Trisha and Prakash Raj in important roles, is slated to hit screens on November 20. The film’s Tamil version Thoonga Vanam released today.