Not many can forget Dindigul Sarathy, whose inferiority complex almost costs him his marriage, or Karunas’ portrayal of the multi-layered character. Revved up by the response to the role, the actor is all set for ‘Ambasamudram Ambani.’ “We plan to release ‘AA’ this month and I’m four times happier with the end product than I was with ‘… Sarathy,’” he says and elaborates, “More than 40 scenes of ‘…Sarathy’ were shot indoors and it was a total family script. But ‘AA’ will be different.”
‘AA’ deals with life in the city. The schedule included 55 days of shoot and Karunas has recorded five songs and a single-stanza piece for the film. Yes, Karunas is its composer too. “My first film as composer was for Raghavendra Lawrence’s ‘Rajadhi Raja,’ ‘AA’ is the second. My long-cherished dream of making music for Vairamuthu’s words has become a reality now. He has given some excellent lyric verses,” he smiles.
The story, according to its hero, revolves around an orphaned boy, who comes to Chennai to eke out a livelihood. He dreams of making it big one day and goes about it in an honest manner. “A.P.J. Abdul Kalam urges our young men to dream. Dandapani in ‘AA’ does it. He will be an inspiration for youngsters. Most of us in the industry are from rural belts. Chennai has received us with open arms and has helped come up in life. So ‘AA’ is about such people,” explains Karunas.
Is an item number also on the cards? “I like to make a point here. People know me as a singer of light-hearted stuff, so I’ve added one such piece. It is in this context that I’ve got Rahasiya to do a number. We have to make such compromises. Rahasiya is more a family friend. Whenever she is in the city she visits us at home. She gets along fabulously with my wife Grace. I felt she would be a value-addition to ‘AA,’” he concedes.
Ramnath, the dialogue writer of ‘… Sarathy,’ debuts as director with ‘AA,’ which has seasoned actors such as Kotta Srinivasa Rao, VMC Haneefa and Livingston.
Karunas had quite an experience hunting for a heroine for his ‘… Sarathy.’ “You are right. None of the female actors we approached wanted to be paired with me. But I’m used to such slights. Even as a young man, girls never preferred my company,” he sounds matter-of-fact. Navneet Kaur, who has worked in nearly half a dozen films in Telugu, is the heroine of ‘AA.’ “I told her that we expect nothing but her involvement in the project. Initially she came to the sets with both her parents. Next her mother accompanied her. But once she was comfortable she started attending shoots alone. Now she keeps calling me up often to know about the date of release. So well-etched is her character,” laughs Karunas and adds, “I always see myself as a minus and list out the pluses I could add to make my film tick. We’ve done just that for ‘AA.’”
Why does he consider himself a minus? Is it modesty or a complex? “Neither, I see it as a way to come up in life. Treading with caution and being conscious of your strengths and weaknesses are imperative for a winner,” he asserts.