Kaadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi, which releases on February 17, has been an exhilarating experience, says its actor and co-producer Siddharth

Can a person laugh at his own foibles, talk nineteen to the dozen and yet be diplomatic? Siddharth can. Flippant responses or frivolous comments don't find a place in the entire conversation — the actor has come a long away as a person and a professional. The energy with which he has been working on the promo campaigns of his Kaadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi (Love Failure in Telugu) is unbelievable! “That I'm a co-producer of KSE isn't the only reason. It's also because this is the first campus film in my entire career spanning a decade, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi put together. Our target audience is the youth, and intensive marketing is essential to woo them to the theatres.” KSE should be out on February 17.

As a Management grad from S.P. Jain, Mumbai, the man means business. “Yeah, business with a film, that's out-of-the-box, whacky, experimental …” he doesn't pause or grope for words. But is it different? “Very. KSE is a real, coming-of-age rom-com, in the sense, it's progressive. Not the usual boy-meets-girl routine, which we're tired of. It's uber-cool with absolutely no pretensions. And you will see the protagonist talking to the camera. The direct connect it establishes with the audience should be a fresh experience for viewers,” Siddharth explains.

When I catch up with him he has already had non-stop promotion sessions with at least four satellite channels for KSE. Still he sounds cheerful. Isn't it boring? How does he repeat himself over and over again and that too in the course of just a day? “I love to talk about KSE. And I always have something new to say,” he laughs. Were there such feverish campaigns from his side for 180 too? The film was Siddharth's last release in Tamil. “Strategies depend on the audience it is meant for. KSE needs to draw the attention of young filmgoers because it's a story they can identify with. Everything, including the cartoon blurbs in the ads, has been made with them in mind. But 180 was a sensitive film and had to be sold differently, which we did,” he explains.

It's rather ironical that Kaadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi is scheduled for the Valentine's Day week — loosely translated, the title means ‘How to goof up your love life'! “KSE is an enjoyable, coming-of-age rom-com, ideal for the season,” Siddharth contends. “And given the number of times I've mucked up love in real life, and the number of times they have been highlighted in the media, who but me can play it convincingly,” he laughs. But on screen he's generally associated with outings that are sober and sentimental. “So isn't it time I come out of tear-jerkers and make a consummate entertainer,” he asks, with a smile.

Amala Paul is a significant value-addition to KSE. “Sure, when we signed her she was very promising. She's lived up to it. She is verbose throughout the film. A bold character, Amala's Parvathi will stay on in your minds,” he predicts.

Siddharth has also crooned a couple of numbers for KSE. Singing isn't new to him. The ‘Adada Adada' hit in Santhosh Subramaniam is in his voice. “Thaman is a buddy (He was one of the Boys, the drummer, who's made it as composer) and we freaked out recording for KSE. His music goes with the mood of the film — quirky, but catchy nevertheless.”

KSE has been shot on live locations in Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. “I'm 32, and the hardcore campus film transported me to my salad days,” he chuckles. But there's a juvenescent bunch in the supporting cast, which also includes experienced actors such as Suresh and Ravi Raghavendar. “They add depth to the film,” he comments. KSE's director Balaji Mohan himself is just 24! “As I said, beginning with the helmsman, it's a young team. And we wrapped up the film two days ahead of schedule. So we were able to keep it under-budget.” Coming from a producer, such candour is rare.

Watching Balaji Mohan's 10-minute short, Siddharth saw its potential for a feature, and a chance meeting with Sashikanth of Y Not Studios fructified in a joint collaboration. “We had a blast making KSE, and we plan to continue together. And with Nirav Shah as our lensman we couldn't have asked for a better deal. He's so international in the way he plans his shots.” Siddharth is all excited about the fruition that has come about. “Sashikanth is the agglutinating factor that has held the project together.”

If you found, Y Not, the name of Sashikanth's banner, intriguing even during his Tamizh Padam and Va Quarter Cutting days, Siddharth's Etaki? Entertainment is equally so. “It means ‘What is this,' in Bengali. As a model at age eight, this was the line I said, and got paid for, for the first time. So I decided I'd name my firm Etaki, whenever I got to begin one. Did you notice the question mark? That's my logo,” he laughs.

Keywords: Actor Siddharth

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012