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Kollywood power couple Sarathkumar and Radikaa on reuniting on-screen with 'Vaanam Kottatum'

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The veteran actors play an on-screen couple after over two decades in the upcoming Mani Ratnam-produced film

Cinema is an integral part of the Sarathkumar-Radikaa household. Their drawing room is decked with awards and posters from their films, which reminds one of the big draw the duo was at the box-office and small screen.

That impact remains. While Sarathkumar is doing a host of big films now, Radikaa still rules the small screen, with a successful game show (Kodeeswari) she hosts.

This year they return to the big screen as a couple after two decades in the upcoming film Vaanam Kottatum, produced by Mani Ratnam.

In a chat with MetroPlus, the power couple of Kollywood talk about cinema, dinner table conversations and more:

Every film has a USP. What is the USP of Vaanam Kottatum?

SK: The subject is quite intense, but it has entertainment value. It revolves around values and culture, and how society should be, though it isn’t a message-oriented film.

Radikaa: It was a different subject for both of us; a lot of people have been asking us to do films together in the past, but we were never really convinced. But the moment we heard the storyline of VK, we knew we were on board.

How was it going together to the sets after a while?

Radikaa: It has been 22 years since we last did that (smiles). It was a wonderful experience that we shared screen space in a project that gave us good scenes.

The teaser looks young, but there seems to be a strong storyline with the two of you in it...

SK: The film will revolve around what’s happening with us. It is an emotion-based subject.

How much of ‘producer’ Mani Ratnam’s involvement was present in the film, considering he is busy with his own directorial project?

Radikaa: He co-wrote the story and was very involved. Dhana (the director) was a focussed filmmaker.

Kollywood power couple Sarathkumar and Radikaa on reuniting on-screen with 'Vaanam Kottatum'

Speaking of Mani Ratnam, you had a cameo in his first film, Pagal Nilavu (1985), at a time when you were very new to acting...

Radikaa: I think Mani Ratnam made a big mistake casting me as a classical dancer in that film.

It was very difficult because I had to get trained... by a very young dancer who used to move brilliantly (laughs).

And now Sarathkumar has landed a vital role in the filmmaker’s magnum opus project, Ponniyin Selvan...

SK: I like the way it is shaping up. They are particular about the way I look, the costumes and the make-up for now.

We have done a preliminary photo-shoot, and I will start filming soon. Many people have attempted to do Ponniyin Selvan, but I think Mani sir will pull it off.

I’m sure he has put his heart and soul into the research, and he will come out in flying colours when the film hits screens.

Radikaa has described herself as ‘work-oriented’ in the past. How would you describe yourself?

SK: Well, I’m also a work-oriented person. I try balancing cinema, politics and philanthropic work.

So, what do dinner table conversations at your house revolve around?

Radikaa: We don’t speak about cinema at all, but we do discuss a bit of politics. We also like exchanging thoughts about current affairs. Sometimes, we aren’t on the same page, but we are a close-knit family, and we love our Sundays.

SK: Being public personalities, we would like to give an informed opinion about any issue. Our conversations at the dining table are more like an exchange of knowledge and thoughts.

What’s the most adventurous thing you have done as a couple?

Radikaa: Trekking in Scotland!

SK: Oh yes. We also want to do skydiving, though I’m not sure if my BMI will allow me to try that.

What is the one professional aspect about the other that you admire, and would like to imbibe?

Radikaa: His perseverance. If he wants to do something, he will get it done somehow.

SK: Her dedication. She’s very clear with what she wants. I think we complement each other.

You meet so many inspirational women in Kodeeswari. Meanwhile, women are having a big impact in cinema these days, with roles being written specifically for them in the lead. Would you say that it is a great phase to be a woman?

Radikaa: It is. I felt that a few years ago itself. When I came in the Eighties, I had a different outlook, and people couldn’t digest my way of thinking. Today’s women are very clear about their paths.

In the film world, there are still a lot of stories relating to women that need to be told... we have just touched the tip of the iceberg now.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

SK: Apart from Vaanam Kottatum and Ponniyin Selvan, there’s a film with Sasikumar that has a well-knit storyline, a thriller titled Rendavathu Aattam. I am in talks with director Barath Neelakantan on a possible feature. There’s the rural drama Peranthal Parasakthi that will see Radikaa, my daughter Varalaxmi and me joining hands.

I am also playing a farmer in a Kannada film that will lay emphasis on the importance of agriculture in the years to come. I hope this year, stories and subject will be the hero rather than the person starring in it.

You have conquered the TV serial space, but the future looks to be the web series space...

Radikaa: We are eyeing that segment as well. We have tied down a few scripts that I will star in, and we will start work on it soon.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:40:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/kollywood-power-couple-sarathkumar-and-radikaa-on-reuniting-on-screen-with-vaanam-kottatum/article30575685.ece

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