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Kanithan director TN Santhosh talks about his film and Vijay

Kanithan directed by TN Santhosh had its audio launch a few days back. The film produced by Kalaipuli Thanu features Atharvaa and Catherine Tresa in lead roles.


Santhosh, a student from AR Murugadoss school of direction, has worked with him in 7aum Arivu and Thuppakki. We catch up with the director.


What is Kanithan all about?

Kanithan is about the cat and mouse game between two intelligent people, the protagonist, a journalist and the antagonist. It is a social action thriller. We have not conveyed any message, and have carried what is necessary for a very strong story. We have recorded in Kanithan that a journo’s job is not just asking questions, but there is a lot more than that.



Atharvaa plays the reporter in this film. He has his dreams to scale great heights in his profession. The way he brings back his lost identity and what happens in the process, is the path in which the story travels. We wanted somebody very young for this role who is without any image baggage. I actually wrote this story, keeping Dhanush in mind. But due to date issues, he could not do the film. Thanu sir was the one who suggested Atharvaa. Now when I see the film, I can vouch that Atharvaa has done a superb job. He is a very hard working and a dedicated artist.


You had first Jackie Shroff for the villain role. How did Tarun Arora come in?

I met Jackie Shroff and told him the story, but he was very reluctant to do Tamil films. He somehow agreed to listen to the story, but five minutes into the narration, he was completely engrossed in it. He liked it a lot and was keen. But, I was not convinced with him. The main reason is he has aged a lot. He looked 20 years older than what he was in Aaranya Kaandam. I also told him this and he was fine with it.


On the other hand, we were sure we did not want an established actor for the villain’s role. The character is someone who has come from Burma. We hunted a lot and finally found Tarun from Facebook. He has played the role of Anshuman in Jab We Met. He looked like a chocolate boy and we wanted to transform him into someone who is a father of two teenagers and who should also be physically fit. That’s the design for the character. He had 50% in that and the remaining 50% was acquired. I wanted him to bulk up and he did that in just 25 days. Tarun was also very committed and when we saw the final output, he was exactly like how I had envisioned.     


Catherine Tresa

Catherine Tresa is amazing. I liked her a lot in Kathakali. She is a dedicated hard worker. She learns her lines in advance so that she can concentrate on performance while shooting. She is also very clever and understands what the director expects. It was a lot easier for me whenever Catherine shots were there.    


Heard Vijay was super impressed with your film. Can you elaborate on this?

Vijay sir is one of my well wishers. The very first day of Thuppakki shoot, I realized his star stature. He is extremely talented and humble and I became his fan. When Kanithan began, I informed him and he called immediately and spoke for about half an hour wishing me the best. He said that he can be contacted for any help. I used to keep him updated at every stage of Kanithan. When he saw the film, he liked it a lot and felt it was for a mass hero and that I have changed Atharvaa into one. He is a man of few words and I was glad that my first film got appreciation from him in many words.


That being the case, will you be doing a film with Vijay soon?

As a creator, we all would like to work with all artists right? Everyone would like to do a film for Vijay and Ajith. When we started Kanithan, Thanu sir also suggested that I do a film for Vijay sir. I told him I would definitely want to do, but I need to have a success story in my resume to show to Vijay sir.


Vijay sir has introduced a lot of young directors. But when I am making a film for him, it should take him to a different level, like what Thuppakki did to him. I am firm on it. I need to be trained on it some more. I want to complete a film and assess myself as to where I stand.


Wish you the best Santhosh!


Jyothsna Bhavanishankar




Kanithan director TN Santhosh talks about his film and Vijay

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