'Karthikeya 2' is heading to theatres this Saturday (Aug 13). In this interview, actor Nikhil Siddhartha talks about the epic mystical adventure drama, working with director Chandoo Mondeti, the film's key highlights, and more.
After 'Karthikeya', I was intent on doing a sequel that is better than the first part. Director Chandoo pitched the storyline of the sequel way back in 2016. It's now finally hitting the cinemas in 2022.
'Karthikeya 2' received huge OTT offers during the pandemic. But the producers were intent on giving the audience a big-screen experience. For that matter, my other movies like 'SPY' are also meant for the silver screen.
The film boasts VFX, great locations, and visuals. There has been an inevitable gap of 2.5 years between my previous film and this one. The movie feels fresh and the audience are waiting badly for its release.
I was seen as a jovial doctor in the first part. Three years later, he is a part-time detective who is curious about esoteric elements. He is a full-time doctor and a part-time mystery-chaser. He is interested in subtle matters. His quest leads to an adventurous journey. He is famous and is sought-after when someone stumbles upon a mysterious thing.
I am a fan of the Tin Tin comics. I and Chandoo have always been enamoured of its universe. We wanted to turn it into a franchise by adapting it to the Indian context. The Western culture is young compared to our culture. The 'Karthikeya' movies are a result of the urge to tell big-scale stories with a touch of Indian religiosity.
Many wonder whether the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are history or myth. Our movie addresses the skepticism and tries to give a convincing, scientific answer. It has to be seen how the answer will be received. The underlying philosophy of the movie is this: 'Daivam manushya rupena'.
The organic reference to Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu in the story is to be watched on the silver screen. Both Subrahmanya Swamy and Vishnu have a snake connection. Chandoo has penned the dialogues so well!
Like in the first part, you will find mystery, suspense and thrills. We have delved into concepts like God, and the film's premise itself is exciting. We went to rare locations like Rann of Kutch to shoot the desert portions realistically. We could have done them using graphics but we didn't do that. The visuals, VFX and Kaala Bhairava's BGM are going to be major highlights. The story takes place in North Indian places like Spiti Valley and Dwaraka.
Anupama Parameswaran is an amazing co-star. She is dedicated and never refused to do tough shots in inclement weather. Anupam Kher was shooting for 'The Kashmir Files' when we went to him with this script. Before him, we had mooted the likes of Naseeruddin Shah and Nana Patekar. He liked the story a lot. I can't reveal much about his role; suffice it to say that it's a crucial one. He was very cooperative and treated me well although I am so much junior to him.
This is not just a pan-India movie but is also going to be dubbed into English and Arabic. In Hindi, we are getting a decent release.
The action in 'Karthikeya 2' is not over-the-top. The titular character is smart and knows how to use his brains to win a battle. There are three songs and each of them gives a high. They are interspersed with the story.
On interest in OTT: Web series take up a lot of time. They can't be completed in 60 or 80 working days. They are a marathon and can take years of focus if multiple seasons are planned. For me to take up a web series, it has to be really outstanding.
I am happy with the pace of my career. I have been going slow but that's fine.