Karthik Subbaraj is undoubtedly one of the most prominent Tamil film directors. In a career spanning just six years, he has four feature films under his belt and has just bagged one with the industry’s biggest superstar – Rajinikanth. Through his short, but diverse choices, he has consistently managed to wow viewers. Film Companion lists six things viewers should know before delving into his cinematic journey.
1. Romance and horror found equal space in Karthik’s 2012 debut film Pizza, set in a haunted house. With a major twist no one saw coming, experiencing Pizza was like seeing multiple films for the price of a single ticket. Karthik also gets credit for giving Vijay Sethupathi his first solo hit as a lead hero.
2. Jigarthanda, intended to be Kathik’s directorial debut, firmly cemented his place in the industry instead. The film maker made Bobby Simha a star, giving him the author-backed, National Award-winning ‘Assault Sethu’ part. The 2014 film is packed with unforgettable scenes such as Simha’s introduction sequence, violence in a theatre’s bathroom stall, the extended pre-interval ‘sketch’ in the heavy rain, Sangili Murugan advising Siddharth not to give up on his filmi dreams and Siddharth’s spoof. Jigarthanda will also be remembered for the impetus it gave the careers of composer Santhosh Narayanan, cinematographer Gavemic U Ary and editor Vivek Harshan.
3. With Iraivi, Karthik ventured into the territory of masters such as K. Balachander and Balu Mahendra. The 2016 film, notable for giving all its female actors strong roles, was a box office failure, but went on to attain cult status. Any film buff will be sure to mention the unforgettable pre-interval and climax segments, which made an impression on viewers owing to their sheer violence. The movie gave actor SJ Suryah’s career a much-needed fillip, casting him as an alcoholic director unable to deal with the frustrations of his yet-unreleased debut film. It also gave cinematographer Sivakumar Vijayan his ticket to the big league; he is now a part of Suriya – Selvaraghavan’s NGK.
4. Expectations are high from Karthik’s film Mercury, thanks to a stunning teaser that was launched recently. The silent thriller is set for release on April 13th.
5. Actor Rajinikanth, who has completed filming Kaala and 2.0, is slated to act in Karthik’s next film. In several interviews, the director has hinted that the film will include political themes and other elements characteristic of the superstar’s films. Karthik is a self-confessed Rajini fanatic and had famously defended the actor’s 2014 film Lingaa against criticism on Twitter.
#Lingaa is a 3hr emotional talk between thalaivar and a fan who was heart broken when he was ill.Others won't get it.HE is back & We luv him
— karthik subbaraj (@karthiksubbaraj) December 13, 2014
6. A film with Dhanush is also in the offing. Y Not Studios is rumoured to be producing this movie, which will be shot extensively in London.