A canine (Belgian Shepherd) played an important character in Sibiraj’s Naaigal Jaakirathai (2014). In Kattappava Kanom, that is releasing this week, a fish plays an important role. Though the actor is not superstitious, he feels whenever he works with pets the film becomes a success. “Maybe, that’s because only few films involve animals. Kattappa is the fish that goes missing and the plot revolves around that. After many brainstorming sessions, we decided to name the fish Kattappa, after my father’s character in Baahubali,” he says.
Directed by Mani Seiyon, former assistant of Arivazhagan, Sibiraj plays the role of an IT professional. Ask him why they chose a fish, he laughs, “Fishes are smarter than us and have superior brains.” Mani tells CE that fishes have always fascinated him. “They make wonderful pets like dogs, and when I am free I spend time observing them,” he adds.
Quiz him on the challenges he faced, Mani says he bought this ‘lucky fish’ and spoke to it on a daily basis before the shoot. “It may sound bizzare. But eventually when I worked with the camera, things fell in place,” shares Mani. Sibi adds, “It is easy to work with a trained dog, but difficult to do so with a fish.”
The film also has a voice-over by Vijay Sethupathi. “The director felt that it would be nice if we had someone who has a unique and easily-relatable voice. That’s when we thought of Vijay Sethupathi. The film begins with his narration. Despite his busy schedule, he took some time out and did this for us,” he says.
While Aishwarya Rajesh plays an urban homemaker and Chandini Tamilarasan as Sibiraj’s friend.
Interestingly, the names of the characters in the film are related to fish — Pandi yan, Meena, Sheela.
Sibi assures that the film has elements catering to family audience and children. “It’s a fantasy-comedy and will be high on romance. I was intially nervous to do some of the romantic scenes. We managed to rope in filmmaker Nalan Kumarasamy for a cameo. He plays a veterinary doctor. He’ll be seen treating the fish when it consumes alcohol,” he adds.
Livingston, Kaali Venkat, Mime Gopi, Saravanan, Thirumurugan, Chitra Lakshmanan, Mimicry Sethu and Yogi Babu form the supporting cast. Santhosh Dhayanidhi of Santhanam’s Inimey Ippadithaan (2015) fame has composed the music for the project.
Meanwhile, Sibi hints a sequel to his hit film Naaigal Jaakirathai. “Yes, it’s definitely on cards, but not immediately. Both Shakti Soundar Rajan and I are occupied with our respective commitments. Once we’re done with our committments, we’ll work on it,” he says.