– Rinku Gupta
RJ Balaji is on a roll ever since his well-received role in Naanum Rowdy Thaan. Not only is he part of Mani Ratnam’s Kaatru Veliyidai, he’s also signed up a spate of other films as well. An unusual poster of one such film, Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru ( KIK) directed by M Rajesh was released recently. We spoke to the RJ turned actor about his role, the message in the poster and experience of working with a director who has a strong comic sense like Rajesh.
The poster shows hero GV Prakash and Balaji relieving themselves against a wall on the road. Says Balaji “Through the poster, in his comic way, Rajesh is trying to draw our attention to the complete lack of civic sense amongst people.”
So what solution does Balaji see to this problem? He replies, “We have grown almost immune to people creating a nuisance in public. We as a generation are completely corrupted and out of our senses. We don’t even think it’s anything wrong to spit in public or throw garbage on the roads. We may get angry at when we see others doing it, but we do the same on our street! The only solution I see to inculcating decent habits and a strong civic sense, is to take it to the next generation. We can’t have one person alone going around educating all the children. Each person has to instil a civic sense in the kids in their family. Only when each child expresses disgust at unhygienic habits will it deter others in the family and society. That’s the only way we can find a solution to this problem, at least for the future.”
So what is Balaji’s role in the movie? He grins, “Every Rajesh film has a hero who has a close friend, who travels all through the film, suggesting weird ways out of sticky situations. I play that close friend in KIK.” Balaji is famous for his witty one liners and improvisations. Humour forms an integral part of Rajesh films. How is the equation between the duo? Does Rajesh take suggestions offered by Balaji? Says he, “Rajesh’s a very chilled out director. Anyone who works with him will develop a good equation with him. He is open to suggestions always but in the end he knows firmly what he wants. I’m very happy to work with someone like him who knows what they want and how to get it.”
We want to know if Rajesh has given Balaji any punch dialogues. Pat comes the reply, “I don’t believe in punches and usually I improvise spontaneously on the sets with whatever comes to mind. But in this film, there is a line which occurs all through, which I can’t reveal right now.”
Nowadays, many a comedian is being given a female pairing. So does Balaji have a heroine too in KIK? He says tongue-in- cheek, “In Rajesh’s movies more than the hero, comedian and their respective pairing, it’s the hero-comedian chemistry which is important. So in that sense, GV Prakash and I are made for each other in this film!”