The Tamil Film Industry is filled with a sea of talent and make no mistake, they will keep rising time and again. For quite a lot in this diverse universe, it takes time to shine bright and for a few, it’s just a flick away.
And then come the select few, who go about experimenting, and their only investment being the passion for the celluloid, who till now were doing their day jobs. We are poised to wonder if they are destined to be this way till now, waiting for the lightning to strike.
All these being said, here comes the man who’s one of the experimenters.
Where and how it all started
Karthik Subburaj was born and raised in Madurai. He spent his school life at SBOA and like the general population, he took the Engineering bait and even stood apart as a Mechatronics major. Not till college was Karthik into movies and it was not even one of his loved interests. Like every other Engineering student he also started working in the so called silicon valley of India, Bangalore. He was in IT and soon enough, the option to travel abroad came knocking. Where? The place where you can live your dream, the United States.
An interesting twist happened before he left his homeland. Ending the days with projects, client calls and all the IT jabber was not enough. So he just moved his track in a different way and we are very glad that he chose cinema. A big break was waiting when he attended the workshop conducted by Sanjay Nambiar. But after attending it, he left to the States to carry on with his onsite work.
Interests grow miles apart
During his two year stay at the states he started to roll the films during weekends. This increased the cinema addiction in him. He met the Indie Film maker Mark Williams, whose day job is to be a lawyer. Karthik was assisting Mark in his documentary named “Church”. He had a chance to learn about “Live Sound” which he later went on to use in his debut movie and also ran second Unit.
He is the first one to introduce 7.1 surround sound to Tamil industry in his movie and brought chills to everyone with his delicious debut outing “Pizza” starring the versatile Macho Vijay Sethupathy.
Let’s Talk Cinema
Karthik did two short films during his onshore visit to the states. He was set and ready to venture into making featured films. He quit the job and came down to Madurai to make his interest a reality for his life. It was the time when short films made a huge Impression on audiences and people were busy surfing YouTube for the 30 minute outings. There was a show from a popular TV channel and it was one of it’s kind. Naalaya Iyakunar is the show that made Karthik Subburaj to showcase his crafted works in the contest. His short film Kaatchipizhai, shot in Madurai was the one that brought accolades to him and he came into limelight.
Another one of his works, the comedy “Black and white” went on to several film fests and was positively acclaimed by the film critics. He was glorified with the Second place in the contest for his movie “Neer” in which he touched upon the most sensitive eezham subject. Karthik got a huge opportunity to learn many things during this contest. He got introduced to Cartoonist Madan and Prathap Pothen, who were judging the show. He spent nearly 15K to take every short film and his crew grew bigger. The savings from the IT job helped with these times and his parents helped too.
After winning the second place in the contest, it took him a year and a half to come up with his feature film Pizza(2012). The experience and the contacts he earned through this short film journey supported him to finish the film at the top level. Pizza was one of its kind that had several techniques which no one has tried in our Tamil Industry. He just made the movie with one torch for the intense scenes and the dark portions were obtained with natural lightings. The movie was a huge break for him and his lead actor Vijay sethupathy. Pizza started the horror uprising in Tamil and it is still prevailing.We can proudly say our man has initiated this success formula.
Trying different levels
Karthik’s father too had an interest in movies and his father is a huge fan of Thalaivar superstar and Mr.Subburaj debuted in Mundasupatti as Nanditha swetha’s father and he is fulfilling his dream by acting beside our Superstar in the upcoming blockbuster Kabali.
Naalaya Iyakunar show was memorable for our director as he became very close with other participants like Nalan Kumarasamy, Alphonse putharen, Balaji Mohan to name a few. A fraternity was soon formed and they started hanging out to discuss each other’s scripts and improvise them to make them top notch. Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simha, Karunakaran were part of this gang and they became successful actors after featuring in their films.
Karthik subburaj even debuted in a cameo role as the Jaguar car owner in the movie Soodhu kavvum which was directed by his friend Nalan Kumarasamy. In return he casted Nalan in a small role in his much acclaimed Jigarthanda which shows their friendship.
Most Celebrated antagonist “Assault Sethu”
In the year 2014, he was back with the Power packed story of Jigarthanda (2014 which was initially narrated to the producer C.V. Kumar before Pizza. Since this film required intense casting and a strong crew, C.V.Kumar opted to do a small film and then came Pizza. After the thunderous response for his first movie, he took up his dream project Jigarthanda which he badly wanted to direct.
The very special thing about Jigarthanda is its antagonist “Assault Sethu” needed a powerhouse performer to carry on the role. He even tried to cast Bollywood stars but nothing turned positive. Bobby Simha voluntarily approached him to portray this role for which our director refused initially but then casted Simha for the interest he shown.
The movie had a very unique storyline with more importance given to locales and music. Santhosh Narayanan composed the music for this flick and it was promoted as a Musical Gangster movie. Siddharth was casted in the lead role and Lakshmi Menon did the heroine’s plot. The most powerful character Assault sethu acted by Bobby simha fetched him the prestigious “National award for best Supporting Actor”. The movie claimed another national award for its editing, which went on to Vivek Harshan.
Rave Reviews & Appreciations
The movie’s treatment was very new to our audience and it just made everyone to feel that it’s a class apart. Even our superstar Rajnikanth was very much impressed with the sketch of the badass Assault Sethu and said that he would have done the role if Karthik proposed the story to him. Will anyone from the Industry deny the open offer of the legend? Hope karthik comes up with the standalone character for him.
Jigarthanda became an instant hit and was unanimously appreciated by film critics. Legendary director Mani Ratnam openly appreciated Karthik for his work and said he learnt many things from the movie which was icing on the cake for our director. Social media was full of praises for his movie and rave reviews fetched Blockbuster status for his second movie as a feature film maker.
Birth of StoneBench
Since, he knew that many short film makers are struggling to get a proper platform, Karthik Subburaj started Stone Bench Creations that will entertain short film makers by displaying their work to the world. He attempted something new by combining six different short films directed by six directors and made it as a feature film which is expected to hit the screens anytime soon.
He already started working on his third directorial venture “Iravi”. The movie is packed with star performers like S.J.Surya, Bobby Simha, Karunakaran and Vijay Sethupathi in the lead roles. Shooting of the movie has already completed and the post production works are in full swing. We can expect another blockbuster from his camp.
With only a very few films up his sleeve, he made a mark and influenced everyone to speak about it even after years. His style of film making is completely fresh and these people change the way of how a cinema is to be treated in this Era. The crew he handles are craving creative minds and they are the face of the next generation. Movieclickz team wishes him the best of luck for what he has done and the things to be done in the coming years. Hats Off to our Assault Sethu of Tamil Cinema. He set a right path to the young gen directors and we are immensely happy for him