Actor Dileep, director Raffi on 'Voice of Sathyanathan'

The Indian cinema giants visited the Khaleej Times office to discuss the film which also stars Veena Nandakumar


Husain Rizvi

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Published: Tue 25 Jul 2023, 5:22 PM

In an exclusive interview, director Raffi and lead actor Dileep revealed intriguing details about their latest Malayalam film, Voice of Sathyanathan. The duo, during their visit to the Khaleej Times office, shared their experiences and thoughts on the film that released on July 24, its shooting locations, and the expectations from their audience.

The film Voice of Sathyanathan revolves around the titular character, whose words unwittingly turn anyone he speaks to into his enemy. This peculiar condition, labelled a "slip of the tongue," leads to a series of hilarious yet tumultuous events. In a surprising turn of events, Sathyanathan's words even reach the ears of the Indian president, pitting a common man against the leader of the nation. The director, Raffi (Role Models, Two Countries), explained the inspiration behind the story, stating, "It's from someone. I was told that it has happened somewhere, though I don't have concrete evidence of that."

Lead actor Dileep (Thilakkam, Ramaleela), familiar with similar stories reported in newspapers, expressed his eagerness to bring this unique narrative to life. He recalled, "I heard about that one guy because of his problem - the slip of the tongue. He made some speeches, and that created a big problem in his own life. And that's why this subject will be interesting."

Sharing an extraordinary bond, Raffi and Dileep's friendship traces back to their days as mimics and mimicry artists on stage. Fondly reminiscing their journey together, Dileep said, "I acted in his movie Punjabi House in 1998. And from there, we've worked on so many movies. This is our 25th year, and we are blessed with a good project jointly. We are also planning to work on other movies in the future."

Veena Nandakumar, who plays Sathyanathan's wife in the film, impressed the director and lead actor with her captivating performance. Dileep praised her portrayal, stating, "We first looked up to Veena for this character, she's the wife of Sathyanathan. She's too bold and too cool, and her presence adds to the movie's dynamics."

The filmmakers embarked on an expansive shooting schedule across India, capturing diverse cultures and breathtaking visuals. Raffi and Dileep expressed their pride in portraying different states and historical locations, affirming the country's shooting-friendly environment.

When asked about their favourite part of the film, Raffi mentioned the climactic scenes, while Dileep emphasised Sathyanathan's nationwide travels, which result in a chain of humorous and intense situations. The film features an ensemble cast, including Joju George, Jaffer Sadiq, and others, further elevating the film's appeal.

Both Raffi and Dileep expressed their desire for audience support and success. Dileep asserted, "We want a huge success with the support of the audience. The final judges are the audience, and we are working for their engagement, their blessings."

The conversation shifted towards the impact of South Indian films, with Bollywood remaking classic originals. Dileep and Raffi viewed these adaptations as an honour, witnessing their stories and characters reaching wider audiences. Dileep fondly recalled, "I acted in Body Guard, which was remade in Tamil and Hindi. To see actors like Vijay sir and Salman Khan portray my character is truly fulfilling."

As the conversation concluded, the duo expressed their gratitude for the warm reception and anticipation surrounding Voice of Sathyanathan. The film promises to be a delightful and entertaining experience for the audience, and Raffi and Dileep eagerly await their viewers' support and feedback, acknowledging them as the ultimate judges of their creative endeavours.

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