'Kirrak Party will be a likeable remake'
…says a confident Nikhil, who got a taste of nostalgia while playing a college-goer in the Sharan Koppishetty-directorial
The expectations about actor Nikhil’s Kirrak Party are growing by the day. The 32-year-old actor explains what made him choose to work in this remake of the Kannada blockbuster Kirik Party. “When I watched the original, I instantly connected to the story and the lead actor’s characterisation. In hindsight, I haven’t worked in a proper college drama after my debut film Happy Days (2007). Even though I did get to play a student in a few other films, this is quite different from them. And in terms of characterisation, I feel my earlier films are no match to what you'll see in Kirrak Party.”
He adds that the film has evoked his campus memories. “The film reminded me of my engineering college life, of how I used to get involved in enraged arguments and pick up fights with other students (from the mechanical department) to organise college events. It brought back those memories, the feeling of joy and all of the incidents in my college life found a place in the narration.” The actor says he thoroughly enjoyed doing this film. “For the first time, Kirrak Party has given me the scope to play two distinct shades – as a young boy and a student leader. Personally, it was challenging as I had to bulk up my look for the student leader’s part.”
And if that wasn’t enough, the campus drama is also special to Nikhil as the screenplay and dialogues are provided by directors Sudheer Varma and Chandoo Mondeti. “Chandoo and Sudheer are my close friends and their contribution to this film is priceless. Also, everything went well because of my director Sharan Koppishetty who showed any signs of ego and apprehension.”
Nikhil’s film is apparently a faithful remake as the makers didn’t want to take any chances by amending the story or doing away with some characters. “It’s a frame-by-frame remake. We never wanted to tweak the story and retained all the characters. So we have seven leads in the film including myself, Rakendu Mouli, Viva Raghav and others who were roped in after the audition process. With the exception of few comedy scenes and an item number which we felt may hamper the narration, it’s a likeable remake with a run-time of 145 minutes,” says Nikhil.
Except for Shankarabharanam, Nikhil's films have done well at the box office, with five of his films being declared super hits. The actor has emerged as one of the promising young stars of the industry, and he is reasonably confident of Kirrak Party’s success. “My last projects Ekkadaki Pothavu Chinnavada and Keshava were box office hits. The former was released during the demonetisation time and still raked in Rs 20 crore at the box office, and the latter was a break-even. So, the success of these films have increased my responsibility as an actor, reinforced my decision to choose different scripts and stay focused. Keeping these in mind, we have spent over one year on Kirrak Party’s script. I’m pleased with the output and hoping to start this year with a success,” he says.
As for his upcoming films, Nikhil explains, “My next project is a remake of the Tamil film Kanithan and I’ve also committed to the sequel of Karthikeya under the direction of Chandoo Mondeti.”