'Still don't know why Ulkuthu got delayed'
... says Dinesh who feels he hasn't done enough romantic roles yet
A sense of relief is evident in Dinesh's voice, thanks to his long-delayed Ulkuthu opening to positive reviews. He says he's clueless till date on why the film got delayed. "Usually, delays happen because someone isn't doing the work they're supposed to, but as far as Ulkuthu is concerned, all of us did our work perfectly. Ironically, we wrapped up the entire film's shoot in just 37 days. We even finished the fight sequences in a day or two, which usually takes days together. I know there were production issues, but I still don't know what they were," laments Dinesh.
But that's not stopping him from rejoicing in the film's success. He believes it's because of the film's action sequences. "The film had a lot of action when compared to my previous films. And thanks to Dilip master, the action sequences are being praised now," he says, adding that he really liked the message in the climax.
The film was a reunion of sorts for Dinesh. Ulkuthu brought back the combination of Dinesh and Nandita Sweta after 2012's Attakathi, which was the debut film for both the actors. "During Attakathi, Nandita wasn't comfortable with Tamil but she has gotten a strong command over the language now. Na ippo varaikum English pesa kathukittu irruken," he laughs. Dinesh is all praise for his co-star. "She's very sensible about the happenings around her and doesn't take time to change costumes. She would quickly change in a room nearby instead of heading to her caravan."
He's got lots to say about the technicians as well, because he'd worked with the film's director Caarthick Raju in Thirudan Police and with the cinematographer PK Varma in Attakathi and Cuckoo. "The comfort level was at an all-time high. That's probably why we were able to wrap up the shoot in record time." Talking about how different it was to work on this film compared to Thirudan Police, Dinesh says, "Ulkuthu had way more shots when compared to our previous film. Usually, makers show variations in scenes, but Caarthick wanted to show variations in shots itself. It was tiring, but the results made it all worth it," he adds.
The film is also Dinesh's first release in two years. Ask him if such an extended break doesn't affect an upcoming actor, he says, "In the beginning, I didn't realise that as I never worked for money. But obviously even to make a phone call or buy rice, we need money. That said, we commit to a film, and if, after putting in all the hardwork, the film doesn't get to see the light of day, that pain is worse."
He was criticised for his performance in Oru Naal Koothu, with many saying his stone-faced reactions were in complete contrast to his performances in Attakathi and the award-winning Visaranai. "I actually wanted to clarify this for a long time. What I did in Oru Naal Koothu was an extended cameo. It is a women-centric film with the three heroines being the leads. After that film, I realized why actors are unwilling to commit to doing cameos. My character was one with an inferiority complex, so that dullness was necessary for that role."
Dinesh has been lucky enough to have played some very varied roles--a college student, a gangster and a cop--all in a short span. Ask him what else is left, and he says, "I wish I could do films similar to Arangetra Velai, Naane Raja Naane Mandhiri, Indru Poi Naalai Vaa and Oru Kai Osai. Even Attakathi 2 sounds like a good idea. If you're about specific characters, I haven't done a regular romance. Dubai-le poi duet padalam," he laughs.
He has an impressive line up of films this year. "I've got the political satire Annanukku Jai, directed by Rajkumar who assisted Vetrimaaran, releasing in February. Following that, I have an adult comedy. I've also got Kalavani Mapillai in the pipeline directed by Gandhi Manivasagam (son of late director Manivasagam). And before you ask, I'm not a part of Kaala (smiles)." He's also floated his own production banner - Annanuku Jai Film Company. "My next film will be under my own production. I'm choosing from a couple of scripts for that." Looks like 2018 is going to be a busy one for Dinesh.