Varun on Gautham Menon’s ‘Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha’ how it belongs to the ‘Dhruva Natchathiram’ universe and more


“Go with the flow. Don’t plan too much or have any expectations.” This guiding philosophy articulated by actor Varun resonates profoundly as he reflects upon his time in the making of ‘Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha’, helmed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, the esteemed director pulling the strings. The long-awaited film is finally making its way to the audience, ending its five-year production saga.

The narrative of ‘Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha’ unfurls with Varun, a young actor, whose aspirations received an unexpected jolt when Gautham Menon, renowned for his work with A-listers, bestowed upon him the lead role in a movie reminiscent of the action-packed ‘John Wick’ series, in Tamil. This marked the actor’s chance to make his mark, an opportunity he embraced wholeheartedly, dedicating himself body and soul to the role — an investment that found itself hanging in limbo as release dates stretched indefinitely.

Navigating through a rollercoaster of emotions, from initial shock and subsequent dejection to a state of grudging acceptance and hopeful anticipation, Varun recounts, “Joshua taught me that you cannot plan certain things, especially when it comes to cinema; you have to be in a neutral state. This is why even now, days before the release, I am conditioning my mind to just go with the flow and to not have any expectations about the result of the movie; because setting up a lot of expectations can disappoint you as well.”

The production of ‘Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha’ was interwoven with the schedules of Menon’s other commitments – the filming of ‘Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu’, the post-production phase of ‘Enai Nokki Paayum Thota’, and the development of ‘Dhruva Natchathiram’. Varun and the team found themselves surfing on the edges of Menon’s calendar, grabbing shooting sessions amidst his scattered availabilities.

The unpredictable tumult of 2020 further took its toll. A global pandemic ground the world to a halt, including their plans for a key shooting stint in the United States. Amidst delayed production, a quest for quality CGI that met international standards, and the intertwining release timelines with ‘Dhruva Natchathiram’, the journey of ‘Joshua’ was anything but smooth.

Varun, who embodies a hitman charged with the protection of Kundhavi Chidambaram, evolved from his initial preoccupation with impressing Menon to understanding the broader collaborative essence of filmmaking. The emphasis wasn’t solely on Menon’s approval but on creating moments on screen that resonate with the audience. “A film is a collective process of creating a magical moment that the audience should enjoy,” he elucidates.

The young actor shares interesting details about his role and the preparation it entailed – from learning Mixed Martial Arts and parkour to adhering to the precise standards Menon set during rehearsals. Varun reveals an intriguing tidbit: the character played by Dhivyadharshini in ‘Joshua’ connects to ‘Dhruva Natchathiram’, carving a novel intersection within Menon’s cinematic universe that will become clear upon the viewing of both films.

As the release of ‘Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha’ approaches, expectations are understandably running high. Varun’s belief in Gautham Menon’s unique style and storytelling remains unshakeable, and with the march toward a March 1, 2024, theatrical release underway, there is a palpable eagerness among the fans for what promises to be a rewarding cinematic experience.

Through the trials and tribulations, Varun has emerged with a lesson in perseverance and the importance of maintaining equipoise in the unpredictability of the film industry. ‘Joshua: Imai Pol Kaakha’ withstood the tests of time and is poised to deliver on the excitement it has built over the years. The anticipation among Tamil cinema enthusiasts and Gautham Menon’s followers is palpable as they await this action-packed venture that is sure to deliver on thrills and spills alike.

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