As the international gaze of film fans expands, the attention received by India’s film industry has exploded. Without question, action films created in this country are among the most exciting, fresh, and daring of all those being created presently. Preferring traditional means rather than a CGI spectacle, the productions of India have their own look and tone as a result of the extraordinary talent creating them. Charismatic actors like Manoj Sakarapani are often the most visible element of this industry. Sakarapani stars alongside Vemal (of the massive 2022 web-series Vilangu), Sathish, and Misha Narang in the soon to be released feature film “Fierce Hands” (Thudikkum Karangal in the native Tamil). Directed by Veduloss, the plot hearkens back to vigilante heroes like Bruce Willis and Charles Bronson who saw justice overlooked and a need to balance the scales. While Odiyan Talkies (the film’s production company) is keeping the fine details under wraps until the film’s upcoming release, the trailer hints at this film’s drama and visual spectacle (courtesy of cinematographer Rammy). Manoj Sakarapani professes, “Thudikkum Karangal is a thrilling story! It was exciting to be a part of making this film alongside such a famous actor as Vemal and the entire cast and crew. There’s been so much positive feedback about the film already. I’m so excited for the public to see it.”
Mr. Sakarapani, whose acting career began in Canada, aids in bringing some of the international attention to Thudikkum Karangal that it’s now receiving. Known for costarring alongside such celebrated Indian actors as Santhan Bharathi (famed for the National Film Award Winning Mahanadhi) and Nandi Award Winner Bhanupriya, Manoj’s appearance with Vemal in this film reinforces the notion that he is one of the country’s most respected thespians among his peers and collaborators in addition to being a fan favorite. His character, a doctor in the largest hospital in India, is crucial to the events that unfold in the plot. Described as a compassionate and gifted doctor but one whom is also under the immense pressure of stabilizing the literal lives of his numerous patients, Manoj reveled in the opportunity to bathe in the pressure cooker of this character. He communicates, “Drama is where my heart belongs. It’s the thing I truly love. Drama consoled me when I was a kid and could see various walks of life and perceive that everything has all elements to it: joy, mercy, kindness, hatred, violence, jealousy, tragedy, winning, and going all the way to make your passion happen.”
The final definition of any actor is their believability. As the saying goes, “It’s hard to describe but when you see it, you know it.” This is a perfect description of the intensity which Manoj brings as a major asset to every film he is a part of. Stories have been leaked from the set of Thudikkum Karangal about Vemal proclaiming his high regard for Manoj’s performance. These echo the sentiment of American director Jimi Stewart who worked with Sakarapani on The Don is Dead. Stewart declares, “Manoj is a Superstar. Pretending is not acting and Manoj Sakarapani is an actor who doesn’t pretend!” Perhaps these types of reactions are a result of the unexpected and unique nature of Manoj’s approach to his work. He’s a wellspring of the unexpected, such as when asked to point out an actor and scene he finds inspiring. Without hesitation, Sakarapani notes, “There’s a scene in Iron Man where Robert Downey Jr. responds to a question from a reporter without any over-acting, just natural and as it would be in life; that’s the honesty that the scene required and I admire it.” See the honesty of Manoj Sakarapani in Thudikkum Karangal, out soon.
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