Highlights of Indian 2 audio launch: The sequel stands against divisive ideologies, says Kamal Haasan

The event featured the cast and crew of 'Indian 2', including Kajal Aggarwal, Rakul Preet Singh, Bobby Simha, and Brahmanandam.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 03, 2024 | 1:29 PMUpdatedJun 03, 2024 | 1:54 PM

Team Indian 2 at the audio launch

The grand audio launch event for Indian 2 took place at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Saturday night, 2 June.

The event marked not only the release of the film’s soundtrack but also the reunion of Kamal Haasan and director Shankar, since their 1996 collaboration in Indian.

The star-studded event featured the cast and crew of Indian 2, including Kajal Aggarwal, Rakul Preet Singh, Bobby Simha, and Brahmanandam.

Actor Silambarasan along with directors Lokesh Kanagaraj and Nelson Dilipkumar were also in attendance at Indian 2 audio launch.

Actor-singer Shruti Haasan delighted fans with a medley of Kamal’s hits.

Cast share their Indian 2 experiences

Kajal Aggarwal expressed that she gleaned a wealth of knowledge from Kamal Haasan, and working with Shankar was a moment she had long dreamed of.

Rakul Preet remarked on Kamal Haasan’s exceptional dedication and his consistent pursuit of challenges. “I’ve gained invaluable lessons from him. Now, I can proudly claim to be a leading lady in a Shankar sir film as well.”

Telugu actor Brahmanandam lauded Shankar, recognising him not just as a renowned director on the global stage but also as an exceptional individual.

Brahmanandam commended Kamal for his unwavering commitment to acting and expressed pride in being counted among his contemporaries.

Rahman’s music inspires me: Anirudh

Anirudh Ravichander, who previously worked with Kamal Haasan in Vikram, is joining hands with Shankar for the first time in Indian 2 and its subsequent sequel, Indian 3.

“I grew up in the 90s admiring Shankar sir as my favourite director. For the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of closely collaborating with him on this film. I like how he takes the time to elaborate on the setting, intricacies, and lyrical details. It’s indeed a privilege for me to have the chance to work with him.”

Addressing the lasting popularity of AR Rahman’s music in Indian, Anirudh acknowledged the high expectations, particularly given the sequel’s release 28 years after the original film.

“Rahman sir’s music continues to be a source of inspiration for me.”

Also Read: Indian 2 to release in theatres on 12 July 

What guests said

Nelson Dilipkumar, who directed Bigg Boss Tamil (hosted by Kamal), spoke about the long journey of Indian 2, saying, “Shankar sir pushes boundaries and elevates Tamil cinema to new heights.”

Lokesh Kangaraj, who directed the veteran actor in Vikram (2022), mentioned that he always asked for updates on Indian 2 whenever he met someone involved with the film.

“To get Kamal sir’s signature on Vikram‘s contract, I visited the set of Indian 2 and had the chance to see him in the Indian thatha avatar,” Lokesh added.

Silambarasan, who’s a part of Mani Ratnam-Kamal Haasan’s Thug Life, said, “If my father, T Rajendherr, guides me behind the camera, Kamal sir is my on-screen mentor. I cannot fully express my gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with him. While the industry now focuses on pan-Indian films, he was already exploring multiple languages well before it became a trend. The title ‘Indian’ truly epitomises Kamal sir.”

Director Shankar gets candid

Reflecting on collaborating with Kamal Haasan after nearly three decades, Shankar remarked, “While some veteran actors might find their work repetitive, Kamal sir continually refines his acting prowess.”

He added Kamal Haasan wanted to do an Indian sequel back then but he didn’t have a story.

The filmmaker reminisced about feeling a rush of excitement when he first saw Kamal Haasan in the Indian thatha attire during the filming in 1996.

Shankar and Kamal

Shankar and Kamal. (Supplied)

“Even to this date, it’s disheartening to see constant reports of bribery and corruption in newspapers. It made me contemplate what actions the character of Indian thatha would take in response to such circumstances. This sparked an idea after the release of 2.O. (2018),” Shankar added.

Further, he expressed admiration for working with Anirudh, highlighting his versatility and ability to compose songs across various genres due to his exceptional talent.

During discussions about the remaining cast, the director offered heartfelt tributes to the late actors Vivekh and Manobala.

“Though they are no longer with us, their presence in Indian 2 will give you the feeling that they will forever remain among us. Vivekh sir portrayed a unique character, and there’s remarkable chemistry between him and Indian thatha. Siddharth’s performance is outstanding, possibly deserving of an award, and SJ Suryah has portrayed a character distinct from his previous roles,” Shankar said.

He also spoke about the challenges the film encountered during its production phase.

“Production had to be halted for a couple of years, and it was Udhayanidhi Stalin who stepped in and resolved the issues. The climax of the film holds many surprises, and I’m grateful to have Vasanthabalan, Chimbudevan, and Arivazhagan, who have previously collaborated with me, working as second unit directors. Additionally, I’ve employed the animated version of RK Laxman’s Common Man cartoon character as a storytelling device in the film.”

During the audio launch, Shankar disclosed that Kajal Aggarwal isn’t the female lead in Indian 2, but will feature prominently in the third instalment.

Both Indian 2 and Indian 3 were filmed simultaneously and the third part is anticipated for release six months after the second (likely in January 2025).

Also Read: Kamal Haasan reveals big updates about his ‘Thug Life’ and ‘Indian 2’

Kamal Haasan, the show-stealer

Kamal Haasan, who concluded the Indian 2 audio launch, reflected on his longstanding association with Shankar.

“He initially aimed to make his debut film with me, but I wasn’t satisfied with his story. After achieving success with a few films, he returned with another script, which eventually became Indian.”

Kamal was 40-something when he portrayed an older character in Indian. “I noticed that some speculated my character’s age in the new film to be around 120. I can assure you that he is only about 15 years older than I am currently.”

Kamal Haasan at the audio launch

Kamal Haasan at the audio launch. (Supplied)

The actor-politician expressed his aspiration to witness a Tamilian leading the nation while upholding the unity that India cherishes.

He reportedly stated, “Yaadhum oore, yavarum kelir. (Every city is your city; everyone is your kin.) We are renowned for extending hospitality to those who visit our State. Why shouldn’t there come a time when a Tamilian assumes leadership of the country? This land is my homeland, and we must preserve its unity.”

Kamal Haasan went on to add, “Some have likened me to spiritual figures like Buddha, but both he and I are rationalists. Indian 2 and Indian 3 stand against divisive ideologies. When the British partitioned India, they had the option to retreat to London, but those fostering division within India have no such escape route.”

Indian 2, which comes with the tagline ‘Zero Tolerance’, has been in production since 2019, will see Kamal Haasan reprise his role as Senapathy.

The sequel will also feature Kajal Aggarwal, Siddharth, and Rakul Preet in lead roles.

Indian 2 was temporarily put on hold after an accident injured the crew on sets in 2020. The shooting was also delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Filming resumed in 2022, with Shankar juggling shooting between this and Ram Charan-Kiara Advani’s Game Changer.

Indian 2 will be released on 12 July.

Also Read: Ram Charan’s ‘Game Changer’ likely to be pushed to Sankranthi 2025