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Thursday, September 28, 2023

‘Dubai’s Monarch’: Dulquer Salmaan Promises Thrills

Indian actor Dulquer Salmaan’s new film “King of Kotha” (KoK) is set to release on Thursday, marking his ascension as a pan-Indian star. After the massive success of his Telugu film “Sita Ramam” and his award-winning performance in “Chup” in 2022, Dulquer Salmaan, also known as DQ, is now gearing up for two consecutive releases in 2023.

His debut series “Guns and Gulaab” premiered on Netflix last week, followed by the highly anticipated “KoK.”

“King of Kotha” narrates the story of Kotha, a violent and lawless land, with Dulquer Salmaan playing the lead character Raju, known as the “king” of Kotha. The film has generated significant excitement and is poised to make box office history in Kerala, where it has already sold around Dh1.2 million worth of early tickets.

Originally shot in Malayalam, “KoK” will be released in four languages across 40 countries, including Japan, Australia, and Sri Lanka. In the GCC region, it’s distributed by Fun Asia Network and will screen in over 140 theaters.

The movie features Aishwarya Lakshmi, Nyla Usha, Prasanna, and Shabeer Kallarakkal, and marks the directorial debut of Abhilash Joshiy, son of renowned Malayalam director Joshiy. The film also includes an item number titled “Kalapakkaara,” performed by Ritika Singh, which has become a social media sensation.

During their visit to Dubai, the film’s stars engaged in a lively chat with Team KT, sharing insights and anecdotes about the movie.

Dulquer Salmaan: Our trailers and promotions have kept much of the movie under wraps. There are numerous layers to this film, and some aspects that gained traction happened organically.

Aishwarya: What you’ve seen is just a glimpse; there’s much more to discover in the film.

Shabeer: The entire experience of the movie was incredible. I relished the football scenes, the fights, and the physical demands of my role. With elements of friendship, drama, and revenge, working with this cast was a dream come true.

Dulquer: We meticulously crafted the fictional world of Kotha, distinct from any real place. We wanted to create a truly unique environment.

Prasanna: Initially, I thought filming in Karaikudi was about catering to Tamil audiences due to its pan-Indian nature. However, I realized they aimed to establish something entirely new. Karaikudi doesn’t appear in the film; it’s something entirely different.

Aishwarya: Exploring the layers of Kotha’s world was enthralling. Each day and location revealed new dimensions. The art director deserves immense credit.

Dulquer: In Karaikudi, we were the circus that never left (laughs). The town embraced us warmly, and its rich culture and history were captivating.

Nyla: For me, the challenge was flying from Dubai to Karaikudi each time. The fresh air and delicious food made it worthwhile.

The viral song “Kalapakkara”:

Aishwarya: Nowadays, songs must be Instagram-worthy, which influenced our approach.

Dulquer: Surprisingly, none of us knew the hook step. Ritika performed various steps, and we assumed one might catch on. Yet, the chorus step went viral. Our choreographer had a plan; we just didn’t know.

Ritika: During an event, I was asked to perform the hook step, and I asked, ‘Which is the hook step?’ That’s when I realized it had gone viral.

Interesting facts:

Dulquer: Despite a busy schedule, I personally dubbed KoK in all four languages. I dislike hearing someone else’s voice for my roles in languages I understand. It’s also a way to show appreciation for their love.

Nyla: Balancing her radio presenting role in Dubai for nearly two decades with shooting required meticulous planning, like flying straight from the set to her studio.

Overall, the stars revealed their excitement and challenges, giving us a glimpse into the making of “King of Kotha.”

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