‘Karthik Dial Seytha Yenn’: A letter to unrequited love, after which some
It’s been 10 years since Karthik and Jessie went their respective ways in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, a decade since their story of unrequited love broke our hearts and catapulted Gautham Menon to romance auteur status in Tamil cinema.
Over the years, the question of what happened to STR and Trisha’s characters after they split has not just intrigued viewers, but seemingly the director also, as he’s indicated in many an interview.
Indeed, rumours were (and still are) rife that a feature film sequel is planned with STR reprising his role of a young director making his way in the industry, still plagued/ inspired by the forbidden memories of his ex.
However, Gautham Menon surprised audiences earlier this month by releasing the teaser of Karthik Dial Seytha Yenn, featuring Trisha getting on a call with the former love of her life, which opened up the narrative for tantalising possibilities.
Just as suddenly, the short film itself dropped on YouTube on Wednesday night, and what do you know, STR’s in it too!
The 12-minute footage, shot virtually using iPhone, is a phone call between Karthik and Jessie set in present-day, with the former (like everyone else) stuck at home during the pandemic when he discovers Jessie’s visiting Kerala (she lives in the US with her husband and twins) by seeing a picture on Facebook.
Karthik, who is worried about the lockdown affecting his film career with theatres shut and shooting called off, is also battling writers’ block — we see towards the end that his script is titled Kamal & Kadambari – A Love Story (Something that many fans have interpreted to be the possible name of a future GVM script about two star-crossed music lovers in London)
But back to Karthik and Jessie — he still pines for her, her love and her magical ability to inspire him, while she seems happy in her VTV afterlife, though quite happy to indulge him every now and then — it is revealed that the two have kept in touch over the years through phone calls and emails.
One suspects that Karthik Dial.. is a fun little project that came out of a phone call Gautham Menon had with Trisha or STR, and then decided to make it on an impulse. And the short is exactly that — and nothing more — a romanticised bit of fan-fiction if you will, except that in this case, it’s from the original creator himself.
So, was this necessary? While VTV’s ending was a heartbreaker when the film released, it was part of the reason why the film still holds cult resonance for many fans, and the closure — or the lack thereof — of the leads’ romance is something deeply associated with everyone’s memories of the film.
Yet, watching STR and Trisha channel their inner Karthik and Jessie is incredibly winsome, and as Rahman’s score (with lots of Aaromale and Hosanna to boot) plays alongside their conversation from time to time, it’s tough to not fall in love with them, maybe just a little bit, for a little while, all over again.
Watch Karthik Dial Seytha Yenn on YouTube