Sai Pallavi's Tamil debut has been long in the coming. She was initially supposed to act in Mani Ratnam's Kaatru Veliyidai. However, the role went to Aditi Rao Hydari.
Although immensely popular in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the Malayalam film Premam which became a blockbuster in both states, fans have had to wait for quite a while to see her in a Tamil film. The actor's Karu, which has now been titled Diya in Tamil and Kanam in Telugu, will hit the screens on April 27 at last.
The film was supposed to release in February. However, it was postponed and was unable to get a new release date because of the 48 days-long strike called by the Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Council (TFPC). Directed by AL Vijay, Diya/Kanam is a horror film which revolves around the issue of abortion. Although Sai Pallavi has done only a handful of films so far, she has managed to score a project centred around her character, produced by Lyca, which is known to back hero-centric, big budget films. So far, it's only women actors like Anushka Shetty, Nayanthara, and Trisha - who've been in the industry for over a decade - who have ventured into doing such films.
Interestingly, Rajinikanth's Kaala, distributed by Lyca, was originally supposed to release on April 27. However, the film has been rescheduled because of the TFPC. It will now release on June 7.
Sai Pallavi is also popular in Telugu, having delivered hits like Fidaa and MCA. By making the film a bilingual, the makers will be hoping to catch her extensive fanbase, spread across states. The film also stars Naga Shourya and has music by Sam CS.
From what we've seen so far of the promos, the story appears to revolve around a young woman, played by Sai Pallavi, who gets an abortion done and is haunted by the child the fetus would have grown into. Horror films surrounding pregnancy are dime a dozen. The Siddharth-Andrea starrer Aval, also touched on abortion although it was in the context of female feticide. It remains to be seen if Diya/Kanam will break out of such familiar tropes.
Sai Pallavi is known to pick substantial roles and meaningful films. The actor was first seen on screen in a blink-and-miss non-speaking role in Dham Dhoom, which had Kangana Ranaut and Jayam Ravi in the lead roles. From there to the success she now enjoys has been a phenomenal leap. The actor will next be seen in Maari 2, which stars Dhanush, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, and Tovino Thomas among others. She has also signed the Suriya film NGK.