Merry Christmas is billed as a trademark Sriram Raghavan outing comprising all the tropes and genre elements that the filmmaker is supremely popular for.
A Sriram Raghavan film would never skip the radar of a moviebuff and if the filmmaker is putting together another thriller with Vijay Sethupathi and Katrina Kaif as its two leads, you know that something very rousing and exciting is on the cards. The film we refer to is, of course, Merry Christmas which is billed as a trademark Sriram Raghavan outing comprising all the tropes and elements that the filmmaker is supremely popular for - the pop-culture references and trivia, the tongue-in-cheek humour, the very B-movie-like vibe, you name it.
The first poster of Merry Christmas, which was released earlier today on July 17, teases all this and more, and to make things a little more interesting, the Hindi poster includes a cheesy caption that goes "Raat Jitni Sangeen Hogi, Subah Utni Rangeen Hogi" (The more broody the night gets, the more colourful the morning becomes).
The reason we specify there's a Hindi version is that for the first time in his career, Sriram Raghavan has made the same film in two different languages. Merry Christmas, which is conveniently titled in English, will release simultaneously in both Hindi and Tamil on December 15, 2023. Vijay Sethupathi and Katrina Kaif (and a child artiste) will be seen playing their respective parts in both versions with two different sets of 'local' actors roped in for the sake of the nativity. For example, Vinay Pathak plays a particular character in Hindi whereas Radhika Sarathkumar comes in his place for the Tamil release.
Speaking about the rather surprising choice to make a film in two different languages, Sriram Raghavan says, "I wanted to make a Tamil film as well because Vijay (Sethupathi) is an acclaimed actor in the South and I thought it would be good for us to make two versions. They are broadly the same - 95% of it all is the same but, of course, the language, the idiom, everything changes. And some characters, too, change so that it doesn't look like a dubbed film. Also, I am Tamilian myself so this was one chance and I thought "let me try and make a Tamil film". So, it is a two-in-one kind of film."
Merry Christmas (Hindi) also includes Sanjay Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Pratima Kannan and Tinnu Anand as part of its principal cast with Radhika Sarathkumar, Shanmugaraja, Kevin Jay Babu and Rajesh Williams joining the Tamil version.