Manikandan revealed that he had struggled to find a producer to back Lover since 2018.
Actor-screenwriter Manikandan is quite upbeat about his upcoming movie, Lover, which is likely to add to his growing influence as an emerging star in Tamil cinema.
Manikandan entered the film industry without a specific plan, working as a dubbing artist and writer and playing minor roles in movies before gradually securing more substantial roles in films with larger star casts and broader canvases.
His breakthrough acting role came in Kaala in 2018, a film written and directed by Pa Ranjith, featuring Superstar Rajinikanth in the lead role. In the film, he portrayed the rebellious son of Rajinikanth. Manikandan's acting career received a significant boost with his poignant performance as the tribal man Rajakannu in Jai Bhim (2021).
Taking his acting career to the next level, Manikandan achieved commercial success with his solo movie, Good Night. He aims to replicate this success and solidify his position in Tamil cinema with "Lover," scheduled for release on February 9.
In a recent interview, Manikandan revealed that he has been attached to the Lover project since 2018. Debut filmmaker Prabhuram Vyas shared the script with Manikandan after the release of Kaala, and he instantly became a fan of the script after the first reading.
"An actor faces a huge challenge in depicting the micro-emotions that a writer manages to capture in a character. There was no pretentiousness in Prabhuram Vyas's writing; all the traits and observations about the character were seamlessly blended into the narration in a very organic way," Manikandan told Galatta Plus.
However, at that time, neither Prabhuram Vyas nor Manikandan could find a producer willing to invest in their vision and talent. Despite pitching the movie to other stars without success, Good Night eventually opened new opportunities.
"After a point, he (Prabhuram Vyas) couldn't find the backing, so he gave up and went back to his day job as a copywriter. When we were halfway through the shoot of Good Night, my producer asked me if I had any other stories for the next movie. I narrated this story to the producer the same day, and he was deeply moved by it. We signed the film the very next day," recalled Manikandan.
Based on the trailer, Lover revolves around the emotional struggles of the protagonist when his girlfriend of six years seeks more time to decide on his marriage proposal. The rift widens as the hero, overpowered by jealousy and insecurity, spirals into self-destructive behaviour. Lover also stars Sri Gouri Priya, Kanna Ravi, and Harish Kumar, among others.