Malayalam cinema's popular director and actor Lal won a lot of accolades and positive feedback for his intense performance as Yema Raja in Dhanush and Mari Selvaraj's Karnan. Lal said that the Tirunelveli dialect is different from Chennai Tamil and as Karnan is a film that demands authentic Tirunelveli Tamil, he opted out.
"Dear All, Many of you have been asking me as to why I have not lent my own voice for Yema Raja in Karnan. As you all know Karnan is set in the backdrop of Tirunelveli; the dialect of Tamil spoken in Tirunelveli is very different from the Tamil spoken in Chennai. Even in Malayalam, if one is asked to speak in Thrissur dialect, it often ends up being a mere imitation, and nothing close to how a native of Thrissur would speak.
Moreover, Karnan is a movie in which the language and culture are of great importance and hence a unique dialect of the Tamil language has to be spoken to bring the character to a whole. The majority of the cast were locals themselves; there was a good chance that my dubbing would have stood out from the rest of them. As I did not want to give anything less than my 100% for this movie, I was skeptical. Due to the persistence of the crew including the director Mari Selvaraj Sir and Producer Kalaipuli S. Thanu Sir, I did go to Chennai for the dubbing sessions. However, it was for the good of the film, and also at my request, that the voice of a Tirunelveli native was used. Thank you for all your support and good words" wrote Lal on his Instagram page.
Lal's performance in Tamil films like Sandakozhi and the recent Sulthan also fetched him accolades.