Martial arts coach ventures into show business with Tamil flick

Ready to kick into stardom: Arivalagan (third from left) with Deepan, Jamaliah, Kavitha, Yamini and Sharuddin.

Ready to kick into stardom: Arivalagan (third from left) with Deepan, Jamaliah, Kavitha, Yamini and Sharuddin.

IT WILL be a new stage for former national karate exponent P. Arivalagan.

After dominating the Malaysian karate scene as an exponent and coach, Arivalagan, who had represented Malaysia in the SEA Games, Asian Games and World championships, has now ventured into a new and equally challenging world — show business.

The 41-year-old has come out with a Tamil movie, Victory, which premiers in Malaysia today.

The seven-time SEA Games gold medallist said he was keen to do something related to the sport that had brought him fame and honour.

“It has been karate for me since childhood. After retiring from competition, I had to look for a new challenge. Karate was the only activity that interested me. I felt I should do something for the sport. I chose to do a movie.

“The story is about a karate exponent who goes through several obstacles to excel. The movie depicts the struggles and challenges sportsmen and sportswomen go through to bring glory to the country,” he said.

To realise his ambitions, Arivalagan encouraged his former proteges to be part of the movie.

Almost 60% of the cast are former national karate exponents.

They include G. Yamini, siblings Jamaliah and Shaharudin Jamaludin, Mohd Hatta Mahmud, Lee Wen Yuen, C. Maalani and G. Theeban. All five are members of the Hayashi-Ha Karate Association and represented Malaysia in various international competitions.

Arivalagan said a new path has been created for national karate exponents to pursue after their sporting career.

“The movie will also be a platform for the karate exponents to show their acting talent. They took to their roles well and did not encounter any problem in performing their part.

“Of course, they received a lot of encouragement and advice from their co-stars who are veteran artistes,” he added.

Among the seasoned actors sharing the screen in the one-hour-and-40-minute-long film are Sasitharan, Kavitha Thiagarajan, Ben G, Ghana, Adam Corrie and Zack Taipan.

“The movie took us about one-and-half years to complete. We hope it will be well received by the Malaysian public.

“We have been getting a lot of positive feedback since the trailer was released two weeks ago. It is an action movie with some exciting stunts,” said Arivalagan.

The movie, directed by P. Ramesh, was shot around the Klang Valley and Cameron Highlands and features three songs.

Arivalagan said he was looking forward to playing an active part in the local entertainment scene.

“I have ventured into another exciting field. Just like in karate, I am determined to make it in this new arena,” he added.

Victory will be screened at 25 cinemas nationwide.