Debutant director Srikantan says characters from actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan starrer “Mumbai Express” had a huge impact on his forthcoming Tamil crime comedy “Thappu Thanda”.”The comedy in ‘Mumbai Express’ is very different. You find the characters are doing something serious on screen but their actions make audiences laugh. The best example is of Pasupathy’s character in the film. This is the same template I have used for my film,” Srikantan told IANS.

“Kamal sir popularised this style of comedy. He has done it in films such as ‘Michael Madana Kamarajan’,” he said.

A dark comedy, the film will be on the lines of “Soodhu Kavvum”.

“But it won’t be exactly like ‘Soodhu Kavvum’. The crime angle and its comic treatment will be the common elements. The story is set against the backdrop of election campaign and how the money exchanged during that period gets robbed,” he said.

Slated for release on Friday, the film stars Sathya, Shweta Gai, Mime Gopi, Ajay Ghosh and John Vijay.

An erstwhile assistant of legendary filmmaker Balu Mahendra, Srikantan wants to make a mark with his own brand of cinema.

“I’m aware a lot of people would expect me to do his kind of cinema. But he had told me once do whata¿s important for survival. He said if I have to do certain type of cinema to sustain, then I should do it. Moreover, he said why two people should make similar kind of movies,” he added.