TODAY! Jan 14 2011

Arresting drama:Vasantham police drama Vettai hits all the right notes - with its theme song a huge hit in Singapore and JB

THE action-packed, cliffhanger-laden crime drama Vettai, currently showing on MediaCorp TV Vasantham, hasn't only got avid fans hooked, its catchy theme song is also making waves, here and across the Causeway.

Vettai, which means "to hunt" in Tamil, is a 72-parter about a police unit assembled to tackle cold cases involving the Indian community.

The pulsing theme song was written and performed by Vasantham Star 2005 winner Shabir, who also stars as mysterious, broody cop Nantha. The song was inspired by the scripts, and features Malaysian rapper Emcee Jasz.

"Fans have told me this is my best so far," Shabir said.

"It's become a huge hit, to the point where in JB town, they are distributing the CDs in shops!"

For Shabir, playing an emo cop was a much bigger challenge than making music - even though he was in the Special Operations Command police unit during his National Service days.

"Nantha puts up a tough front," said Shabir, but "there are many scenes where he goes home, opens a can of beer, and starts tearing and reminiscing the past. An erratic character."

In contrast, the married father of two little girls describes himself as a fun-loving person. "Playing such a role gives me a headache, literally, every time I get home."

Gayathiri plays the team's only female member, and she's reaped the benefits of Shabir's police experience, including tips on how to hold a gun.

"I learned that you're not supposed to put your finger close to the trigger if you don't intend to shoot," the Unmahtham Ahguthadi and Devathaigal actress said.

The actors did all of their own stunts and action scenes, so the shoot - as the relatively new actor Sathish learnt - was no walk in the park.

"In one particular scene, I had to jump off a carpark roof," recounted the 21-year-old.

"It took me 11 tries before I took that leap! But I was like, 'If I don't take the leap, I don't deserve to be on set.' So I jumped.

"And when the adrenaline got to me, I was like, 'Can I go for one more jump?'"

All that has been worth it because, as Gayathiri said: "The feedback on the show has been excellent. There are people who have told me that they're addicted to the drama. If there's a suspenseful scene, everyone comes and asks us what exactly happens next, because they cannot wait. And everyone loves Shabir's song."


Catch Vettai ( Mondays to Thursdays at 10.30pm on MediaCorp TV Vasantham.