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Instant and instinctive



Revathi and Suhasini... the rapport is unique.

FRIENDS IN real life - friends in reel life. The clichés apart, this is what they stand for. Two accomplished women. National Award winners — one for acting, the other for acting and directing. Imagine the synergy! It's fairly early in the day. On the third floor of a building in Raja Annamalaipuram, work is going on. Apart from the two of them there is the producer, the cameraman, a junior artiste. One is acting, while the other directs her. It is all very smooth because they don't really need to tell each other what to do. Their understanding of each other's requirements is instinctive. A mere nod conveys everything. Within minutes shots are decided and canned. The action is almost always approved in the first take. Naturally, because this is something they have been doing for years and preparation is only a formality. Yes. It is Suhasini Maniratnam and Revathi! And what are they doing? A telefilm for Manobala, who thought it would be wonderful, if the two got together and wrote, scripted, acted and directed it between themselves. And Manobala was right. On that day it was Revathi who was acting and Suhasini was directing her. ``I was very excited," says Revathi. ``Basically it's a lot of fun, and I've known Hasini and I'm really amazed at her skills as a scriptwriter. I've not tried my hand at scripting, but she said lets sit down together and work this out. And that's how `Friends' as it has been titled, came into being.'' ``We sat up one whole night and wrote it,'' says Suhasini. who was also busy telling the junior artist how to make her appearance, ``It was Manobala's idea,'' she adds. ``He asked me to write the first half and said it would be a good idea if Revathi finished it.'' So what's ``Friends" all about? It's about two people. Their lives from the time they were both in school. One is a romantic dreamer who wants marriage and children and the other wants to conquer the world and does not want to get married. But destiny has something else for them. Somewhere along the way they drift apart and after a long separation, are thrown together again proving that true friendship never actually ends. ``The best part is,'' says Suhasini, ``we never felt there was any acting going on. The kind of understanding we both share is something quite amazing. There are hardly any corrections and it has been very easy. A good fallout is that Revathi is now inspired to write more." And how was it to be directed by Revathi? Says Suhasini, ``Very nice. She has a good visual sense and I left it entirely to her to tell me how she wanted me to come across. I've also found that we create together very well. It's something very unique.'' Revathi is enjoying herself and Suhasini to be a workaholic. And it is good to get back to directing, because its almost two years since ``Mitr" happened. Manobala is a proud man. And is this sort of a thing going to happen again? ``We really don't know," says Suhasini. ``We always have plans to do things together — maybe a play... We feel that we should not do serials anymore. It is really tough with small budgets and we cannot be at our creative best. But then it is nice to do such things - tell stories in one hour, write things together, act together. Life is short and its not often that you find someone with whom you vibe so well... '' That in a nutshell is what ``Friends" are all about! Sun TV will telecast the film on April 14.

CHITRA MAHESH

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