With his debut film as a director, Priyadarshini Ram says he wants to make films grounded to reality.
How to get ahead...
A flap in the curtains falls open and a searing shaft of amber sunlight cuts through the gloom of the theatre like a laser beam, the dust dancing in its path. Temporarily blinded, the man holds an arm up to shield his face. He is the director of the film being screened. Priyadarshini Ram stands near the door at the preview theatre waiting anxiously for some spirited feedback from the select audience. While he is being flooded with handshakes, this journalist documents his ramblings as a fascinating tale unfolds.
For Ram, the idea of making a film grounded in reality germinated after 25 long years in advertising.
"This film is basically a comment. I've used dialogues as philosophy, heroism as morality and the story as the unsaid message. The characters are so real that you feel a part of the scene," says the debutant director, a graduate from Nizam's College.
Ask him why he kept his work under wraps and he says, "The memory of an audience is less than 10 days. So we wanted people to remember the film for the value that it generates."
Ram's characters are all new to the screen. Sixty-five of them have apparently gone through a gruelling 15-day rehearsal schedule before the camera started rolling. This is Ram's second film as an actor and he feels that if you have a comment to make on society through a film and the motive is not commercial, it is usually well-received by the people.
Interestingly there is no hero in the film and the subject, being quite grounded in tradition, does not cater to the clichés. It tries to twist the clichés and redesign them and make them distinctive. "My philosophy is quite archaic and that is visible in the execution," adds Ram. The two-hour-ten-minutes film is made with a shoestring budget but the buyers seem satisfied with the end result. The film is opening to the audience on December 16.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu