Debut director Arisil Moorthy, along with lead actors Ramya Pandian and Mithun Manickam, discuss their Tamil film Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum
Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum (RaRa), more than anything, is a coming together of people who have been through a journey of their own, starting with its director Arisil Moorthy.
Arisil’s stint as assistant director includes films such as En Swasa Kaatre (1999). In the 20-odd years that transpired in between, he worked with filmmaker Jayendra Panchapakesan in ad films, started his own advertisement company and then assisted in Telugu films.
But the fear of settling as an assistant set in, says Moorthy. He soon came under the wing of filmmaker Sudha Kongara during the making of Suriya-starrer Soorarai Pottru. “That is how I became associated with 2D Entertainment [Jyotika and Suriya’s production house],” he says, over a roundtable interaction along with RaRa’s lead actors, Ramya Pandian and Mithun Manickam.
Slice of life
RaRa, too, is about a journey: of Kunnimuthu (Mithun) and Veerayi (Ramya) in search of their missing cattle. Though the film appears to be an exploration of a man-animal relationship, Moorthy, while agreeing to that, says he wanted to make a political satire with a village backdrop. The image that came to him first was of his neighbour and his cattle, and how his entire life revolved around the animal.
“He used to talk to the animal and also sing songs. That strong memory made me realise this project,” says Moorthy, who clarifies that RaRa was not made for a digital platform. “We had completed 50% of the post-production when we got the news that it is going to release on OTT. So, we didn’t make any changes for the platform as such, as it was planned for a theatrical.”
It is an equally roller coaster ride for Ramya Pandian: from delivering a much-appreciated performance in Joker (2016) to earning a sizeable following on social media post her Bigg Boss Tamil appearance last year. She felt RaRa came to her at a time when she wanted to scale new heights as an actor. “Veerayi, my character here, is quite opposite to what I played in Joker. She is bold and assertive, and I felt the film would show me in a new dimension,” says Ramya.
She observes that the industry bifurcates artistes’ selection into two categories: new faces or preferably someone with a ‘reach’. “Even though my performance in Joker was appreciated, it didn’t give me the reach. So, when I got RaRa, I fell into the second category.” That image turn over, Ramya says, happened due to Bigg Boss. “If you walk out of Bigg Boss and are offered 10 films, it’s a good thing to hear…but only time will tell if they are of good quality. That is why I won’t go for quantity but quality,” she says, “I am at a crucial stage of my career, thanks to the fame I got through Bigg Boss. So, I don’t mind slowing down a bit since my next opportunity depends on the current film.”
But the most interesting journey of all has to be Raame… lead actor Mithun Manickam’s. He joined 2D Entertainment for marketing and promotions following a bad directorial debut in 2015. Rajsekar Pandian, director and co-producer of the producton house, asked Mithun to meet Arisil Moorthy for a role. “For three months, I was trained under Kalairani [theatre practitioner] at Spaces in Besant Nagar. Then, we had Anandsami [theatre actor] training the crew for 10 days.”
Throughout the shoot, Mithun was only left with questions. “I feared while I was acting. I am in fear, now that I’m done with it. As a newcomer, I am worried if audiences will accept me.”
Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum releases on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.
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