September 23, 2021 7:47:08 pm
It took over 10 years for Arisil Moorthy to realise his dream of becoming a feature filmmaker. He worked with award-winning cinematographer and filmmaker PC Sreeram for six years and then in a few ad agencies before he started his own ad-filmmaking company. He made about 40 commercials and realized that he might lose his passion due to the comfort and security provided by his job. So he quit ad filmmaking in pursuit of his dream to become a feature filmmaker.
However, it was not easy. Despite his contacts and experiences in the film industry, it took him over a decade to make his first film, Raman Aandalum Ravanan Aandalum (RARA). His debut film is a realistic satire, which is high on political messaging. And it is way off the mark from the debut he had in his mind. He wanted to make a splash with his first film, boasting big stars and a big budget. “I wanted my first film to be a big commercial film. Because I thought then people would be interested in what I want to say in my next film. So a film like RARA would reach a wider audience then. But, thanks to 2D Entertainment, I was able to do it as my debut film,” Arisil told indianexpress.com.
The 2010 Hindi film Peepli Live had made quite an impression on Arisil and he wanted to make a political satire on similar lines in Tamil since. “Inspired by Peepli Live, I wrote this political satire based on the events and experiences from my childhood,” added Arisil.
RARA is part of a four-film deal that Suriya’s 2D Entertainment has inked with Amazon Prime Video. At face value, all four films seem to deal with social issues reflecting on the times we live in. And it seems it didn’t take much convincing for Suriya to green-lit Arisil’s project.
“He (Suriya) is a very socially responsible person. He wants to bring in change and work for the betterment of the common people. So, he immediately liked it when I told him this story. And encouraged me a lot to make this movie happen,” Arisil added.
Backed by 2D Entertainment, Arisil wanted for nothing, and things smoothly fell in place. The director didn’t have to look far for the film’s protagonist as he thought Mithun Manickam, a long-time staff of 2D Entertainment, would just fit the bill. “I started as an assistant director in 2010. And I did direct a film in 2015, which did not do well. And during that time I joined 2D with help of Rajsekar Pandian. And I was taking care of marketing and promotion in the company. I wanted to direct again and succeed where I failed. Luckily, I got this opportunity to act in this film,” Mithun said.
Arisil, however, was a bit reluctant to cast Ramya Pandian of Bigg Boss Tamil fame in the beginning. “She had already played the role of a village girl in a film called Joker. And we were worried people might think she is repeating herself. But, she asked us to let her audition for the role and then make a decision. After the audition, we were so impressed by her performance that we didn’t want to lose her,” Arisil recalled.
And Ramya was also determined not to take a no for an answer. “I knew that this film would give me a lot of scope for performance. And it was being produced by 2D Entertainment, which means the film would get a proper release and good promotion. So I had no second thoughts about this film. I badly wanted to do this film,” Ramya said.
Arisil had a week-long workshop for the cast to help them get familiar with their colleagues and the script. It was followed by a four-day on-location run-through with actors in full costume and props, including two bulls that play an important part in the movie.
RARA talks about how remote villages don’t get the benefits of the government’s developmental efforts. “Say, for example, there is a bypass road that connects Madurai and Thoothukudi. The villages along the road would have seen some development. But, that development wouldn’t have reached villages which are 10 km inside from the main road. So we have focused on the issues of such a neglected village,” Arisil said.
Raman Aandalum Ravanan Aandalum will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.
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