Debutant director Gautham Ramachandran, who assisted Rajeev Menon and Mysskin previously, is working on an untitled flick, which has Nivin Pauly in the lead role.
“Nivin is one heck of an actor who knows what he wants. Also, he has an eye for details. He was actively involved right from the scripting stage,” says the London-based lawyer-turned-filmmaker.
Ask him if this is a multi-lingual, and Gautham says Nivin insisted that they make the film only in Tamil. “We know each other for about four years. Post Neram, I had been narrating scripts to him. But we didn’t get the right time to collaborate. He gave me an option to work in Malayalam, which I wasn’t comfortable with. Fortunately, this time, everything fell in place,” he says.
It took the director nearly 40-50 drafts to zero in on the script. “We kept making changes to the script till the last moment. Over the period of nearly a year, it has been an amazing learning experience. The story has come out well,” he says.
The director couldn’t stop talking about the Premam actor’s involvement in the project, saying those who have worked with Nivin will know how difficult it is to convince him for a project. “He won’t say ‘yes’ unless he really likes something. Also, he has a huge fan following in Tamil Nadu. This will showcase a different side of Nivin—in a different look. You won’t believe, he sat through the entire day while we were working on the last draft. Such is his commitment and passion,” he adds.
Quiz the director if the film was based on the critically-acclaimed Kannada thriller Ulidavaru Kandanthe, and he says it’s not a frame-to-frame remake. “A few things have been taken from the original and I’ve weaved a new story around it. We decided to buy the remake rights and adapt it. In fact, a lot of rewriting work has been done. We almost spent a year on pre-production,” he says.
The story plays out over two days. “We shot the first schedule in and around Tuticorin and Courtallam. It’s a friendship-revenge-drama with thriller elements. Like how most of us become the victims of circumstances, even this story revolves around that,” he says.
While Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli of Sutta Kadhai fame plays a fisherwoman, Shraddha Srinath plays a journalist. It has Bollywood lensman-actor Natraj Subramaniam and popular producer G K Reddy, father of actor Vishal, in pivotal roles.
What’s next? “I plan to take things slowly as I don’t have a film background. Initially, my family wasn’t too happy with my decision of venturing into films, but now they’re kind of okay. I am working on another script, but things are in a nascent stage,” says Ramachandran.