KOCHI: Among the list of highly anticipated films coming out this Vishu is Rathish Ambat's Kammara Sambhavam. The 3-hour long epic is special in so many ways. For some it's the presence of Dileep; for some, it's the fact that Tamil heartthrob Siddharth is making his Malayalam debut; and for the others, it's the thought of watching Bobby Simha (Jigarthanda, Iraivi), another beloved actor from Kodambakam, in a Malayalam film.
In a chat with Express, Ambat talks about the challenges of making ads and feature films, his advice for aspiring filmmakers, and what it was like to work with Siddharth and Bobby Simha.You made a considerable amount of ads before venturing into feature filmmaking. Did the transition bother you?
Not at all. Before getting into ads, I had been assisting directors like Shyamaprasad and Lal Jose.I wouldn't say that it was a piece of cake but my past experiences helped me a lot.
Are ads easier to make compared to films?
Not really. Both have their own set of challenges. With ads, you can wrap up the entire shooting schedule within a span of 2-3 days, which is not the case with films. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are easier. When you're given such a short schedule, you have to plan things accordingly.
So when a young, first-time filmmaker wants to get into a film, would it be difficult for them to get into films directly or do they need to have a lot of experience under their belt to get noticed?
If someone wants to be a filmmaker, it's very essential to have some years of experience before they set out to make a film. I mean, that is what worked for me, and that is my suggestion. Different people have different takes on this. For me, it was all about working under different directors, learning their styles, and then making contacts.
How much of Kammara Sambhavam is fact and how much is fiction?
There is a mix of both history and fiction. The whole film, which is of 3-hour duration, takes place in a kind of alternate reality.
Are some of the characters taken directly from history books or are they based on real-life characters?
I would say the latter. When it comes to certain characters, we have taken character traits from here and there and created entirely different characters. For example, if you take the bearded character played by Dileep, he is a composite of different people.
Did you look to any films or directors for visual references before embarking on this project?
Let's just say that I'm influenced by all the good directors and films I've seen.
We audiences have a tendency to look at a film before it has come out and say this shot was influenced by this film or this shot was influenced by that film. Is that why you don't want to mention them?
See, I'm waiting for the audiences to see the film and make up their own mind on what they have witnessed.
Dileep appears in three different looks. How difficult was it to apply the prosthetics?
Working on Dileep's character in the real world was much more difficult.
How did you get Siddharth and Bobby Simha to come on board?
I've known them for some years now. I got a chance to meet them while I was doing some projects of mine.
How would you describe their acting styles?
Both are extremely passionate actors. I enjoyed working with them a lot. Bobby is...different. He is such an intense and dedicated actor.