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'Gouravam will be a hard hitting film'

Last updated on: April 15, 2013 11:35 IST

'Gouravam will be a hard hitting film'

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

The name Radhamohan is synonymous with quality films. Azhagiya Theeye, Mozhi, Abhiyum Naanum, Payanam...all his films have been appreciated by both critics and the public.

He is ready with his next bi-lingual, Gouravam, with Allu Sirish, Yami Gautam and Prakash Raj in the lead roles. Once again, he is directing a film for Prakash Raj's Duet Movies.

In this interview, he talks about what Gouravam and what impelled him to tackle such a subject.

I read that Gouravam is about honour killing. Did any particular incident inspire you to make this film?

No, the film is not based on any particular incident. The very fact that this has been going on all over India for a very long time made me make this film.

It is disturbing to read about honour killings almost every day in the newspapers. The most disturbing fact is that it is on the rise.

I have been thinking of making a film on this subject for quite some time.


Image: A scene from Gouravam. Inset: Director Radhamohan


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'I can't go on making only feel-good films'

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The subject is serious, unlike your earlier films which were quite light-hearted...

 It is true that the treatment of my earlier films was light and there was more humour in them, but they all had a social message whether it was Mozhi or Abhiyum Naanum.

I can't go on making only feel-good films. There are lighter moments in this film too. There are songs also but the subject is intense.

The biggest challenge was to make a film on such a subject without making it sound and look like a documentary.

I found it quite risky. The film had to be entertaining and engaging while the message went through in a subtle manner.

Are you going to convey the message through a love story?

It is not about love; it is the discrimination that is there in society.

It is about denying someone his right because he was born in one particular family.

This comes out when a boy falls in love with a girl but that is incidental. There are other avenues through which this issue can come out but love is more intense.

It becomes honour killing when there is a love story; otherwise, it becomes caste clashes.


Image: A scene from Gouravam


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'Every scene was shot separately in Tamil and Telugu'

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Where have you placed the characters?

In Tamil Nadu for the Tamil version, and in Andhra Pradesh for the Telugu version.

Are you dubbing it in Telugu?

No. Every scene was shot separately in Tamil and Telugu. We have the main actors in both the versions but some character actors are different for Tamil and Telugu.

People like Nasser and Prakash Raj are known to both Tamil and Telugu audiences. But everybody had to learn both the languages!

As I had made Payanam in two languages simultaneously, it was easier this time. The advantage I had with Payanam was that half the film happened inside a flight. But here, I had to be very careful about the ambience. The car passing by should have the Andhra registration in the Telugu version. We had to shoot twice, once with a Tamil Nadu number plate and then with AP registration. It was quite tedious but we did it successfully.

Who is your protagonist?

Arjun is a young man who goes from the city to a village in search of his friend who had gone missing. Soon, he gets sucked into what was happening there, and into the system.

The interesting thing about the story is that what was started by him was carried forward by the student community. It becomes a students' movement. Now, you see the same thing happening here in Chennai itself.

Yami Gautam plays Yazhini, a local girl, a lawyer who supports the student movement. Hers is a very strong character.


Image: A scene from Gouravam


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'Yami Gautam has done wonderfully well in the film'

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How did you think of Yami Gautam?

I had seen her in Vicky Donor and liked her performance. When we contacted her, she was interested to do such a character. For someone who doesn't know either language, she managed very well and did wonderfully well.

You have always made films for Prakash Raj's Duet Movies. Is it because of the comfort level you share with him?

Of course. For any director, the most important thing is creative freedom, which I get in abundance at Duet Movies. We are good friends and we get along well.

Our journey together started with Azhagiya Theeye and it continues. Duet Movies is like my own home production. When I have something like this, why should I make films elsewhere?

After Payanam, I suggested this story idea and he liked it.

Did you do any research before writing the screenplay?

Yes, I did a lot of travelling in the interiors of Tamil Nadu and Andhra. I spoke to a lot of people too.


Image: A scene from Gouravam


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'My film is not about any caste; it is only about the issue of honour killing'

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Recently, there was a controversy regarding Gouravam;  some groups have asked for a ban on it. They felt your film showed some caste groups in bad light...

How can someone talk about what is there in the film without seeing it? My film is not about any caste; it is only about the issue of honour killing.

It is a sad thing that is taking place in this country. Nobody can ask for a ban on a film or threaten by saying, 'we wont let theatres show the film'.

Are you rattled by the controversy?

No. Let them see the film. You can't create your own story by just watching the trailer.

Was it tougher making Gouravam compared to your other films?

The milieu was quite new to me. I had not made a film based in a village. So, everything was new to me. It was a big learning experience for me, and quite challenging too.


Image: A scene from Gouravam

Tags: Gouravam

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'A film running for two weeks is a big thing now'

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From the time you started making your first film to now, how much have things changed?

The butterflies in your stomach just before the release is the same.

What about marketing the film?

Making a film is easy but marketing it is really tough. Yet, marketing is very important as the life of a film is rather short now. Gone are the days of 100 days, silver jubilee, etc.

Today, we have to make people aware of a film through a lot of publicity and make them see the film in the first weekend itself. From 100 days, a film running for two weeks is a big thing now.

So, we have to be really loud and shout from the roof tops.

Let me say, finally, that Gouravam will be hard hitting. 


Image: A scene from Gouravam

Tags: Gouravam

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