It was a coup of sorts for the debutante director Revathy S Varma to have the three talented actresses -- Sarita, Khushboo and Jyothika -- from three generations to act in her film June R.
The first schedule of the film is over, and she plans to finish it in August and release it in September.
Speaking to Shobha Warrier, Revathy talks about her transition from directing ad films to feature films. Excerpts:
The reason why I started making ad films was because of my fondness for the visual medium. Even while I made ad films, my head was bursting with story ideas. Making a feature film was a dream for me from my college days.
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Some of the most visible ads that I made are Rexona, True biscuits, Hamam, Happy Jam, Pickle, and Malabar Gold with Mohanlal. I never felt that making ad films was less creative. It is tough to make an ad film as you have to convey something in a very short period.
The idea to start my feature film started with my husband's film. My husband K R Subhash won a National Award in 1998 for his short film, A Violent Drumbeat.
I approached Jyothika to confirm her dates for a Tamil feature film which my husband was planning to make. Then, I was planning a Hindi film. When I met her in Mumbai for my husband's film, as we talked, I told Jyothika about my plans. I had even met a producer, and thought of approaching Jaya Bachchan, Tabu and Kareena Kapoor.
When I narrated the story to Jyothika, she liked it so much that she asked why I didn't want to make it in Tamil. She felt the story would work better in Tamil than in Hindi. So I would say Jyothika was instrumental in me making the film in Tamil.
I needed a performer to do the mature role, and Sarita's and Urvashi Sarada's faces came to my mind. After Balu Mahendra's Julie Ganapthay, Sarita had not done any feature film. Then I could think only of Khushboo for the second woman's role. It will be a different role for Khushboo. Of course, there is Jyothika to do the younger one's role.
The film is about three women who lead their lives differently. They are not related at all but one incident brings them together, and their lives get intertwined. That one incident is the main thread of the film. A woman need not be the biological mother of another woman to feel like a mother to her. Similarly, Sarita is like a mother to Jyothika.
The three characters are ordinary people, as ordinary and as normal as you or me. You can see them in our society, all around you.
I titled the film June R after a lot of thought. I felt the story needs such a title because it is very different. The month June is very important in the film. The answers to the questions -- what is June R, why June R, who is June R -- are answered in the film.
I started shooting the film in June. I was not nervous at all because I have been shooting ad films for nearly 14 years. The first shots were with Jyothika and Khushboo. They were over in a single take. I am lucky to have Madhu Ambat who has just come back after finishing the Aishwarya Rai-starrer Provoked as the cinematographer. I would say I am the luckiest person to have such a great man to shoot my first feature film.