The ‘commercial entertainer’ specialist talks of his upcoming release, the challenge in pulling off a mainstream film, reuniting with Gopichand
Last Updated: 09.18 AM, May 04, 2023
The Loukyam, Lakshyam actor-director combo Gopichand and Sriwass are reuniting for the family entertainer Ramabanam, which releases in theatres this week. Dimple Hayathi plays the female lead in the film that also stars Khushbu, Jagapathi Babu, Kasi Viswanath, Ali and others. In an interaction with OTTplay.com, the director shares the reason why a story like Ramabanam deserves an audience and why it’ll be a welcome relief for all.
I initially wanted to do an action film with Gopichand but given our previous collaborations - Lakshyam, Loukyam - worked with masses and family audiences, we worked on a different script. I have a good understanding of his body language and mannerisms. Ramabanam uses his strengths perfectly, focusing on the bond between two brothers and has all the commercial ingredients to be a perfect summer entertainer. Mickey J Meyer’s music has given a new spin to the result.
Trivia around Ramabanam
I believe the organic food angle to the story will be relevant to audiences more so in the post COVID-19 era but we haven’t gone overboard with it and used it only to enhance the conflict in the story. Lakshyam 2 was the title we had in mind initially because it brought together Gopichand and Jagapathi Babu again. However, it has been a while since Lakshyam released in theatres and we didn’t want audiences to imagine it as a sequel.
‘Ramabanam is meant for family viewing’
Horror and dark thrillers are being consumed by audiences today but it’s necessary also to make films that the entire family can watch. I sense that void in Telugu cinema today and Ramabanam will fill that. The story was born out of personal experiences and it wasn’t easy to bring newness to the treatment. My upbringing helped my cause and such films have worked in my favour in the past. As a storyteller, I’m always ready to do all kinds of stories.
The challenge in pulling off a commercial film
Commercial films are like entering shopping malls, audiences take what they want and leave. It’s not easy to get it right - you need to find a right balance between entertainment, emotions, action and a social message. There’s a reason why they have a great span. With an action film, it’s alright to focus on the action sequences and forget the rest.
On Khushbu’s character in Ramabanam
Khushbu’s character is the pillar of the film and she looked regal as Jagapathi Babu’s on-screen wife who takes care of her brother-in-law too. The sequences involving Gopichand, Khushbu will leave you teary eyed and I’m sure she’ll get many interesting roles after Ramabanam.
The conflict between writing your stories and taking scripts from other writers
I have no issues writing my scripts and taking stories from others - I can go the Dasari way or take the Raghavendra Rao route too. I personally feel it’s best to choose good scripts that are readily available, bring in my sensibilities and focus on my directorial career for now.