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Exclusive! Debutant director Sumukha on his upcoming psychological thriller 'Physics Teacher', working with ex-school teacher, and more

The debutant filmmaker, who also stars in the film as the male lead, speaks about how he was nudged to find a film in the topic of reality vs illusion, his old Biology teacher being his writing partner, and much more 

  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 08.30 AM, May 26, 2022

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Exclusive! Debutant director Sumukha on his upcoming psychological thriller 'Physics Teacher', working with ex-school teacher, and more
Poster of 'Physics Teacher '

Actor and former child artiste Sumukha's directorial career is off to an exciting start. His debut feature 'Physics Teacher' might bear an unassuming title but the trailer reveals that there's something unusual and intriguing in store. Sumukha also stars as the male lead and describes his film as a psychological thriller that discusses rather highbrow concepts of rationality, science & belief, and the philosophical dilemma of reality vs illusion. 

The film's premiere at the recent edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes) fetched the team several accolades, with many noteworthy personalities claiming that Sumukha is a credible entrant to the newer and more discerning breed of filmmakers. When asked about how the idea came to the fore, he shares: 

"Interestingly, it was my own Biology teacher in school, Mr. Skanda Subramanya, who led me to this concept of reality, illusion, and the spiritual/philosophical elements to them. There's a quote by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg that "reality does not exist under observed" and this got us quite intrigued, and the best way to discuss these psychological and perceptive concepts would have been through a rational mind. 

So, the Physics Teacher you see in the trailer (played by Sumukha himself) is possibly one of the most rational beings but once things around him start to change for inexplicable reasons, he feels disoriented because he is unable to apply science and logic like in most other scenarios. That's where the psychological and suspense elements come in and we see his sanity beginning to fade a little - the film then becomes about him dealing with a lack of rational reasoning around him and I feel these conversations are bound to be relatable to many. There are stories that occur in real life that remain inexplicable because they are so bizarre and uncommon that they can't be translated into a film. And that was our main challenge," says Sumukha in an exclusive chat.

But a film wasn't always on the cards because it all began as these off-the-cuff conversations with his ex-school teacher Skanda Subramanya. Upon the latter's guidance, Sumukha would find a film in the vastness of the topic, and the two, as this atypical teacher-student writing team, would set off on a complex journey to put it in the form of a screenplay. "It was during one of our regular conversations about various science-related stuff that this topic of rationality and illusion came up and soon led to many more things. But I am a film buff and tend to realize every story I come across in the form of a film, so the next big task was to convert the theory part of it into a screenplay. We spent close to four months developing the idea and then molding it into a film script because the challenge is to keep things simple and fuss-free, despite it being based on a really complex topic. And what we have now, at the end of it all, is a simple and relatable version of the story," adds Sumukha.

Physics Teacher releases in theatres on May 27 and also stars Prerana Kambam, Rajesh Nataranga, Mandya Ramesh, and others. Produced by Passing Shots Films (Opc) Pvt. Ltd, the film has been shot by Raghu Gyarahalli, edited by Vijay Kumar, and Skanda Subramanya (the co-writer) has scored the soundtrack. 

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