On the Genesis and Making of “Ramante Edanthottam”

When did i first think of making Ramante Edanthottam?

I think it was in 2009 after Passenger..I was exhausted and looking for a change. Finally reached a resort in  Nelliyampathy. It was a special resort.. the mornings were like heaven and the evenings were even more beautiful. I woke upto a monkey leading a flock of goats..trees talking to themselves…

On the morning of the 2nd day I took a jeep for a trek to Mampara. The Jeep driver struck me immediately. He had a big stick to scare away tigers and elephants:). We reached the peak after a great ride and I felt I was so close to nature.I was still working in software then.It was like a new world opening up before me..

In the 4 days that I stayed there I was pretty sure I was gonna shoot a romantic movie there. I could smell romance all around there. Raman was formed there as a skeleton from a combination of that jeep driver and that resort owner.

Years passed and I visited the resort every time I passed through Palakkad. I would drive upto Nelliyampathy and be there for few hours to feel Ramans world.

It was a scary movie to make, so I kept it aside every time. After Pretham I suddenly felt if I don’t make it now may be I might never make it in my career. Chackochan (Kunchacko Boban) was equally excited to be Raman and even agreed to spend 3 months for preparation.

Sadly by the time I wanted to shoot it ,the resort in Nelliyampathy was not fitting enough.Across the years it had transformed into something modern, not Ramans world. I thought I may never find Ramans Edanthottam. Then it was Bijibal (popular music composer) who suggested Vagamon Heights. He had composed for Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol over there.

I write dialogues for my movies very late. I went to Vagamon Heights while I was through half of it and weeks into shoot.The moment I reached the place I could see the scenes playing out in front of me there. The mud paths,rustic rooms,lakes, mountains, estate, forest.. the place even had the horse and dogs that were there in my script.It was like a location waiting for me ready to shoot there.

The moment I saw the place all little apprehensions in my mind regarding the movie had faded away. It was destined to be made and to be shot there.I only had to follow the flow..I have experienced this in a few films and the moment you realize it you are relieved. The world will conspire for the rest to fall in place..

I still didn’t have a heroine. Many leading stars were ready to give both their hands to be Malini. But somehow I felt only the freshness of a newcomer can make it work. I met 100’s of newcomers but nothing clicked.

Anu Sithara happened to come on board just days before the shoot.I went to meet her to say a polite NO.But the moment I saw her I saw Malini.I gave her a dialog and it turned out that she was indeed Malini.

There was no looking back from there. I am writing this when I am on this fag end of my journey through this film. All I can say is that I am in love with it right now. I want to be detached from it as soon as possible so that i can take your views on it realistically.

May 12 it is then…

Waiting..!!

Ranjith Sankar

 

Note: Ranjith Sankar is a prominent writer,director and producer, having made well known Malayalam films like Passenger, Arjunan Saakshi, Molly Aunty Rocks, Punyalan Agarbattis, Varsham, Su Su…Sudhi Vathmeekam and Pretham.

Continue reading “On the Genesis and Making of “Ramante Edanthottam””

All About ‘Su Su Sudhi Valmeekam’

Just one week to go for the shoot of my next film, Su Su Sudhi Valmeekam, a film I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

It started as a random idea in early 2000s as one of the potential movies that could cherish my dream of making a movie. Passenger was one among them then.Interestingly both were inspired from different traits of a close friend and my cubicle mate in office then,Sudheendran.The hook in susu was some unique peculiarities in Sudhi and it seemed a totally unexplored area in movies.

Su Su Sudhi Valmeekam PosterInitially susu was conceived as a “local” romantic comedy between a rather peculiar software engineer and a diametrically opposite music teacher mostly happening in a train (ala passenger).I tried to pitch the story to couple of young actors and Directors(dream was to be a writer then:)).Somehow nothing materialised.

Passenger was hooking people more easily as in the idea.All the years Passenger took to make and during the desperation in between susu used to pop in.Sudhi was also coping up with challenges in job, life etc etc. I started interacting with some of his “special” doctors.Some peculiar weekly groups he visited looked super exiting in a movie. I got married in between and again Sudhi’s peculiar condition to ‘Pennu Kanal was that he would see only one girl and that would be his wife:)

It happened exactly like that and he got married.He was looking for a change of job. We attended many job interviews together during this time. Me looking for a break from my failed movie attempts, him for an actual change in job.The software engineer,music teacher,the train and the genre kept changing their premises to suit the changes in the story.

Sudhi found another job finally and decided to relocate to Banglore. Probably a tough call away from home but that was life.

Passenger happened. Opportunity for another movie came with its success. Varsham,Arjunan Sakshi and susu were the best probables.To my complete dismay a highly appreciated international film released then and it dealt the same subject although both were different movies. The fire to make it immediately vanished with it and Arjunan Sakshi happened.

I met Sudhi one of those days in Banglore.He was trying hard to cope up with Banglore and his new life. The story was extended to Banglore and it took a new shape from there.Many friends tried to collaborate to give it new dimensions. The project was announced.It was about to be made then.But what stopped us then was the strong feeling that something was wrong. The script needed more depth, it needed a lot of preparation time for actors to play the parts given its complexities.It was a difficult movie to be made for its cost,commerce and everything. That gut feeling always has proved right for me. For sure it was a movie to be made but only with complete confidence. Susu was again pushed.

The wait continued. Molly Aunty Rocks, Punyalan Agarbathis and Varsham happened. The success of Varsham made me think of susu again.There was a space for susu.

I went to Banglore and met Sudheendran again. He was a completely confident, changed n purified man now when he came to pick me in his new car, talking to his Punjabi neighbour,having his game of evening badminton,his weekend hangout partners,his family vacation plans, his same love for his village and ulsavams but from a different angle..

SuSu was complete that evening.It took 15 years and 15 years of a person’s life virtually and probably it was all worth it.

Su Su Sudhi Valmeekam-Ranjith Sankar and JayasuryaNow it needed an actor who had the time and potential to play him. Jaysurya was an obvious choice. Jayan himself told me he won’t work for 45 days to prepare for Sudhi.Even more difficult was the decision was to produce it given its budget,effort and risk involved.Jayan stood as a pillar of support and we are producing it together once again after Punyalan Agarbathis.

Creating music for susu was tricky. It needed songs which suited the story at the same time popular. Bijibal and Santhosh Varma took up the challenge and it took us 3 months to create them:) .

As I write this I get a detailed message from Sudhi on how to improve the climax a bit more..We offered him credits and remuneration for susu. He refused both claiming he’s not a writer despite having contributed to almost all unique situations for susu.We insisted on both as it would be very unfair from our part and finally he obliged.

A day later I receive a message from him saying he donated the entire amount to a fund raising program he was part of all these years which was lacking funds and which could support many many more susu’s.

I smiled reading it. This was what susu was all about…

Humility, humanity peace and happiness!

Ranjith Sankar

Note- We at MAM wish Ranjith Sankar and his team all the very best for his new film, Su Su Sudhi Valmeekam.

 

 

 

 

 

Varsham Movie Review: An Emotional Journey that Hooks You Smoothly

Leading a family life i.e. being married and later on becoming a parent isn’t easy at all. What looks routine and mundane to many, is actually a daunting task in my opinion. Yes it’s a stage in life that most people go through, whether by choice or design or both. And everyone handles it differently. But does becoming a husband/wife and later on a father/mother change the way you think? Does it affect the way you interact with the rest of your family and friends, or the people around you overall? Does it take away or add anything to your personality overall? And if you change as a person, is it for better or worse? These are some odd thoughts which have always struck my mind in some form or fashion at various times, but now I feel it’s all the more relevant to reflect upon all these things having watched writer-director Ranjith Sankar’s latest Malayalam film over the weekend, Varsham.Continue reading “Varsham Movie Review: An Emotional Journey that Hooks You Smoothly”

Thoughts on Mammootty and ‘Varsham’

Varsham is my latest (Malayalam) feature film which got released this week (November 6th onwards) in Kerala, major centres across India and also in various locations overseas. I am overwhelmed with all the box office reports and the reviews coming in from all kinds of sources. Obviously while I am pleased and happy to acknowledge all this, I also feel this is the right time to reflect back upon working with the one & one only Mammootty aka Mammukka while making Varsham.Continue reading “Thoughts on Mammootty and ‘Varsham’”

All About ‘Punyalan Agarbathis’

Punyalan AgarbathisAfter Molly Aunty Rocks I was looking at initially working on either Sudhi Valmeekam or Mayflower, both projects having Prithviraj in the lead. But sometimes destiny has something else in store for you and that’s how Punyalan Agarbathis came into existence. Continue reading “All About ‘Punyalan Agarbathis’”

The Molly Aunty Rocks Experience

Well we brought you all the details about the launch of Ranjith Sankar‘s latest Malayalam film, Molly Aunty Rocks ( which you can check here ) and later brought you the trailer as well. Now 3 weeks after the release of the film and with its continued success and entry into further cities, here’s filmmaker Ranjith Sankar talking to us about the experience of making Molly Aunty Rocks ( MAR ).

By Ranjith Sankar

Almost 25 days into MAR release.It feels calm:)

It was a very difficult decision to make MAR to begin with.To set up a production house and try executing a movie like MAR first time was no easy task.Continue reading “The Molly Aunty Rocks Experience”