Ravichandran: Audience is in no mood to watch my earlier image
In conversation with CE, the Crazy Star talks about his upcoming film, Drishya 2, slated to release on Dec 10
Playing a family man and a responsible father of two teenage girls is bigger than playing any other hero, says Ravichandran, who is set to reprise his role as Rajendra Ponnappa in Drishya 2. “We always enjoy watching Superman, Batman, Phantom, but above them all is playing a father,” says the Crazy Star, ahead of the film’s release on December 10.
Ravichandran sees Drishya 2 as a special film that conveys something for every family. “The extent a father goes to protect his family, his thought process, the fights, and the pain he goes through is what Drishya 2 is all about. It is a neat film that can be jointly watched by the entire family. Having a responsible father at the centre of it is enough for the film to become universal and connect with everyone,” he says.
An adaptation of the Malayalam film, Drishyam 2, originally directed by Jeethu Joseph, Drishya 2 is helmed by P Vasu. Ravichandran feels that the original film was perfect, and there was no need to work on the screenplay. However, he adds that the actors in each of the versions do bring a lot to the table. “We have managed to bring little changes to the overall outlook of the film. Some felt that the first half of the Malayalam version had a serious first half, however, in Drishya 2, we have added a sense of naughtiness to the proceedings, which I felt makes the family even more relatable. Also, the husband-wife chemistry makes it a refreshing watch,” says Ravichandran, adding, “As Rajendra Ponappa, I have expressed mostly through my eyes.”
While the Malayalam film Drishyam 2 and the Telugu version were out on OTT, Drishya 2 will be released in the theatres. “The magic of the silver screen will never fade away. When it comes to watching a film on a small screen, your mind is not fully occupied. There will be a mindset that you have watched the film, but you wouldn’t have enjoyed it,” he says.
Drishya 2 has an impressive star cast with names like Anant Nag and Prabhu involved in the project. So how was it to have such veterans be part of the film? “I was very stubborn to have Anant Nag in the project. His voice, with a unique accent and the way he speaks, carries a lot of weight. Whom you share screen space with matters a lot, and on that front, Navya Nair has done a good job,” says Ravichandran, who also mentions that over the two Drishya films he developed a good rapport with director P Vasu. “The sequel brought us closer. We had a good understanding, which reflects on the screen. It was the case with the rest of the cast as well,” he says.
Was there ever a time, Ravichandran, who is a director himself, wanted to helm the Drishya films? “I felt it is better not to wield the megaphone for certain films because I tend to have a technical dominance in my movies, and it does not suit all kinds of subjects. The production house had decided with P Vasu, and he will continue to helm the Drishya series, as long as it exists. The same holds good for the producer, the hero, and the heroine too,” says Ravichandran with his characteristic laugh.
Having been part of the Drishya series, are there changes he wishes to make? “The content is the winner. The film mainly works on the screenplay, which cannot be changed, except for small things. Drishya is one film that is enjoyed from the writer’s point of view. Whatever Jeethu Joseph has created, he almost comes across as a crime writer now. There is also a wonderful undercurrent of emotions too, which is a highlight of Drishya 2,” says Ravichandran.
Ravichandran, who will soon join the sets of Kranti is happy with the transition he is making with his recent films and his upcoming lineup. “The audience is in no mood to watch the earlier image of Ravichandran, which revolved around songs, romantic scenes, and the like. They have matured, and prefer not to see me in regular cinema. They are fed up with seeing songs shot in foreign locales, and heroes walking behind the heroines. While the ‘old’ Ravichandran might come in films I direct, there is no doubt that, as an actor, I am enjoying playing characters like Rajendra Ponaappa and even the titular role of my next directorial, Ravi Bopanna,” says Ravichandran.
Recalling his old films, Ravichandran tells us that audiences thought he was best suited to enact playboy characters. “They only highlighted my romance sequences with my heroines. Nobody recognised my acting in films like Annayya and Ramachari. In fact, it is only after my performances in Manikya and Drishya that sections of audience enjoyed my acting and felt I’ve improved as an actor. I agree that I have come a long way from when I began, and I constantly believe that I can do better. It all depends on the kind of roles my directors decide to see me in,” says Ravichandran, who admits that despite stepping into the 60’s, he is still the Prema Loka hero. “I’m still young at heart, and the words, ‘Lights Camera, Action’ hold the same excitement as it first did,” says Ravichandran.
Having been in the limelight for decades together, does the Crazy Star still have the same craze, zeal and enthusiasm that he first had when he stepped in front of the camera as an antagonist in the 1982 film Khadeema Kallaru? “There is only one Crazy Star in the entire world. There are so many actors, who hold the ‘Superstar’ and other similar tags, but nobody has the guts to call themselves the Crazy Star. The label was something my fans gave me, and for them I am always ready to become crazy,” he signs off.