Traffic Ramasamy: A tribute to a crusader
Debutant director Vicky talks about the biopic
Like him or hate him, but you cannot ignore him. This line is perhaps most applicable to Traffic Ramasamy, a name synonymous with fighting for social causes. 27-year-old Vicky is making his directorial debut with a biopic about Ramasamy. In a free-wheeling chat with CE, debutant director Vicky says it’s a proud moment, not just for him but the whole production unit, that Traffic Ramasamy is ready for release on June 22.
“That the release is happening on Vijay’s birthday is a real bonus. What better gift could I give my mentor SA Chandrasekhar? It was not planned that way, but it just happened,” says Vicky.
Having been an assistant with SAC for five years, Vicky says it was a conscious decision to make a meaningful debut. “I had a few scripts in my kitty, but decided to take a plunge with the story of a crusader who has sacrificed so much. I met with Ramasamy’s friends and well-wishers, and the information I gathered was mindboggling. It was quite a challenge to pen the script with the material at hand. Fortunately, I received support from all quarters, including top IAS officers, and everything fell in place.”
How did he convince SAC to portray the titular role, given that he has slowly distanced himself from films? “Our bond cannot be described in words. We differed on almost everything when I was his assistant. But when I narrated the script of Traffic Ramasamy, he was floored. He was impressed by the spirit of the man, when I told him how he’d had the guts to tear away a banner of the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa right under her nose. It may sound cliched, but SAC sir lived the role rather than played it.”
According to Vicky, there is little truth in the stories of Ramasamy’s wife and ten siblings having abandoned him. “The fact is that he distanced himself from them in order to protect them. He lives alone in a small room. Lawyers respect him, police take pride in saluting him and the top brass of corporates extend all possible support to his causes.”
Aside from montage songs, Traffic Ramasamy also features an item number. Ask the director if the latter is really necessary in a film like this, and he responds with a big yes. “You have to draw the youngsters in and there is no better way than with songs. The tracks will be a breather from the heaviness of the story.”
Though the film is not getting a very wide release, the debutant says he is happy with the theatres he has got. “SAC sir’s films are renowned for pitting the common man against the system. So it is perfect that he gets to play one such man in my film. I hope the audience turn up in good numbers to salute both the great filmmaker and the crusader whose story we are bringing to the screen.”