Ramesh Aravind: Shivaji Surathkal is the desi version of Sherlock Holmes
In a candid chat, Ramesh Aravind reveals what to expect from his upcoming detective drama, Shivaji Sirathkal
Shivaji Surathkal - The Case of Ranagiri Rahasya is Ramesh Aravind’s 101st film, however, the actor admits that he is feeling the same kind of excitement as he did when he started his career. “I still have the same enthusiasm when I head for the shooting, and love improvising and getting into character like I did for my debut. That’s what keeps me going. 101 makes me feel like I am starting all over again. It is just that I am getting a little wiser, and want to do new things,” he says.
Three years after Pushpaka Vimana, the audience will finally see Ramesh Aravind back on the silver screen in Shivaji Surathkal this week. “I was very busy over the last three years. I directed two films — the Queen remakes, Butterfly in Kannada and Paris Paris in Tamil. I was also part of two reality shows on TV. Meanwhile, I was busy hopping between the sets of three films — Shivaji Surathkal, 100, and Bhairadevi. All of them will probably be out in 2020,” he says.
The actor, who has been successful with romcoms and family dramas, says he was waiting for the right kind of subject. “I did try working in the thriller genre in one of my previous films, Accident. But this is the first time I’m playing a detective on screen. Even my wife and daughter watch films and series such as The Mentalist or Sherlock on Netflix. When people in my own household are fond of this genre, I figured I should be part of it,” says Ramesh, adding, “Unlike other genres where death becomes an emotional moment, in thrillers, it’s a puzzle. In such films, the audience is not bothered about the feelings, but is more focused on who the culprit is, which makes it an interesting way to approach the film. If you don’t immerse yourself in Shivaji Surathkal, the climax won’t make sense.”
According to Ramesh, Shivaji Surathkal is the desi version of Sherlock Holmes, a character he has been a huge fan of. “There are detectives all over the world. But Sherlock is so attractive because of the way he is. Shivaji too thinks differently. He suffers from depression, but as they say, beautiful minds at times are on the edge of insanity,” explains Ramesh. He reveals that they have paid tribute Agatha Christie and Arthur Canon Doyle in the film.
Akash Srivatsa, the director of Shivaji Surathkal, has been following the work of Ramesh and was keen to see him in a different avatar. “He was an assistant director in Accident, which is when he made his entry into cinema. I knew he had a good sense of editing, and when he narrated this script to me, I also gave suggestions and then decided to take it up. I wanted the climax to be something terrific,” Ramesh recalls.
Shivaji Surathkal, Ramesh adds, will also have elements of love, and emotions, which the audience looks for in his films. “At the same time, there’s this loudmouth, an interesting character that people should look out for,” he says, signing off with Alfred Hitchcock’s lines. “The movie-goer purchases a ticket to watch a film and relax. It is the duty of the director to make him sit at the edge of his seat. I hope Shivaji Surathkal is able to do that.”