Director Anand Ravichandran: It is a mere coincidence that Good Night and DeAr have similar storylines

Anand Ravichandran discusses his upcoming film DeAr, exploring interpersonal relationships, comparisons with Good Night and more
Director Anand Ravichandran: It is a mere coincidence that Good Night and DeAr have similar storylines

Director Anand Ravichandran’s debut film Sethum Aayiram Pon (2020) made the audience reflect upon the many facets of death, more than once. Back in the director’s chair with DeAr, which stars GV Prakash and Aishwarya Rajesh, Anand has brought another story that delves deep into an oft-unexplored issue. A tale where a newly married wife faces a rather pre-zzz-ing issue — Snoring.

“I wrote the story in 2020, after the release of my first film. I realised that this was a very middle-class issue that has seldom been addressed. While the film starts as a comedy, it slowly shifts gears to an emotional family drama,” explains Anand. Like many filmmakers, Anand too found his eureka moment at home. The story too, is centered on family dynamics rather than concentrating on just the couple. “I have written the characters as realistic as possible, just like the people we see in our homes. It is a marriage story, so there are multiple characters involved. In fact, the film shows three couples, who present different flavours and perspectives to the story,” he adds.

One of the main reasons he picked Aishwarya Rajesh’s Deepika to headline a tale on snoring was to break the perception of snoring being associated with only men. “We haven’t shown a lot of lead characters snoring on screen, let alone their female counterparts. We always associate women with perfection. This is a very common thing, which is unfortunately not spoken about openly in many homes. There is always a thought if their spouse would accept them the way they are despite these issues,” he says.

Although comedy has been peppered to bring out the fun element wherever necessary, Anand says that he has ensured that it doesn’t step into the zone of sexism or wanton ridicule. “Humour is merely used as a plot device in the film. We have also delved deep into other aspects like what it takes to make a happy marriage. Be it Sethum Aayiram Pon or this film, women are always the leads of my story, so I make sure they are treated in a dignified way. They aren’t just props, but are very important to the story,” he says.

The premise of the film raised questions on social media platforms for its similarity with Good Night (2023) where actor Manikandan's habitual snoring becomes an issue in his newly married relationship. Addressing the elephant in the room, Anand says he and the Lover actor spoke to each other well before the respective films went on floors. “All the stakeholders were informed of the storyline. All the lead characters, be it in Good Night or DeAr, knew what they were working on. This is an informed decision and not a surprise. DeAr is completely different from Good Night. It is a mere coincidence that the two stories were conceived at the same time.”

Despite the similar storylines, Anand assures that the audience would still connect with his film. “When you take a story based on a time machine or a sports drama, it follows a certain screenplay format. No matter what alterations you make to it, it will touch upon certain plot points. These apply to my story as well, but beyond that, our treatment of the story and the characters are completely different. Even after Good Night’s release, we have not made any changes to the story,” he says.

Anand highlights that while snoring often lacks a definitive cure, his focus lies in depicting its psychological impact on the couple and the people around them. When questioned on how he has treated the resolution of the story, he says, “I don’t believe that someone has to change themselves for the relationship to work. It is all about finding a middle ground. The emotion with which you will walk out of the theatre is what it takes to have a long-lasting marriage.” He concludes with the remark, “Sometimes, it is okay to make mistakes, let go of a few things and make compromises.”

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