Guru Somasundaram: I prioritise doing films with rewatch value more than just being a part of several films

Team Bayamariya Brammai, which includes director Rahul Kabali, actors Guru Somasundaram and JD, along with composer K, discuss the core philosophy of the film, the hyper-violent nature of the film, and more
From L to R (Guru Somasundaram, Rahul Kabali, actor JD, composer K)
From L to R (Guru Somasundaram, Rahul Kabali, actor JD, composer K)

The repression of anger is often used as the yardstick to measure one's civility, thereby making its expression the most cathartic of all human emotions on screen. Debut director Rahul Kabali's Bayamariya Brammai is expected to showcase the anger of several people from different walks of life and the repercussions they face acting on the impulse to murder someone who wronged them.

The director and his team, comprising actors Guru Somasundaram, JD, and music composer K, sat down with CE for a chat about the experience and challenges of shooting for Bayamariya Brammai, which is laden with a less commonplace story.

Q

Rahul, you are producing your debut directorial. What hardships of a debut director were you able to bypass?

A

Rahul Kabali: The one good thing about producing my own film was that I had control over my content. Also, this decision helped me become a director without taking the assistant director route. Thinking both like a producer and a director was the biggest advantage I had.

Q

Guru, whether you work with debutants or experienced directors, your strike rate has been consistent. What do you look for in a film?

A

Guru Somasundaram: I won't get time to work on my character and lines if I am going to be concerned about how well-equipped the director is (laughs). So, be it experienced or newcomers, I insist on going for four or five takes to refine my performance. I ensure that my character and the film have repeat value. The number of times a film can be rewatched is more than the number of films I act in.


Q

Were you worried about the hyper-violent nature of the film?


A

GS: No matter how violent a film is, if the film's characters are worth empathising with, people will love it. Bayamariya Brammai has characters that evoke empathy. The film's story will be relatable and will remind people of situations faced by the characters, making them feel thankful for not resorting to violence.


Q

Rahul, how many drafts did it take for you to lock the script?

A

RK: To be honest, there is just one draft for Bayamariya Brammai. I think in terms of visuals and I like sketching drawings. If I find it hard to explain a scene, I make a storyboard to make the actors understand.


Q

Did it take long for actors to acclimatise to your unconventional style?


A

RK: No. I give the dialogue paper to all the actors a day prior to the shoot for them to prepare. It is only my script that looks like a flowchart; I don't take chances with dialogue.


Q

JD, was it hard to stand out among seasoned actors?

A

JD: (Laughs) That is not the idea behind my acting in this film. Like some say, the way you swim depends on where you are thrown. Swimming in a well requires different skills, compared to swimming in the ocean. On the contrary, I felt comfortable knowing that I was surrounded by a bunch of powerful performers.


Q

K, there is always some experimentation with music in a psychological drama. How did your vision meet with the director?

A

K: I don't exactly know where our visions met, but they eventually did. Having known that this was an unconventional film right from the beginning, the visuals inspired me to make whatever music I wanted. This is going to be out of the box, but not a crazy kind of music.

RK: We wanted the music to blend with our sound design since we made the film with sync sound. Our sound designer, Vijay Rathnam, is the most organised person I know.


Q

Usually, directors go for a safe bet in their first two films and then shift focus to their dream project. Is Bayamariya Brammai your dream project since you chose to produce your own directorial debut?


A

RK: I would call it a very risky project rather than my dream project. Not knowing how people would respond to the story did not stop me because I had to do what I wanted to as I believed I had something interesting and different to say.


Q

Will it be an ideal start to make a film for a niche audience?


A

RK: I believe in democratising content. I am not a fan of stratifying mass and niche audiences; everyone should have access to all kinds of content. Bayamariya Brammai has elements that could draw regular moviegoers too. Only if such films do well at the business end will big stars go for such stories and make them mainstream.


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