Buttabomma is relevant to our society today: Shourie Chandrasekhar T Ramesh
Filmmaker Shourie Chandrasekhar T Ramesh discusses the process of directing Buttabomma
Shourie Chandrasekhar T Ramesh, whose film Buttabomma hit the theatres last Saturday is overwhelmed with gratitude for the release of his debut feature. Speaking to CE the director reflects on his post-release state of mind. “In a way, it is very thrilling. I am happy the film is out and is getting positive reviews from people who have watched it. While I am also a bit concerned with the low footfalls at the theatres right now, I would like more people to watch the film as it contains an important social message within it, that is rather contemporary. Buttabomma is relevant to our society today. People who have watched the film so far have had good things to say about it and that is heartening.”
Talking about his two-decade-long stint in cinema before his directorial debut, Ramesh says, “I have worked in Hindi films like Shool (1999), Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega (2001) and Dum (2003), with Ram Gopal Varma’s production company Varma Corporation, before coming to the Telugu film industry. Following the demise of my father, I had to move to Hyderabad. I later went on to work closely with Sukumar garu from Jagadam (2007) to the upcoming Pushpa: The Rise. Sukumar garu has been an excellent mentor. He interacts very closely with his writing and direction department. He is my friend, philosopher and guide. I learnt a lot about screenwriting from him”
Speaking on the process of how he gravitated towards adapting the 2020 Malayalam film Kappela for his maiden feature, Ramesh says, “I watched Kappela during the pandemic and the film’s screenplay grabbed my attention instantly. There are some films that cannot be remade across languages, as it is not possible to recreate their soul. But that was not the case with Kappela. Its story is not only powerful and gripping but is also ripe with potential for adaptation.”
Elaborating on the adaptation process, Ramesh continues, “We wanted the story to be completely tailor-made for the Telugu milieu. Satya, the protagonist of Buttabomma, comes from a completely remote area, her village had to be in the hinterlands for us to establish why she has an orthodox father who never got her a camera phone. Instead of choosing to set the story in the Godavari region, or other parts of coastal Andhra, which is the go-to place for most Telugu films set against a rural backdrop, we chose to build the world of Buttabomma in the Araku valley. Much of the changes we incorporated are present in the first half of the film, in the second half we stuck largely to the original screenplay.” Reflecting on the casting process, he says, “Anikha’s innocence and Arjun Das’s intimidating countenance, which was reflected in their previous works in Tamil cinema was exactly what we were looking for while finding actors to play the roles of Satya and RK, and we utilised that for the story’s benefit.”
Expressing his love and gratitude for the technicians who brought the story of Buttabomma to life, Ramesh says, “I met a lot of people for the first time during the course of this film. But now, it feels like I have known them forever. Especially with Ganesh (Ganesh Ravvuri, the screenwriter of Buttabomma), in him, I have found a friend for life.” So, what lies next for this filmmaker? “I have a couple of scripts with me right now. I actually have a strong inclination towards action-drama films, so that will mostly be my next destination,” says Ramesh, signing off.