Nobody expected Sarita, Khushboo and Jyothika - prominent actresses from three different generations - to star in a debutante's film. But director Revathy S. Varma managed just that in Tamil movie "June R".
A popular ad filmmaker, some of the ads Revathy made were for Rexona, Hamam, Happy Jam, Pickle and Malabar Gold with Mohanlal. But directing a feature film had been her dream since college days, she told IANS in an interview.
the first schedule of "June R" is over, and she plans to finish the
film in August and release it in September. Incidentally, her husband,
K.R. Subhash, is also a filmmaker and won a national award in 1998 for
his short film, "A Violent Drumbeat".
Revathy spoke about her unusually titled film. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Why did you choose such an unusual title?
: I wanted a totally different title that everybody will notice. I felt the story needed such a title. I also feel the title "June R" is different. Everybody told me it was good and different!
Q: Has it got anything to do with the month June?
A: Yes, the month June is very important in the film. Let me also say the answers are there in the film for the questions: what is "June R", why is "June R", who is "June R"? Another significant thing is that it was in June that I started shooting the film.
Q: Were you nervous on your first day of shooting?
A: I was not nervous at all because I have been shooting ad films for nearly 14 years. In fact, while shooting ad films, I would be very tense because sometimes I had to finish 20 shots in a day.
On the other hand, I was very relaxed shooting my first feature film. We used to do just two scenes a day. There was absolutely no hurry on the sets.
The first shots were some performing scenes with Jyothika and Khushboo, and in one take, they were over. You know, they are all one-take artistes.
Q: Do you feel making a feature film was more creative?
A: I never felt that making ad films was less creative. In fact, it is tough to make an ad film, as you have to convey something in a short time. In a feature film, you have the time to express everything.
The reason why I came into making ad films was because of my fondness for the visual medium. Even while making them, I was full of story ideas.
Q: Is the story of "June R" yours?
A: Yes, I had published this novelette in an English periodical called Woman's Era quite sometime back. I love the story so much that I used to tell my husband that whenever I get a chance to do a film I would use this story.
Then a friend of mine introduced me to a producer in Mumbai and we even decided which artistes to contact for the roles. We had thought of approaching Jaya Bachchan, Tabu and Kareena Kapoor for the roles.
Q: But then, how did "June R" become a feature film in Tamil?
A: Actually, it was Jyothika who was responsible for that. I had approached her to confirm her dates for a Tamil feature film, which my husband was planning to make. When I casually mentioned my story to Jyothika, she asked me, "Why don't you make it in Tamil?" According to her, the story would work better in Tamil than in Hindi.
Q: You had Jyothika in one of the main roles. Why did you choose Sarita
A: I could only think of Sarita who is equivalent to Jaya Bachchan because I needed a performer to do the mature role. I also thought of Urvashi Sarada but then I decided to approach Sarita.
Then, I could think of only Khushboo for the second woman's role, and nobody else. She had not been doing any movies but is still popular. I can confidently say that this will be a totally different role for Khushboo.
Q: Can you tell us something more about the story?
A: The story is about three women who lead their lives differently. Though they are not related to each other, an incident in their lives brings them together. After that, their lives get intertwined. This incident is the main thread of the film.
Q: It was reported that Jyothika is Sarita's daughter.
A: Let me tell you, a woman need not be the biological mother of another woman to feel that way. Similarly, Sarita is like a mother to Jyothika though she is not Jyothika's biological mother.
Q: Is your film a tribute to women?
A: I will not say that. You can say the three women characters in my films are just ordinary people, as ordinary and as normal as you or me. You can see them in our society, all around you. They can be your neighbour, your colleague, your friend.