Jayam Ravi’s Winning Formula


‘Jayam’ Ravi, Bhoomi is ready for release

Introspection was the order of the day for ‘Jayam’ Ravi during the lockdown last year. Whilst the film industry had to shut completely, Ravi admits to spending most of his downtime re-evaluating some of the decisions he has made in his career. “It was a good time to sit and think about the mistakes I had done and what I need to do to get better,” he smiles.

The actor, whose upcoming film Bhoomi streams on Disney+ Hotstar from Today 14th January

“ Every other business has opened up with necessary precautions. We have to handle the situation the same way in film shoots as well. I hope there won’t be any problems, but if there is one we have no choice but to find a way to cope… because work has to happen,” Ravi said we did think about a theatrical release but the fact is we waited for 11 months with a completed film, expectantly waiting for theatres to open. It didn’t happen and, as you may know, safeguarding a finished product is akin to walking on a knife’s edge. One never knows when the story will be leaked or something else will happen. So we signed over the film to Disney+ Hotstar, and immediately after came the announcement that theatres were reopening.

Bhoominathan is fighting for something that is relevant in today’s context — for farmers. It is not a clichéd story, however. The film has addressed the subject with—sincerity; the farmers’ issue is not just one sequence in the larger story, it is connected to the whole of the plot.

My character is an astronaut who returns to his hometown after being away for a few years. He comes back and realises that some things are wrong; he makes a few decisions that he thinks will help society heal in a way.

This is a serious subject, but at the same time, I am not making a documentary. I am making a commercial movie, so there are some creative liberties that have been used, which is also the reason why we have a disclaimer at the start of a film.

I still think audiences take back values from a film. For instance, a film like Comali where the lead character is someone who re-emerges from a coma to find that society has changed. This was the entertainment factor in the film, so if you found the content entertaining, it means that the values also reflected well on the audience. Inevitably then, the viewer will take back the message.

Even with Santhosh Subramaniam, where the story is set in a family where the father takes all the decisions, people rang me up after watching the film to tell me that they had forced their son or daughter to do this or that, and that they were going to drop doing it. These are positive changes.

I stay away from formula. I did the first zombie and space movie here, so I have always attempted something that is not formulaic because of the confidence in my audience. It wasn’t intentional that Bhoomi has a rural setup or falls in a genre that resembles previous formula films.

Budgets will reduce, for sure. It is always best to work from a safe zone when you are always unsure of what might happen. It also means there will be limited crew. But I don’t expect the movie watching experience to change.

It will never be affected. It is like how back in the day, a film had to run 100 days to be successful and now it only needs a 10-day run. Those days, there were only single screen theaters and you had four shows in a day.

These days, we have multiplexes and 40 shows in a day; just the ratio differs. Likewise, the star value of an actor won’t change. Neither will the public’s interest to go to theaters and watch movies.

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