Interview: My film has nothing to do with Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vasantha Kokila’, says Ramanan Purushothama

The Sri Lankan Tamil is equally confident and excited as he awaits the release of his directorial debut on 10 February.

ByY Sunita

Published Feb 09, 2023 | 6:30 PMUpdated Feb 09, 2023 | 6:30 PM

director Ramanan Purushothama

Ramanan Purushothama doesn’t waste time on pleasantries the moment he starts talking.

The Sri Lankan Tamil stresses that he is making his debut with a dubbed film that is titled Vasantha Kokila in Kannada and Telugu; it’s titled Vasantha Mullai in Tamil.

The project is all set to hit the theatres on Friday, 10 February. It has nothing to do with the Sridevi and Kamal Haasan-starrer, though.

Ahead of its release, the director visited Hyderabad recently to promote the film.

sri lankan tamil Ramanan Purushothama.

Ramanan Purushothama on the sets of ‘Vasantha Kokila’. (Supplied)

“I didn’t migrate to India. My mother is quite far-sighted and she put me in a hostel for better education. I studied in Ramakrishna Mutt from Class 8 to Class 10. Since the hostel was in T Nagar, we would walk to the school. While walking, we would watch the posters and huge hoardings of films,” Purushothama told South First about his first brush with cinema.

Though he was curious, all he got to watch in school were art films or mythology flicks. But his curiosity led him to pursue cinema.

He went to the Sivaji Ganesan Film Institute and opted for cinematography, and his parents supported him.

Soon after graduating from SRM, he shot a short film and uploaded it on YouTube.

On his journey with Bobby Simha

“I texted Bobby Simha to watch my short film, but there wasn’t any response. He replied after two long years. But I was delighted. I went to his house, and met him and his wife,” he recollected.

bobby simha in vasantha kokila

Bobby Simha on the sets of ‘Vasantha Kokila’. (Supplied)

Meanwhile, Ramanan Purushothama was seriously into writing these two years.

“I would write something random, not like it, and tear up the paper. This went on till Simha and I began corresponding. Then, I narrated a store idea and he loved it.”

Vasantha Kokila’s release couldn’t have been announced at a better time, especially when Waltair Veerayya has become a hit and Simha played a big part in it.

There is no particular intention in naming the film Vasantha Kokila, and it has no similarities with the old film of the same name starring Kamal and Sridevi.

The movie is a mystery thriller and Vasantha Kokila is the name of a motel. Rakshith Shetty is doing a cameo in the Kannada version and Arya is doing a similar role in the Telugu and Tamil versions.

on the sets of vasantha kokila

Ramanan Purushothama on the sets of ‘Vasantha Kokila’. (Supplied)

So, did Ramanan redo the entire story after getting a green signal from Simha?

“No, I didn’t even have a one-line order but an idea. I narrated the concept to Simha. When he liked it, I began working on it. It took me five-six months to get the bound script, but the rest of the things got stuck during the lockdown,” Ramanan Purushothama recalled.

Initially, he didn’t think of releasing the project in two more languages. However, during the lockdown, Simha decided to dub it in other languages.

What is Vasantha Kokila all about?

Well, the film has only a handful of characters. The story revolves around NIla (Kashmira) and Rudran (Simha).

“They want a break from the hectic life and embark on a journey to a hill station. There is a sudden downpour and they stay in a hotel called ‘Vasantha Kokila’. What happens that night is the crux of the story,” the filmmaker said.

Vasantha Kokila/Vasantha Mullai was shot in 35 days in Chennai and Vagamon, located near the Kerala border.

Ramanan Purushothama sarath kumar

Ramanan Purushothama with Sarath Babu on the sets of ‘Vasantha Kokila’. (Supplied)

But why didn’t Ramanan handle cinematography for the movie, especially since it’s his specialisation?

“This is my first film and I didn’t want to put one foot in one boat and the other in one. As of now, I’m happy being the director,” he quipped.

Gopi Amarnath of Pizza fame handled the camera. Rajesh Murugesan of Premam fame scored the music.

So, are his parents coming from Sri Lanka to watch his dream debut?

“My sister is expecting a baby. So, my mother has to stay back to take care of her. In a way, I am going through labour pains, too, this being my debut film,” the director signed off.