Director's Cut: Revathy on Kajol-starrer Salaam Venky, 'The biggest challenge for me was to be medically right'

Filmmaker gets candid about Salaam Venky and her return to direction after more than a decade

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Monday, December 05, 2022, 10:00 PM IST
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Revathy | Pic: Viral Bhayani

Revathy’s Phir Milenge (2004) showed the journey of a person suffering from HIV and how they deal with the stigma attached with the virus. Now, the actress-filmmaker returns with her new offering Salaam Venky. It showcases the story of a man (Vishal Jethwa) who is fighting for his life and how his relationship with his mother, played by Kajol, turns out. The Free Press Journal caught up with Revathy for an exclusive chat.

When asked how she gets sensitivity in her storytelling, Revathy says, “I come from a middle-class and sensitive background, people who value the smallest of things in life. The kind of parents I have, I think it’s just a part of me. As life has taken me through it in a very interesting way.”

Talking about her sabbatical from direction, she reveals, “I was constantly working and constantly kept thinking that I have to direct but I feel my mind was just not totally into it all this while. One has to prioritise different things at different stages of life. Direction takes a lot from you, emotionally, mentally and physically. So, I gave in to it and the universe conspired in favour of it.”

Salaam Venky is the adaptation of a novel called The Last Hurrah. When asked how difficult it was for her to adapt it for the big screen, Revathy explains, “The Last Hurrah is a small, simply written book. When Venkatesh passed away in December 2004, his mother Sujata wanted to release a book on his birthday in May 2005. The author Shrikant Murthy had to put all this in a small little book. A director can make a film with so many aspects but when I met the writer Sameer Arora, he had a beautiful take on the book. He created a drama which is very interesting and that caught my attention.”

The film has a huge emotional quotient. When asked about how as a filmmaker, she keeps that balance while narrating a story, Revathy reveals, “The emotional quotient is what attracted me to this story. It was easy for me. The biggest challenge for me was to be medically right since we are making a statement with the film. The film is not about euthanasia rather it is just a part of it.”

On a parting note, Revathy shares how she never realised that life-death are pivotal in her storytelling. “I never realised that. I feel life is so precious and to be able to live it well, is the most important thing. You are born and die, either you exist or live. So, maybe I am exploring that through my films,” she concludes.

Salaam Venky will hit screens on December 9.

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