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Meet ‘Richie’ director Gautham Ramachandran

The lawyer-turned-filmmaker talks about his debut project, starring Nivin Pauly

Image Credit: Supplied

The director of Tamil film Richie, Gautham Ramachandran, is a qualified lawyer who worked in London for some years and then returned to India to switch paths and pursue his long treasured dream. Two films that influenced this dream go back to his childhood, when he watched Maniratnam’s Roja and Shankar Nag’s Minchina Ota, a heist drama.

Equipping himself with a degree in screenwriting and direction at Mindscreen Film Institute, Ramachandran assisted directors Rajeev Menon and Mysskin before going solo with Richie, a Tamil remake of the critically-acclaimed Kannada film, Ulidavaru Kandanthe, winner of two Karnataka state awards.

Richie is also Nivin Pauly’s first Tamil film. Excerpts from an interview with Ramachandran follow:

On Richie and its lead characters:

“This is a crime drama happening over two days in the coastal town of Mannappad and Tuticorn. The skeletal structure is the same as Ulidavaru Kandanthe, with adaptations made for cinematic sensibilities. We have taken references from the local language. Nivin reprises Rakshit Shetty’s role from the original, playing a goon and a bully. Natarajan Subramanian plays Kishore’s character from the original. He is a boat mechanic and a stranger in the town. Unlike Richie, who will explode any time, Natty’s character is calm and reserved, more of a recluse. Both the characters are independent of each other, two sides of the same coin, with their lives running parallel.”

On working with Nivin Pauly:

“Nivin gets well involved in his films. We have been working together right from the drafting stage of the story. And, it’s not just about his character only. We discussed about the other characters. Nivin believes in giving ample space to other characters. As far as acting is concerned, he is a free and spontaneous actor. In Richie, his character comes with negative shades. Nivin takes on a role that you have not seen him play earlier.”

On the supporting cast:

“Prakash Raj plays a church priest. He is Richie’s guardian, a father-like figure to him. His performance is a notch higher than what I wanted. Shraddha Srinath is a journalist who is trying to unravel the case. Natty’s role is again a character he has not explored before. His own screen pair is Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli. Senior actress Tulasi plays a significant role that will stay in the audience mind for long.”

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Richie is now playing in the UAE.