190703 Jyotika
Image Credit: Supplied

Tamil director Sy Gowthamraj believes that films, besides being an art form, also have the responsibility of influencing people through its stories. After working in the industry for 11 years, assisting directors including Vikraman, Gowthamraj’s dream of his first feature film has crystallised. His debut film, ‘Raatchasi’, is centred around a government school teacher who questions the system. Jyothika plays the lead. She is Geetha Rani, a disciplinarian and a much loved teacher in a government school.

Gowthamraj who has written the story traces the inspiration for the film to his school headmaster, who was a disciplinarian. “Today when I look around and see many of my school mates well placed, I realise his influence and motivation in their lives,” said the 33 year old native from Pudukottai.

The challenge was in making a film that will be entertaining and convey a social message relevant in today’s times. With a star like Jyothika he believes that her role will drive home the message well.

“She chooses films based on few criteria and looks ahead to do responsible characters in her second innings,” he said.

Filming with a large group of children was no mean task, added Gowthamraj. “All of them were facing the camera for the first time and quite hyper on the sets. You cant be strict with them, but need to move with them and get things done. The acting had to be spontaneous and not artificial.”

The supporting cast includes Poornima Bhagyaraj, Hareesh Peradi, Satyan and Aruldoss.

Sean Rolden has composed music. Gokul Benoy is the DOP.

‘Raatchasi’, produced by Dream Warrior Pictures, releases in the UAE on July 4.