Director Ranjith Sankar likes to challenge his own comfort zone
The IT professional turned writer-director has clinched three back-to-back superhits in the past three years, at his relaxed pace of one film per year.
From industry outsider to surefire hit-maker, Ranjith Sankar celebrates the critical and mass acclaim for his new movie Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam with his usual detachment. The IT professional turned writer-director has clinched three back-to-back superhits in the past three years, at his relaxed pace of one film per year. Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam was a movie that he had planned early in his career - inspired by the life of his friend and colleague.
Ranjith borrowed the friend's real name for his new movie. "Sudhi is an amazing individual; he stammers but he addressed it in his own inimitable style and is today a project leader who must work across multiple teams in different countries." While Ranjith planned his first movie on Sudhi, he was also intrigued by the man's habit of sleeping off in the passenger train, which went on to spawn Passenger, Ranjith's debut as a director, a super-hit film starring Dileep.
He then went to on do other movies before announcing Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam with Prithviraj some years ago. "At different times, we look at the same project with different eyes and perspectives. When the project finally kicked off, Jayasurya seemed as the natural fit to do the character."
It also helped that Jayasurya and Ranjith had formed a rapport after the success of their first outing together, Punyalan Agarbathis. "But I do not seek a comfort zone as a director," says Ranjith. "I like to push myself, not be branded into any genres."
He says there had been a certain level of apprehension in taking on Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam because the project was not easy. "We were narrating a very unconventional story and in a manner that was never approached before."
Ranjith says his trust in the project has been proven right with the commercial and critical success of the film, which has opened in theatres in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, among other overseas markets. And what comes as most gratifying for the director is the overwhelming response from the public and how it connected so well with people.
"The film doesn't propose people to make drastic changes to overcome their challenges; it just reminds them of the power of self-acceptance," says Ranjith.
Thus, without melodrama, without superficial feel-good motivational extempore, without magic bullets, a simple story with its heart in the right place has become one of Ranjith's most accomplished movies.