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‘Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum’ is a violent love story: Ranjit Jeyakodi

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Ranjit Jeyakodi on what motivated him to write Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum, which releases tomorrow, and the failure of Puriyatha Puthir

With just a day left for release, director Ranjit Jeyakodi is relaxed about Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum (IRIR), his second directorial after Puriyatha Puthir. “There’s nothing we can do now... it all depends on how the audience receives it,” he says, rather nonchalantly. After Puriyatha Puthir released and wasn’t received well at the box office, Ranjit was planning to make a crime-thriller, for which he had the story ready. However, he was apprehensive that he would be perceived as a ‘dark’ filmmaker. “I didn’t want to be boxed into one category. Which is why I wanted Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum to be my second film,” he adds.

Ranjit says he formulated the skeleton of the story even before he made his début. Does the filmmaker decide the genre before sitting at the writing table? He laughs it off, “You can’t write a film based on its genre. The story has to take shape, which itself is a tedious process.” Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum is an odd-yet-intriguing title to begin with. Ranjit acknowledges this and says, “The purpose of the title is to attract the audience, right? I like using poetic titles. In fact, the title is inspired from one of Jayakanthan’s short stories.” He adds, “The Spade and Queen are essential in the game of cards. Which is to say that ‘love’ itself is a gamble of sorts.” The director was irked by the romanticism of the falling-in-love template, and had questions about the concept of love, which he says, prompted him to write IRIR. “Sometimes, people tend to use love as an excuse to hurt each other. How can you hurt somebody you love? When you do, is it love at all? These are some of the questions that bothered me. How can we romanticise love in films, when the reality is far different?”

When the trailer for IRIR was out, there were obvious comparisons to Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy. However, Ranjit considers himself fortunate that people are comparing his film to a ‘cult movie’. He adds, “You’ll feel inferior only when they compare it with a bad product. Otherwise, it’s good that people are talking about my film. Invariably, there’s a reference for every movie and that’s how we have been tuned. My film has nothing to do with Arjun Reddy.”

Ranjit describes IRIR as a violent love story. He elaborates, “Violent... in the sense of dominance. More than physical, it’s about the psychological violence that leads to certain unwarranted situations. The hero is violent by nature, while the heroine is kind-hearted. We wanted to show the dichotomy between the characters.” Toxic masculinity has been a recurring phenomenon in films such as Arjun Reddy. How has Ranjit handled this factor? “I don’t consider these things while I’m writing. If I start thinking about the critics, I would be failing as a writer. So, they don’t bother me much.”

There’s a certain stereotyping when it comes to depicting self-inflicting, sober heroes. Invariably, he sports a bearded look and wears dull shirts. “Beard doesn’t signify ruggedness. The character (Harish Kalyan) doesn’t care about himself and is detached from the world. He is someone who doesn’t even know he has a beard. That was the idea.” From the trailer, the heroine comes across as a bold, independent woman who doesn’t shy away from expressing her sexual feelings. Recently, 90ML invited criticisms for showing women in a poor light. Was Ranjit worried about the social impact while etching out the female character? “Not at all. IRIR is more about love than the person. It’s a not a love story, but a story about love. So, there’s no question of gender here.”

Even though IRIR is his second release, Ranjit believes he has become more mature after what he went through for Puriyatha Puthir, which landed in a financial soup and released after three years in 2017. “When things are beyond your control, you have no other option but to accept them. When the film released, Tamil Nadu was in a state of mourning because of the suicide of Anitha over NEET. After a week, it was removed from theatres,” he says, adding, “Nevertheless, I will be working with Vijay Sethupathi again next year.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 11:08:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/ranjit-jeyakodi-interview-ispade-rajavum-idhaya-raniyum/article26521394.ece

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