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Boom Shaka La Ka
As a heroine, Revathi is a role model for many upcoming actresses. Even on the small screen sheís created an impact in the serials produced by her hubby Suresh Menon. Their latest serial for children Boom Shaka La Ka telecast on Sun TV at 7 pm is fast growing into another Shaktiman in Tamil and for the kids, Revathi auntie as the lilliput character is a hot favourite. Today, Telephoto Films, the banner set up by the couuple is on the verge of going public and tying up with three major finance companies. Taking time off from her busy schedule, Revathi answers a few queries about the serial and TV industry in general.
Tell us about Boom Shaka La Ka which seems to be your pet project.
I look after the creative aspect of the serial from the scripting to the tape level. Earlier I was only into acting but now I am involved in every process right upto the production. Suresh looks after the marketing.
Was the serial inspired by the success of Shaktiman?
Our serial has no comparison with Shaktiman. Here itís a small boy who has supernatural powers. The serial is full of humorous incidents, there are a lots of simple graphics and childish fantasies in it and with me as a four inch lilliput thrown in, itís really funny. Actually when we were offered the 7 pm slot, we thought the time was just right for kids who finish the work at home and are ready for TV viewing. So, we planned this fun serial.
Our gamble paid off but initially due to the exams, our TRPs were not too encouraging but today itís good and kids are used to this slot now. The use of graphics has increased our costs by three times than a normal shoot but the results are positive. In the Malayalam version, the serial is just okay but in Telugu itís doing well.
Why doesnít Nirangal have the sophisticated look and content that Chinna Chinna Asai had?
It requires great talent to write for a daily soap like Nirangal and none of us is used to it. In a weekly soap one can find more time to work on it. So, we handed it over to a new team to handle with no interference from us. But I do agree that in terms of technical excellence it can be improved. However, the budget is low for serials on the afternoon slot.
After elections you seem to have said goodbye to politics?
We should do something good for the country and I campaigned for the NDA because at that point I felt that I should promote this alliance. After that, I stopped. Lack of time is one factor and another thing is that if you join a party you are restricted in your speech and so far I have been my own boss. I have not decided as to whether I should have a boss.
With your workload, your social service activities might have come to an end.
Not really. I was associated with Banyan but we found that linking an actress with the organisation works against it. Because in terms of funding, many sponsorors drop out thinking that the actresses will use the money herself. Sometimes they withdraw thinking the actress will organise the funds. So, I have decided to keep a low profile and work for several organisations and go along with them in fund raising efforts.
Every heroine who comes to Tamil films says that she wants to be a Revathi but later on we find her becoming something else...
Poor things, what will they do? Where are the directors and the stories that we got? Whenever I see todayís films, I am sure that I will not be able to dance like them. Films today are concentrating on song picturisations where everyone talks and looks the same. Very few of them get to play different characters. See Manisha in Bombay, Tabu in Kala Pani or Pooja Batra in Chandralekha, given a chance they can perform. Can anyone imagine a Savithiri with her roly poly figure lasting on todayís scene with her acting talents? Itís not that we acted in arty films all our life, but eighty out of 100 films that we did had good stories. Even in Malayalam cinema, the change has come. Can anyone dream of a film Kakaathi Kavile Apoopan Thadi in which only me and a little boy acted? Now every film has to be shot in foreign locales while for us a film with a locale outside India was a big event.
Do you think Tamil serials will go the Hindi way with subjects based on extra marital relationships...
Why only extramarital, I think even divorce has become an accepted fact in Chennai and I donít think you can stop it coming here too.