You should have freedom to do what you want to do as long as it’s valid: Director Sriram Raghavan


On working together Sriram: We are each other Whenever I do a script, he is usually among the first two or three people to hear it. Sometimes when he does not like the subject, I still go ahead and make it. We did try to work together on films a couple of times, but it somehow did not happen. Shridhar: We are brothers and we interact on pretty much everything that we are doing. Regarding working together, he does not need a full-time writer because he himself is a writer and has a fabulous team of people working with him. He really likes to spend a lot of time, about two-three years, on a project. I do 50 things at a time. I like to travel and I like to disappear, so it is not very conducive to a full-time relationship on a working level. On how they entered cinema Sriram: I passed out of FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) in the late After you graduated from the institute, you either joined Doordarshan or you went into the advertising industry or joined the commercial industry. I was trained to look down on television. At the same time, the movies being made in the Satellite (TV) came in the early So he (Shridhar) has done a great body of work with CID, Aahat and so on. But I did TV to take care of myself and survive for the next few months. Shridhar: There was that phase post Doordarshan, when tons of channels were planning to come in. There was Business India television and BP Singh wanted us to do something for them the channel never took off. After four or five years, Sony bought the show. So we were at the beginning of the so-called satellite wave. On why they chose suspense to deliver their stories Sriram: There is no proper answer to that. (Alfred) Hitchcock has a story, where when he was a kid, his dad gave him a note and told him to give it at the local police station. He did, and he was locked up. I have no such dramatic story. I think it was this natural kind of progression. When we were in the fourth and fifth standard, we read Enid Blyton and then Agatha Christie. Then, of course, there were a whole lot of American writers. It is like asking (PG) Wodehouse why he writes about fun stuff for funny stories. Shridhar: What we really enjoyed reading was stuff like James Hadley Chase and Agatha Christie. We just enjoyed the genre a lot. On #MeToo and Bollywood closing ranks Sriram: This closing ranks business is very possible. Each story is probably different. Sometimes there is consent, but consent is not a line. It is a big bad grey area. But anybody who comes out and outs somebody, I think, shows tremendous courage. One has to listen to them. On a basic level, it will stop a lot of people from trying out stunts. I think it is still work in progress. One of my close friends has also been outed. I have not spoken to him, but I don I mean, you have to know it from both sides. Shridhar: I think what has been happening is great on one level because it is obviously making the workplace safer and that is good. If people are talking about it, it would make people nervous about behaving badly. At the same time, there is also concern because an accusation is not the same thing as an indictment. One needs to be careful. If somebody has been accused of something, there has to be due process, an enquiry. There also has to be support for the victim or the survivor. On freedom of expression and self-censorship Sriram: Whenever we are doing any film. you try to self censor, let me not go there kind of a thing, which is a valid response because you are making a small film. If it gets stuck, somebody is going to lose money. So, it is not one person who is deciding, it If you ask me personally, I think you should have the freedom to do exactly what you want to do as long as it is a valid thing.

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