Talking about his upcoming directorial, Ragavan says to Silverscreen India, “My Dear Bootham is a fun fantasy comedy film for children, something along the lines of My Dear Kuttichathan (1984) and Raja Chinna Roja (1989). As the title indicates, it revolves around a bootham (genie) and the film will go on to explore the bond that gets formed between the genie and a 10-year-old child.”
Ragavan, who has also written the script and says that he has experimented with genres with both his films, so far. “While Manjapai is a family drama, Kadamban is an action film. I like to experiment with genres. I felt that children’s films with elements of fantasy have not been made in Tamil cinema for a long time, after My Dear Kuttichathan. It sparked an idea to write this film and I wrote the script during the lockdown.”
However, he also mentions that he faced difficulty in writing the script in the beginning for a few months. “While I struggled to make progress, my brother Deva pointed out that I did not engage deeply with children’s mentality. After which, I began spending more time with my daughter, who was eight years old at the time. I used to watch the films that she used to see and observed what she resonated with. Only after examining her world, I was able to analyse what children would like and what they wouldn’t. It is also necessary to constantly hold their attention. It was a challenge that way,” the filmmaker recalls.
While Prabhudeva plays the role of the genie, Ashwanth (Rasukutty of Super Deluxe) plays the 10-year-old son of a mother, essayed by Ramya. “While making a movie for children, one can’t be sure if they would enjoy comedy in dialogues, so I had to incorporate action/visual modes of comedy. Hence, I found master (Prabhu Deva) apt for the role. Likewise, we needed a child artist who can act well and Ashwanth came on board. Ramya plays a pampering mother, while Samyuktha portrays the character of a teacher. Suresh Menon takes on the role of a doctor,” Ragavan mentions. Moreover, child artists Param Guganesh, Alia, Satwik and Sakthi will also be seen in the film.
The film went on floors in January 2021 and was wrapped up by March. It was shot fully in Chennai by cinematographer UK Senthil Kumar. “There were about 1.5 hours of CGI that took us around eight months to complete, during post-production.” he adds. The music is composed by D Imman five songs of different genres, Ragavan mentions. Deva, who has written dialogues for the film, has previously worked as an editor for the filmmaker’s first two films. However, San Lokesh has edited My Dear Bootham.
After My Dear Bootham, Ragavan says that his next film will be of a different genre. “It will be another genre, but a thread that runs through my films is the bonding between two characters. In Manjapai, it was the bond between a man and his grandson, while Kadamban explored the relationship between the forest and the hero, and here it is about genie and child. My next film will follow the suit,” he concludes.