Director Badri Venkatesh, the director of Atharva’s Semma Botha Aagathey due for release this week, has a very variant career graph. Ranging from reality TV shows, celebrity sport events, beauty pageants, award shows and films – he has seen it all. Only Kollywood caught up with the director to discuss his cinematic journey and the incidents taken place in the eight-year-long gap between Baana Kaathadi and Semma Botha Aagathey.
“I got 2-3 offers after Baana Kaathadi. The film wasn’t a zero, mainly because of the popular songs, Atharva and Samantha,” Badri starts talking about the long hiatus. “I and Atharva were supposed to work on another film which was going to be extensively shot abroad, but in cinema, there are lots of slips between the cup and the lip. We didn’t want to take a chance on such a big budget. So I shifted focus to my alternative career – television, where I have done close to 2500 episodes of screenplay writing. I keep directing all the reality shows on Sun TV, I’ve even done a show at first where Anirudh was the keyboard player. I got busy there,” he says.
So how did Semma Botha Aagathey come up, we tend to ask. Badri answers, “One fine day, I met Atharva and narrated a one-liner to him. He really liked it. We were supposed to do it for another producer, but ultimately, he came on board to bankroll the film.”
Talking about Atharva, he says “I’d describe him as somebody who is extremely passionate about cinema. He keeps watching a lot of films, so he was bound to enter production one day or the other. With me, there was a comfort zone too. So things fell into place. And yes, he looks awesome in this film.”
The sneak peeks of the film suggest that it is another adult-rated ride following the hugely popular and talked-about Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu. However, Badri talks in a different angle, “I won’t call it adult content. It’s a clear popcorn comedy. Getting drunk is bad, getting overly drunk is extremely bad. After getting drunk, never make important decisions. Within a couple of hours, the calmness of your brain would return to normal, but the decisions you make will come back and haunt you. This is the bottom-line of my film, and it conveys it in a very hilarious manner. It is going to be edgy yes, but it is not a silly double-meaning film.”
Interestingly, Badri Venkatesh has already called it that this is not a film for the critics. “Let me tell you, critics are not going to rave about Semma Botha Aagathey. I want all the youngsters to come and enjoy the film, we were very clear about this intent right from day 1. Even during our personal screenings, we felt we are on the right path.”
After churning out songs like Thaakuthe and En Nenjil together for Baana Kaathadi, Badri and Yuvan have worked together once again after a long stop-gap for this film. Asking him if there’s any change in the composer’s character over the years, “Absolutely nothing. He’s the same, cool guy. He treats everybody on the same scale, even if he’s just an assistant. On the second day of coming on board itself, he finished recording a song. And the BGM, I’m sure people will keep talking about the re-recording after release.”
Semma Botha Aagathey hits the screens on June 29th worldwide. “Let people come and enjoy, that’s all I need,” Badri signs off.