Director Ram at IFFI Press Meet, Goa
|Other names||Ram Subbu|
|Years active||2007 – present|
Ram is an Indian film director, who works in Tamil cinema. After assisting Hindi directors Rajkumar Santoshi and working under Balu Mahendra, he made his directorial debut with Kattradhu Thamizh (2007), which fetched him strong critical acclaim. His second film Thanga Meengal (2013) also won critical praise and three National Film Awards.
Ram, while he was pursuing a Master of Arts postgraduate degree in Tamil literature at the Madras Christian College, began writing short stories in Tamil language. He met director Thangar Bachan and worked with him in a few films, who[who?] recommended that he meet Hindi film director Rajkumar Santoshi. Since he could not understand Hindi and was unaware about Hindi films and hence did not know who Rajkumar Santoshi was, he was initially reluctant, but eventually decided to meet him and joined him as a script writer, moving to Mumbai subsequently. Ram worked together with Santoshi in several Hindi films, including Pukar (2000) and Lajja (2001), and helped him in shaping the story of Lajja. Ram revealed that he first had planned to make a "cross-over English film on man-woman relationship" and approached Balu Mahendra to handle the cinematography, since he felt Mahendra's style suited his script best. The project failed to take off, but Ram continued working with Mahendra. Though he did not assist him in any of his films, Ram considers Balu Mahendra as his teacher, who, he says, "converted" him "from being a film maniac to a film student" as he also learned about cinematic techniques from him, particularly about cinematography.
By mid-2006, Ram began working on his directorial debut, initially being titled as Tamil M.A., which was later changed to Kattradhu Thamizh to get exempted from the entertainment taxation. Ram told that the film would revolve around a young man, who gets into trouble because of his education, quoting that it would show the "pathetic state of our mother tongue [Tamil] in today's society". He selected Jeeva to essay the lead character in his film, after he had seen Raam (2005) and been impressed by the actor's performance, while a newcomer Anupama from Mumbai was tipped to play the lead female character of Anandhi first, however she was later replaced by Anjali, who debuted in Tamil cinema with this film. The film was shot for nearly a year across Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Chennai, and gained high anticipation in its finishing stage, mainly due to Jeeva's looks in the promotional stills, and Ram's controversial statements at the film's soundtrack release, when he stated that he had "killed" everyone who had hurt him during earlier days through the screenplay of the film. Kattradhu Thamizh followed the journey of a lower middle class post-graduate degree holder in Tamil literature, who struggles to find a job and gradually turns a sociopath, frustrated by the inequality in the social stratification. Following its release in October 2007, the film received high critical praise, becoming termed as a "cult classic". Behindwoods in its review called the film a "kurinji flower in Indian cinema", citing that "once in a while a movie re-writes Tamil cinema history" and that Kattradhu Thamizh was "one such precious gem", further adding that Ram deserved a "standing ovation for not bowing down to commercial format and sticking to his theme with strong conviction". Ram denied that the film was his autobiography, clarifying that, unlike the protagonist in the film, he went on to work as a media consultant and that the film was an autobiography of a fictional character named Prabhakar.
Shortly after the film's release, Ram was expected to commence his second project, which was tentatively titled Saddam Hussain and was to feature Dhanush and Bhavana in the lead roles. The project was shelved and Ram took a sabbatical, beginning to pen a new story titled Thanga Meengal instead. By mid-2009, Touch Stone agreed to produce the film, with Karunas being signed to play the lead role, however the studio opted out the following year after facing financial troubles. Director-producer Gautham Menon eventually accepted to produce it, asking Ram to enact the protagonist's role, which he agreed to after shooting rehearsal scenes with cinematographer P. G. Muthiah and being "thoroughly convinced". Thanga Meengal discusses how a common man’s life is twisted and turned by globalization and today’s educational system. The film was a critical success, winning three National Film Awards including the Best Tamil Feature Film Award  and three awards at the Chennai International Film Festival. It was also screened in the International Children's Film Festival, India in the Children's World section which screens the finest movies of the last decade, and was the only Tamil film selected to Indian Panorama in IFFI, Goa.
|2007||Kattradhu Thamizh||N||Tamil||Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Director
Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Story, Screenplay Writer
Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Find of the Year
|2013||Thanga Meengal||Tamil||National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
Vijay Award for Best Film
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- Thangameengal wins 3 National Awards - The Times of India
- 'Thanga Meengal' at Indian Panorama in Goa | Deccan Chronicle
- Offbeat movies earn laurels at Chennai film festival - The Hindu
- `Thangameengal` goes for Indian Panorama in Goa