Kitu Ghosh – On His Upcoming Film Sooper Se Ooper
Posted by Vivek on October 6, 2013 | No Comments
After having made close to 800 Ad films, Kitu Ghosh gets ready to present to us, a side of Rajasthan, as never seen before. His film promises to be one of humor backed with some solid performers such as Deepak Dobriyal, Vir Daas, Gulshan Grover, etc. Here we catch a moment with this bundle of positive energy, that is Kitu and chat with him:
What makes an Ad filmmaker transition to a feature film director?
See the audience that we are catering to, as Ad filmmakers, is essentially the same as what we cater to as filmmakers, except that in films we get a larger space to tell and sell our stories. So after having done approximately 800 plus Ad’s, that was a natural progression for me. It also gives me scope to tell different stories and build on characters.
Advertising filmmaking is a better training ground, for the real world, than film school, your thoughts?
I would completely agree with that, in that we are trained to tell a story in a very short span and to tell it so effectively, that the audience latches on to it. Also we can stretch the boundaries to the whole world in Advertising storytelling, as opposed to being in the structures of film school story telling, which by no means is to pull down film schools or their graduates, but Advertising certainly has its strong points too, as you are pushing the limits on a regular basis.
Sooper Se Ooper, must be challenging to pull of your first film, which does not have the traditional luxury of stars?
Challenges are good, I would not want it any other way. The challenges came in the form of convincing the actors, the film backers, but I guess deep inside it starts with your own conviction. That has always been my strongest point and that is able to overcome and convince others.
On your choice of cast, I mean Deepak Dobriyal and Vir Das are amazing actors, but not necessarily the big stars of today?
When I was writing the script, the mental picture I had of the lead character was the comic book character of Asterix and I wanted to bring in that kind of quirk to the character and create a character who is a Rajastani, who has never lived in Rajasthan. Your stereotypical Rajasthani would be a tall 6 feet character with big large moustaches. And when he shows up in his own home town, he is asked by one and all, as to how can he consider himself from Rajasthan? He is kind of a bunny rabbit in the film. There are very limited people in India who can act and at the same time have a great comic timing and it was a challenge to find that right character, until we came across Vir, who has fit into that character like a glove. Deepak’s character is like a vulture, so for the rabbit, he is the counter vulture. He is not your traditional villain, the situation turns him into the antagonist. He is actually a buffoon, who stumbles upon this goldmine which he does not want to let go, but just want to emphasize that he is not your traditional out and out gangster, it is the film that makes him do, what he does. So this way, each character was a very thought out choice and I am happy I ended up getting my choices.
Why this story?
There was definitely a desire to connect with the people of India. The Hollywood and traditional storytelling around Rajasthan involved images of grandeur and forts and what have you. But in my view Rajasthan is more about the people. They are like the wild west of India. The Rajputs, who are found in both Haryana and Rajasthan, which shares a common border, are like the wild west, in a very quirky manner. In my observation of its people, I thought there was a great story to tell here. The film is split in two halves, one is set in Rajasthan and one is set in Mumbai. The first half is about the city going to the village and the second half is vice versa. So it is basically the clash of two cultures in a very quirky manner. I mean picture the villagers coming to the big city, it is almost like a Crocodile Dundee kind of situation, and like there, he is sharp, I mean villagers are not idiots, they are inherently smart who observe and pick up the traits of the city, very quickly. So the characters as they see themselves, are not comic or quirky, but to the world outside they are perceived as humorous and therein lies the observation of life and people. Also the distinction between the word quirky and comedy is what I bring to the table.
When does the film release and what else is going on in your creative life?
It releases on October 25th. After this I have two other films on my plate, one which is a big project and one a quirky take on urban relationships.