Karwaan: Bonhomie voyage
Talking about his upcoming movie ‘Karwaan’, Akarsh Khurana reveals the idea behind making this movie, kind of relationship that the three characters of his movie share and a lot more.
What do you keep in mind while choosing the cast of your film?
I believe that the actor we choose for any film should be meant for the role. Their acting should not look like any effort – it should rather be natural. Irrfan was selected by our producers. In fact, he was the first person they suggested to play that role. I think we got really lucky as he instantly said yes after reading the script. Same was the case with Dulquer. We just wanted to work with them.
But for Mithila's role, the auditions went on for like two months. She was finally selected from the three shortlisted actors.
To be honest, I really wanted to cast her. I have seen her works in the web series and she came to me as a very natural actor; exactly how I wanted it. Her acting is really natural and relatable. Unlike other budding actors, she is childish, playful but at the same time very true to her work.
How was your experience working with the cast?
Irrfan is a very senior actor and we felt lucky working with him. I think, if I talk about my cast as a combined entity, it was really fun. They were exactly like the characters on the script. All three of them were different, coming from different spheres of life, set on the same journey (film) to discover themselves while trying to learn from each other's experiences.
How did you balance the experienced Irrfan and newbie Mithila?
Trust me, it took no efforts. They quickly got along with each other. Irrfan on screen is a very serious actor and even on sets he tend to be very particular about his work. But at the same time he tries to make everyone else very comfortable around him.
How much time did the entire process – from writing the script to executing it – took?
I remember working on a film with Bajoy.. that is where we got this idea of a road-trip film and we started writing the script long back...I guess four years back. But the shooting only took 35 days. We spent almost four years finding our producers, and the moment we got the perfect man for the job, everything went on smoothly.
What is the best thing about the journey of Karwaan?
I don't know what the best thing about this film is, I think it is in itself the best. The film is a sweet, unique and an interesting journey of three unique actors/people traveling together in a car – discovering themselves. Above all, I think it is a fresh film one really should watch.
What was one major difficulty you faced while shooting for the film?
I remember, when we were shooting a part of our film in Kerala, Oh god!.. we had a slight idea about Dulquer's popularity in the state. We were even ready to deal with certain disturbances that would be caused by fans, but we didn't expect the situation to go haywire. So, we were shooting there and a lot of fans came to meet him. Thankfully people in Kerala are sensible enough that they didn't create any trouble while shooting. And of course, rains in Kerala were a terrible experience while shooting.
What are your expectations with the film?
I am quite excited for August 3. The response to the trailer as well as the music has been really overwhelming so far. I feel, we will do well with the support that the audience is showing to our three characters – Irrfan, Dulquer and Mithila. There are different films releasing every Friday and it is difficult to get an exclusive slot obviously. But I feel that if we have done justice to our content and story, surely we will do well.
What do you have to say about the clash with 'Mulk' and 'Fanney Khan'?
Well, that is tricky. I can say what I feel but then I can't deny the fact that all the films are really different and there is no comparison.
If there are three films at the box office, there will be three different kinds of an audience coming to watch those. Let's see who gets a larger audience.
Do you think Mithila being an appealing factor of this film, in combination with Irrfan's fan following, will draw more attention towards Karwaan than the other two films?
The other two even have strong actors. Definitely Mithila and Irrfan can do the magic but then how can I deny the popularity of Aishwarya, Anil Kappor and Rajkumar in Fanney Khan and the strong characters of Rishi Kapoor and Tapsee in Mulk. I think it would be better if the audience decides which film or character deserves more attention.
You are working in the industry for 15 years. How has it changed with time?
A lot of things have changed. I would say a lot of things have changed for good. Just think how we used to make same type of films earlier for same set of audience. I feel that the emergence of Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, has given a break to the monotonous filmmaking in India. We are a little slower that West but we are learning and I feel we are going in a good direction.
Also, the patterns of filmmaking are changing. Now we have the liberty to experiment more – with the content, characters, actors, etc. The barrier to commercial and art films has broken, there is no distinction between them. Art films have a good collection at box office while the much-talked about commercial films flop too.
Did audience change the cinema or cinema changed the choices of the audience?
Both! I think it is audience for whom we make films. So definitely it has to be audience because of which the idea of experimentation (change) came to us. Moreover, audience was happily watching what filmmakers were offering them. They still depend on us for variety. And because the filmmakers are giving them option, they are happily accepting it. Therefore, we both have changed each other's lives for good.
Owing to the success and popularity of 'Lust stories' and 'Sacred games', will you ever contribute for a web series?
Yes, definitely. People are really appreciating such series and the A-list actors like Saif who are appearing in such series are doing an amazing job. So, if I come across such cast and story line, I would definitely do it.
If you have a chance to work with Irrfan in a biopic, which character would you like to direct while Irrfan portrays it?
Woah! That's a very interesting question. I haven't thought of it yet but keeping Irrfan in the picture...I guess I would make a biopic on Irrfan – his story, struggle, life which I know people would love to watch. Also, I think no one can act Irrfan better than him. He would be my first choice for sure.