After taking a hit with Waaris and Shunyo E Buke, director Kaushik Ganguly is hoping to hit the box-office bulls-eye with the frothy comedy Jackpot (releases on January 23) starring Koel Mullick, Hiran, Rahul and Sohini Pal.
A t2 chat...
Why have you switched to a fun film like Jackpot after the serious Waaris and Shunyo E Buke?
Frankly, Waaris didnt do well. Shunyo E Buke did well in Calcutta and travelled to a few festivals. But I feel that people dont enjoy serious films anymore. Nowadays, people watch films to relax. They dont want to buy tickets to come out of the theatres with a heavy heart. So I thought of making a fun film. I had made the telefilm Hariharan a couple of years ago. It was a comedy and many people had asked me why I wasnt making a comedy film.
Also, I think I had become predictable. People took it for granted that whenever I would make a film it would be serious and soppy. Believe me when Waaris didnt do well, I felt as if I was standing alone in a desert and no one could hear me. In fact, no producer was interested in my films. I didnt make films for two years. Jackpot is my way of reconnecting with my youth. Comedy has a lot of takers. Jackpot is releasing in 80 theatres.
What is Jackpot all about?
Its a story of friendship. Its also a love story. But its friendship that we have highlighted because I believe there can be no love without friendship. Love cannot sustain itself for too long if two people are not good friends. Jackpot is also about a reality game show with a prize money. In a way, its a road film too. The characters are constantly on the move.
Where does the journey take the four?
There are two kinds of journeys — the characters are travelling from one place to another as part of the 48-hour game show. I cant reveal why theres a reality show in the film. Lets say, circumstances force them to keep moving. Then, there is the journey of friendship and realisation. The characters travel in a car but I couldnt allow monotony to set in, which often happens in a road film. There has to be a variety of locations otherwise the audience get bored.... We have shot in seven-eight different places — Bolpur, Raiganj, Gorumara forests, Gorubathan, Dhupjhora, Lava and Rishabh.
How did you go about choosing your cast?
I thought Hiran would look very interesting with the kind of look and make-up I had thought for him. He fit the bill of an introvert character. Koel was a revelation for me. I found her to be a thinker and a very methodical actress. Rahul sports a funny look and I knew he would look the part. Sohini had acted in a few films before, but she worked really hard. She did around 12 workshops before we began shooting. I am very happy with my casts dedication. We shot in Rishabh at two degrees Celsius. I can guarantee that post-Jackpot, people will take Koel, Hiran, Rahul and Sohini seriously.
What about Brakefail, your other comedy film?
Brakefail will release after the IPL. Actually, Mumbai Mantra has taken over the film from Chivach Media. So, that took some time.