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'I want to make Crazy Loka in Hindi'

Last updated on: June 8, 2012 12:15 IST

'I want to make Crazy Loka in Hindi'


Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore
Kannada filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh is ready with her latest film Crazy Loka, starring V Ravichandran and Daisy Bopanna.
The film hits the screens this Friday.

Kavitha Lankesh, daughter of the renowned Kannada litterateur, the late P Lankesh, had taken a three-year break from filmmaking. Her last film, Avva, had an above average run at the box office. 

Kavitha made her bow as a director with Deveeri which was based on her father's literary work, and has since directed the critically acclaimed films Alemaari (about the Lambani tribals) and Bimba, and the commercially successful Preeti Prema Pranaya.

In this interview with Srikanth Srinivasa, Kavitha talks about Crazy Loka and the casting coup that will see Ravichandran in a new role.

What is the film about?

The film is about a middle-aged man going back to college and all the crazy things that happen in the college environment. 

We have banked on the title that Ravichandran carries as 'Crazy Star'. It is a fun film and a family oriented subject with a lot of comedy. 

For the first time, Ravichandran is acting as a father to a teenage boy.

Why did you choose Ravichandran for this role?

When I met him to narrate the story, the first thing I asked him was if he was ready to play father to a teenage boy. He said he had no reservations in even playing a villain if it is challenging enough! 

He loved the idea of a middle-aged man going back to college. I didn't have any option but to cast Ravichandran himself for this role. 

I am happy that he agreed to do the film and that the film has shaped up well. I had asked his real-life son to be cast in the film to play the reel son's role. But Ravichandran wants to launch his son's career himself under his direction. 

Image: A scene from Crazy Loka


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Who is playing the son's role?

We have cast Surya, a local lad, who has trained at Subhash Ghai's acting school. We auditioned him as he came through music director Mano Murthy's friend. 

He impressed me by improvising on the scene paper that I gave him. He has done a good job in dancing and acting. 

He is a good find for a Kannada hero. He is paired opposite Harshika Poonacha.

Who are the others in the film? Why did you take so long to start this movie?

Daisy Bopanna is a kind of triangle between him, Ravichandran and Avinash. Avinash plays an absent-minded principal in the film. 

I wanted to do the same film in Hindi. But, in Hindi, casting and production takes a long time. Some people are still interested in this script because of the pan-India subject. This subject can work anywhere.

Image: A scene from Crazy Loka

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'I was initially scared of working with Ravichandran as he is a good technician'

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By naming the film Crazy Loka, have you deliberately punned on Ravichandran's popular blockbuster Prema Loka?

Yes. Ravichandran is known as 'crazy star' and his name was associated with Prema Loka. 

He has never done a college campus story after Prema Loka. He has never been in a college scenario at all. 

I don't want to compare this film with Prema Loka. Prema Loka was a path-breaking film in the 1980s and a musical hit inspired by Grease 2.

What was it like directing Ravichandran who has a very keen eye as a technician?

He himself admits that he is better as a director than as an actor and that he doesn't know why people make him act. 

I was initially scared of working with him as he is a good technician.  He wondered where I kept the camera!

I am more a script-driven film-maker than a technical director. I don't like cinematography or music overtaking the story. They should come together to elevate the script. 

We didn't discuss the script on the sets. We had done all the homework before the shoot. 

We didn't have any arguments as he kept to his word of not interfering with my work on the sets.

Image: A scene from Crazy Loka

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'Crazy Loka is a totally youthful film'

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Is Crazy Loka going to be a Ravichandran film or a Kavitha Lankesh's film?

Hopefully, both will work magic at the box-office. The sensitivities of the film is mine and magic or charm will be Ravi's as he has a huge fan following. 

It is not a typical Ravichandran film. People are going to see him in a new avatar. You should expect my logic and his magic to work. 

There is no masala song as is usual in his films. This is my youngest film, so to say, as it is a totally youthful film.

How did you fall into the trap of making a commercial film after starting off with Deveeri?

I am myself surprised at the turn that I have taken. 

Avva was another serious film. I would love to do a film like that again. But, the budgets are a major constraint as it is impossible to devote so much of time and energy to a small budget film when you have to run a family, manage your business and also make a living. 

I want to do all kinds of cinema and I am not here to cater to the stars or producers. I go by my own rules. 

On the other hand, in the festival circuit we miss the criticism and discussions that go with the making of serious cinema. I don't want to delegate myself to art house cinema. 

Commercially, Avva did well although it was a serious film that didn't go on the festival circuit because of the tone of the film and the loudness.

Image: A scene from Crazy Loka

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