Rajesh Krishnan(Photo: HTCS)
Rajesh Krishnan(Photo: HTCS)

I wanted a kind of humour which was accessible yet intelligent: Rajesh Krishnan

The Lootcase director opens up about his first feature film, the cast, and how making ad films have helped him to keep things simple
HT Mumbai | By Nishad Neelambaran
UPDATED ON AUG 15, 2020 06:19 PM IST

For many of us, movies with a plot that revolves around a bag full of money might sound too cliché. However, what the makers do with the plot and how they tell a story with it, is all that makes the difference. And one such film is Lootcase. Directed by debutant Rajesh Krishnan, the film stars Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Duggal in the lead role. The film, also has Gajraj Rao, Ranvir Shorey and Vijay Raaz in pivotal roles. Speaking about his debut film, which recently released on an OTT platform, Krishnan says, “Lootcase has a certain simplicity to it. As a discipline when you do ad films for 20 years in your life, you learn be simple rather than being complex.” He further adds, “The whole attempt was to keep things as simple as we could and get into a humour which is accessible but at the same time is intelligent. I have grown up watching Malayalam films, and their movies are like the shining example of how the movies have to be made.” 

Lootcase was compared to a Nepalese film Jatra, which released in 2016. So, did this make Krishnan a little nervous about taking up this project? “We had written the story sometime in 2014. If you Google, ‘films with bag full of money’, you will find about 40 movies. Somebody getting a bag full of money is a very middle-class thought. But it is what you do with that thought. I would be stupid if I had to say it is the most original idea in the world. It is as cliched as you can get for a thought,” he says, adding, “Fundamentally, we saw a photo of a rickshaw driver in a newspaper, who had returned a bag to his passenger. And we saw the rickshaw driver’s face and it was almost like he was sorry to return it without checking what was inside the bag. And that is when we started to think about it and when it was pitched to Kapil Sawant (co-writer), he said, aisa idea meine suna hai. I said let’s push and see. You will fail at the max, let’s fail for free.” 

Krishnan, who is also the CEO of Soda Films, is very particular about his cast. Even if it is for an ad shoot, he has managed to work with the right people in a project. He admits that he literally knew who they wanted to cast for this movie. “The casting team has done a fantastic job here. They actually did the difficult task. I practically had worked with 90% of this crew in some commercial or the other. In advertising world, look is far more important than performance. There is literally no time for an actor to go out there and express and that is where the casting team came into play. We did extensive casting except for Gajraj. Back in 2014, we knew we wanted the role of MLA Patil to be played by him,” he shares. 

Ask him if he would continue to make ad films despite his commercial break, and he says, “Advertising is like Ranji Trophy where you keep honing your skills. An ad film set is not any different from a feature film set. I would never give up ad films.”

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