Keedaa Cola, the unique crime comedy directed by Tharun released in theatres on November 3. Tharun Bhascker shares insights about the idea behind making the film, his choice of characters and the journey with the film
Q: When did the idea for ‘Keedaa Cola’ come about?
A: Knowing that many people were earning money in various ways during the lockdown has made me think it’s quite funny. On one the roads someone stole a man-hole cover and sold it. When we were discussing about these different ways of making money, friends told me that you can even earn money by filing a case for finding an insect in food items. These humorous discussions and situations from a distance, appeared comical. Watching every crime from a distance makes it a comedy. This is also my favorite genre. From childhood, it’s been my favorite genre. My all-time favorite genre is comedy. In that, Brahmamandam Garu’s roles are very likable. Similarly films like Jigar Thanda, Soodhu Kavvum are also very likable. I don’t like romantic comedies; I find them boring. Along with me, my friends too like crime comedies. Now with this movie, my dream to do a crime comedy came true.
Q: Your first film has received a national award. How do you manage the pressure and the expectations?
A: My first movie, ‘Pelli Choopulu,’ brought a lot of pressure and expectations. After receiving the National Award, I felt a bit of weight on my shoulders (smiles). I made ‘Ee nagaraniki emaindi?’ This movie also received critical acclaim. The pressures seem to keep coming. But ‘Keedaa Cola’ lightens the pressure a bit and its liberating to take cinematic liberty.
Q: Your movies are really close to reality. How is ‘Keedaa Cola’?
A: After the last two movies, I’ve taken some liberty in this one. There are logical laughs in ‘Pelli choopulu’. In “Keedaa Cola,” there are gunshots, blasts, and much more cinematic liberty.
Q: Movies often have an impact on society. How seriously do you take writing stories?
A: The impact of movies on society is something that we should talk about. I take the responsibility of writing characters seriously. In my recent film, ‘Ee nagaraniki emaindi?’, we addressed issues like women’s safety. The story has a character named Vivek who leaves money for others to find. It’s not just about money; it’s about conveying a message. I do try to convey messages through my storytelling.
Q: ‘Keedaa Cola’ has an interesting cast. Can you tell us about the selection of actors?
A: During the casting for ‘Keedaa Cola,’ we conducted auditions for all the lead actors. Everyone performed their auditions, and we selected actors like Jeevan, Vishnu, and others based on their auditions. They have played their roles brilliantly.
Q: Brahmanandam has a role in the movie. Could you tell us more about that?
A: We wanted to show something new and different with Brahmanandam’s character in the movie. We have painted him like a famous character, and that’s the hint we can give for now. Is he a painter? Or is he a sculptor? You will have to watch the movie to find out (smiles).
Q: You sound extremely confident that the audience will definitely have a laugh riot watching Keedaa Cola. How are you so sure of it?
A: When the preview was shown in Mumbai, the audience enjoyed it a lot. They laughed aloud while watching the movie. I believe that the visuals, writing, making, will make the audience laugh heartily and also ponder about money collection (laughs).
Q: The movie has a character Vastu has ‘Tourette Syndrome’. Did you intend to convey any message through this character?
A: When there’s something different or when someone is differently-abled, it should not be just about speaking of protecting them, measures should be taken for their empowerment as well. That’s the underlying message I tried to convey.
Q: Among the roles you wrote, which role do you feel that you resemble?
A: In every role, I see a lot of myself. But in this one, when I wrote the role name ‘Naidu’, it made me feel like I had lost all the weight on my shoulders. I experienced it. I see myself in the character, ‘Naidu’.
Q: In the trailer, there is a scene with a Chinese doll. What is the significance of that scene?
A: I know a medical representative, he placed a simulator in a car and went to a wedding. At the same time, the police stopped the car and questioned him about the simulator. This incident led him to demonstrate the stimulator functions on the road, seeing that his suitor’s family canceled the match. This incident inspired me.
Q: In your role as a filmmaker, what inspires you the most?
A: I find inspiration from life itself. I draw inspiration from my own life and the world around me. My family, my surroundings, and the people I meet inspire me. This inspiration often leads to unique stories.
Q: Chaitanya is highlighted more on the poster? Is he the hero?
A: There are a total of eight characters in this. Among them, the hero is the one I, along with our writing team, have bet on. Let’s see who the audience considers the hero. It’s quite an interesting game (with a smile).
Q: Doesn’t the movie last only for two hours?
A: Yes. It was two hours and 20 minutes. I trimmed fifteen minutes. Crime comedy has a fast-paced and unique nature. It maintains the narrative edge. Keedaa Cola is also fast-paced and unique.
Q: In the past, you planned to make a movie with Hero Venkatesh, right?
A: Yes. That movie is in progress. Producer Mr. Suresh Babu said to proceed with it. But I had to invest more time for the script. Now, I am ready. Additionally, a web series is also in progress.
Q: Could you share your thoughts on the characters that are close to your heart?
A: Characters like Vivek in ‘Ee nagaraniki emaindi?’ and the one played by Brahmanandam in ‘Keedaa Cola’ are close to my heart. Brahmanandam’s character is inspired by my grandfather, and he was a good friend of mine. He was a fan of my work and wanted to appear in a film like this. Brahmanandam garu played the role brilliantly.
Q: What is your perspective on crime as portrayed in ‘Keedaa Cola’?
A: In ‘Keedaa Cola,’ we have brought a new perspective to crime. Instead of making it a grave issue, we have approached it with humour. We have tried to portray how crimes can be seen differently, making them funny and entertaining.
Q: Any message for the audience?
A: We believe that ‘Keedaa Cola’ will bring laughter and a different perspective to the audience. I hope they enjoy the movie and have a great time.