BOI: Avadhoot, your films have fared very well in the past and were also critically acclaimed. Did you feel any pressure while doing this film?
AG: No. I was very confident when I was doing this film. First, I did Zenda and then Morya, one was political and other was social. Later, I did Jai Maharshtra Dhaba Bhatinda and then Ek Tara. JMDB was a love story and Ek Tara was a musical.
Zenda and Morya have done really well so people and viewers say that I am very good at this subject. After taking a break after those two films and getting out the social topic when I did this film, I didn’t have to make an effort for the script and dialogue. Many scenes were conceived on the sets itself. Right from the location, to when the artistes arrived in their costumes, all of it motivated me to write and conceive more shots and change a lot of things. So I was very comfortable. After watching the final cut, I realised this is what I am good at.
BOI: Can you share some details about the music? Purvesh has also sung in the film.
PS: It was a very good experience for me. All of a sudden, Joe told me that I had to sing a song. I was super excited. I was in Italy at the time but I used to constantly call and ask when we would be doing the recording. After I came back to India, I kept calling him ki kar lo na please kar lo na.
AG: He was good.
PS: He was expecting me to finish
the song in 6-7 hours but I took just one hour.
BOI: Is this the song with Mika?
PS: Mika was supposed to sing but I sang it. As a producer, I made my job very clear, I saved money. (Laughs)
AG: We have very good music, with both Bollywood and Marathi singers getting together this time. We have Sonu Kakkad and Vaishali Sawant and myself singing together, it’s called Krishna janmah. Then we have Kailash Kher and Sureshji and Swapnil Bandodkar, my all-time favourite Sonu Nigam of the Marathi industry, he is also singing one song. Then we also have Rohit Raut and Adarsh Shinde, who are new talents.
BOI: What can the audience expect from Kanha?
AG: In Marathi, we express it in one word… tharaar, which means ‘thrill’. It’s a very realistic film and this festival is largely ignored by the masses. Hum log ko bank holiday bhi nahi hota.
PS: That’s a fact. There are thousands of Govindas participating in this, I don’t call it an event, I call it a festival. But it is ignored. It is not even a public holiday. Even when someone is injured, they don’t get any support from the government or private hospitals. Yet it is a festival that’s at par with Ganpati and Navratri. In fact, the money put out to organise a one-day Dahi Handi is more than that put into a 10-day Ganpati festival.
Right now, Gokul Ashtami wohi hai jo TV pe dikhta hai. Through this film, we are trying to show the hard work these Govindas put in for Dahi Handi, what they go through during the preparatory phase, to after the festival concludes. It’s about their success story and the hard work they put in to reach that level. We have also spoken about the political background, two political parties, one being the good side, the other being the bad. This movie is not just about Dahi Handi and the human pyramid but all the stress and efforts the Govindas experience.
JR: Earlier, when my staff used to ask me for a holiday on Dahi Handi, and would refuse but after watching this film and understanding its importance, I am going to tell them to take a holiday. This film has helped me realise just how big this festival really is.
BOI: As actors, what can your fans expect from this film?
VT: I think this film is an image-breaker for me as I have always played the boy-next-door in romantic films. So I hope the audience will be pleasantly surprised. Also, it will change people’s perception towards the game. Yes, it has been declared as a ‘game’. I think it’s been called Sahasi Khel and I hope people will start respecting these sportsmen as it takes guts to do what they do.
GM: Total masala!!! The film has action, drama, romance and adventure. It is a complete family package with a deep-rooted social message. The film will help the Dahi Handi sport a lot, so I guess after watching it, a lot of Govindas will be very happy. Everyone will look at the purity and spirit of the sport. Having said that, this is not a preachy film, it is not a documentary but a commercial, masala entertainer.
PS: Your first buy is never a Mercedes or a BMW; your first buy is always a domestic car. As a citizen of Maharashtra, I personally feel the quality and material of Marathi films is better than any Bollywood film. The happiness, joy and knowledge you get after watching a Marathi film is much more than what you get from watching a Hindi film. I will master the Marathi industry before I take a step forward.
JR: Marathi films are no longer just another cinema and our trailers have drawn a lot of praise. People have tweeted about them including people from Bollywood. After Sairat and Natsamrat, which have done exceptionally well, I am sure after a few years, many Bollywood actors and producers will get into this segment.