Saurabh Tewari to do Role in ‘Krishna Chali London’by Opinion Express May 22, 2018 0 comments
Author Ramya Palisetty said that Saurabh tewari, has discarded his proven and tested formula and now come up with an groundbreaking show with a protagonist who is not the typical hero.
Producer Saurabh Tewari has perfected his formula for the success of his TV shows — the transformative power of a good girl on a bad boy. And with his new show, Krishna Chali London, the script of which he started writing six years ago, he has gone rogue and experimented with a new idea but is apprehensive about the reaction of the audience though the promos have garnered a lot of love and appreciation.
From the initial promos, the audience found a resemblance of the lead character to the one played by Varun Dhawan in Badrinath ki Dulhania. However, Tewari believes the similarity is miniscule and the audience might discern similarities between the characters because innumerable people are working on the same at any given time. Tiwari has made some changes in the protagonist’s role with the sole reason that they did not want a repetition of the same character. In the past, Tewari has created popular sagas like Madhubala, Rangrasiya and Zindagi ki Mehek.
In the new show, the protagonist is called Radhe, a name synonymous with a girl which was done to keep the quirkiness in the concept and the suspense in story-telling. The character is not a typical hero. He doesn’t ride a bike or fight with goons for a girl. He is one of those characters who would buy a pepper spray to prevent the goons from attacking. His acts of kindness and innocence will be his badge of heroism. The story is set in Kanpur but after six-seven months, the plot twists transport it to London.
Tell us about the new show, Krishna Chali London?
The character of the protagonist is inspired by my cousin. At 21, his whole agenda in life was to do everything for an imaginary girl who he fantasised would become his wife. He would ask me, “I have collected this amount of money, where do you think I should go for a holiday with my wife?” For the entire span of 24 hours, his thoughts revolved around an escapist image and he was her prince.
In real life, girls rejected him frequently because he worked with his father in a shop in a small alley. But my cousin never got depressed with the series of rejections. He always believed that he would find the one. Over a period of time, I realised that he was a fantastic character about who you can narrate a story. The challenge was creating a hero out of him. He is not a heroic character, so we had to work on the script for quite long. How could you make a seeming loser attractive enough for the viewer? How could I blend him with an aspirational India? I have tried to keep the narrative, dialect and locations very real, so it has a certain authenticity.
How did you zero in on the actor to play the character?
It was important that the actor who portrays the role looked very innocent. It is very easy to label this character as a creep. The main reason that individuals like Radhe want to get married is because they do not have girlfriends, have never ventured into relationships and their notion is that marriage is an easy route to intimacy. It is a mindset and we cannot run away from it. Individuals like him believe that parents have given them food, shelter and money and one day, they would find a girl to marry as well, so life would go on. If I underline this thought and begin the show, then it is not a very positive image. The protagonist needs to look like someone you would fall in love with. I saw a few videos of Gaurav Sareen but he was talking in thet Punjabi. Though we liked him as he fit the character but there were a few conditions he had to follow one of which was that he should stop speaking Punjabi and learn Kanpuri. After a few days of the shoot, he surprised me with the way he picked up the nuances of the language.
Does the show have Harishankar Parsai’s satirical narrative?
The narrative is very Parsai. Like for instance, the protagonist’s father farts three times a day and he is unapologetic about it because it is a natural process. Parsai is unapologetic about anything. In this world, if a dog comes and licks your face, it is the way of the universe. There is nothing cosmetic and you don’t dress up anything. If a boy comes across as a loser to you in a few episodes, then he is a loser. All of us in real life, in one circumstance or another, are losers. My point is why should we highlight just one aspect of life. With this show, I have tried to change that thought.
Do you think it will get a positive response from the audience as well given the fact that TV shows are in the end dependent on TRPs?
You can never predict what works and what doesn’t. My show Badtameez Dil had all the ingredients for a hit but it didn’t click with the audience. I still have not been able to figure out why. We can write a thesis in retrospect but the answers are rarely there. The passion and hard work towards creating a show remain the same.
You were the pioneer of the trend of maha-episodes 10 years ago, which became a movement of sorts. What are the challenges one faces during maha-episodes?
I realised that it was a wrong decision five years later when I became a producer. Working as a channel and strategy head, we were looking for instant numbers but when I moved to the other side of the table for Madhubala, I understood the hardships better. The unit had to shoot for 17-18 hours without a break and it was a blunder. It made me think that it was a wrong trend but by that time, it had picked up momentum with the audience. It was difficult to undo it. If a maha-episode happens every two months, it is still doable but every month becomes inhuman as the crew has to work beyond the point of exhaustion. We can curb it altogether but nobody wants the TRPs to drop. Everybody wants to be number one.
How has content evolved on television over the years, now that you have seen both sides of the picture?
It has evolved very little. That is the biggest problem faced by the television industry — lack of innovation. Nobody is ready to experiment. It took me six years to overcome my own fear. In all my shows, the heroes are angry young men who jump off from choppers. In today’s time, innovation is difficult as everything is research-driven. We follow the Hollywood pattern where if Spiderman I has worked, then it becomes a series with third, fourth and fifth parts. All we are doing is creating sequels by changing the backdrop but the characters, story line and twists remain the same. Today, if I want to tell a story of a father and son, nobody would want to watch that story as they would want a love story. It is a huge struggle to change the conditioning but it wasn’t this difficult when we conceptualised a bouquet of niche channels. Now they all look the same. I feel the audience is still accepting but the fear of failure from producers is inhibiting innovation. The measurement of success is a run for 1,000 episodes. Anything below it is not considered good enough and this is creating undue pressure which dilutes the storyline.
Every show starts with a high but then the story fizzles out. The serial continues without any content or a script. What are your thoughts on it?
Honestly speaking, any new show has enough story and content to drive it till 250 episodes after which, it is not possible to keep the same storyline. So we just drag it out. The core story is over, so you keep adding plots to the sub-story where they might or might not work. In today’s time, when shows are getting slashed after three months, individuals are looking at the business aspect. When you are creating a show, 100 people are involved and employed for it. Their houses are running because of it. Out of them, only 10 are creative individuals, the other 90 are daily wage labourers who are concerned only with their work. If I feel that I am repulsed by the show, it is not making sense and I decide to slash it, one decision of mine will affect 100 lives.
Writer: Ramya Palisetty
Courtesy: The Pioneer