By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Immense fire in the belly! That's the impression one gets about Raksha Mistry, the co-director of The Killer, when one gets into a conversation with this former assistant director turned full fledged director with Vishesh Films' The Killer. This former assistant to the likes of Dharmesh Darshan and Rakesh Roshan is not a novice to the film world and after spending 12 years in the industry doesn't feel shy to admit the plot of 'Collateral' being the source of inspiration for Irrfan-Emraan starrer The Killer. Over to the lady!
Since Raksha Mistry sounds like a new name to many, why don't we start with your professional journey?
Well, yes Raksha may sound a new name to many outside the industry but the fact is that I have been a part of the industry for around 12 years. And just to let you know one more thing that along with me, my friend Hasnain Hyderabawaala has co-directed the film. We both have been associated with Dharmesh Darshan in the past and started our career as assistant directors with Raja Hindustani. After that we worked in number of other films with him like Dhadkan and Mela. Hasnain was also the assistant director with Bhatts for Tamanna while I too was involved in post production of some films with Bhatts. Soon Hasnanin joined Vikram Bhatt and assisted him in close to 12 films while I worked with Rakesh Roshan for Koi...Mil Gaya and Krrish. So yes, it has been 12 years and we are not unknown names as far as being technicians are concerned!
You just mentioned that you worked with Rakesh Roshan in Krrish. Wasn't it a double whammy year for you with both Krrish and The Killer happening back to back?
Yes, it indeed was an exciting lat year. Krrish has taken around 2 years to be made while I started working on The Killer last year. Unfortunately I couldn't work on the post production of Krrish since I was working for The Killer all around. I must mention that Rakesh Roshan was ultra supportive when I informed that I have taken over my first independent project. He was quite happy and said that since you have got a break with such a reputed banner, you go for it and rock the show!
How has the relationship with Vishesh Films nurtured over the years?
One fine day Mahesh Bhatt gave me a call and asked me to come to his office. Not really knowing what it was for, I just walked in when he surprised me by asking if I wanted to go independent. Thrilled at hearing this, I said that if I get into direction it has to be a joint effort and Hasnain would be the co-director. He then asked us to hear an idea that he had come up with it. He said that he has seen this good movie called Collateral that revolved around a particular situation where a killer enters a cab and makes him his hostage while on a murder spree around the town. It sounded like a good plot and as I said earlier, we gave him a basic storyline in two days. After that it took us 2 months to come up with the film's screenplay!
You seem to be pretty chilled out about disclosing the source of the movie?
And why not? See, it's a good inspiration after all and if an idea has germinated from a Hollywood source, why not be honest about it? At the end of the day, we have Indianized it to a great extent by making a roller coaster paisa-vasool film that is about a don, a killer, a taxi driver along with lot of 'bhaigiri', assassins, murders and a bar dancer who happens to be the taxi driver's girlfriend. Yes, similarities are there but there is also a difference in the way that while Collateral was quite depressing, ours is a racy journey with lots of 'masti' and 'masala'!
We know about Irrfan Khan being a killer and Emran Hashmi being a cabbie. So who is the don in the film?
Zakir Hussain (who has earlier acted in Sarkar, James, Darna Zaroori Hai) plays the role of a don and hasn't he done a fabulous job? He is a 'bhai' in the film and portrays a powerful personality. He has been modeled on the lines of Dawood Ibrahim!
Did you say Dawood? Are you sure you are not inviting any controversy since last time Bhatts mentioned the name Abu Salem, Gangster saw a lot of controversy knocking its doors!
Sorry, but no controversy here please! I am already seeing a lot of controversy that has been unnecessarily generated in case of Rakhi Sawant incident but The Killer requires none of that. Our don has nothing to do with the real life of Dawood Ibrahim. It's just that Zakir Hussain is shown to be resembling the don by means of a built and personality and the work he does while operating from Dubai. But the similarity ends just here!
If you look at the trend, films from majority of RGV protegees seem like RGV films while the same holds good for Yash Raj Films as well. With Bhatts, how much of creative freedom does one get?
On the contrary it is very easy to get creative freedom with the Bhatts. Mahesh Bhatt is the kind of person who loves to hear a different point of view. He is quite large hearted and gives you a lot of space. He wants others to share speak up while discussions are on. And if you are wrong, he would politely say, "Beta aisa jo tum soch rahe ho wo theek hai par tumhe aisa nahi lagta ki hum is tarah se karein to better hoga?" He will place his opinion and then let you take a final call. That's the reason why you see that all his recent films ranging from 'Kalyug' to 'Gangster' to 'The Killer' and upcoming 'Suicide Bomber' are so different in treatment!
Nisha is the only female actor in the film. What was it about Nisha that struck you?
Her innocence! We were looking for a girl who was hot looking with a great body and still who could convey innocence! And I feel really great when people, after seeing her in the promos of 'The Killer', ask who this new girl is!? Now that's a compliment as her new look is completely different from what one saw in her earlier films.
In the current scenario with films making 30, 40, 50 crores at ease at the box office, what is the figure for The Killer that would keep you happy?
See, 'The Killer' is not as lavish as those films that have made the kind of crores that you just mentioned. If you look at the other film I was working on, Krrish, it has been made on a HUGE canvas and you really require ton loads of money for action, special effects, publicity etc. But The Killer is not that kind of film that requires such a large scale production. At the end of it, it's a story that dictates budget and for a plot as in The Killer, a low budget would suffice.
You still haven't answered my question!
The only thing that I can say is that it is a VERY safe film. For further detailing about the money spent v/s the returns, my producer Mr. Mukesh Bhatt would be the best person to reach out to [Laughs]!