Filmmaker Raj-DK: Writing for web is like playing a T20 match
Filmmaker jodi Raj-DK discuss the differences of the two mediums as they foray into digital with The Family Man
Having penned feature films and now, web shows, writer-filmmaker duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK use the allegory of cricket while describing the difference between the two mediums. "Writing for films is like playing a Test match while that for web, a T20 game. When it comes to scripting a digital show, all the rules change. Every episode must have a beginning, a middle and an end. It has to be extra crisp as each episode must be self-contained," explains DK, one-half of the successful jodi that has slowly brought its own brand of humour to Hindi cinema.
With quirky films like Stree (2018), Go Goa Gone (2013) and Shor In The City (2011) on their resume, it was only a matter of time before Raj-DK — as they prefer to be called — would explore the digital medium. "We had been waiting three years to make a long-format story. We had a bunch of ideas and were looking for the right platform," admits Raj.
The idea that finally progressed from the logline to a full-fledged series is that of The Family Man, an Amazon Prime Video drama that revolves around a quiet Chembur resident who moonlights as an undercover agent for the Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell of the National Investigative Agency. The director duo's signature everyday humour is evident as their protagonist, played by Manoj Bajpayee, makes do with daily chores of picking up the kids from school or applying for a home loan when he is not saving the country. "This is the first time we are collaborating with him. He plays a meek middle-class man who is also a spy. He was the best suited to play the common man, lace the character with humour, yet be serious when on the job as an intelligence officer," says DK about Bajpayee.
Manoj Bajpayee in The Family Man
The National Award- winning actor, who was earlier seen in short films Kriti (2016) and Taandav (2016), is not exactly new to the web world. "I was one of the early birds who took the digital route," says Bajpayee, who also features in the upcoming Netflix show, Mrs Serial Killer. He explains his shift to the web world as "a move to keep challenging myself as an actor and be part of stories that excite me after over two decades in the industry. My character, Srikant Tiwari, is protecting the nation against a terror attack, but at the same time, he is submissive in his daily life. He is a man leading two different lives."
The Family Man, which also features Priyamani and Sharib Hashmi, is based on news events and delves into the current political climate. Raj adds, "We had complete autonomy to showcase the story the way we conceived it. Besides Mumbai, we filmed a major portion in Kashmir and Ladakh last year. We shot in sensitive spots like Lal Chowk in Srinagar and the city's airport, which they shut down for the shoot."
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