Director Prawaal Raman’s fictional take on international criminal Charles Sobhraj has managed to grab enough eyeballs prior to its release courtesy the sleekly cut trailer that has enough sex and drama to keep the audience glued. In an exclusive conversation with The IndianExpress.com, Prawaal throws more light on his celluloid take of the infamous bikini killer.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Ques: Have you romanticised Charles Sobhraj through your movie?
Prawaal: First of all, I am not making a biopic on Charles Sobhraj. It is based on the jail break that happened in Tihar in 1986. There were cops who then caught him and brought him back to justice. Madhukar Zende of the Mumbai police caught him in Goa. Amod Kanth of the Delhi Police too deftly tacked the case. I have taken permission from Amod to tell the story of the case and have fictionalised the character. To answer, your question about romanticising, yes I know Bollywood has always glamourised crime and criminals. A Mona darling will always take a shower. But trust me, I have not done the same the same with ‘Main Aur Charles’. I have not romanticised it. My story is about the perception of seven people whose lives changed after their meeting with Charles. I met people who were his cell mates and who used to say he is a magician who disappears. Unfortunately, he has become a legend in a negative way and we have shown that.
Ques: Was Randeep Hooda always your first choice to play Charles?
Prawaal: Yes. In my opinion, if there is an Indian equivalent to Daniel Day Lewis, it is Randeep Hooda. I feel most other actors carry an image of themselves based on what public thinks and likes about them. So, they will keep those elements while playing each and every role and thereby will not stay true to their craft. Randeep can play anything and as an actor he can be moulded into a role. He can even play a woman.
Ques: But wasn’t the film earlier announced with Sanjay Dutt in the lead?
Prawaal: That happened because of the studios I signed up initially with. They announced it with Sanjay Dutt and there was another studio that announced it with Saif Ali Khan whereas I wanted only Randeep.
Ques: But isn’t Randeep a popular name too?
Prawaal: They called it a publicity gimmick and that was alarming enough for me. I was not in favour of that as the same was done without my consent. Hence I withdrew.
Ques: How bold is the movie in terms of its sexual content?
Prawaal: It is very bold but I won’t cross the boundaries. It is bold because it is about a bikini killer. So, why should I be inhibited in showing love-making scenes.
Ques: So, have you gone all-out with the love making scenes?
Prawaal: It’s not all out. It’s about being uninhibited when having the scenes. There aren’t scenes like you would see in ‘Basic Instinct’ because my subject doesn’t demand the same. However, I do have to showcase how Charles seduced women. I have not treated the scenes in a sleazy way. There is nothing sleazy about the film.