We know them as trailblazers of fresh, quirky humour in the Indian Entertainment space, and with every project, they try to touch a new genre- something that has not been widely experimented with in Hindi cinema. After ‘Go Goa Gone’, considered India's first stoner comedy, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K., popularly known as Raj & DK, are now exploring the world of counterfeiting with Amazon Prime Show ‘Farzi’,
So as a filmmaker, do they always try to be different with every project of theirs? “Constantly, we want to try a lot more and we keep shifting genres but as we shift sometimes, we end up matching too,” tells Raj with a smile.
The writer-director and producers, who previously gave hit projects including espionage drama, 'The Family Man', and the horror comedy 'Stree', says that if one looks at their filmography, earlier it was a lot more wacky stuff from how they see it
“For example ‘99’, and ‘Go Goa Gone’ but yeah we try to oscillate between drama and wackiness I guess but the subjects are limitless,” adds Raj emphasizing that one can start challenging oneself with different kinds of subjects and the same is with their filmmaking style.
“We don’t want to be stuck to a certain format, and a certain style so even between 'The Family Man' and 'Farzi', there is a big difference and shift in how we visualize it. In the next series, we are trying to make it visually different, tell the story differently, and write the screenplay differently and while doing that, I think we are heading more and more toward drama. But having said that, I think humour will remain with us organically but the dramatic subjects are where we are leaning towards,” says Raj.
Probably this is the reason why they call ‘Farzi’ starring Shahid Kapoor in the lead role as their favourite subject of theirs so far.
“The idea for this show has been at the back of our mind for a very long time, for a few years and that’s how our best ideas work out for example ‘Family Man’ has been in our mind for few years, ‘Stree’ has been in our mind for few years before that got made and 'Farzi' has always been the favourite subject of ours because it’s just a very unique world, the world of counterfeiting that nobody has explored,” says DK.
To them what was fascinating about the subject was that nobody understands the impact of this crime. “It is also a very specialized crime in the sense that not everyone can become a criminal but this crime requires certain talent, a certain level of expertise and this allowed us to create a character as special as Sunny,” says DK.
And to play Sunny, they wanted an actor who is young, energetic, dynamic, and sensitive so that he can pull off the various facets of this character.
“Shahid was the perfect choice for it and he was the first and the only choice when we were in the process of making this and we are lucky that the moment we pitched this side, he loved it and wanted to do it,” says DK.
Raj, however, adds that though counterfeiting is the backdrop of the whole plot the idea was to explore the character by sending the theme of fake.
“The idea was that everybody has a bit of 'Farzi' in them and that is something we wanted to explore in almost all the lead characters and that’s what made it more fascinating as a series to explore this theme,” he says.
In the series, Shahid plays Sunny, a street-smart Mumbai artist who along with his best friend tries to help his grandfather’s floundering revolutionary newspaper and printing press stay afloat. When all other avenues fail, Sunny and his friend decide to forge banknotes and this brings them into the eyes of Michael ( played by Tamil cinema star Vijay Sethupathi).
There have been constant comparisons between Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi and how these two stalwarts are sharing screen space for the first time together. As a filmmaker, was it difficult to give them an equal spot?
Raj says that It wasn’t hard at all because they, as a filmmaker, tend not to deal with actors as stars onscreen because there are other films for that.
“In this, we are trying to write a character first and then see if we can get an actor to do that character and that’s how actors love it too especially in this medium and working with us so there is no air about it and we don’t have to worry about that,” he says.
DK adds that even the actors themselves are not comparing.
“Once they understood their characters and art, all they want to do is bring their A game, do their plot on the day of the shoot and that’s what all the actors have done and I don't think there was a single scenario where any actor ever thought about or even pondered about comparison with other actors.
“Everybody knew that their role is integral and they had to do their best job in that role and that’s how everybody was behaving,” he sums up.
‘Farzi’ is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam