Art & Entertainment

‘Kadak Singh’ Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary On IFFI Premiere: Was Wonderful To See Each Seat Occupied

The ‘Pink’ and ‘Lost’ filmmaker got candid about his latest ‘Kadak Singh’, its lead actors and more.

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary on 'Kadak Singh'
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At the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, the makers of ‘Kadak Singh’ launched the trailer of the film at the opening ceremony. Not just that, a world premiere of ‘Kadak Singh’ under ‘Gala Premiere’ category was also held at the event, ahead of its release on ZEE5 on December 8.

Helmed by National award-winning director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary, the much-awaited film stars Pankaj Tripathi, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Jaya Ahsan, Sanjana Sanghi, Dilip Shankar, Paresh Pahuja and Varun Buddhadev. Going by the trailer, ‘Kadak Singh’ follows the life of AK Shrivastav (played by Pankaj Tripathi), a Joint Director at the Department of Financial Crimes, who is currently battling retrograde amnesia, and how he is presented with conflicting narratives about his past. 

Ahead of its release, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary got candid about the film’s premiere at IFFI Goa, the conception of ‘Kadak Singh’, and more, during an exclusive chat with Outlook. 

Excerpts from the interview:

‘Kadak Singh’ opened IFFI 2023 with trailer launch and premiere, and it has been much loved. Amitabh Bachchan extended congratulations to the team. How has been the initial response?

The trailer was launched at the IFFI Goa 2023 opening ceremony and it was absolutely stunning, and when Pankaj Tripathi went on stage, it was fantastic. More than that, with Amitabh Bachchan sir tweeting and praising it, there’s nothing like that and it means our efforts are justified then. It feels like each and every crew and cast member of ‘Kadak Singh’ has made it. Also, at the IFFI ceremony during the premiere, it was a packed audience and people were waiting outside as well. It was absolutely wonderful to see that each seat was occupied, people loved and cried, they were so happy and after the premiere, it was miraculous for us. It was like a pat on our shoulder that everyone loved the film at an event for all cinema lovers. 

What do you think has led to most filmmakers, including you, to turn to film festivals for premieres?

In a film festival, a very critical audience comes because it is a place for cinema lovers and their exposure to films is huge. That’s why they are there for the festivals, which do not have only commercial films. I love commercial cinema but at a film festival, you get to see films of different cultures, different regions, motivational films, art house films, which are all screened by the committee. They are also commercial, that’s given. Hence, the critical audience is the key and if they like the cinema, you know you are on the right path. It is a very important test on how people are reacting to it. Most of them are film students, film lovers and film critics. If they love it, you know you have that merit, and now people take film festivals seriously and showcase their work at events like this. When I am at a film festival, I do not sit on a seat and watch my film, but I stand and my eyes are not on the screen, but they are on the 550 people to see their reaction, so you know which dialogue works, when their eyes lit up, when they are sad. You get to know things right there and you connect with the audience. The big screen, on the other hand, gives you a larger than life experience. OTT, for instance, takes your work to places across the globe. So, every experience is needed. 

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The storyline is about a man battling retrograde amnesia, and being presented with conflicting narratives about his past. How was the film conceived in the first place?

A film is like life. When I was born, I was sheltered, they took care of me. But when you grow, layers are added to your life and how it culminates is what life is, this is how we become us. This film is also multi-layered with thriller in the background, relationships are discovered and it keeps on unfolding and shows the realism of life. Then as life as perspectives, this film too has several perspectives. In the course of life, people come close in bad and good times, and so is the case in the film. How the circularity of life unfolds is shown in the film and the audience would enjoy it. Everything and everyone is part of that circularity.

Pankaj Tripathi said in an interview that he cried watching 'Kadak Singh'. What do you think the audience's emotions would be once the film is out?

Basically, it is a rollercoaster of emotions with a backdrop of a thriller, but emotions are a big part of our lives and beautifully all my actors have captured the same in the film. They will make your heart ache with their portrayal of emotions. It is a paradise full of great actors, and they drive the momentum that you cannot help but cry. Pankaj Triapthi knows the skin of his characters very well, and we have done something pure. People would love it, the commercial success is unknown yet but the effort has been very honest by each and everyone in the film. 

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Why did you choose the characters, to be played by actors like Pankaj Tripathi and Sanjana Sanghi, for instance?

Everyone happened organically. When you truly seek something, the universe keeps throwing them to you. Organically, these characters came to life. Now I can say that these actors have been perfect for the film. Pankaj is my favorite person to play Kadak Singh, Sanjana is the best as Sakshi, Jaya Ahsan is best as Nayona and so on. It is all about intention. 

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