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Loud n Queer

Quick run to the top

Ishtyle: Actor Rajendra Prasad in Quick Gun Murugun.

The director’s latest offering 'Quick Gun Murugun' has been loved by the audience. “I am so relieved at the response that the movie has been getting. Very rarely does the industry accept a film like this,” says the director to Metrolife.

The lead character of the film, Quick Gun Murugun, used to be a 60-second spot on Channel V. “We thought a movie on him would go well with the audience. But putting it together was quite difficult.” He adds, “The unit members even went through a hiccup of learning each other’s languages initially.”

How did hilarious names like Rice Plate and Mango Dolly come up? “Those were the writers’ concoction. Rice Plate is famous in Udupi, Mango Dolly has been inspired from an ice-cream and Gun Powder came from mulaga pudi, the South Indian chilli powder.”

But doesn’t the film mock the South Indian community? He denies. “It’s more of a tribute than a mockery.” He adds, “I would have handled it differently had I wanted people to laugh at it. A film like this is a form of craft where the plotline is ridiculous, but the treatment is good.”

Quick Gun fights for the cause of vegetarianism in the film. Is Shashank a vegetarian in reality? “I am a wanna-be vegetarian,” he laughs. “A lifetime of non-vegetarianism has taken a karmic toll on me.” He adds, “But it’s interesting to note how different an Indian cowboy is from an American one. In India, he is a protector of cows as opposed to the West where he is a slaughterer of cows.”

Quick Gun Murugun has been showcased at the film festivals in London, Los Angeles, Durban, Florence and New York, to name a few. “If you are present there, you feel so nervous,” he exclaims.

Shashank’s inspirations are many. “Ram Gopal Varma, Vishal Bhardwaj and Mani Ratnam among the Indian film-makers, and Tarantino is one of my favourite international directors.” The director has spent most of his life in Delhi, with two years in Bangalore, where he was involved in setting up a popular radio station. “I had a wonderful time in Bangalore. I still have a house in Kasturi Nagar.” Currently, he is working on a film called Mumbai Cutting, a series of short films on Mumbai made by ten directors like Anurag Kashyap, Sudhir Mishra, Rahul Dholakia and Revathi. “My film is called 10 Minutes and showcases ten minutes of the lives of the middle class people in Mumbai. The drama is quite obvious in the lives of the higher and lower class. But when it comes to middle class, the drama happens in the head.”

He is also working on a science-fiction thriller, and a project called Beetlenut Killers. “I had written it a few years back. It’s about the underworld and the supari in America.” A sequel to Quick Gun Murugun is also on the cards.

Not many know that apart from directing Waisa Bhi Hota Hai — II, Shashank even acted in the Rajeev Khandelwal starrer Aamir. But he considers the latter as a mistake. “I am not comfortable in front of the camera. So I will never act in a film again,” he declares.

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