Director Swaroop RSJ of 'Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya' fame awaits the release of his second movie, 'Mishan Impossible', on April 1. The film is a comedy caper about three kids trying to nab Dawood Ibrahim, India's Most Wanted Criminal.
In this interview, the director talks about the premise of the comedy, what went into making it, and more.
It all began as an idea in 2014. I wrote the story before 'Agent' was developed. 'Mishan Impossible' is based on some real incidents. I fictionalized it in many ways. Three poor kids from Patna, Bihar, wanted to strike rich many years ago. I read about them in a newspaper. They were enthused by a newspaper report about Dawood Ibrahim. They went to Mumbai to catch him to win the bounty announced by the police department.
I entered the film industry after quitting a corporate job. I believe in honest storytelling, be it rich, small, or medium. My friends advised me to debut with a love story because it's a safe genre. But I chose to debut with a film like 'Agent'. Honesty is everything.
In our films, kids speak out of their age. They talk like adults. Their body language, their dialogues don't suit their age at all. It's important to capture their innocence on screen. Films like 'Little Soldiers' and 'Kaaka Muttai' (Tamil) had this quality. The kids behaved naturally in those films.
I conceived 'Agent' as a detective comedy because it had been 27 years since a similar film came out in Telugu. 'Chantabbai' was the last detective comedy. Similarly, we haven't seen child comedies in Telugu for many years. 'Mishan Impossible' fills the void.
The title of the film has been mispelled deliberately to reflect the illiteracy of kids. Some kids think correct spellings are wrong spellings and vice-versa (laughs).
We hired a location for recreation to let the three kids and our core technical team bond over. It helped the kids to shed their inhibitions and fears.
I chose a female character instead of a male one to centre 'Mishan Impossible' because I didn't want the audience to make any comparisons with 'Agent'. The story needed a strong female character. Taapsee Pannu is someone who comes with a rare filmography (read 'Thappad' et al). That's why I narrated the story to her.
Taapsee's character is there for 45 minutes or so. The kids are the lead actors. It's a wrong thing to say that 'Mishan Impossible' is a Taapsee film. The three kids are its central characters. Taapsee has played an investigative journalist. She is not a cliched journo, a stereotype we see in our movies.
Harish Peredi, who plays negative roles in Mollywood movies, has a key role. Ravindra Vijay of 'The Family Man 2' fame, Suhas, Sandeep Raaj and others have supporting roles. They don't have full-length roles.
The very storyline of three kids wanting to capture Dawood Ibrahim is funny in itself. The Dawood reference comes from my experience. There was a time when I used to confuse Dawood for Ram Gopal Varma (laughs). The movie is a comedy for the most part. Only the last 30 minutes or so is serious.
Our movie is coming after 'RRR' and before 'KGF 2'. April 1 is when the Summer holidays would have started already. Our movie has got a solo release. Moreover, there is the Ugadi advantage.
'Agent' was made on a limited budget. Even 'Mishan Impossible' is not a lavish film.
Plans are there to turn 'Agent' into a franchise. But it might take a few years for the plan to materialize. I am not yet sorted about my next movie. I am going to take time.