Krishna Leela is making all the right noises prior to its release. Director Shashank and producer Ajai Rao, who is also playing the lead in the film, have already created enough curiosity among fans about the central characters of the film apart from the hero and heroine — a phone and a sim card. With expectations riding high, the lead pair spoke to City Express over the phone about their experience while making the film.
Their onscreen characters
Ajai: “There is a line in a song in the film, “Pant mele chaddi haaki niluvvane Superman. Problem face maadi niluvaane pesal man” (“A man who wears his shorts over his pants is a superman/a man who faces problems is a special man). Krishna aka Smile Krishna aka Pesal Man is a school van driver and belongs to a lower middle-class family. He personifies the message in the song and has to shoulder a lot of responsibilities. However, despite all his difficulties, he faces life with optimism and believes in the magic of laughter. To portray his character and to get the mannerisms right, I had taken rides with school van drivers. The body language I have used in the film is that of my personal driver, which I observed whenever he was with me.”
Mayuri: “There is a lot of similarity between me and my character Leelavathi with one exception — I am bold and understand life. Leela is a shade of me as both us hail from middle-class families and are basically simple and innocent young girls.”
The soul of the film
Ajai: “My phone connection doesn’t exist without Leela. For the youth, the mobile has become an important tool and this phone and its sim card is both the specialty and the soul of the story. Even the title of the film is designed using the sim.”
Mayuri: “Leelavathi never used a phone, but once she starts using it, she never leaves it. She is too attached to it because of speaking to Krishna. What happens because of the phone is Krishna Leela.”
Ajai: He has executed the film very well. I am sure that the film will succeed because he has given significance to every character in the film. We can see some outstanding performances from artistes like Rangayana Raghu and Achyut Rao.
Mayuri: Shashank is a clever director. When he is behind the camera, he only sees us as the characters we portray and is very strict. Off the sets, he is the most jovial person I have ever met.
On working with each other
Ajai: Mayuri has proved herself on the small screen and she is already a star. I take pride in the fact that she has launched her film career through my production house. She has the dignity of an actress and fulfils the director’s vision. Initially, when Shashank thought of Mayuri, I had no idea about her. But when she came to my office without makeup, I had no doubt about who should portray Leelavathi.
Mayuri: I have a lot of respect for Ajai sir because he is one of the most down-to-earth persons I have ever met in the industry. Before I signed on Krishna Leela, I just knew that Ajai was a hero. But after I started working with him, I felt he was as normal as anybody. He never projected himself as a star or a producer.
As the producer of the film
Ajai: It was a simultaneous decision between me and Shashank to produce the film. I have invested every single penny I have earned on this film. But, I am confident that I can more than recover my money. Now, I am looking forward to the opening of my film.
As a debutante
Mayuri: The team had made a lot of preparations for the film. But there were not much preparations from my end because they wanted me to be the way I am. The film has come out well and I have done perfect justice to Leelavathi’s role.