For director Pragabhal Das, it was a dream come true to watch his film, 'Muddy' in the theatre. “It took me five years to make it and it is wonderful to see that people are liking it,” he says.
The multi-lingual film has Yuvan Krishna and Ridhaan Krishna playing the lead roles and is claimed to be the first film on 4*4 mud racing in the country.
Excerpts from a Zoom interview with Pragabhal.
The film had a lot of mud-racing sequences. Are you an enthusiast yourself?
Yes, I am crazy about vehicles and races. I have friends who participate in mud races. So when I decided to make a film, I decided to go ahead with the theme.
It took you five years to come out with this movie. What took you this long?
It took me more than one year just to select the location. Then finding a sound technical crew was also hard. I wanted to shoot the scenes of the mud race without dupes but the leading artists that I approached were reluctant to take up the risk. There was a point when I even thought of dropping the film. It was then that my brothers Yuvan and Ridhaan agreed to play the lead roles. I did a trial shoot with them and realised that they have potential. Later, I trained them for two years to teach them mud racing and mould them into their characters. I had done a detailed storyboard on the characters' physique, past, mannerisms etc. I conveyed this to them and they were able to crack the code.
You had mentioned that this is a highly technical film. So how important was having the right crew on board?
Every technician was important in the film. The DOP had to capture everything as I wanted it to be seen. We were shooting the scenes in multiple angles with a number of cameras as a retake was difficult and risky. We had 32 hours of footage of mud race shot in different angles with 15 cameras. Our editor also had a lot of work to find the best shot. Everyone in the set was working as a team. We were shooting in remote locations and we had a lot of limitations but all of us understood it and worked as a family for the film.
You played multiple roles in the film. You are the writer, the director and also the mud race choreographer. Which was the most challenging of them all?
All of them were equally challenging as this is my first film. I used all the information I had from YoutTube and other online sources in the film. I had a number of doubts throughout and it took me a while to clarify. The mud race part was also hard as there was no reference available.
How did the pandemic and the lockdown affect the movie?
Yes. We had planned to release the film before a year. But due to the pandemic, we couldn't and there was a huge pressure to release it OTT. Though I got good offers, we felt that this is a movie that should be experienced in the theatre. I am glad we could release it on the big screen.
I am thinking of a second part of the film. Other than that I have a few other projects in mind. It is too early to reveal anything yet.