Interview With

Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan

Lens released last year, made many sit up and take note of the film as well as its director Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan who is again in the news for his second Tamil film The Mosquito Philosophy. Shruti Haasan is producing and presenting the film for her banner Isidro Media.
Jyothsna Bhavanishankar catches up with Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan for a quick chat to throw light on this interesting project.

What is the reason to name your film as Mosquito Philosophy?

In the film a character talks about Mosquito Philosophy, so I decided to name it that way. This film is a minimalistic one, done with an idea of doing a film with bare necessities. A normal film will have so many features like locations, cast crew and of course lot of expenses. Just think this in reverse, no location, no cast, no crew, no equipment, no story and no dialogues! I thought about this and with a story, I just started this. I shot the film in two days in a single location. My film will be realistic to the maximum, like how it will be when you peep into your living room.

Is the film done?

Yes, the film is complete and we are planning to first release in film festivals. We would then have a theatrical release.

How did Shruti Haasan come into Mosquito Philosophy?

My film Lens won an award for Best Director in Jagran Film Festival in Mumbai. Sarika, Shruti's mom was the jury chairman. She saw the film and wanted to talk to me. When she came to Chennai, we met and spoke. That's when I told her about Mosquito Philosophy and she wanted to see it. I screened it for her. She liked it and Shruti also saw the film. They decided to present the film.

What was your feel upon Shruti's involvement in the project?

It was very exciting to me. I was kind of preparing to send the film for festivals. When a team like Shruti's joins me, I am sure they would be doing a better job than me. I am hopeful to get more leads.

Did you conceive this film with an idea to send it for festivals?

I never thought that way. But I also knew that films like these can first be screened at film festivals only where I can gauge audience's reaction. My film is not made in the usual format. Actors in the film are not known and they are not the usual actors. I knew I cannot have an immediate theatrical release. I will be waiting for the response at the festival and decide on further course.

Can you take us through the cast?

I am there in the film with Suresh Somasundaram, Sindhu Jayaprakash, Siddhanth, Ravi Kathiresan Pradeep Damodaran and Anusha Prabhu. They are all my friends and but for Anusha, none of them have theatre background or any such sort. In fact Anusha was the only one who knew her lines. Suresh and Ravi are my assistant directors. Jathin Shanker Raj he is also the producer director cinematographer of Odu Raja Odu. Everyone will be very spontaneous in their reactions. I called my friend who is a cameraman to shoot. I also called these people home, they were not aware that I was going to shoot. They came home and I explained to them. I told them to casually talk and that camera would be capturing their actions. We got some footage and out of which we had the film. The duration of the film is 70 minutes.

What about music?

Yes, music is there. Ayyo Rama from Bangalore is the music composer.

It is also being said that your film is based on Danish filmmaking movement called Dogme 95. Is it right?

Yes, it is true. But when I was making the film, I did not know about this. When I was speaking about this to a film institute student, he told me that in Denmark, they have made films on a minimalistic scale with many parameters. There is a match of 50 -60% of my film with this theory. The matching elements are no script, no actors, no location and the usage of handheld camera. However, in their dogma, we need to capture the shots in film only, which we have not done. They have also mentioned about live sound, but I have done dubbing. There is also a rule that says director's name should not be used.

Lens gave you a specific image. Was there any thought that you need to live up to that image when you started your next?

No, No! I need to constantly do something. This occurred to me suddenly and I did this. There is no connection between this and Lens. I took almost 3 years to write and prepare for Lens. Whereas for Mosquito Philosophy, I thought on one day and the next day I shot. I never thought about image and I also feel one should not be thinking on those lines.

Did you make the film in Tamil because audiences here are receptive to experimentation?

I don't know. I will only get an idea once the film has its theatrical release. But when I showed the film to my friends here, they all liked it. My film does not have a song or interval. I don't know how it will be received. To me, the story or the content is everything. We should not be worried about other things. It is all about conveying an emotion, which the audience can relate to. I feel the location and other things are secondary. My film is about this philosophy. If it works out, well and good! Let's see.

What about your next?

My next project is a normal full-fledged film, nothing experimental. Work is going on.

All the best Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan !

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