Discussing Vodka Diaries with Kay Kay Menon and Kushal Srivastava
Director Kushal Srivastava is all set to make his debut with a chilling thriller Vodka Diaries. The movie stars the very talented Kay Kay Menon as the main character, ACP Ashwini Dixit. Playing his wife is Mandira Bedi, who portrays the role of a poet. And, playing the mysterious lady is Raima Sen.
The movie created quite a buzz when the trailer was first released, and we wanted to know more about the thriller. We got in touch with Kushal Srivastava and Kay Kay Menon for a quick chat to get some insights on the film. They spoke about facing challenges while making the movie, the various characters, thriller as a genre and much more.
Where there any apprehensions regarding picking up thriller genre for your first film? What kinds of challenges did you face?
I wanted to make something that was unusual. I like thrillers and I never wanted to make a straight film. I wanted something which was more complicated. Personally, I like the thriller genre though I am influenced by films like Pulp Fiction, Scarface and in Hindi films, I am influenced by all J P Dutta’s film and Shyam Benegal’s films.
As for challenges regarding the making of the film, there weren’t many. There were challenges production-wise, but they were few. Regarding the story or making the movie there were no such challenges. I approached Kay Kay Menon and once he was on board, we worked on the script. I got a great team, be it the cast, HODs, everything was my first choice.
Talking about the cast, was there any specific trait or quality that you were looking for?
All of the actors were my first choice. When I was writing my screenplay, I thought of Kay Kay Menon as the main character. We wrote the treatment imagining how Kay Kay Menon will perform it. Once I got him, then I thought who would be the best lady who can challenge him in the film. That is when I thought of Raima Sen. Lastly, I put in a lot of thought about who would be playing his wife and Mandira Bedi was my first choice. I felt she would play the role perfectly.
How did you brief the actors, was there an aspect that you wanted them to concentrate on?
Kay Kay Menon plays the main role in the film, his character ACP Ashwini Dixit drives the entire film. Mandira Bedi, who plays ACP Ashwini Dixit ‘s wife, plays a character of a poet. The film starts with ACP Ashwini Dixit’s relationship with his wife and it ends on that note. So, throughout the film, ACP Ashwini Dixit investigating all these murders revolving around a place called Vodka Diaries. Raima Sen is the mysterious girl who keeps challenging him. Each character plays a very important part. When all the actors heard the narration, they understood the importance of each character.
Kay Kay Menon
Tell us a bit about your character? Was there an aspect that was difficult to relate to?
I am playing a guy called ACP Ashwini Dixit, and he is the one who is investigating a case around Vodka Diaries which is a club. This film is not only about the investigation or the case but also about the personal journey of this man.
Every character has something difficult about it. That is why I am an actor, I tend to solve these mysteries myself and then go tackle them head-on. Exploring another person’s life can be difficult and it is the same case here. My character is very complex, so I had to really explore his mind.
What are the challenges that you can face in a movie that belongs to thriller genre?
For me it is a double case, it is not just a thriller, but it is also about the characters. The thing that happens in a thriller movie is that the moment you know the plot the movie is done, once you know who the killer is the film is over. But here it is not just that, it is also about the human story, so you will carry these characters home with you. It is not just about plot; hence it becomes a slightly difficult project. We really needed to work to make it tight, so that was interesting to work on.
Thriller as a genre is growing, do you think there is a change in the audience?
The audiences are slowly getting into content films which I am quite happy about. I just hope they maintain this for a longer duration.