Rampaat means speed. After the success of Marathi films such as Sairaat, Time Pass and Balak-Palak, director Ravi Jadhav began to receive calls and messages from young people who claimed to be experts at acting and dancing and wanted to work in films. “In the villages, specifically those in Maharashtra, youngsters look up to film stars and believe that, if they get a chance in the industry, they’ll become stars overnight. They are fascinated by the glamorous life of actors but fail to see their hard work and sacrifices. To let people know that there’s a lot more to offer to acting, I decided to make a film on this subject,” says Jadhav. His past films include National Award-winners Natrang, Mitraa, and The Landscape. Rampaat will hit theaters on May 17.
Excerpts from an interview:
What kind of journey are you taking the audience on with Rampaat?
The real journey to stardom is not less than that of a roller coaster ride. My film is based on the journey of the struggle of two youngsters from small villages of Maharashtra. What happens to them? Do they get stardom in one day? Do they have to struggle? What does struggle mean?
How did you cast the leading actors?
Once the screenplay was ready, it gave insights into the qualities of the characters. Then I looked for the actors who shared mutual qualities with the ones in the film so that they can relate and connect with them. Abhinay Berde, son of legendary actors Priya Berde and Lakshmikant Berde, is playing the character of Mithun. In real life, he has been born and brought up in the environment purely related to films. Kahmira Pardeshi, who is playing Munni, has done many ads and worked for a few south Indian films. She came from Pune to Mumbai with the dream of becoming an actor. Both share a lot of similarities with the characters in the film.
How has your journey been from a mill worker to that of a National-Award winner?
I am from Dombivali and initially distributed newspapers and worked in a mill. Then, I pursued a commercial art degree and later joined the ad agency FCB Ulka. I travelled the world as their creative director. I bagged many awards for my advertisements. While travelling, I used to take Marathi books along. I soon realised that the art of storytelling that I have learned in advertising can also be used in making films. But film direction is a full-time job. I quit my job to commence work in the field of film direction and was fortunate enough to get support from my family and friends. I was inspired by Ganpat Patil and started writing about Nacha, a character from traditional tamasha. Someone from ZEE recommended me to create a film on the novel Natrang and this is how my first film happened. I won the National Award for that and never had to go back to advertising. Later, received three National Awards for Balgandharva and did films like Balak-Palak with Ritesh Deshmukh. Time Pass became the first highest grossing Marathi film. There was also my short film called Mitraa, which got the National Award for the best short film.
What kind of films would you like to work on?
I love to experiment and make different genres of films. One can find stories from history, literature, and novels among others to some common day-to-day happenings. Connection with the right film at the right time is what I feel is necessary to make films. In Marathi cinema, I would like to work with my inspirations — Ashok Saraf, Nana Patekar, and Mohan Joshi, and in Hindi cinema, there is Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh.
What is your message for the people who are still struggling to get into the industry?
I feel hard work, patience, perseverance, and excellence are qualities to achieve success. The people who know their art and practise it, know how to craft it. If they know what they are doing and work constantly in that direction, they will definitely succeed.