Monday, April 15, 2024

‘Fairy Folk sheds light on multiple issues, without sermonising on anything’

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Actor Mukul Chadda, who is currently enjoying the international acclaim that his upcoming film Fairy Folk has been receiving, gets candid with The Pioneer, sharing his feelings on the same, sharing the big screen space with his wife, Rasika Dugal, and more.
Tejal Sinha
The joy of being an actor is inhabiting different characters and learning new things with each project, believes actor Mukul Chadda. There’s always something in us, that wishes to inhabit different souls in one lifetime and learn new things all the time. And so, the entire journey of being an actor, he says, has been one of self-discovery and constant learning. He is not someone who plans his life ahead; he always hopes to take it on, one exciting step at a time.
After receiving much acclaim, appreciation, and recognition on the international front at several film festivals, his upcoming film Fairy Folk is all set to hit theaters on March 1.
The Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu actor feels fortunate to travel with the crew to the Sydney Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival. Well, “Watching it in a darkened hall collectively with strangers from a different culture and country was wonderful. With every laugh, every held breath, and every sigh, I was going through the emotions of the audience even before speaking to them after the screenings.  And of course, the feedback after the film was over was overwhelming. The best part for me was that so many people had so many varied reactions to the film—everyone liked a different aspect of it because it spoke to so many different kinds of people. I can’t wait for audiences in India to see it.”
Fairy Folk is the story of a couple living in Mumbai. When a magical creature enters their world, it upturns their lives and relationships in different ways. This film is a juxtaposition of magical realism with a relationship drama, a film that is both funny and tragic at the same time. His character is a poker player who sees things as a puzzle to be solved and is very obsessive about everything he gets involved with. And make others also follow through on his plans in the manner he has thought out best!
And something that was more than interesting to know was that the film also stars his darling wife, Rasika Dugal, in the lead role, for the first time on the big screen. Mukul was no less than ecstatic about sharing the screen with his wife.
“She is a wonderful actor and someone whom I trust and respect a lot,” gleefully shares the star. That degree of trust and respect is very important while working with someone, and he feels lucky the couple got to do this rather difficult project together.
“I’ve learned a lot from Rasika over the years. Just watching her prepare for her projects has been a learning experience in itself. Or from the discussions we tend to have with each other about our respective projects. This project was different because, by the very nature of the improvisational shooting style, we couldn’t discuss what our characters were going through or what we were planning for the next day. Karan would often give each of us notes on how to surprise the other actor on set the next day, and obviously, we couldn’t share that with each other. So surprisingly, I had fewer discussions with her on this project that we worked on together than on projects in which we weren’t working together.”
The project highlights a major thing that has been of much concern these days—bonds and relationships. The film beautifully shines a light on the fragility of relationships, on how a small change of events can expose cracks in a relationship and dramatically impact it. “What I love about Karan’s storytelling style is that he never makes the film about any one issue; it’s a simple, sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic story about the lives of a couple. But along the way, it sheds light on relationships, on love, on desire, on gender—on so many issues, without sermonising on anything.”
Attention, love, and kindness are things that relationships lack these days. And this, he says, has been well demonstrated in the film, as to how a little catalyst can dramatically change the way a relationship goes forward. And how fragile things can be, with just a little nudge. Likewise, those external events can also bring two people so much closer than they were earlier.
This film was shot in an improvised way; there were no written dialogues whatsoever, even though the basic structure of the storyline was known in advance. So, for example, “We knew roughly what has to happen in a scene, but not how it was going to come about. When trying to achieve this, actors mustn’t pre-plan anything and simply go with the flow. Even if another actor says or does something unexpected in a scene, your job is to accept it, and react as the character. And they, in turn, react to what you just did. In fact, some magical and beautiful moments came out of this process. Since we didn’t discuss or pre-plan things, it was not really possible in this process to have a disagreement with another actor. And like I said, if something unexpected came your way in the take, you accepted it fully and went with the flow.”
Here comes an interesting and exclusive revelation: “Most of the film is shot in an apartment. Rasika and I took a lot of things from our own house to populate that apartment to give it a lived-in feel, and also make it feel like our own home, which really helped us.”
Meanwhile, on the work front, his upcoming film, Sunflower 2, is releasing very soon! Then there is also an action comedy film called Dhoom Dhaam with Yami Gautam and Pratik Gandhi; a romantic comedy called Ishq Jhamela with Arjun Rampal; and an Amazon series called Big Girls Don’t Cry with Pooja Bhatt and Raima Sen that should all release this year. So, of course, there is an interesting year ahead for Mukul, and we too look forward to it!
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