Imagine TV is yet again going for a twin fiction launch starting tonight! Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chandhunga, produced by S. Farhan and Endemol will launch at the 9 PM slot while Looteri Dulhan, produced by BAG Films will air at the 9.30 PM slot.
You have yet another twin launch in Looteri Dulhan and Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chadhunga. How is the channel gearing up for it?
We had a similar twin launch for Baba Aiso Varr Dhundo and Gunahon Ka Devta six months back, and we got a decent opening for both shows. We have yet again gone for a twin launch for Beendh and Looteri Dulhan now. Both are very different shows, slightly path breaking. We are hoping that both the shows leave an impact on the audience.
Tell us something about Looteri Dulhan? Do you think the concept of a con girl will work?
This show has a different premise altogether. We have tried to give a right balance between the so-called safe programming and the overall innovative thought process. Looteri Dulhan is slightly experimental, yet massy. The show has been presented in a different manner and has an innovative story telling. We have the elements of drama in it, but the premise is not soapy. Looteri Dulhan and Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chadhunga are for the people who have got bored of watching soapy stuff.
We see Looteri Dulhan to be a naughty love story. Do you think a younger lead cast would have been better for the show?
The story deals with real life incidents and talks about gangs that operate in the outskirts of Rajasthan. They con old men who are seventy plus in age. Looteri Dulhan is the tale of one such girl Billo who is a victim of circumstances; she is forced by her foster parents to con people. Her life all of a sudden takes a turn when a guy enters and takes her out of this mess. Looteri Dulhan was never branded as a naughty love story. We do not want the peppy romance feel in it. Having said this, Krishna Gokani is pretty young and talented. She fits the role to the 'T'. It was very critical that we cast brilliant actors in principal roles as this show is very much performance oriented. There are shows where you can carry it off only with your looks, and performance can come later. But with Looteri, we need actors to perform from day one. Most of the actors cast in the show are from theatre background. You will see veteran actors Ranjeet and Vibha Chibber playing interesting cameo roles.
Tell us about the casting of Billo, i.e. Krishna Gokani?
We auditioned lot many actors for the lead role, nearly 15-20 of them. Krishna was the best in terms of characterization and performance. I had seen a different image of the girl in Hamari Devrani, and she in fact surprised me with her talent. I would want to say that Looteri Dulhan for me is a dream cast. There are only few shows where we get what we visualize. It rarely happens that everything falls in place. When it comes to the casting of Looteri, we have managed to get actors who fit in to the characters designed.
We have heard that Mrunal Jain is the male lead of Looteri Dulhan? How different is his character?
Yes, he is almost done. I cannot talk about his character; all I can say is that the hero in the show gets to play a very challenging role..
Looteri Dulhan - The title is a bit different. Do you think it will appeal to the masses?
See, there are ample choices available when it comes to the title of a show. However, in a given scenario I feel that it is important for a show to have a path breaking title; otherwise there is a chance of the show getting lost. Any new show gets registered in the minds of viewers for the uniqueness in the promo and title. This becomes the driving force for viewers to sample the show; in case of Looteri Dulhan one can either like the title or reject it, but one can never ignore it.
What's different about Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chadhunga?
Beendh is slightly larger than life when compared to Looteri Dulhan. There is no glam factor attached to it, and there is no filmy way of story telling involved. There is this boy whose only motive in life is to get married and produce kids. We then have this girl who is determined to become a doctor. We will focus on the ideology clash and will also raise the need for girls being provided with basic education in today's scenario. Beendh will see an overall realistic approach to story telling and the atmosphere will be relatable.
Beendh has a striking similarity to the Govinda starrer, Raja Babu. What do you have to say to this?
Many people have asked me about this. All I can tell you is that the similarity is only in the lead character being the pampered spoilt brat from a rich household. The similarity starts and ends here..
There are a lot of characters to play with in Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chandhunga. The last two multi casts of Imagine, Basera and Rakt Sambandh have not worked. So how are you going to treat this joint family story?
All that matters in TV is good story telling. The success or failure of a show has nothing to do with the number of cast involved.
Tell us about the leads of the show.
The leads of Beendh are real and normal looking people. We never wanted the typical hero or heroine material for this show. We wanted a good looking girl as lead for Looteri Dulhan; at the same time we were happy to get Smita Singh to portray the larger than life vamp on TV who can take the character to a different level. But in the case of Beendh, we were very sure that the boy and the girl needed to look like people next door. We always look for people who suit the role perfectly and not vice versa, and the casting of Baba Aiso Varr Dhundo is the biggest example.
Imagine's fiction shows launch with a lot of promise, and in fact gets appreciated too. But that does not show in the overall ratings. What do you think is the reason?
See, it is an ongoing process and we believe that we will get the desired ratings sooner or later. Results do not come overnight and things need to change drastically and we need to at least give it a time, for about six months.
The GRP of Imagine has dropped of late. What do you think are the reasons for it?
Everything takes its course of time. Pardes Mein Mila Koi Apna was launched along with Zor Ka Jhatka. Baba and Gunahon did give us a decent opening. Chandragupta Maurya has opened decently with a 1 TVR. Certain moves work while few don't. But we are hopeful of gaining GRP in the near future.
There is a general consensus that Imagine should not have played with the already existing fiction slots to fit in the SRK show Zor Ka Jhatka. Was this a mistake?
See, these are larger strategy level calls that need to be taken. Zor Ka Jhatka is our biggest property and we had to give it our best slot. We were looking for an addition in GRP during this phase, but that did not happen. None of us exactly know whether a concept will work or not. The damage caused is not one that cannot be rectified. We still believe that it was a correct move.
With Beend and Looteri taking prime time slots now, do you think it will be disturbed yet again when Ratan Ka Rishta launches?
We can assure our viewers that there will be no change in the fiction slots in future. We are planning various strategies and are already working on them.
So what is the immediate goal set for the two new launches?
We plan to attain an average of about 1.5 to 2 for both the shows. If we get this, we will feel that the Level 1 has been achieved. In addition to this, we are working on all our existing fiction shows and believe that they can give us the desired results.
Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh