Isn't it a challenge to do a silent comedy?
It is surely a challenge. Initially, I was surely nervous. It is a genre that I hadn't attempted before. Slowly, I learnt how to execute it and got comfortable.
Do you improvise?
There is a lot of improvisation on the sets especially as to how the characters are reacting on the series is concerned. Action is reaction. On the spot we rehearse like a zillion times so that we can get it right. So, that is how it works.
What about expressing through gestures, facial expressions and body language?
Yes, that indeed is the only mode of expression in silent comedies. That is the sole way you can understand how a character is feeling.
Does the fact that the comedy has no dialogues make it easier for the actors as they do not have to memorise their lines?
Actually, it is the other way round. The sequences are written in such a way that you do not have to speak. When you have dialogues it is easier for actors to communicate the message to the viewers. There is so much of action involved in Gutur Gu 2 as well. It is obviously difficult to pull off a show like that.
Some people strangely think that a silent comedy is inferior comedy. What do you have to tell them?
I think that silent comedy is out of the box. If they watch our show carefully maybe they will change their mind and understand that a lot can be conveyed through it despite it not having dialogues. It is also such a challenge for the actors to bring about a smile to the viewer's face. I guess that when they watch it they will like it.
What do you think of the silent comedies of Charlie Chaplin, Mr Bean and Laurel and Hardy?
They are extremely entertaining to watch as they are brilliant. It is not that we are trying to copy them though. The characters in our show aren't speech impaired. They are simply disallowed to use dialogues.
What do you think of the silent comedy Tom and Jerry?
I still watch it. Every time I am low I tune into that cartoon.
What do you think of Chintu Ban Gaya Gentleman?
It is a good show but slightly different from our serial as Chintu...which basically has gags which probably do not have to be connected. There is a storyline in Gutur Gu 2 and the actors have to express a lot. I do not think that any other channel has tried silent comedies.
What kind of shows will you never do?
I am an actor. So, I am open to doing all kinds of shows. Each role is a learning experience.
What is your dream role like?
It all depends on at what point of your career the kind of role you get. So, there is nothing like a dream role. I am an actor and I enjoy what I do.
What are your hobbies?
I like acting. Of late I have developed a love for cooking- I love to cook Italian food. I like to listen to music, especially Indian music, I experiment though. I enjoy listening to Bollywood and hip hop.
Are you comfortable to be on Bigg Boss?
I am not sure. I haven't given it much of a thought.
What about the Indian TV industry would you like to change?
I feel that the TV industry is growing and changing. I still feel that some shows are a kind of regressive. Also abroad the shows are shot before they are aired. Maybe we could work like them.
What do you watch on TV?
I watch Star World most of the time. Of late I am watching Mad Men and I simply love it.
Star Plus is the number one general entertainment channel in terms of GVT (Gross Viewership In Thousands), followed by Colors and Zee. Sony, which held the fourth position, has slipped to number five. SAB, which is part of the same group, has taken that place. See box (right) for GVT of general entertainment channels.
Comedian and actor K K Goswami impressed Tellychakkar.com with his journalistic expertise as the guest editor. He called his friend and colleague Director Prabal Baruah of Gutur Gu for a chat. His first question was, "You have done Aahat, Gali Gali Sim Sim, Gutur Gu and CID. Why did you decide to do a comedy like Gutur Gu?" Prabal replied, "I had never imagined that I could do comedy as I had mainly done action, thriller and horror shows. I accidentally got into doing comedy. Many years ago I had penned the concept of Gutur Gu. I had a meeting with Anooj Kapoor, EVP and Business Head of SAB TV. During the course of conversation I told him that I was working on the idea of a silent comedy. He got very excited and said that he was thinking of a similar concept. I then had a talk with Producer B P Singh (Fireworks Productions). That is how my Gutur Gu journey began."
KK then asked, "Directing actors in a silent comedy is a challenge. So, how did you manage?" Prabal praised the actors while replying. "I have got a dream team in Gutur Gu. All the actors and behind the lens professionals in this unique team are very talented. It seems that they can read my mind, they execute the show simply the way I want them too. As it is a serial sans dialogues, I have to pay greater attention to choreography, expressions and movements."
KK complimented the show on its good TRPs of late. Prabal replied, "The TRP in Season 1 was good and then it fell. For the last month the rating is quite good. We try to come up with different stories every time. The artists pitch in their ideas too in each and every scene. They improvise a lot on the spot."
KK praised the director for choosing the perfect cast. Prabal's reply revealed that the casting was indeed a challenge. "We were confused as how to do the audition as this show has no dialogues. We gave the artistes a situation and the liberty to improvise. It wasn't like a usual audition in which you simply memorise the dialogues and say it. Instead we gave the artistes a situation which comprised of a two line brief and asked them to enact it. Each and every actor we selected was apt for the role."
Regarding Gutur Gu's entry in the Limca Book of World Records Prabal said, "That is a great honour to me and the whole team as it is an all India record. The Limca Book of Records is equivalent to the India Guinness Record. We hope to make a world record soon."
Going down the memory lane of his professional journey Prabal said, "I have completed 18 years in this industry. I have been an independent director for 13 years now. I had joined the industry during the Doordarshan times. Satellite TV was new then, just two or three years old. During that time weekly shows were on and we had many more genres. However Gutur Gu is weekly. Now we have more of family dramas."
KK then asked him about his future career plans. "I am working on a comic thriller. I have after all worked on both the genres - comedy as well as thriller. Maybe this venture of mine will materialise within six months."
Prabal praised KK at the end of the interview, "You a very entertaining personality and actor. In fact you are a born entertainer. I will treat you to sweets as you are a sweet person."
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