‘Agent Vinod’ isn’t about a strong story alone – Sriram Raghavan Part 2

Sriram Raghavan
Sriram Raghavan
As I keep talking to Sriram Raghavan, I get this feeling that he is a very intuitive director. Then I ask myself a question – If that’s the case, why does he take half a decade to make his next movie? But that’s Raghavan – as unpredictable as his lead protagonists of his movies. But more than Sriram’s movies, I was now (in my 15th minute) more interested in his mind. The man is thinking abstractly, outside the box, using intuition and imagination, not deduction. It’s not chess-player permutations – it’s sometimes organic, intuitive and not doing it based on rational thinking. And if that’s the approach he most likely (I assume) takes for direction then I am not surprised to be seated with one of India’s finest. In Part 2 of my interview with Sriram, the director talks background score, his next big announcement plan, Kareena Kapoor, and why he loves Pilu Masani. Who Pilu? Read below!

“A movie like Agent Vinod requires a strong background score and Daniel George has given me just that”
A movie like Agent Vinod requires a strong background score and soundtrack too. I am very particular when it comes to sound department. Daniel George has done the background score for Agent Vinod. He had previously worked on Johnny Gaddaar with me. He has got out of the box kind of ideas and is very committed. There’s my editor, Pooja, who has a terrific ear for music. After she cuts the film she plays a lot with sound. We then get the sense of what the sounds cape of the movie looks like. Even Dinesh Vijan has a fabulous ear for music. He knows what will work and what won’t. I was surrounded by good talents.

“I promise you all that by this time next year I will announce my next movie”
I know people grumble that I take too much time in directing my movies. So I take this opportunity and promise you all that by this time next year, I will announce my next movie. I hope to keep and live up to the promise.

Johnny Gaddaar had a designed plot. Agent Vinod doesn’t have that”
Agent Vinod isn’t a suspense thriller. It’s an action adventure. It’s not like Johnny Gaddaar. Johnny had a designed plot. I like to engage my viewers into the journey that I take. I want them to experience that. We are all trying to tell the story to the best of our abilities. Agent Vinod is stylish. We’ve consciously gone with a documentary kind of style and partly classic.

“Strangely, each movie title of mine depicts the protagonist”
You are right; strangely, each movie title of mine depicts the protagonist. Ek Haseena Thi was Urmila. Johnny Gaddaar was Neil and now Agent Vinod is Saif. Trust me, this wasn’t planned. I like the titles because all of them are retro. It’s not that I am inspired by the 60s and 70s. I love Hollywood movies from the 40s and 50s too. Like Casablanca and Notorious. I don’t decide I want to make a retro movie or give it such a title. It just happens.

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“I think Kareena is one of the best we have in our industry”
Kareena Kapoor isn’t just an eye candy in Agent Vinod. I love her as an actress. I was very conscious of the decision that I wanted Kareena to be in Agent Vinod. I wrote a lot of layers for her role of Iram that she plays and she has done an excellent job. I think Kareena is one of the best we have in our industry

“We had a terrific character called Pilu Masani – a loud mouthed film producer. Saif as the agent goes as Pilu in one situation”
Agent Vinod has his own style as a character. He is in a pathani somewhere, he is sporting a tuxedo, he is wearing white pants and blue shirt, etc. We were sure that we didn’t want to give him masks and disguises. As a persona he changes. In our earlier drafts we had a terrific character called Pilu Masani – a loud mouthed film producer. Saif as the agent goes as Pilu in one situation. But we have that character and I’d like to use it in some other film of mine.

Agent Vinod isn’t about a strong story alone. It’s more to do with the moments, the action, and the humour”
Agent Vinod isn’t about a strong story alone. It’s more to do with the moments, the action, and the humour. It’s a cool film. It’s got an element of a repeat viewing. Amar Akbar Anthony and Naseeb had that in the yesteryears. Those films were seen more often than once. Agent Vinod too falls in that category.

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