SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ
If you have watched the trailer of Konkani film ‘O La La’ you are sure to look for its shows in Goan auditoriums. When the trailer is so entertaining, you can only imagine that feature film will be the same if not more. After ‘Nirmon’ director Sripad Pai’s latest film has tried to be at par with Bollywood commercial films.
“When you plan something and it happens as expected, you really feel satisfied,” says writer-director of ‘O La La’ who graduated from the first batch of Kala Academy’s Theatre Art. When he returned to Goa from Mumbai after 23 years, he met director of the academy’s theatre art Padmashree Josalkar who pleaded with Sripad to take classes on filmmaking for the 2016 batch. This is when he met producer Nilesh Newalkar and thus ‘Nirmon’ happened.
“I spoke to my family about Nilesh who was willing to produce a Konkani film. Since I Have been living in Mumbai for many years, they coaxed me to contribute to Konkani and Goa as well, and so I agreed,” says Sripad.
The success of ‘Nirmon’ gave him the boost to direct at least one Konkani film in two years. ‘Nirmon’ was already a classic but he amended the storyline to make it logical to the new generation. For his second outing he decided to go the humorous way, “I already had this story in my mind for a Marathi movie and when the producer asked me to write a comedy, I told him about this plot and I thus I feel the movie was meant to happen. I also knew a few actors of my generation. In fact, Rajesh Pednekar and I acted in several plays together in Goa,” says Sripad.
Producer, Nilesh Newalkar says: “I’m feeling truly blessed and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Goan audience who has been supporting and watching O La La”. To invest in a first-of-its-kind commercial Konkani film that technically can compete with Bollywood films is a huge risk. Aware of this, Newalkar who has previously produced films like ‘Gunaji’ and ‘Nirmon’ believes that while risks are involved in everything, your vision can help you accomplish everything else. While making the movie, Nilesh was aided by his wife Manisha who is the co-producer of ‘O La La’.
Nilesh said that director Sripad who comes with years of experience in filmmaking, knows the way of telling a story. “He had already directed ‘Nirmon’ which received many awards and I trust his work,” says Nilesh.
He said that there is a need to produce more Konkani films and ‘O La La’ is not the last film that Nilesh will produce. Apart from cast and crew of the film, the audience also has a role in supporting the film. After producing social drama ‘Gunaji’; melodramatic and tragedy ‘Nirmon’ and a comedy film ‘O La La’, Nilesh is looking forward to produce films in different genres with appealing scripts.
The team wants to book as many shows for ‘O La La’ as possible in the auditoriums and local theatres. Sripad says that directors need to make films that will help producers recover the money invested. When this will happen in Konkani films, the industry will rise and it will have a long term positive effect.
Rajiv Hede (as Laxman in the film)
Filmmaking is simply storytelling. The success of your films depends on how effectively you present your story. The subject of this film is pure entertainment. It is a stress buster, presented using the best technicalities. Most Konkani films are message-oriented and people need to relax a bit watching a light-hearted movie and perhaps that is why O La La is seeing success. But you never know when audience will like what! Hence the subject should not be used as a success formula. I have been acting for 40 years and I do not deserve to act if I have to emotionally prepare for a role. However, an actor must always research and analyse a bit about the background of the character that he is playing. This helps him to understand the situations he comes across as a character. Acting is an enjoyable process. Rehearsals in theatre and shooting in films are the best times that can make or break an actor.”
Prince Jacob (as Orlando in the film)
I’m glad about the success of the film, undoubtedly, it is a hit! With this film, I now know that people care for us. As a promotion gimmick for the film, Rajiv, John and I took on the risk of spreading a rumour that we have been arrested for our misbehaviour in a dance bar. I got many calls and messages to inquire what is wrong. I tried telling people that they will get to know the next day but some were impatient. Anyhow, those who called or messaged informed us that they will help us if needed. With these reactions, I realised that people really care for us even in real life. I would really like to thank them for their constant support, appreciation and they are the reason for making O La La a success.”
John D’Silva (as Lawrence in the film)
I feel the audience love entertainment in the form of humour. I am very happy with the success of O La La and perhaps it is because of its comedy, it is successful. In the film, ‘Nachom-ia Kumpasar’ my character was comical. In ‘Home Sweet Home 1 and 2’ my character was serious with some comedy scenes. In ‘Nirmon’ too I enacted the comic scenes. And all these above mentioned movies were hit. Hindi films like ‘Sanju’ too include comedy because it entertains people. The whole team of O La La was positive about its success. Everyone worked hard to give a good film to the audience. Our team became our family and it was a great experience to work with all the actors.”
Tanvie Kishore (as Ruby in the film)
What more do you require when the audience recognise you as Ruby and not Tanvie? After the movie, I realised that I convinced the audience with my character. Everyone just came and told me – ‘I loved you in the film, Ruby’, which was really satisfying. It was certainly a huge responsibility. When you enter a new market, you are confused about the result, and success is known when people react. Most think that I am Goan, I am not. Malvan is my native place and I was brought up in Bahrain and Dubai. When Sripad offered me this film, I expected it to be in Malvani Konkani. Romi Konkani was something that I never heard in my life. The actors helped me in picking up the words and dialect. And the director was very patient to translate each line of the script into Marathi. Now I am all ready to sign new Konkani films along with Hindi and Marathi films.”
Aryan Khedekar (as Mac in the film)
I liked the commercial angle this film plays. I can say that it’s a paisa vasool film…. O La La is a new phrase of entertainment. So far, I have acted in almost 12 feature films in Goa, mostly character or negative roles. But playing this role was different. I enjoyed shooting a song with Tanvi because of the beautiful dancing sequence and colourful atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed my first dance on silver screen. I did not have to take extra efforts to get in the character of Mac. Initially I struggled a bit with the language but I managed at the time of dubbing. Managing RJ’ing and shooting together was challenging. Multitasking is my forte and I enjoy doing it as the end results give me satisfaction. It keeps me going. Currently I’m working on a couple of film projects. If offered more, I will love to do any challenging role.”