After Kites, Akarsh Khurana attempts to recreate magic with Real FM

In a short film called Real FM, produced by Anurag Basu and directed by Akarsh Khurana, we see three college girls not only taking on this responsibility but also carrying it out so well that they end up getting more advertisements for the station.

Simantini Dey March 24, 2014 16:51:38 IST
After Kites, Akarsh Khurana attempts to recreate magic with Real FM

How difficult is it to run a radio station for a day? There is the staple content that has to go on air, with advertisements dispersed between it. There have to be a bunch of talkative RJs who never run out of words and the show must go on all day. However, how would you do it if you had to take it up suddenly without any experience of running one?

In a short film called Real FM, produced by Anurag Basu and directed by Akarsh Khurana, three college students not only take on this responsibility but carrying it out so well that they end up getting more advertisements for the station, which is going through a phrase of financial crisis.

After Kites Akarsh Khurana attempts to recreate magic with Real FM

A screengrab of the film.

Real FM, like Anurag Basu’s last film Barfi! is a feel good film where everything turns out the way it is suppose to be. However, with Akarsh Khurana’s screenplay and direction, this 70-minute-long MTV short film stays crisp and tries its hand at being experimental.

In the film, 22-year-old college student Rhea takes it upon herself to run her father’s radio station on Independence Day, after he suffers a stroke due to being unable to deal with the pressures of the financial crisis. Rhea, with the help of her friends, comes up with several creative ideas. One of them is to play the regional songs of each Indian state as a part of the Independence Day special program, instead of airing the traditional patriotic songs of Bollywood. So, in the 70 minutes we hear bits of 28 different regional songs, which are the highlight of the film.

The film's director spoke to Firstpost about the film and said they hadn't cheated the audiences in any way.

"I didn’t want to cheat the audiences," Akarsh Khurana, the director, said.

"If they go back and count they will find songs from all 28 states. I didn’t want to do 6-7 of them and leave the rest," he added.

However, he said that finding the musicians was not an easy task.

"Our journey of finding musicians from different states have been very similar to the journey of Rhea and her friends in the film," Khurana said.

"We were as lost as the girls are in the beginning of the film, when although they do have this good idea of playing regional music, they themselves hardly know musicians from more than a handful of states and are clueless about how to find people from obscure states to sing for them. We went out on the road, made the general public sing in their native languages for us and it turned out to be a very good idea," he said

Another important part of the film was the segment where people on street gave their opinions. In the film, a journalist friend of Rhea and the girls takes to the streets to get their opinions for the radio station on topics like "If you could break one rule, what would it be?" The answers she gets form some of the most interesting and amusing moments of the film.

“ 70 percent of those people on the street are not actors,” Khurana said.

"They are actually men on the street talking about breaking rules. So, in a way, the film is a mix of real and staged. The main actors of the film are mostly from the theatre world though. Since I have been a part of that circuit for long, it was easy to chose people who would suit the characters in the film," he said.

Khurana and Basu have come together for the second time with this film.

Years back Khurana had written the screenplay for one of Anurag Basu’s films, Kites.

"We shared a good professional rapport during Kites, so when this film came along I was obviously keen to work with Basu and he was open to working with me and that’s how it happened,” he said.

Real FM will be aired on MTV.

MTV is a part of Network18 which also owns Firstpost

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