Storyteller Sudhanshu Rai is the brain behind Detectice Boomrah. In an exclusive interview with Sakshi Post, the filmmaker tells Reshmi AR about his journey so far.
You did an MBA, how did you reach this field?
I pursued my MBA in Marketing and Operations from IBS, Bangalore, following which I got the opportunity to work on diverse streams such as corporate brand management, communication strategy, crisis management and new brand identity development. After gaining the diverse experience, I turned into an entrepreneur with Saints Art, which is a strategic communication firm and also into film production. During the whole transition from being a learner to a professional and eventually to an entrepreneur, the storyteller within me kept growing alongside. Therefore, I began professional storytelling on different digital platforms and FM radio channel, during the course of which I conceptualized the iconic character of Detective Boomrah. The only natural progression was to venture into production and filmmaking.
You are very familiar to the radio listeners. Do you think radio is still relevant and effective in today's age?
Radio as a media has always been an indispensible part of our lives. Even with the advent of television, internet and many other modes of information and entertainment, radio has stood the test of time. Its face, however, has definitely evolved with the integration of newer technologies and listeners’ preferences. While earlier radio was the sole source of news or information for many, it has now become more about light entertainment. But there is no doubt whatsoever on the relevancy of radio as a medium even in today’s age.
Tell us more about Kahaniyaan Sudhanshu Rai Ke Saath. What do you think made it lock with the audience?
ahaniyaan, Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai Ke Saath was a weekly radio storytelling show broadcast on one of the leading FM channels, ISHQ 104.8 FM. It is a collection of my stories from different genres namely detective, mystery, horror, comedy, inspirational etc. In each episode I narrate a new story and format has succeeded in striking a chord with the audience. The first season of it concluded earlier this year.
According to me, the variety in stories played a key role in capturing and retaining the interest and attention of the listeners. The other prime differentiator though was the genres and nature of stories that were completely grilling and evoked a sense of excitement.
What inspired you to become a storyteller?
Ever since my childhood, different people who came across me and different experiences that I imbibed framed a sort of story inside my mind. For instance, a usual morning in a school when parents dropped off their kids might seem to many like a mundane daily affair. But I observed the mannerism of people around and the conversations that took place and processed the same into weaving many stories. Or for example a visit to Nayi Sadak in old Delhi, which is a bustling street known for book sellers, on a rainy day. The imagery of the place and the feel I could weave into tales. Eventually, I began to pen my imaginations and observations, thereby becoming a storyteller for life.
The response to your acting and directorial debut Chaipatti has been great. Should we expect a sequel soon?
Yes we are very thankful to the audience for showing all hearts to my acting and directorial debut. Chaipatti has been loved by the audience for its concept, performances and especially climax that left the audience wanting for more. Demands have been soaring for its sequel ever since the release and we are elated to announce that Chaipatti has already gone on floor and very soon we would make an announcement on its release.
Could you share some details about your upcoming projects.
My next direction is a project very different from Chaipatti. Detective Boomrah will now finally be seen on the screen solving cases that are beyond the realm of one’s imagination. Detective Boomrah – Case of The Missing Man is a detective sci-fi thriller series that is something hardly ever done in India. It touches upon concepts that are intriguing, puzzling yet captivating. I play the title role and the plot of the series is its USP. We are hopeful of the series being loved by all Indian cinephiles.
Tell us about Detective Boomrah. How different is he from the other detective characters we have seen in films?
Detective Boomrah is probably the first Indian detective not confined by any boundaries, be it geographical or that of the unseen. He understands and sees what others misconstrue to be unreal. He is not a hat sporting sleuth who just solves murder mysteries, rather his search begins where that of others end. Detective Boomrah is a very intriguing character who have always has a knack for reading between the lines and ascertaining what was not obvious. He would never give a miss to the pattern in any sequence of events and would keenly observe each person, thing or word that passed before his senses. He enters the scenes only when all other options to reach the truth meet a dead end. Detective Boomrah entails from a pre-conceived notion that roads leading to nowhere ultimately lead to him.
What made you experiment with the lesser explored genres of Bollywood like horror comedy and sci-fi thriller?
Even as a storyteller on digital platforms or radio, I have touched upon genres that are on many occasions avoided for the fear of lack of interest among audience. The truth, however, is that if treated and conceptualized well, they could captivate the audience attention like no other. Also the fact that these genres are relatively lesser explored allow us more scope to present something new to the audience. Contrary to the popular belief, the Indian audience is very intelligent and they always love a good concept, irrespective of whether it is comedy, drama, mystery, horror or horror comedy and sci-fi.
What are your future plans? Movies or series?
As mentioned earlier, we are set to release a series with Detective Boomrah. After that, we would be announcing the release of more editions of Chaipatti, which would now be a package of wholesome entertainment in not just one episode.
With OTT entry, do you think people's craze for watching movies in theatres will soon fade away?
India is an entertainment savvy country and no dose of entertainment in any format has ever proven to be less for the movie buffs. I look at it as more choices and options for the audience as well as the filmmakers. While theatres continue to be the temples of cinema lovers, there is ample room for OTT entertainment on our smartphones and television sets.