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Exclusive! Director Sachin Krishn: Tanaav has found a sunshine despite Fauda being a humongous shadow

Sachin also spoke about making his debut with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and then never working on romantic films again.

Exclusive! Director Sachin Krishn: Tanaav has found a sunshine despite Fauda being a humongous shadow
Sachin Krishn.
  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 01.33 PM, Nov 26, 2022

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Tanaav filmmaker Sachin Krishn has been showering in the love his series has received. The first season of the show is now out and currently streaming on Sony LIV. Despite being the remake of the critically-acclaimed Fauda, Tanaav has found an audience of its own.

In an exclusive and candid chat with OTTplay, Sachin talks about making his debut with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and journey to a subject as heavy as Tanaav. He also discusses about his recently released show in detail.

Excerpts from the interview…

Tell me about the first time Tanaav happened. When you heard that this is a remake of Fauda – a series that is so critically-acclaimed, what was going on in your mind? How did you imagine coming to this show and making it your own?

The initiative for adapting Fauda into Tanaav was taken by Applause. Since me and Sudhir (Mishra) had already adapted two seasons of another Israeli series – Hostages – for them, they were kind enough to approach us to remake this huge show.

After the initial excitement, we felt an extreme sense of responsibility. Hostages is more-or-less a masala show which doesn’t hurt too many sentiments. It’s not a socio-political drama-thriller. That is an action-thriller. Tanaav is a real subject. Thus, it couldn’t be handled just for its entertainment quotient. We had to make sure not to offend anybody even remotely connected with what is happening out there.

Since you had successfully recreated Hostages, was that somewhere the reason you feel you were approached and roped in for a subject like Tanaav?

Absolutely, yeah. That must have been a big reason for Applause to trust us with Tanaav. People who approach me, they see something in me and thus, I get offered the projects.

It actually gets tough to recreate something just the way it is. I haven’t been able to catch up on Fauda but the glimpses have made me feel that Tanaav is from a slightly fresher perspective. What would you say to that?

No matter what you adapt, it cannot be a cut-and-paste job. Nakal mein bhi akkal chahiye. Fauda is based on their country, problems and socio-political environment. We are completely different from them. When you talk about Fauda, it’s essentially two different countries. In our case, the conflict is within the country. We are the same country fighting with each other for different values. In that sense, Tanaav is a totally different base than Fauda. The whole politics changes. The characters are more-or-less the same, the story kind of conforms to Fauda but once the context changes, the whole emotion and ethos changes. I’ve heard so many people tell me that it’s a fresh show. Whoever hasn’t seen Fauda either, they are also totally enjoying the show. Despite Fauda being such a humongous shadow, Tanaav has found a sunshine of its own.

Did you watch Fauda in order to understand what Tanaav needed?

Yes. If anybody hasn’t seen Fauda and watch it now, they would understand now how much care has gone into adapting Tanaav.

The cast is quite interesting and must I add, they have been able to emote as needed. So, how did they get finalized and was it a task to handle these many people on sets?

They got finalized through a process of extensive casting selection – screen test, look tests et all. The one thing we took care of was to cast as many actors with Kashmiri roots in some way. Most of these actors, when they talk in Hindi too, there’s a Kashmiri accent that is so subtle you wouldn’t notice it till you do. It’s so seamless it actually looks authentic. We wanted more Kashmiris on the show. We wanted it to be a Kashmiri show. When you do that, you lose out on a massive ton of audiences. Which is why we had to turn it into a Hindi show and ensure it looks as authentic as possible. That meant taking people who were comfortable with Kashmiri, looked like it and understood it as many as we could – even at the cost of sacrificing big names and big actors – in the favour of authenticity. That gamble seems to have paid off really well. People have been talking about how everyone is comfortable talking in Hindi-Kashmiri, which makes it very real.

As far as handling such an extensive cast and the tension part of it is concerned, yes, it was an extremely tense subject that we were shooting. It was a very emotionally draining subject. It was either that or heavy action. There was no relief. It was a very heavy shoot. I was also the cinematographer, along with directing it. When I used to go back to my hotel room, I would just drop dead within 10 minutes. It took that much of a toll. Having said that, somehow, with some fate, all the ensemble actors were so beautiful. They bonded so well with each other and entire crew that it was a dream to work with them. What made the shoot easiest for me was the co-operation by the actors. It was that part of life which makes your work as a director much easier.

I will agree with you that the language is flawless. It just feels like Kashmiri is all the actors’ mothertongue…

That’s true. Most of them knew Kashmiri. A few like Shashank Arora and Manav Vij didn’t know Kashmiri beforehand. They also got coaching in the language and look at them now! They’ve all really worked hard. Even the non-Kashmiri actors have really worked hard on their diction. When you are up against real people who are so flawless, the non-Kashmiri people also get pushed to perform at that level. It worked really well.

This is a Hindi show and so, keeping the authenticity of the Kashmiri language gets tough. Whose idea was it that people will talk in Koshur?

Everyone’s. A special thanks to the producers who put their trust in us. Others would be wary of losing out on audiences.

Tell me about collaborating with Sudhir Mishra. What was that like?

We have worked on six feature films before this. I was given credit for director of photography but it never felt that way. It felt like I made the films with him – right from the scripting stage. So, when we co-directed, it only seemed like the logical step in our journey. We didn’t even realize what happened. You cannot distinguish between who has directed what. That happens only when you work together for these many numbers of years. Our sense of cinema is also absolutely same. When we took our first shot in Khoya Khoya Chand, we hit a very divine thing. There were no questions asked. We never spoke on sets again. It’s really bizarre. Me and Sudhir are completely different. We aren’t even friends but one as filmmakers.

Tanaav is a series that brings out chaos every other minute. Did it take more chaos to prepare the actors for what was coming? Tell me about working on these scenes.

I followed the quote, “Be so sorted and organized in your personal life so that you can be violent in your work.” It was the opposite. I had to make the sets comfortable rather than chaotic – in order to portray the chaos. We had to be chaotic and relentless for the scenes and thus, we had to be really gentle on sets. Otherwise, everybody would crumble. What we were shooting, was emotionally and physically very draining. That’s how it works.

Despite making your debut – even if cinematography – in an iconic film like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, you did not explore the romantic genre yet. Any plans on doing that?

I had just passed out of the institute and was a child when Kuch Kuch Hota Hai happened. Karan Johar was a child. We shot for that film so happily that we didn’t even realize when did it commence and when did the shooting end. The nature of the film was also that, right?

I started getting associated with heavy filmmakers. I forgot romance after working with these people. They are absolutely hard-hitting, heavy and realistic movie-makers. I worked on suspense-thrillers, action-thrillers and the likes. I tried to shoot for lighter subjects in the midst of that but that didn’t attract me. I evolved and found my kind of cinema. I like heavy, hard-hitting and realistic films more than chic-flicks and romcoms. Now with the work I do, I found my calling. I would love to do Hostages, Tanaav, political-thriller, suspense-thriller or action-thriller.

We will get more seasons of Tanaav, right? Where is the show at? Scripting stage?

Of course. Fauda has multiple seasons. Tanaav will also have. With the success of the first season, there’s no rocket science that you will have more seasons of Tanaav.

We’re currently absorbing the love for the first season. It took a lot of hardwork so we’re enjoying the appreciation too. When we’re over the phase, we’ll think about a new season.

What about Hostages? Is there going to be a season 3?

Originally, it only had two seasons. Even if we go for a third season, it will be from the scratch, with an Indian perspective. Hence, the producers will have to decide whether to go ahead with a new season or no.

Your upcoming projects?

I’m working on multiple projects. However, I would wait for my projects to release before stating anything.

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