Ever since the trailer of Victor Mukherjee’s Lakadbaggha has been released, animal lovers all over are elated. The film stars Anshuman Jha, Ridhi Dogra, Milind Soman and will hit screens on January 13. The Free Press Journal caught up with the filmmaker for an exclusive conversation.
When asked if Lakadbaggha is his full-fledged directorial debut, Victor explains, “Yes, for a feature film this is my debut. I shot Lakadbaggha later and my first film is by Jio Studios, whose title I can’t reveal. They have a clause that until they announce it, we can’t.”
When asked if the untitled film will release in theatres, Victor shares, “No, that isn’t a theatrical release. There will be a new app for the IPL thing so in the launch line, it’s going to be there. They are planning to launch it in March, 2023. I have directed a few series like Love Lust and Confusion and Babbar Ka Tabbar.”
Opening up about his expectations from the theatrical release of Lakadbaggha, Victor states, “It is coming with Kuttey so obviously, it’s going to be a tough competition. But it’s a challenging film for us I guess. It’s a different story. We shot with a lot of stray dogs and a lot of animals in the film plus there’s a lot of action in the film. Anshuman got himself trained with Krav Maga for six months to perfect his character.”
Elaborating on Anshuman’s role in the film, he reveals, “Lakadbaggha means hyena and he is a ‘hyena’ in the film. It’s just metaphorical. It’s not a fantasy film. It’s a very simple animal vigilante film of a simpleton who just loves animals. His dog goes missing and the whole animal trafficking network comes out.”
While the film isn’t inspired by any one particular incident, Victor states, “We picked up news information from different parts of the country at different times. In August 2021, a striped hyena was spotted in Corbett National Park and this gave an idea to include the hyena in the film. It’s a work of fiction but inspired by real incidents that happened in India.”
On a parting note, Victor talks about how the film was conceptualised. “Graphic novel writer Alok Sharma wrote this. Anshuman and I were shooting in Arunachal for another series that is self funded and is still in edit stage as we have not got funding. We were travelling from Arunachal East to Arunachal West. On the road, we both were talking about our love for animals as we both are huge animal lovers. He said his brother when he was a kid had rescued a Hyena cub. That time he thought it was a dog. I told him I always wanted to make a story on Lakkadbagga. That name was so important to me. It is then he narrated a scene which is our opening scene which he cherished in his mind forever. That was the germ,” he concludes.