Rasputin, directed by debutant Jinu G. Daniel, is the coming-of-age story of a reticent youth.
The shooting of debutant director Jinu G. Daniel’s Rasputin is progressing at the entrance of an apartment complex near Vazhakkala in Kochi. The first scene of the day features a profile shot of a security guard (played by Sunil Sukhada), who is enjoying his tea, humming a golden oldie in Hindi. A few seconds later the security guard turns towards the camera, the humming stops mid quatrain and a polite smile appears on his face. Perhaps he has spotted someone coming.
As soon as the shot is canned, the action shifts to the interiors of an apartment on the third floor of the building. The next shot will feature the three lead actors of the film – Vinay Forrt, Sreenath Bhasi and Aju Varghese. They play the roles of Susheelan or Susheel, Radhenathan or Rats, and Gopalan or Gops, respectively. The three of them work in the corporate world in the city and share the apartment.
“Susheel and Rats are cousins but are polar opposites in nature, especially when it comes to interacting with women. While Rats is a bit of a ladies’ man, Susheel is an introvert. Rasputin is about how Susheel overcomes his inhibitions to eventually stand up for himself,” says Jinu, who has earlier assisted directors such as Mahesh Dattani and Pamela Rooks.
The director explains that when he started writing the script, he thought it would be interesting to look into some of his own childhood experiences. “For example, when I was in primary school, I remember that the biggest punishment that a teacher could give me was to make me sit with girls. It was so embarrassing at that age. Fast forward to the teenage years and all I wanted to do was talk to girls! But at the same time I was unsure and apprehensive about how to approach them or even what it is that I wanted to talk to them about. Susheel and Rats go through the same rollercoaster of emotions where girls are concerned. The duo has almost the same kind of upbringing but differs greatly in their approach to life,” he says. Vandana and Archana Gupta play the heroines.
The scene being canned has Susheel’s father, the tyrannical Vayalil Satheesan (director-actor Joy Mathew), coming to the apartment for one of his routine spot inspections. Hullaballoo ensues.
Says Vinay: “Rasputin is essentially about the transformation that happens in the life of a rather reticent youth after he starts interacting with two women. What I like about the script is that it mirrors certain instances from my own gawky, teenage interactions with women. It reflects the nature of most boys in their growing up years.”
Sreenath agrees and adds: “I too can relate to this character, even though Rats dresses and talks in a completely different way from my real self.”
Rasputin is being produced by E.P. Varghese under the banner of Blue Moon Pictures. Hari Nair wields the camera, while Roby Abraham is the music director.