Jhakaas: Manipal’s First Feature Film

Four friends, discontent with their lives after college and reminiscent of “the good old days” reunite. What ensues is a night of fun, debauchery, and misadventure.

 

Jhakaas! — a feature film by Anirudh Entertainment Films — opens to a scene of what appears to be Sameer getting chastised by his father outside Manipal Police Station. Through some breathtaking aerial shots of Manipal, wonderfully written narration, and sincere acting, the story unravels. 

There’s Jaggu — the womanising “stud boy”, Karan — the responsible one, Arun — ill-starred and bordering on alcoholism, and finally Sameer — timid yet resourceful. 

While the movie itself can be described as competent for a debut attempt, the acting at times felt forced and exaggerated. However, the cinematography was skilful and the narration simply brilliant. 

All things considered, if you have 56 free minutes and are looking for something heartwarming, nostalgic, and entertaining — this is our recommendation. 

We spoke to Anirudh Ajay Baboo, the producer, and here’s what he had to say:- 

MTTN: What inspired the idea and how did the scenes come about? 

Anirudh: Well, the whole idea of making a film came to me while I was in 12th grade. The film is loosely based on a true story that happened with one of my friends in Bahrain, from which I took inspiration and planned to make a feature film. I started writing the story in the first year of college and interestingly, stopped writing it after a while. Later, I finished it with the help of my batchmates by the end of my 5th semester. I am a big fan of commercial cinema and wanted the scenes of the film to be somewhat like them focusing more on situational comedy.

MTTN: Do you personally relate to any of these characters? 

Anirudh: I do not relate to them entirely, but I am in love with the characters. Each of the characters has nothing in common and they are absolutely different from each other.Yet they are very good friends and that’s why the dialogue ‘hum char jab hi bhi milte hai kuch na kuch gadbad ho hi jati hai’ was written. It signifies the power of their friendship.

MTTN: If you came back to Manipal after graduating, what would be on your list of things to do?

Anirudh: First, I would go to my college (School Of Communication), because no matter how much we hate it when we are studying, the college is what is missed bitterly for the rest of our lives. I would then revisit all the shooting locations across Udupi and Manipal to relive all the memories and have the wonderful Idli-sambar at Shangri-La.

MTTNThe last shot is of all four friends being hit by a wave of nostalgia and reminiscing about how simple college was, do you see yourself ever being in that position? What would be some of the memories that would stand out?

Anirudh: The whole idea of that scene came from Sharon Joseph (Editor of Jhakaas). Most of us make the best memories during our college life. I think freedom has a new meaning altogether when you shift out of your hostels in Manipal and stay out with your friends. It’s the simplicity of having no responsibilities, nothing serious to worry about and being far away from the pressure of working under someone. But the worst part is that this realization only hits you once you get out of college. That’s when you really start missing your college life and the value of it. Although nostalgia brings out good memories of time spent, the bitterness of not being able to live those moments again is hurtful. That was the whole point of that scene and I think these feelings are mutual for all of us.

The memories that stand out are definitely the times during the shoot for our film. The preparation, location scouting and the shooting itself. Given a chance we would all do it again, better this time, learning from all the mistakes made and time well spent.

You can watch the official trailer at https://youtu.be/LPtKr2cp02w.

And the full movie at

https://youtu.be/qLD9IUZhoY0.

PS: Jhakaas! in Hindi means Awesome! but in the movie, it means something else entirely. ‘Jha’ for Jaggu, ‘a’ for Arun, ‘Ka’ for Karan, and ‘S’ for Sameer.

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