777 Charlie director Kiranraj: Despite doing odd jobs, my agenda was always to be part of cinema
A paperboy at the age of 8, a bar waiter and security guard in his adulthood, Kiranraj K finally fulfills his passion for cinema with Rakshit Shetty’s 777 Charlie
With less than a week left for the release of 777 Charlie, this adventure drama has already been receiving a lot of love from the premieres that are happening in various places across the country. With 21 premieres having been planned, the audience who caught the screenings in Delhi, Lucknow, and Amritsar, have turned emotional watching the lives of Dharma and Charlie unfold on screen.
Director Kiranraj K says that the audience’s emotions have vindicated his arduous journey in cinema. “I faced a lot of hurdles while shooting 777 Charlie. I had many sleepless nights. The whole journey was not easy. Today, it feels good to watch the audience’s reactions, and see tears in their eyes. These tears are reflections of my 777 Charlie journey too,” says Kiranraj, whose debut film will be a pan-Indian project that will be released in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi, on June 10.
Talking about his fascination for human emotions, Kiranraj talks about the path he has taken in his life that has brought him to this point. “I started working as a paper boy as an 8-year-old. Family constraints cut my dreams of attending college, and I cannot describe that pain in words. I took a job as a waiter at the bar and worked as a security guard too. I did face a lot of harassment, and there was never a day when I didn’t cry myself to sleep. I have seen every kind of emotion up and close at a very young age. That’s why I was able to write scenes that would allow the audience to empathise with my characters,” shares Kiran, who added that he might come across as a tough taskmaster on the sets, but is a very emotional person at heart. “I believe that a person becomes strong when emotions are brought to the fore. That’s what I saw in the audience when they were watching 777 Charlie,” he says.
If you ever find a 50 paise postcard at the cinema halls screening 777 Charlie, then it is from Kiranraj, who expects the audience to share their opinion in the card and post it to the address mentioned. “This was a practice I picked with my first telefilm, Kaavala. I had distributed these postcards to all the audience post-screening, and I still treasure their opinions. I respect the audience, and will never take them for granted. A line or two written by them about 777 Charlie will be among my treasured memories about the film, and it will also help me understand them better.”
Despite insurmountable odds, and juggling odd jobs, Kiranraj’s primary aim was just one thing — Cinema. “As a child, my grandparents would narrate stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Even while listening to the stories, I would visualise the characters and scenes. When I saw the televised versions of these epics, I was excited to see that the visuals in my head were very similar to what I was seeing onscreen. Storytelling by my grandparents was the foundation of my passion towards the world of cinema. However, it took time to crack into this world and do what I liked the most,” he says.
Kiranraj says that his focus as a director is long-term, and strongly believes his patience and perseverance have paid off. “I might direct just a handful of films, but my work should have an impact and be remembered by the audience even years later. I want to connect with people with my storytelling, and 777 Charlie will be that first step.”