New Delhi, Aug 7 (PTI) Whether it's the title of their new project "Guns & Gulaabs" or its setting in the 1990s era, creators Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK say the story rings true when its drawn from personal experiences, something they have done with the Netflix series.
The name "Guns & Gulaabs" is a Hindi derivative of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, popular in the late 1980s and 1990s.
The trailer of the show, which was released last week, is full for punch-lines, over-the-top drama, fashion, and set to tunes of the bygone era with songs such as Usha Uthup's "Rambha Ho" and "Waiting for a Girl Like You" by the American rock band Foreigner.
"You always go back to your personal experiences. That's when it rings true and you can write honestly is when you kind of experience some bits of it. Even if it's a horror genre, which you haven't lived. But you can still draw lots of things from your friends, what you lived in, what you believed in. So, I think that's why you keep going back to nostalgia," Raj, one-half of the acclaimed writer duo Raj & DK, told PTI here
Set in the 1990s, "Guns & Gulaabs" follows the story of a lovestruck mechanic Paana Tipu (Rajkummar Rao), a reluctant heir to a ruling gang Chhota Ganchi (Adarsh Gourav), an honest officer-turned-agent-of-chaos Arjun Verma (Dulquer Salmaan), and a killer called 4-cut Atmaram (Gulshan Devaiah).
DK, known for creating hit titles such as "Stree", "The Family Man", and "Farzi" with Raj, said formative years are generally a go-to period for artists.
"This was also the period when we were growing up, our formative years. If we have to take any experiences, you would go back to that. If you want to pick up school stuff, you go back to the era you went to school," he added.
This is the fourth web series collaboration for Raj & DK, following Prime Video's "The Family Man", "Unpaused" anthology (segment 'Glitch'), and "Farzi".
Like Raj & DK introduced Telugu star Samantha Ruth Prabhu with "The Family Man 2" to audiences speaking a different language, "Guns & Gulaabs" will see Malayalam star Dulquer make his series debut.
That's the beauty of working on the long-format of storytelling on OTT, said DK.
"When we got the opportunity to make our first OTT show 'The Family Man' season one, the first thing we did was cast actors from the entire country... Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and other states cast them for the characters because it allowed us to...
"As long as we knew there was a good actor working in some other language we cast that actor. We didn't have to worry about casting a name or thinking about what's the name that's going to be on the marquee," he added.
Raj said they are "proud and glad" to introduce all these fine actors to the whole country.
"There is tremendous talent across India and this format just gives us (a chance) to work with anybody that we want at this point of time. We are proud and glad that we could introduce all these fine actors to the whole country," he said.
As a '90s child, Rajkummar said starring in the series was a "no-brainer". The actor has previously worked with Raj & DK on the 2018 horror comedy "Stree", which they wrote and produced.
"I'm a '90s kid. I have a lot of love for that era. I got a chance to work in 'Guns & Gulaabs' which is set in '90s and it was a no-brainer for me. I love Raj and DK. When they make something they make it very unique. It's very out of the box.
"'Guns & Gulaabs' is a quirky comedy. Raj and DK are known for great stories with a lot of humour in it and that's what 'Guns & Gulaabs' is. It is set in a fictional town called Gulaabgunj with these crazy, weird characters," the National Award winner said.
Gulshan and Dulquer, who enjoyed watching Raj & DK's films such as "99" and "Shor in the City", praised Raj & DK for their "unique and universal" sense of humour.
"They create a terrific environment. They give you a lot of room to improvise. They give you great characters and then hand them over to you to let you perform," said Gulshan.
"No matter whichever series you may have seen by Raj and DK, each of the characters are fleshed out. Each viewer might have a different character as their favourite. I find them very interesting. Even though there is one main track, no matter what everybody has something to do," added Dulquer.
"Guns & Gulaabs", directed and produced by Raj & DK, will arrive on Netflix on August 18. It also stars TJ Bhanu, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Pooja A Gor and the late Satish Kaushik.