When we witness entertainment, we don’t often actively think about what went into creating it. Of course, being caught up in the moment means you’re not contemplating the process behind what you’re experiencing, but for those who hope to pursue their own creative inclinations, it becomes necessary at some point. Whether you’re an athlete, a musician, or a storyteller, innovations often come from pushing yourself. Those who are at the forefront of their vocation are pursuing insight in the same way that those who are new to it do. A challenge always results in education and growth. Writer Rajendra Thakurathi has numerous productions to his credit but believes that new ideas and innovation come from getting out of his comfort zone. It was this idea that inspired Being Kicked. He explains, “I had written some films that were successful in really moving an audience [as in the award-winning film The Dishwasher which saw Thakurathi getting partner mentorship from Primetime Emmy winner (for Chicago Hope) Jeremy Kagan] but I wanted to push myself harder and come up with new techniques. I had seen Rodrigo García’s fifteen-minute one-shot film about a woman who encounters her ex-lover while at a grocery and it was so poignant and emotional. It inspired me to consider writing a film that would take a non-traditional approach where we tell the entire story in one long camera take without a cut.”

One of the calling cards of Rajendra’s writing is the personal connection he has with the characters and the story. He is fond of interviewing real people and using this information to infuse a personal connection for both himself and the viewers of his films.

Based on real incidents, Being Kicked is the story of Bruce and Cynthia, who are expecting a baby. This necessitates the family being separated as Bruce must travel to a far off city to support them. Being Kicked is a discussion of personal sacrifice for the greater good. Bruce and Cynthia want to be a family but each must sacrifice their individual dreams to do so. Bruce must abandon or at least postpone his aspirations to be a lawyer while Cynthia is required to focus nearly every aspect of her life around the soon-to-arrive child. While the circumstances of Being Kicked may not be uncommon, the presentation is. Rajendra’s writing and insistence that the film be single-shot without any edits affects every nuance of the story. With Academy Award-nominee Michael Uno and Francesco De Chirico (known for his work on Tyler Perry’s 182MM grossing A Madea Christmas) behind the scenes while Mark Marchillo (Bruce) and Brittany Stevens (Cynthia) appear on screen, the manifestation of this writer’s ideas became visible. What resulted was an emotional efficiency in camera movements that intensified the impact of the character’s experience.

Being Kicked screened at an eclectic group of festivals including the Tripoli Film Festival in Lebanon, Durban International Film Festival in South Africa and Long Take Florence Film Festival in Italy. While this new technique Thakurathi utilized created something new for him and the audience, the universal nature of his writing remained present. Consider that this writer from Nepal created a film with American actors, a crew made up of professionals who are Chinese, Philipino, and Taiwanese to create a film that resonated profoundly in South Africa, Lebanon, and Italy. There’s no doubt that Rajendra’s success is an equal measure of talent and striving for new places in his own creativity.

Author: Kelly King

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