Words and Design by Richard Mahesh Rajakumar
Brilliant ideas embellished with rhetoric writing, top-notch technical qualities and what else – a new beam of sensational surprises. Pawan Kumar exhibited a decorous attempt with his maiden debut ‘Life Ishtene’ followed by unparalleled mode of surpassing ideas in ‘Lucia’, which turned the global spotlights upon Kannada film industry. And with the trailer of his forthcoming film ‘U Turn’, we are assured that there are exhilarations and invigorations that every audience can experience with this film. Adorned with exceptional creative, Pawan has some rare qualities
Your film ‘Lucia’ emphasized on dreams and fantasies… Your forthcoming outing ‘U-Turn’ is apparently letting the inquisitive investigations peak up on what could be the tale is all about? So tell us what is it all about?
This is a simple film… Because of the trailer people are assuming it to be very complex. Its a linear narrative and takes the audience through a journey of a crime investigation. I cut the trailer that way because that is what the protagonist is going through in her journey to find the answers. This film has fewer layers compared to Lucia… it’s all about one road incident that happens and drives the entire story.
In an earlier interview, you cited how an afternoon dream inspired you to craft the tale of ‘Lucia’. So what did really inspire you on U-Turn?
Bangalore traffic chaos is the inspiration. Years and years of being stuck in traffic and being a victim of the mess that is created on the roads because there is no value for traffic rules… led me to write this story.
Having proved your proficiency with an impeccable debut and giving more hopes to producers through Lucia, how confident was you when penning script again on a different attempt.
It’s always very low. I am always very scared if I have done the right thing. I go through a lot of self doubt, all the earlier success starts seeming like coincidence. So Lucia being a hit didn’t make this easier, in fact for a while it was much difficult. I thought I had to meet expectations, and it took me a couple of months to let go of that and then just write the film without any hang ups. I just wrote what I very deeply felt about. That’s always the best way to write a script, not under pressure to make someone happy.
It looks like ‘Different Perspectives’ happen to be an intriguing part of this screenplay.
Every investigation theme film has the perspective element I guess. Though that is not really the highlight of this film, it’s more like unwrapping a mysterious box, what the audience see is what the protagonist sees… it’s like both are going on this journey of finding out the answers.
Your casting in ‘Lucia’ happened to be one of the substantial elements and how about U-Turn.
I first write the script and then move on to find the characters. And once I find these actors I go back to tweaking my characters a little to match up to the actors strengths and weakness. That’s why it looks like they were the perfect cast for the film. I like to work with what the actors can offer and add to the script. So I never insist on a particular kind of performance, instead I see what the actor has to offer and then build on that.
Usually, mainstream movies in any language prefer more prominence for male protagonists, but your movies (what we see from the trailer of U-Turn) looks promising enough to offer substantive roles to female actors too.
Yes it’s a female protagonist. Yes we are spoilt to think that we can only have male protagonist. In, fact my first draft was also with a male protagonist. But as I started developing it further, a friend suggested that I try the script with a female lead… and when I saw the film with a woman’s perspective, it all changed. I felt that was the perfect way to narrate this story. A woman can very easily show extreme emotions and it’s easy to believe the shifts.
On pars with your narration, characterisations and performance of star-cast in trailer, it’s so evident that technical department has grabbed more public glare….
I get surprised every time that happens. Because, I am shooting with very low end cameras, hardly any lights and rigs. In fact while shooting I am always craving for more budgets to afford better tech support. But thanks to the talents I work with they really do the best within the constrained budgets n resources and yet make the film appear on par with all high budget films.
Kannada industry has been endeavouring with lots of newfangled concepts, which indeed has become breaking of language barriers across various regions. How do you see the works of your pals like Rakshit Shetty and Anup Bhandari?
They scare me. Both Rakshit and Anup have shown far more cinematic brilliance than I have managed to. So I am secretly threatened by them both. I am glad how Kannada cinema is now being talked about outside the state… I feel there is still more to do. There are many more new young makers coming out every years and I am sure they will all take this forward.
Of course, you three have become more of predominant icons of Kannada industry on your respective thinking and conceptualizations. Can we expect any collaborations in production ventures to encourage more talents like you in mere future?
Yes I am always trying to set up something which will help other makers. In fact, other than the film productions everything that we discuss at my office is about creating digital platforms and told which can make it easier for audience and the filmmakers to collaborate.
Now having gained more acquaintances in Tamil film industry, have you thought of making a direct Tamil movie. If so, whom would you love to direct in lead role?
Tamil Industry and the audience have been very kind to me, I am honoured that they all like my work. For me the language is very important, I need to know it to be able to do a good job while shooting the film. I don’t know Tamil and I only understand a couple of words. I might feel very challenged to shoot a film in Tamil… So every time there is such an offer, the fear of not getting the nativity and the local dialect right… makes me not take it up. Lets see what’s there in store in the future, but as of now I’d like to explore more films in Kannada.