Writer Anand Ravi dons new hats as director and producer
Writer-turned-director Anand Ravi discusses the making of his upcoming suspense-thriller Napoleon
Anand Ravi has already proved his mettle as a writer with Pratinidhi. Now he has turned a director and an actor with the suspense-thriller, Napoleon. Ravi gives us a sneak peek at his character and the film. “I play Napoleon, a common man who loses his shadow. The character has all kinds of emotions and is sharp, with a great sense of humour. Besides that, my role also delivers punch lines that leave the audience in splits, while making them think.”
Ravi says the audience will experience a one-of-a-kind thriller, that also deals with social responsibility and showcases the struggle of a common man for himself. “It’s an edge-of-the-seat thriller where the protagonist gets the police to reopen a case, and later, proves it is a murder. An article in a newspaper inspired me to pen this script.”
The young filmmaker adds, “I narrated the script to several actors and their response was -- make some changes here and there. Since it’s the story of a common man, I was in no mood to tweak the script, and the unexpected delay in proceedings, in a way, provided me an opportunity to test the actor in me. After watching the output, I am quite pleased with my performance and also realised the need to strengthen my acting skills (laughs).”
Declaring acting happened to him by chance, Ravi explains, “I have the flair for writing and I always wanted to be a director. I never had the dream to become an actor. For me, acting happened by chance. So, I’m uncertain of acting, but I can vouch that I will continue directing films.”
So, is it viable to make a film on a shoe-string budget without stars and a huge marketing budget? “Films without big names need vigorous marketing strategies. To cater to the wider audience, I have come up with an interesting tagline: 'The man who lost his shadow'. This strategy has paid off and the promos have created a great deal of interest among the audience.”
The writer-turned-director finds it challenging to handle both roles. “Acting and directing at the same time is difficult. One needs to put in a lot of effort. Also, it’s tedious as there are so many responsibilities. Plus, there won’t be anyone around to correct your mistakes. Although it’s exciting and interesting, there are both pros and cons to handling both departments.”
Ravi has chosen a different path in his first attempt as a director, and he maintains that he will keep making films with a social message. “I want to make films that reflect on the present times by displaying a keen sense of social responsibility. Fortunately, I’m able to conceive and execute such ideas quite well. Going forward, I want to try making films that are driven by strong storylines.”
The filmmaker found some support in producer Bunny Vaas. “He has encouraged me a lot and has helped our film to get a smooth release with good screen count,” he says.
Jointly produced by Anand Ravi and Bhogendra Gupta, Napoleon will be released on November 24.