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‘A good Kannada film will raise me up’- Cinema express

Directing a Bollywood film is not a step ahead: U-Turn director Pawan Kumar

The director, who is almost done with his bilingual remake of the film, talks to us about the challenges of remakes and working in other industries

Published: 16th May 2018

Director Pawan Kumar, who set the ball rolling with the remake of U-Turn in Telugu and Tamil a few months ago, is now in the last leg of shoot. The bilingual starring Samantha Akkineni, along with Bhumika Chawla, Aadhi, Rahul Ravindran and Narain, will be complete within the next 15 days.

In an interview with Cinema Express, Pawan says that this project is extra special for him especially since it has opened doors to other Southern industries. “Though I am not very fluent in Tamil, I can understand Telugu because my mother is from Andhra Pradesh. Having worked in the Kannada industry for a long time, I was apprehensive as to whether I had the capacity to pull off a film in other languages. At the same time, I took it on as a challenge,” says the director in the midst of shooting for the film that is going on track.  

Pawan is looking at the experience as a confidence-builder, and feels that he now knows his strengths better than he ever did. As he revisits his film for the remake, Pawan says, “In this case, I’ve already got the story figured. If I had to start from scratch the stress-factor would have been doubled. But if I may say so myself, having watched the rushes, the film is shaping out well.”

He highlights the fact that this is the first time he is directing a film that is made with a huge budget. “Apart from my first Kannada film, Lifeu Ishtene, which had a big investment, the rest of my films were made on low budgets. We have a lot of resources for this film made in two languages,” says Pawan, who is certain that the remake will work out much better than the original.

Extensive changes have been made in the remake since Pawan believes that improvisation and changes were necessary, especially since the film has a star cast of five actors. “When it was made in Kannada, it was more of an experiment. The current version in two languages will reach out to a much larger audience. Having said that, the film still holds the soul of the story. It has only been re-visualised with the current artistes on board, and that’s where the improvisation has come in,” he says.

But Pawan doesn’t want to lose out on the essence of the original film and is working on retaining the ‘magic’. Is the climax as exciting as in the original? “We have bettered it,” the director says.

Considering that directorial offers have been pouring in for the filmmaker in Tamil and Telugu, Pawan is clear that he is only interested in bilingual or trilingual projects provided that the film is also done in Kannada. And what about Bollywood? “I’ve never thought that directing a Bollywood film will be a step ahead. I would rather consider doing a good Kannada film that will raise me up,” he signs off.

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