'Kunji Ramayanam was entertaining and had a likable plot. We thought that even if the film did not have a great initial, it would pick up. That's why we took the risk of releasing it along with the big names, during Onam,' director Basil Joseph tells Vijay George.
It was some kind of a David versus Goliath tussle this Onam season in Malayalam cinema, when debutant director Basil Joseph's Kunji Ramayanam took on high-profiled films like Loham, Utopia yile Rajavu, Double Barrel and Jamna Pyaari.
In the end, it was Kunji Ramayanam, starring siblings Vineeth and Dhyan Sreenivasan, that emerged the clear winner.
Basil gave up his well-paying job at Infosys to join the world of movies, but has no regrets.
In a chat with Rediff.com contributor Vijay George, the young director talks about Kunji Ramayanam and more.
Was it tough for you to resign from your job at Infosys and take a plunge into the world of movies?
After joining Infosys in 2012, I did four short films. The response to those films gave me confidence that I can entertain people.
After watching my films, (singer-actor-director) Vineeth Sreenivasan asked me to assist him in Thira.
I had to take a decision regarding my job -- either I could continue with it or resign.
I decided to take a risk. Only a few can make an impression in movies. I felt that even if I fail, I won't regret it, as at least I gave it a try.
How big a success is Kunji Ramayanam?
As per trade estimates, Kunji Ramayanam is a superhit. Family audiences are liking the film. We expect the film to have a long run.
Kunji Ramayanam was pitted against films like Loham and Utopia yile Rajavu, starring superstars. How confident were you at the time?
I always felt families would like Kunji Ramayanam, as it was entertaining and had a likable plot. We thought that even if the film did not have a great initial, it would pick up. That's why we took the risk of releasing it along with the big names, during Onam.
Did you approach many actors before finalising on Vineeth and Dhyan?
Not really. Though we had initially considered approaching Prithviraj for the role eventually done by Biju Menon, we dropped the idea after a while.
Considering the recent uproar about films giving wrong signals to the younger generation, how do you justify the 'Salsa' episode?
We never had any plans to support drinking. In fact, 'Salsa' was a brand that is no longer in demand these days. It's a funny episode with elements of fantasy. It's fun and it is to be taken that way only.
We are working on a script but these are early days. Nothing has been finalised except that it will be a lighthearted entertainer.