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 in the lead cast, will be complete within 15 days.
In a telephonic interview with City 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 re-looks at the original version with renewed interest and perspective, Pawan says: "In this case, I’ve already got the story figured. But the stress-factor is having to shoot in two languages. But if I may say so myself, having watched the rushes, the film is shaping out well.”
Pawan 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 the movies were made on low budgets. That way, we have a lot of resources for this film made in two languages,” says Pawan, who is certain that the re-make will work out much better than the original.
Extensive changes have been made in the re-make 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 visualised differently with the artistes, and that's where the improvisation has come in,” says Pawan, adding, "Probably, U-Turn will be refreshing even for the Kannada audience who haven’t watched the film.
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 clinching a the original? “We have bettered it," the director says.
Considering that directorial offers have been pouring in for the director in Tamil and Telugu, Pawan is clear that he is interested in bilingual of trilingual projects. "That way I can also write. Kannada is my main interest," he says.
So, is Bollywood the next step for Pawan? "I’ve never considered directing a Bollywood film will help me raise the bar for me. I consider doing a good Kannada film will raise me up,” he signs off.