Basil Joseph directed one of the first superhero films from the Malayalam industry that had a pan-Indian appeal, Minnal Murali. He speaks to The Quint about his latest release Palthu Janwar where he plays the lead actor, favourite scene from his directorial, why these two films are special and more.
I always wanted to become a director and never expected to become an actor. It was coincidental.Basil Joseph, Actor-Director
Opening up about acting as the main hero, he says," I played the lead in Janeman last year but in Palthu Janwar, the film is primarily centred around my character and its journey. It gave me a lot of responsibility as I felt I had to hold it on my shoulders. I feel both, excited and nervous about our film's festival (Onam) release". He further adds that the film enabled him to bring out the best in him as an actor. He attributes it to the director and the producers of the film who gave importance to rehearsals for actors as much as they did to the writing, make-up and cinematography.
Explaining his experience sharing screens with animals, Basil says it taught him patience as the behaviour and the sleep cycle of animals can be unpredictable at times. "It's always interesting to work with animals. The film is about the bond animals share with humans and the unconditional love they have for us", he adds.
Speaking about a favourite scene from his career so far, he mentions his last directorial Minnal Murali starring Tovino Thomas.
The pre-climax portion in Minnal Murali where Shibu and Usha meet is the favourite scene that I have directed so far. As an actor, my role in Palthu Janwar personally connected with me.Basil Joseph, adds.
Explaining how he deals with setbacks, Basil recounts the challenging times during the shoot of Minnal Murali when the film's set was vandalized allegedly by a group of right-wing workers for hurting religious sentiments. He says, "I was in depression for a few months after that incident. I'm a very vulnerable person. My family and friends are my biggest pillars who helped me recoup my strength".
He further added, "The team dreamt of releasing Minnal Murali in theatres, it was released directly on OTT due to COVID. However, the sequel of Minnal Murali is on the cards and we will aim to give a theatrical experience for our audience".
Speaking about his favourites in the cinema industry, Basil says, "I would love to act in Mani Ratnam and Anurag Kashyap's films. In actors, I admire Shah Rukh Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Ranveer Singh, Nani, Ajith Kumar and Vijay Sethupathi.
Directed by Sangeeth P Rajan, Palthu Janwar is backed by Fahadh Faasil, Dileesh Pothan and Syam Pushkaran under the banner Bhavana Studios.
It is running in cinemas now.