The director gets candid about his upcoming projects, his inspiration to make films and many other things...
Director Pavan Kripalani is the man of the moment right now as his psychological thriller flick Phobia just released this Friday. Anxious for the success of his upcoming film, he is filled with nervous energy as he talks about the making of the film, Radhika Apte, his love for horror films and his future plans...
What made you choose Phobia as a concept?
The concept of Phobia came from the idea of what trauma does to someone. We tend to give a lot of importance to the incident that caused the trauma, and less to what the person goes through. There is an instant change in the person who experiences something traumatic in their life and they become a different person. I find that really fascinating.
What made you choose Radhika as the lead role?
Very early on I thought about this character I realised that it would be a very tough movie to make if I don't have a good actor. So I was very clear that we needed to have a really good actor and with this movie I can't go to the A-listers because I don't think movies like this will attract people of that space. So I wanted an actor who was grounded, real, who could really take on the challenge. Very few are out there like that, I think Smita Patil is one who can actually get into the thick of things and really portray a role. Also, Radhika Apte is a relatable person, you can imagine she exists, she's not some crazy ceramic doll who is too far away from your accessibility. Mainly, I chose her because I think she is a really great actor. I wrote the movie keeping her in mind.
All your films have an element of horror. Why the fascination with it?
The idea of supernatural, the idea of unknown does attract me. Generally, I levitate towards darker sunjects, not because I'm some strange sicko who does weird things at home, but as a creative person, I'm drawn towards thriller movies, it just comes to me naturally.
So what was the biggest challenge while making this film?
The biggest I think was getting it funded. It is a movie that had a lot of bravado and bravery from the producer's side, because they got to say ok I'm gonna let you make this movie. It doesn't have songs, it doesn't have sex, it doesn't have all the elements required in a commercial film. So having someone to really back you, that was the toughest part.
Don't you think it was challenging to shoot an entire film in a single house?
Personally I enjoy those movies where it is contained to one house. When you contain a movie in one place, you have a lot of pros, one being you can sustain tension for longer.
Did any particular film inspire you to make Phobia?
The one movie I like to watch over and over again was a Polanski film called Repulsion, which was always a huge influence to me as a person. That played a huge part in my understanding of how to tell a story in one house. I have actually studied Polanski in extreme detail for this film.
What will you find more challenging- a thriller, a comedy or a commercial action film?
My next movie will be a horror comedy, which is the exact opposite of this film. It's more extravagant, it's more in your face, it's in 3D, a spectacle and a totally different ball game. So that is more frightening for me but I'm doing it because I have been working on it for a long time. I have been sitting with this script for 7-8 years. My next one will be as commercial as it gets. But it won't be a Rohit Shetty film or a Priyadarshan film because I can't do what they do. So I will do a version of a commercial film with the way I do my movies.
Looks like big things are in store for the horror filmmaker.
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