Commercial films and family entertainers don’t need grammar, says director Pawan Basamsetti

He entered Tollywood in 2017 as an assistant director. Naga Shaurya's 'Rangabali' marks his directorial debut.

ByY Sunita

Published Jul 08, 2023 | 11:30 AMUpdatedAug 10, 2023 | 1:11 PM

Pawan Basamsetti

Pawan Basamsetti is just 29 years old. He entered the film industry in 2017 and worked as an assistant in Dil Raju’s production Lover (2018). Also a writer, he then directed a short film.

And now, he is elated by the positive reviews that his directorial debut — Rangabali — has been drawing crowds since its release on Friday, 7 July. Well, the movie has fallen slightly short of becoming a blockbuster for its lead actor Naga Shaurya, but it went down well with audiences across the world.

In a freewheeling chat with South First, Pawan Basamsetti said that his debut film has a concept and a nice message around which commercial elements are woven.

Excerpts from the interview:

On debut film Rangabali

Director Pawan Basamsetti monitoring the shoot

Director Pawan Basamsetti monitoring a shot. (Supplied)

When asked about the reason for naming the film Rangabali, Pawan Basamsetti replied that the town in which the story is set is Rajavaram. “But the centre of the town is Rangabali and it forms the crux of the plot. Hence, the title.”

Explaining the concept of the movie, Pawan Basamsetti said, “A conflict with a person is quite common. In my film, conflict  revolves around the place.”

He further added: “Rangabali‘s was meant to be my second or third film. But at one particular time, I found the conflict point very interesting and decided to debut with it.”

A native of Tadepalligudem in West Godavari, Pawan Basamsetti recalled an interesting incident that inspired him to debut with Rangabali.

He was travelling from Guntur to Vijayawada by bus a few years ago when the driver halted the vehicle at Benz Circle. “Well, there was no circle or any physical structure at the location then, but it’s been famous as Benz Circle. This inspired me to write a story and that’s how Rangabali came into being.”

Related: ‘Rangabali’ falls slightly short of becoming a super hit for Shaurya

Conflict in Rangabali

Pawan Basamsetti with actor Naga Shaurya

Pawan Basamsetti with actor Naga Shaurya. (Supplied)

The hero — Naga Shaurya — in Rangabali is from Rajavaram village and he has a conflict with Rangabali (centre). Though his name is Shaurya (in the film), everyone addresses him as Shau.

The prime character of Rangabali, Shaurya’s father (Goparaju Ramana), runs a medical shop and hopes against hope. He wants his son to take over the business.

“Nevertheless, Shaurya doesn’t know anything about medicines and the purpose for which they are supposed to be sold. He is always busy with extracurricular activities. All this is quite relatable for today’s youth,” Pawan pointed out.

Rangabali was shot for 61 days. “I knew Naga Shaurya since Krishna Vrinda Vihari (2022). I was a writer for the movie. After the flick, I made a short film and asked him to watch it. He liked it and we established a rapport,” the filmmaker said.

Regarding the actor, the director noted, “Naga Shaurya is a transparent person. What you see on screen in Rangabali is what you know of him in real life, too.”

Related: Naga Shaurya’s clarification on ‘Rangabali’ spoof videos

On Rangabali‘s cast and crew

Pawan Basamsetti on the sets

Pawan Basamsetti on the sets of ‘Rangabali’. (Supplied)

Pawan Basamsetti was impressed with the work of music composer Pawan Ch who scored the soundtrack and background music for Love Story. So, he decided to rope him in for Rangabali.

And guess what? Pawan Ch’s music became a major highlight of the flick.

The director still remembers his first dream shot. He shot the most complicated scene on the first day of the shoot — the auditorium fight scene between Naga Shaurya and Noel. Well, it broke the mould of routine storytelling.

“Not everyone does that. They usually go for simple and easy scenes and gradually progress to tougher sequences as they start getting comfortable. But I was excited to see what I wrote on paper getting transferred onto the screen,” Pawan was all smiles.

Also Read: ‘Rudrangi’: Jagapathi Babu shines in this not-so-convincing fiction

‘Never been to a film school’

Rangabali director Pawan Basamsetti

Pawan Basamsetti debuted as a director with ‘Rangabali’. (Supplied)

The filmmaker revealed that he has enjoyed humour since his childhood and his debut flick reflects that. The first half of Rangabali was a laugh riot.

However, Pawan can’t thank Murali Sarma, Satya, Shine Tom Chacko, Goparaju Ramana, and Ananth Sriram enough for giving their best to the movie.

“I don’t know filmi grammar; all I know is to write and direct. I don’t read many books, but I understand and observe life a lot. I’ve never been to a film school and I believe that a movie is all about what runs from the title to the end card,” the director quipped.

“I believe we need grammar and experience to handle mythological subjects. But colloquial language is enough for commercial films and family entertainers. We don’t need to go through the grind,” Pawan opined.