The first-time filmmaker is thankful to Kalyan Ram and producer K Hari Krishna for trusting him with the socio-fantasy
Last Updated: 02.41 PM, Aug 01, 2022
Bimbisara, the socio-fantasy film starring Kalyan Ram, Samyuktha Menon and Catherine Tresa, marks the directorial debut of Vassishta. The latter had earlier worked as an associate for Kalyan Ram’s runaway hit Pataas, directed by Anil Ravipudi. As Vassishta’s ambitious period film gears up for a release on August 5, he takes us through its ideation, making and his plans for a sequel.
“My journey with Bimbisara started in 2018. Generally in films, we have the protagonists going back in time to another era. I reversed the idea and wondered what if a king from a different era sets afoot in a contemporary world. I met Kalyan Ram once I had a fair idea of the plot and he was thrilled with the narration. Later, producer K Hari Krishna too said yes. There was no looking back later,” the director says.
Vassishta is particularly thankful to Kalyan Ram and Hari Krishna for trusting him fully for a project made on a huge scale. “I gave my best to live upto their expectations. I had a wonderful team to support me - cinematographer Chota K Naidu, art director Kiran Kumar Manne and the stunt director and everyone - and complete the film as per schedule.”
Interestingly, the filmmaker had acting ambitions and was the male lead of a film titled Premalekha Raasa, which never saw the light of the day. “Direction was my first love always. The early setback as an actor reminded me of my priorities and I sought opportunities to build a career as a director.” He read about Bimbisara when he was trying to research about the various kings who ruled the country.
“Bimbisara, in the story, is a king who ruled the Trigartala dynasty over five centuries ago. This is a completely fictional story. Every day on the set was like a time-travel in itself,” he adds. Composer MM Keeravaani was Vassishta’s first choice for the film. Given the former was busy with RRR, they approached Chirrantan Bhatt and Varikuppala Yadagiri for the songs.
They trusted Chirrantan’s experience with Gauthamiputra Satakarni and brought him on board. Yadagiri’s presence was necessary to lend a folksy twist to the album. However, destiny had it that MM Keeravaani had to be a part of the film too - but for the background score. “I was scared how he would react to the film but he agreed to take it up after watching it.”
Vassishta took special care in designing Kalyan Ram’s look and saw to it that it was no way similar to the avatars of other actors who’ve been part of historicals and fantasies in recent years. “We wrapped the shoot in September last year and spent a lot of time on the CG work.” Bimbisara will certainly have a sequel and all characters have adequate significance in the story, he assures.
“The story and the characterisation are so dense that we can’t do justice to them in one film. The sequel is very much on and we had this idea right during the scripting stages. Bimbisara is like a Superman, there’s scope to come up with many more instalments in the future,” the filmmaker exudes confidence. Bimbisara features Vivan Bhatena as the antagonist.