Despite having directed only three films, Basil Joseph is now recognised as one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the Malayalam film industry. He gained international attention with the superhero film Minnal Murali, featuring Tovino Thomas in the lead role. Commencing his career as an assistant director to Vineeth Sreenivasan in Thira (2013), Basil has ascended to great heights and has demonstrated excellence as a performer too, with his latest acting project, Nithish Sahadev’s Falimy, scheduled to be released on November 17.
He recently opened up about how unexpected schedule breaks during the making of a movie can take a mental toll on the film’s crew, especially the director. “While making Godha, we encountered an unexpected schedule break that lasted almost six months after Wamiqa Gabbi got injured during the shooting. I was very frustrated during that period since I had no money. This feeling doubled when we had to stop Minnal Murali’s shooting owing to the Covid outbreak. But I managed to get back on track somehow and firmly believe that we will complete it,” he said while taking part in Film Companion’s Malayalam Cinema Adda 2023.
He also showered praise on RDX: Robert Dony Xavier director Nahas Hidayath, who had worked with him as an assistant in Godha. Mentioning that he knew Nahas would be the first among his ADs to become a director himself, Basil admitted that he, however, never foresaw Nahas making his debut with a film as big as RDX.
Basil drew a parallel between the emotions he felt when Nahas made a big debut and the sentiments he believed his mentor, Vineeth Sreenivasan, experienced when the latter’s assistants, including Basil himself, Abhinav Sunder Nayak (Mukundan Unni Associates), Ganesh Raj (Pookkaalam), and Jude Anthany Joseph (2018), similarly leveled up.
Elaborating on his criteria for choosing a film as an actor, Basil observed that narrations can be deceiving. “Some people narrate their script very well. Instead of hastily giving an immediate approval based on the excitement generated during the narration, if we give the script a read once, we will gain more clarity regarding it. Unless it’s a highly experimental script, we will get a basic idea of how it will work out after reading it,” he observed.
Highlighting the significance of financial stability, Basil pointed out that it offers a sense of ease, allowing people to dedicate more time to thoughtful consideration without feeling compelled to take on film projects out of desperation.
“Once a film achieves success, we will undoubtedly receive calls from at least 3-4 production houses, presenting available dates of so and so for various projects. These are just projects. There is a high likelihood that we may accept some of these offers due to our financial requirements. However, once we attain financial stability, we can confidently assert that we won’t commit to anything until we encounter a cinema that truly satisfies us. This is a privilege, one that I did not have while working on Godha or Kunjiramayanam. It’s something I managed to earn over time, and now I aim to leverage this privilege in a creative and constructive manner,” he added.