Bollywood Hungama recently travelled to Hyderabad to visit the fascinating sensuous and jungle-themed office of Ram Gopal Varma. The office was unlike one has ever seen in India and probably the world. After giving us a detailed tour, the filmmaker sat down for an exclusive interaction.
EXCLUSIVE: Ram Gopal Varma says that Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan “put a brake to the South wave”: “Pathaan stopped that myth as a BLOCKBUSTER was delivered by a Hindi film star, Hindi director and Hindi producer”
Last year, Ram Gopal Varma talked to us at great length about the gloomy box office scenario. This was a time when biggies like Aamir Khan-starrer Laal Singh Chaddha and Akshay Kumar-starrer Raksha Bandhan flopped big time while South films like RRR and KGF - Chapter 2 earned huge bucks at the box office. The scenario has improved this year a bit, especially after the blockbuster success of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan (2023).
When asked about it, RGV said, “One thing Pathaan did was to put a brake on this whole South wave. There was this perception that there was more acceptance for South films and that no Bollywood film is going to work anymore. This was when Kantara, RRR and KGF - Chapter 2 were doing wonders at the box office. Pathaan stopped that myth as a blockbuster was delivered by a Hindi film star, Hindi director and Hindi producer.”
We reminded him that this year, not a single South dubbed film has worked in Hindi. He stated, “Eventually, it’s a film that works. It’s not about the South and North. We have a tendency to label things. Whether S S Rajamouli is born in Gujarat or Odisha, he’ll still make the same film!”
Pathaan is part of a franchise and if one goes back in time, one realizes that he was the one who started the trend in the second half of the 2000s. Although Phir Hera Pheri (2006) and Krrish (2006) are considered to be the pioneers of the series/sequel trend, Darna Zaroori Hai (2006) had released nearly 2 months before these two flicks. Darna Zaroori Hai’s predecessor Darna Mana Hai was released in 2003. Both these films were an anthology of short horror stories.
Ram Gopal Varma confessed that “I am thinking about (taking this franchise forward),” without sharing any more details.
We also asked when we’ll see him make a Hindi film. Ram Gopal Varma said, “I got busy with a lot of work here (in Hyderabad). Right now, I am making a political thriller. However, talks are on and I’ll make (a Hindi film) in the next few months.”
Recently, Ram Gopal Varma was in the news as his underworld film Satya (1998) completed 25 years on July 3. Much had been talked about the film’s plot, execution, casting and its long-lasting impact. However, there has been little discussion on how Satya never won any popular award at the 44th Filmfare Awards. It was nominated in 6 categories and didn’t win in any of them. It did win the Critics Award for Best Film, Best Actor (Manoj Bajpayee) and Best Actress (Shefali Shah) and also technical awards for Best Background Score (Sandeep Chowta), Best Editing (Apurva Asrani and Bhanu Daya) and Best Sound Design (H Sridhar).
On the other hand, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) won several awards in popular categories like Best Film, Best Director (Karan Johar), Best Actor (Shah Rukh Khan), Best Actress (Kajol), Best Supporting Actor (Salman Khan) and Best Supporting Actress (Rani Mukerji).
Interestingly, Ram Gopal Varma and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s director Karan Johar also had a tiff on Twitter in the past. We asked RGV if he felt dejected with this episode. However, he smiled and simply said, “I never cared about awards!”
3 years back, when a section of media and trolls went on an overdrive after the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput to target Bollywood, Ram Gopal Varma had announced that he was making a film titled Arnab - The News Prostitute, based on the news anchor Arnab Goswami. When asked about its update, he replied with a laugh, “It was just an idea that I worked on for some time. But then I realized that the real-life Arnab is much more cinematic than the film that I can make on him!”
More Pages: Pathaan Box Office Collection , Pathaan Movie Review
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