Ram Gopal Varma could well have created a record. Known for making 2-3 films a year, he has actually made 5 this time around. He shot two instalments of Rakht Charitra and while its first part was released in Hindi and Telugu, the second part would be arriving in Hindi and Telugu as well as Tamil (which would basically be encapsulating both parts). Even as the first instalment continues to do huge business down South, he is now ready with the second which hits the screen this weekend. On the eve of the film’s release, Ramu interacts with Joginder Tuteja and talks about the experience of having made the film, especially with Suriya for whom this film is ‘not’ being considered as a launch pad.
When you signed Vivek for the film, there were quite a few murmurs in the industry. Many felt that it was a demotion of sorts after working with Amitabh Bachchan in number of films. Was that again the rebel in you that continued to keep you charged up throughout the filming process?
People have tendency to say things like these when you are low. The point is that different things are said in different perspectives. To start with, I have hardly ever thought about whose market is up or low. I have always cast actors who are most suitable for the parts. When I made Satya, I took one actor from South (Chakravarty) and another who was still finding his bearings (Manoj Bajpai). When I made Daud, I had Sanjay Dutt in a different kind of personality. I have always been busy making films so such things don’t cross my mind. Who says what or who writes what is something that I have never taken into consideration.
To start with, I have hardly ever thought about whose market is up or low. I have always cast actors who are most suitable for the parts.
But Aag is something that you react till date, even though in a self depreciating manner. Seems that is one film that you love to analyse every time someone asks you or writes something about it.
That’s because a film like that is easy to analyse, both for audience as well as me. We knew what to expect and what not to expect from the film due to which there are so many points that we can discuss. On the other hand for film like say, Rann, you won’t see many debates or questions since it was far straight forward in comparison.
There were also questions, though in a positive way, when you roped in Suriya for Rakht Charitra. It also came as a surprise to many since he is not quite getting a conventional Bollywood launch.
Neither Suriya nor I ever considered Rakht Charitra to be his launch pad in Hindi films. He came in because he was very excited about the role that he was playing in the film. The subject matter caught the attention of both of us and he was extremely fascinated about his role. He was supercharged with the way he wanted to interpret his part. Of course, it is a fact that he enjoys certain superstardom down South and that was also came in handy when it came to him being cast.
However, the film also stars Vivek Oberoi, who basically was the only main protagonist in Rakht Charitra – 1. Now that Suriya also comes in the second instalment, who is the central protagonist – him or Vivek?
See, we know by now that the story is about the conflict of two people played by Vivek and Suriya. The main intention is to tell point of views of both of them in one part each. Having said that, Vivek is there in both the parts as it is about his rise and fall.
Rakht Charitra is inarguably Indian cinema’s most violent film till date. Many have questioned the entire justification behind it.
Why you actually feel the impact of violence in the film is due to the emotional volatile characters that you see in the film. Also, if you look at it carefully, there is certain composure of each of the characters despite all the violence. In fact personally too, the kind of emotions and expressions that I got for Rakht Charitra is something that I have never got before. I feel that I have changed a lot as a director and a person while making this film. I have rejuvenated myself.
Rakht Charitra is a huge scaled film and I don’t think it was justified to tell it in a regular two and a half hour film. There were so many opportunities that we had to tell things differently.
Meanwhile, Rakht Charitra has now turned out to be your longest stint ever for a film. It took close to a year to be made. For someone who works pretty fast, was making a biopic like this turned into a really tiring experience?
If you look at it, I actually made two films in this span of time. Moreover, the films are being released in three languages – Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. Considering the overall number of films being made and that too within a year, I guess this is pretty fast.
Still, the very experiment of making a two part film and that too as a trilingual seemed like a big decision. In the hindsight, do you feel that it was a huge burden that you put on yourself?
Not really, I never thought that this was a business risk. Producers and I were super confident about the film and the content. Rakht Charitra is a huge scaled film and I don’t think it was justified to tell it in a regular two and a half hour film. There were so many opportunities that we had to tell things differently. It was a first for me too to shoot two parts in a single stretch and that too in different languages. I wanted a certain excitement to set in while making this film and I got it eventually.