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'Everything I do is a publicity stunt'

October 19, 2010 13:12 IST

He is the prodigal child of controversies and filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma's decision to hold the premiere of his film Raktha Charitra in the political hotbed of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, despite hostile opposition and threats, did not surprise many.

The home town of slain leader Paritala Ravi, the protagonist of the gory bio-pic, had not taken kindly to Varma.

But the filmmaker says that the premiere is an attempt to pacify those who claim that the film demonises the son-of-the-soil.

When asked whether it is another publicity stunt from his stable, Varma did not flinch before answering in the affirmative. "Of course it is a publicity stunt, everything I do, I do it for publicity. I am in the business of making films and films need publicity," the filmmaker told PTI.

The town will resemble a fortress on October 21 when the director and his starcast Vivek Oberoi, Suriya and Padmapriya descend on the hostile town for the premiere.

"The people who have problems with the content of the film need to come and watch it, so that they realise that the rumours are untrue. It's their story, the movie is about them and therefore the premiere has to be held in Anantapur," said Varma.

The crew had faced protests when they arrived to shoot in Andhra Pradesh and trouble is anticipated during the premiere. The producers of the film have reportedly ordered a 3-cordon security for Varma, Vivek and the team.

The posters of Rakta Charitra too had irked the Censors with a quote attributed to the Mahabharata, "Revenge is the purest emotion," at the centre of the debate. "Yes censors in Mumbai and Hyderabad had issues with the quote. Work is still in progress over that debate. Let's see what happens," said Varma.

This is not the first time the maverick filmmaker is at the centre of a controversy.

To promote his 2009 thriller Agyaat, he had hung dummies of dead bodies over the film's posters on the busy highways of Mumbai, causing an uproar. He had also faced flak from the censor board earlier for tampering with the lyrics of the national anthem for his film Rann, hich explored the nexus between media and politicians.

But Varma, says that it is the media, not him that creates controversies. "I just do things for attention, the media makes news and controversies out of them," said the filmmaker.

True to his style, his next film too is sure to grab headlines, a bio-pic of Swami Nityanand, who had shot to international infamy post a sex tape scandal.

Meanwhile Varma, who has not had a single hit in the past years, is keeping his fingers crossed for Raktha Charitra which will be released in two installments. The first part releases on October 22 and the second half will hit theatres on November 19.

Kripa Krishnan in New Delhi
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