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Ram Gopal Varma: Amitabh knows I will not make bad films

Last updated on: January 13, 2010 19:26 IST

Image: A scene from Rann
Nithya Ramani in Mumbai

Ram Gopal Varma gives horror and the underworld a break, and decides to take on the media in his next film, Rann. The film stars RGV's close friend Amitabh Bachchan as well as Ritesh Deshmukh, Gul Panag and Neetu Chandra.

The director hopes Rann will fare better than his most recent duds like Contract and Agyaat.

He tells Nithya Ramani that Rann is not about his run-in with the media through the years, and also talks about his next film Rakta Charitra, starring Shatrughan Sinha and Vivek Oberoi.

How did you manage to rope in Amitabh Bachchan after your debacle, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag?

Since he is a man, you won't think something is going on between us (laughs).

According to me, Amitabh is the biggest star. I have grown up watching his films. We are family friends now.

He has seen my films and worked with me. He knows how I work. Just because of the fate of one film, he will not stop working with me. He has seen my hard work behind my films and knows I will not make bad films. Aag was an exception.

'Amitabh Bachchan represents the conscience of India'

Image: A scene from Rann

Why did you choose to cast him in Rann?

I couldn't think of anyone else for that character. He is the only star, who, despite his years of experience, still approaches each scene like he is doing it for the first time. He does it with the same nervousness and enthusiasm and gives a final take beyond anyone's imagination. I loved his performance in Paa. I don't think anybody has the courage to do something like that.

For Rann, I needed someone who represented India. Amitabh Bachchan represents the conscience of India.

Why did you decide to take on the media in this film?

The media has grown multifold in recent times, with its innumerable (television) channels. It is a known fact that news is sensationalised to an extent to cater to viewers. What I want to portray is that, with so many channels giving their views on a particular issue, whom do we trust? How can we trust any of them? You have different reporters expressing their perspective of an issue. My film will give you an overall view of the media today.

'If the media is about exposing people, I am exposing the media in Rann'

Image: A scene from Rann

Are you trying to get back at the media for criticising your work so much in the past?

No. No matter how many times I say it, nobody believes me. The film is just based on the media and sees how it works. Like how we make films on the police and show good and bad cops, the media also has certain sections that does things other than it should.

If the media is about exposing people, I am exposing the media in Rann. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I am just showing its true colours and form, their pressures, problems and complexities.

The film's promos point to channels like Headlines 24 and India 24x7.

Since this is a realistic film, any name I come up with will be similar to some channel or the other because all of them have similar names. It's just co-incidence, and not pointing to any particular channel.

'Rakta Charitra is more powerful than the Mahabharata and Godfather'

Image: A scene from Rakta Charitra

The film got into some controversy because of the Jana Gana Rann song. Have you faced any problem after the song was banned?

The Censor Board has the right to ban what they think is wrong. The problem with Jana Gana was that it is our national anthem, and we used the same music and lyrics and modified it to our requirements. Jana Gana Rann is no longer a part of the film. We have replaced it with Vande Materam. I don't think the Censor Board will have any problem with this.

Since the film has a political background, did you face any political problem at any time?

Rann is a fictional film. As long as there are fictional characters, there is no question of anyone being offended and me getting into trouble.

Your other film Rakta Charitra is also in the making. Tell us about it.

Rakta Charitra is a political drama on the life of Paritala Ravi, an MLA from the Telugu Desam party. I was fascinated by this man and want people to know his story. He was a peace-loving man. His life turned upside down because of the brutal politics in Andhra Pradesh.

This story is more powerful than the Mahabharata and Godfather.

'I'll be doing a 3-D horror film'

Image: A scene from Rakta Charitra

Is it a true story?

In my perception, yes. I did a lot of research on this and got to hear various sides of the story.

How did you decide on the cast -- Vivek Oberoi and Shatrughan Sinha?

Vivek has tremendous potential. He has always outshone in what he has done. He may have been out of action recently but I always knew he was my Paritala Ravi. He does well in action-oriented films. He has that raw, war-like image that goes well with my characters. He was outstanding in Company. Now he will outdo that in Rakta Charitra.

As far as Shatrughan Sinha is concerned, I have grown watching his films. He is one of the finest actors we have. He will be returning to films after a long time. He is a very flamboyant, powerful and charismatic. He will fit the role of N T Rama Rao perfectly.

You made his shave his mustache for the role?

Well that was his idea. He suggested that he do so to fit in the character better.

What next?

I'll be doing a 3-D horror film.