He describes himself as a "soft guy" who doesn't harbour feelings of revenge and can't stand seeing a mosquito being killed. But filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma confesses to having made his most violent film ever with Rakta Charitra.
"It's not just my most violent film ever, but it will be the most violent film that you will ever see. It doesn't have bloodshed alone. It's more about suggestion, sound effects and lights. It's more about expression that creates an effect," Varma, 48, told IANS in an interview.
Known for films like Rangeela, Satya, Company, Jungle and Sarkar, RGV, as he is fondly called, says he is not a violent person in real life. "I'm a very soft guy, I can't even see a mosquito being killed. I'm not joking. I don't harbour feelings of revenge.
"When you know why someone is behaving in a particular manner and you understand his state of manner, you won't get angry with him. Since revenge comes out of anger, you won't feel that emotion. So I don't get angry with anyone."
Being made in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, the trilingual, starring Vivek Oberoi and southern star Surya, is a biopic on the life of Paritala Ravi, a slain political leader from Andhra Pradesh. Vivek is essaying the role of Ravi, while Surya will be seen as his rival Maddelacheruvu Suri.
Politician-actor Shatrughan Sinha too features in this political thriller along with Kota Srinivasa Rao and Radhika Apte.
Varma has used a unique concept for Rakta Charitra release. He will split the Hindi and Telugu versions into two parts since the duration of the entire movie exceeds five hours. At the same time the Tamil version, titled Ratha Sarithiram, will be released as a single full-length movie.
"I think the reason why I wanted to make it in two parts is the span of the film is too long. I can't justify it in a normal two-and-a-half-hour film. There is Ravi in the story and there is a man who killed him.
"So I thought if I make the first part as Ravi's story and the second part as the man who killed him, it'll be better. This has never been done before, so I want to see how people will react to it," said the director.
"In the first part, the issues the film raises will get settled in the first half itself. So that will give you the experience of watching an entire film. The second character enters in the last scene like a trailer that operates for the next version," he said.
The first part will hit the screens Oct 22 and the director will release part two a few weeks later.
Another interesting facet of the film is the presence of Shatrughan Sinha who shaved off his moustache for the role.
"I will go to anybody if I feel that the particular role demands that person. Hence I went to Shatrughan Sinha. His character in the film is loosely based on N.T. Rama Rao. So I wanted a very flamboyant, larger than life personality, who could do stylised acting. The moustache removal was his idea. He suggested it and it worked very well with the character," said Varma.
Is it difficult to make a biopic?
"It's very difficult to keep track of research and whether it is coming across in the screenplay or not. It is very difficult to check that out because a lot of it remains in your mind and you take it for granted that whatever is in your mind is in the script, but it might not be there.
"The person who is watching without a background of what each dialogue, what each line means, it is going to be difficult there. Actual gathering of facts and researching I won't say is easy, but that is the most interesting part," explained Varma.