Seven years after launching Vivek Oberoi as Chandu in Company in 2002, Ram Gopal Varma has shown faith in the actor again. He has cast him in the lead role of rebel-turned politician Paritala Ravi in his ambitious venture Rakta Charitra and says the film will re-launch both of them in Bollywood.
"After thinking hard on every actor both known and unknown, I finally zeroed in on Vivek Oberoi as the most ideal choice to play Paritala Ravi," Varma, who has almost finished the shoot of Agyaat and is busy wrapping up Rann, told IANS.
Asked if he would take on the mantle of re-launching Vivek with Rakta Charitra, Varma said: "That would be a wrong statement to make actually. The way I look at it, Rakta Charitra is a film which would be re-launching Vivek as well as me. This is going to be a defining film for both of us."
This is understandable for someone like Vivek, who is currently facing rough weather in the industry. His last two films Mission Istaanbul and Fool N Final bombed at the box office.
But why does Varma say this for himself when he has been doing quite well?
"Well, the subject matter along with the research done on the film is the reason that makes me say that," said Varma.
"For me, Vivek is the perfect choice for the role. Also, I know for sure that no way can Vivek get a better role than that of Paritala Ravi and no way can I get a better story than Rakta Charitra to be told. This is why the film would be re-launching both of us."
"He has remarkable intensity in his eyes which I noticed during the making of Company. He has a voice which commands attention, there is an arrogance in his demeanour and an enormous power in his stance. Moreover, there is also a certain vulnerability, which makes one instantly warm up to him, which is what is needed to fit into Paritala Ravi's profile," the director explained.
The story of Rakta Charitra will span 12-15 years during which Vivek would be seen in different looks. Apparently, there was a rough look done for the film before Vivek was zeroed in.
"After this test was done, I saw the approximation of how Vivek could look like in different phases of Ravi's life. From being a rebel in the jungles to a political strongman, he was just so perfect. There and then I was absolutely convinced and my search ended," said Varma.
According to Varma, Rakta Charitra is about Paritala Ravi, a murder accused and one of the most feared individuals ever in the blood-ridden faction politics of southern India.
A prime accused in quite a few murder cases, Ravi wasn't a rebel in his initial days but the force of circumstances made him become one. He wanted to avenge the death of his father and brother but went on to become a minister in former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N.T. Rama Rao's cabinet before being assassinated in January 2005.
"The kind of material that I have at my hand, I don't have to work hard to make it well, but I have to work hard to spoil it," said Varma.
To be produced by Madhu Mantena, the film would be shot in one stretch beginning Aug 1 once Varma wraps up the shooting of Rann.