Film-maker Ram Gopal Varma doesn’t mince words. Here’s chatting up with him on his forthcoming film, Rakht Charitra.
Your Rakht Charitra is inspired from real-life stories. Are you scared of the repercussions?
Scared! If I was scared, I wouldn’t have made the film. The story was too tempting so one could take the risk. Once you believe that you want to do it, you psyche yourself that it is not that risky. Someone asked me, ‘How are you sure that they will not do anything?’ I said, ‘I’m sure till at least they do it’.
What was so tempting about filming this story?
It was the sheer drama. Any conflict based on revenge is about one-upmanship and most of our films are based on this subject. But the uniqueness of the drama here -- it is not about just knocking the person out, an example is set. Like this guy killed a person by putting a running drill in the person’s stomach! We get horrified listening to this, but a message is sent to his enemies that this is what will happen to you if you mess with me. And the opposite side will think of an even more innovative idea to kill someone.
Have you shown the film as factually as possible or you have fictionalised the story?
The story has happened over a period of 20 years, but I am condensing the story into a feature film. I cannot be absolutely sure of the facts myself. My information is based on people and there can be varied versions of the same story -- who knows what agendas people may have. So eventually I have to gather what I think is closest to the truth; or rather what sounds more dramatic.
Is Rakht Charitra your most violent film?
It is the most violent film you have ever seen; it is not about me.
Do you think revenge is the purest emotion?
This line sounded nice. If you ask me, I think lust is the purest emotion?
When the West shows blood and action, it is sometimes praised; but when we do it, it looks gory.
As film-makers, we are far less than those in the West. We cannot do things as effectively as them because of the mood they create, the sound effects, the acting etc.
If you had to take revenge on someone, who would it be?
I don’t hate anyone so much that I would like to take revenge.
You have sung a song in the Telugu version of Rakht Charitra. Have you turned singer for the Hindi version too?
I have sung for the Hindi version also, but people are scared to release it. I actually felt so strongly about the song that I was intensely discussing with the music director how to sing it. Finally, he got so fed up with me, he said ‘Why don’t you sing it?’ I’m not guilty; he is guilty.
Why did you choose Vivek for Ravi’s role? What made you shed your long-running feud with him?
Why not Vivek? I’m not friends with anybody; nor do I have fights and feuds with anyone because I don’t have time. I will go to anybody if the role requires that particular person.
How did you decide upon Shatrughan Sinha for an integral role in the film?
Shatrughan Sinha’s character is loosely based on NT Rama Rao, and for this role I wanted a flamboyant, larger than life person with a slightly stylised style of acting and that is how Shatru saab came in.