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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

'Nishabd was a process of discovery'

Ram Gopal Varma, who pioneered films on the underworld, has traversed unfamiliar territory with Nishabd.

entertainment Updated: Mar 10, 2007 19:49 IST
Subhash K Jha
Subhash K Jha

He pioneered films on crime and the underworld but with Nishabd, an emotional drama, Ram Gopal Varma traverses through unfamiliar territory and says the film will prove he isn't shy of showing emotions.

"It's a new chapter in my career. I've never made a more emotional film. Lots of people think I shy away from showing emotions.


will do away with that belief. Actually, I shy away from over-blown emotions. I can't show my characters bawling," Varma told IANS in an interview.

Varma describes


, which stars Amitabh Bachchan and newcomer Jiah Khan and which has opened to a mixed response, as a clean film.




have you been able to capture all that you set out to do?

It's a new chapter in my career. I've never made a more emotional film. Lots of people think I shy away from showing emotions.


will do away with that belief. Actually, I shy away from over-blown emotions. I can't show my characters bawling. In the way I've used various aspects of the medium this is my finest work to date.

I always said


was a better film than


. That's because there was no material in the former.


manipulated audiences' attention. In


there's no manipulation. It's my most honest film to date. I haven't tried to be effective or clever.

I rate


as Amitabh's best performance ever because there's no performance at all. It proves more about him as a human being than an actor. You need to be an extraordinary human being to portray the emotions in


. He captures emotions from thin air.

Being put in a rather unconventional relationship, do you think you've done full justice to Amitabh's dignity?

I don't think he has ever looked more dignified. Initially, he had some reservations about doing such an unconventional love story. But he trusted the rapport that we had developed during




is his best performance to date. As a director I couldn't understand where all those emotions came out. Amitabh shocked me with his naked emotions.

Where did you find Jiah?

I met her a year back. Something about her struck me. I thought I'd use her in one of my productions. When Amitabh and I were discussing the idea of


, Jiah came to my mind immediately.<b2>

Jiah is natural. Apart from overcoming her fear of the camera, I didn't have to work on her at all.

Was it hard shooting love scenes?


has nothing to do with sex. And in any case there are no 'love scenes' in real life. To me, love is when you want to share part of your life with a woman, to talk, sleep and watch movies with her.

<b3>How did you manage to complete the film in a month?

I always used to wonder how big productions in Hollywood actually managed to finish lengthy films in such a short span of time. Time is lost in Bollywood because of a lack of clarity. Even I've learnt to economise over the years.


took half the time and resources of




started with every member of the cast getting a copy of the script. So no time was lost on location.

How did you discover Munnar?

Someone found this place for me on the net. Because of the novelty of the subject we had to go with the natural flow. My cinematographer Amit Sarkar said he was far more excited about





I chose Munnar because I've never shot in a tranquil green exotic location before. Clean-looking locales with clean-looking people (laughs) for a change. I think Nishabd is about looking real. I've a problem with actresses wearing too much makeup. If you want to kiss a sexy girl you don't want to taste the lip-gloss in your mouth.

People thought it'd be a very sexual in content. But the sexuality isn't in showing the physical attraction. The challenge was to capture those forbidden emotions without losing the dignity of the actors, characters and the circumstances they had to go through. I shot the film like a thriller without a thrill element.<b4>

In Nishabd, I've completely re-invented myself as a technician and a storyteller. I never felt so fulfilled as a film-maker. Sarkar was home territory. I could do it with my eyes closed. Nishabd was a process of discovery. It has changed my approach to film-making. Now, even if I re-made Sarkar, it'd be different. I'm surprised I could capture something as sensitive and subtle as Nishabd. It's the simplicity of the story that made it so difficult. For all you know Nishabd could be a TV serial. I didn't design a single moment. The whole film just happened.

<b5>I believe you were partly inspired by Cheeni Kum?
Yes, Amitabh told me about Cheeni Kum. I also heard about a man in Hyderabad, who married a much younger woman. When Amitabh told me about himself and Tabu in Cheeni Kum, I suggested a film with a much younger girl. Within five minutes we decided to do Nishabd and within three days the script was ready.

First Published: Mar 10, 2007 19:22 IST