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Ramu loves making films on the underworld

Director Ram gopal Varma is not sorry for making movies on underworld and crime as he feels civilized cinema would bore him to death.
By Busaba Sivasomboom | AP, Bangkok
UPDATED ON JUN 09, 2008 06:49 PM IST

Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma is not about to apologize for making movies about thugs and criminals. Doing anything more civilized, he said, would bore him to death.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's award ceremony for the Bollywood version of the Oscars, held in Bangkok, Varma said he features the dark underbelly of society in all his movies because it allows him to develop his characters more than in a typical Bollywood movie.

"The underworld background just gives it a sharp edge and makes it more hard-hitting," said Varma. "Having said that, I must confess that normal, civilized, nice family people bore me to death."

Varma said his next film, Contract, includes actors Prasad Purandare and newcomers Adhivk Mahajan and Sakshi Gulati. It is an effort to show how the criminal underground has changed in recent years to become what he calls a "conduit for terrorist networks."

"The reason why the terrorists would require this kind of support is because mostly the terrorists would be from outside and primarily motivated by ideology," he said.

"They would require ground support, safe houses, local intelligence, sea routes and land routes to get in arms and explosives and informants in the police department," he said. "The underworld would provide this either for financial gain or because they sympathize with the cause."

On Sunday, Varma, along with other big-name Bollywood stars including Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Zayed Khan and Priyanka Chopra, will be parading down Bangkok's green carpet instead of red in a bid to spread awareness about global warming. The glitzy award ceremony will feature colorful, high-energy musical displays by various Bollywood stars including Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif.

The event will also feature a premier screening of Varma's Sarkar Raj, starring Bachchan, his son, Abhishek Bachchan, and Abhishek's wife, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan.

Other Bollywood films that will be screened in the Thai capital during the weekend include Mission Istaanbul, AcidFactory, LoveStory 2050 and DeTaali.

The Mumbai-based Indian film industry, commonly called Bollywood, churns out some 800 Hindi-language movies a year, three times Hollywood's production rate. Hundreds more films are produced in southern India.

The International Indian Film Academy awards were launched in 2000 to promote Indian films to an international audience. Earlier ceremonies were held in the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Singapore.

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