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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Ram Gopal Varma has sex on his mind

He has explored the gory mob world and dabbled in the supernatural, but RGV says if there was one genre of cinema he wanted to explore honestly, it was the erotic.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2007 16:13 IST
Prithwish Ganguly
Prithwish Ganguly

He has explored the gory mob world and dabbled in the supernatural, but for Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma nothing gets him excited like refined erotica.

By Indian standards, Varma is unconventional, even bold, and he raised conservative eyebrows last year with a film about love between a girl and a man old enough to be her grandfather.

Like most Bollywood cinema, titillation is integral to his films -- mostly explored through raunchy dance numbers by the heroines. But Varma says if there was one genre of cinema he wanted to explore honestly, it was the erotic.

"I think I can capture the subject through my camera," the filmmaker told Reuters. "I would love to direct an erotic film someday."

And, in India, more often than not that would mean courting controversy. "I honestly don't care about it," he said.

The 45-year-old filmmaker, an acknowledged Bollywood master at making gangster movies, is no stranger to controversy -- be it making a Lolita-esque film or remaking a Bollywood classic.

<b1>Varma's remake this year of the landmark 1975 film Sholay (Embers) -- which he calls Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (Ram Gopal Varma's Fire) -- first had critics denouncing the attempt at tinkering with classics and then it got into trouble for trying to use the original title.

Varma says the flak actually gave him strength to finish the film -- which is due out this year and narrates the story of two reformed crooks who save a village from a blood-thirsty bandit.

"I have never taken so much care with my other movies," he said. "When I went ahead with the idea of remaking Sholay, I knew it was a classic and somebody else's masterpiece which I should take good care of."

Bollywood is remaking a slew of classic Hindi movies, egged on by what it says is the creative challenge of packaging old blockbusters for modern audiences. But many criticise the trend, saying it reflects creative bankruptcy.

<b2>Varma disagrees. "It's a new work at the end of the day," he said. "I think there's nothing wrong with someone getting inspired from a masterpiece and then going ahead and trying to recreate the film's spirit in a new time and space."

The style and look of the remakes are also obviously new.

For instance, Varma in his remake of Sholay stunned Bollywood by casting Amitabh Bachchan in the iconoclastic role of Gabbar Singh, the merciless villain, while in the original version he was one of the two heroes.

Such is his passion for cinema that Varma, who made his directorial debut in 1989 and has directed 27 films, says he would be dead if he wasn't making films.

"I think I would have been a big failure," he said. "I guess I would have been too bored with life and may have possibly died too. Seriously, I cannot imagine my life without films."

First Published: Aug 22, 2007 15:09 IST