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Sholay has everything in it: Ramu

The director speaks to Suman Gupta about his lifelong obsession with the cult hit and the remake that he's making.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 15:20 IST

Quizzing Ram Gopal Varma about his lifelong obsession with the cult hit Sholay

Every week, there’s some controversy or the other about Ramgopal Varma Ke Sholay? Don’t you get stymied?
If I was affected by what you call controversies, I wouldn’t have been shooting almost non-stop. I’m just wrapping up a longish schedule... by the year-end, I will be done with over 70 per cent of the film. Then I release Nishabd in February, and start my next film, Sarkar 2.

Won’t Sarkar 2 have the same sort of look and attitude as your Sholay?
Why not deviate for a while to another genre — say, a musical!
Thanks but no thanks. And if you ask me, Sarkar has no similarity in outlook with Sholay… Sarkar is far more single-minded and intense. On the other hand, Sholay, like the famous line, has everything going for it — emotion hai, drama hai, comedy hai.

What’s with your obsession with the all-time blockbuster Sholay anyway?When certain moments become a part of you, it’s not an obsession but something natural. Sholay is great cinema, pure entertainment.

When Veeru is on the tank, you worry that he may fall, but still laugh. And when Jai dies, I wasn’t thinking of a nice guy dying... but how well Amitabh Bachchan was performing the scene.

Why did you replace your one-time favourite Mohit Ahlawat with Prashant Raj as Jai?
I genuinely felt Mohit had a strong screen presence. James didn’t work, and I thought I could remake it in a better way. I must confess I didn’t. I tried to make Mohit comfortable, had him meet Amitji and Ajay Devgan.

Still, it was all going wrong… All I’ll say is I cared for Mohit and I rarely make such statements about anyone.

After a hectic day’s work at the shoot, do you chill or fret about the next day’s shoot?
There’s no kind of either/or situation. See, I’m sitting and talking with you over a cup of coffee. Though tomorrow’s scene is at the back of my head, I don’t stop being normal. I am consumed by a passion of making movies, yes… but I don’t get all wound up. (Laughs) I can be quite cool.

First Published: Dec 29, 2006 15:20 IST