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Ram Gopal Varma: I’m still interested in telling a unique story

Audience wonders why the fire is missing in Ram Gopal Varma in the last couple of years as several of his Bollywood films failed.

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While Indian cinema and its lovers are thankful to Ram Gopal Varma for discovering some fine talents like Manoj Bajpayee, Urmila Matondkar, Kay Kay Menon and films like ‘Shool’, ‘Rangeela’, ‘Satya’, ‘Sarkar’, and ‘Rakta Charitra’ among many others – it is the same audience that wonders why the fire is missing in RGV in the last couple of years as several of his Bollywood films failed.

The National Award-winning filmmaker, who is gearing up for his next release titled ‘Dangerous’, in conversation shares his thoughts.

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Varma said: “Look, I am the same filmmaker who is interested in telling a story that intrigues me at that point of time to make a film out of it. Why should I invest my energy and involve so many people in the project to tell a story thinking it will not be appreciated by the audience. But the fact is, their reaction is not in my hand, but my next story is. So basically I am the same filmmaker who is telling a unique story, and quite unfazed by the success or failure or any kind of reaction coming from the audience.”

Though it is visible that RGV has majorly gained popularity with a series of films – ‘Satya’, ‘Company’, ‘D’ – that has shown the underworld of Mumbai in a never seen before manner, and family politics on-screen with the trilogy of ‘Sarkar’ featuring the iconic Amitabh Bachchan; he also made unique stories of love with very strong representation of women.

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‘Rangeela’, one of his most commercially successful films was a story of a love triangle. ‘Naach’, another such film featuring Antara Mali and Abhishek Bachchan – was a love story between an aspiring dancer and an actor. The film ‘Nishabd’ featured late Jiah Khan and Amitabh Bachchan was another story of love.

However, he says he never takes any lesson from the success or failure of his last released film.

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“How can I learn anything from the last result because every story is different and I never did, I never will go by formula. I did see the success of ‘Rangeela’ but the next film I made was ‘Satya’. How could I learn anything from a film like ‘Rangeela’ and apply that to ‘Satya’ because the world of these two stories are so different, isn’t it?” explained Varma.

His upcoming film ‘Dangerous’ featuring Naina Ganguly and Apsara Rani – claims to be India’s ‘first lesbian love story’.

Considering the fact that several films on lesbian relationships have been made before, including ‘Fire’ featuring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, he was asked about his claim to be the ‘first’ and Varma said, “It is a different approach to the lesbian relationship.”

He went on adding, ” You see, all this while, films on the lesbian relationships are made, addressing the issue of LGBTQ+ . But post decriminalisation of article 377, no film has been made on a pure lesbian love story. In my story, this could have been a heterosexual love story too, where who individual falls in love and face a situation and how they get out of it. Instead of making the love story between a boy and a girl, we are making the story between two girls. I am looking at these same-sex stories as normal as opposite-sex love stories. My film does not talk about the LGBTQ+ issue but a simple love story of two girls.”

The title track of the film ‘Khatra’ is to be released on Friday.

Produced by RGV World, the film also features Rajpal Yadav and is set to release in November but the date is yet to be announced.

–By Arundhuti Banerjee

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