Varma to make two versions of same film

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
4/10/2004 12:00:00 AM
Carrying the cinematic experience further and further down the unknown road has become a habit with director-producer Ram Gopal Varma. 

It therefore comes as no surprise to know that he plans to release his thriller, earlier entitled "Murder At Shri Krishna Building", as two separate films -- "Galti Se" and "Jaan-Boojh Ke".

Varma explains: "It's about a guy, Anil Kapoor, who kills his wife. When the director, Jijy Philips, and I were discussing the plot we came to two equally tempting conclusions: either the guy killed his wife, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, accidentally or intentionally.

"Instead of making a hard choice, I suggested we go ahead and film both versions of the same story. Basically it's the same character undergoing the same situation but from two separate perspectives.

"So we're putting out two different versions of the film with different footage, editing and background score."

Varma says about 30 percent of the two versions will be different. "And this change, mind you, isn't just at the end. We aren't talking about two different endings for the film. But two entirely different films called 'Galti Se' and 'Jaan-Boojh Ke'."

Both the films will be released simultaneously.

"Let's suppose we release 50 prints in Mumbai, 25 will be 'Galti Se' and the other 25 will be the other version. Basically we're asking the audience to see both films, depending on whether they like one version or the other."

Films like Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" and more recently Kamal Haasan's Tamil film "Virumaandi" have contained various perspectives on the same crisis - but all told within one film.

But this is perhaps the first time in the history of cinema that two versions of the same film will be out for audiences.

No bumper prizes for guessing where this unique idea came from.

Varma says: "All the television promos will be split into half - a 20-second spot of 'Galti Se' will be followed by a 20-second promo of 'Jaan-Boojh Ke'.

"Likewise, the two versions will be released in separate theatres in the same multiplex. The audience will have a very clear line demarcating the two films. As for the single theatres, we'll have to think of a strategy. Maybe 'Galti Se' can be released first and '
'Jaan-Boojh Ke' later."