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Thread: RGV clears the air
04-13-2009, 11:46 AM #1
RGV clears the air
Your next film is based on the life of a political leader from South. Why make it in Hindi?
Post India 24/7, I intend to make a film thatís inspired by the story of Paritala Ravi from Andhra Pradesh. He was a political leader who got assassinated in January 2005. Iíve decided to make it in Hindi because I feel the story needs to reach out to a much wider audience. Ravi was one of the most feared individuals in the history of the blood-smeared faction politics of South India. He was the prime accused in many murder cases and also survived a number of assassination attempts. In November 1997, he had even survived a bomb blast on a Hyderabad street that had killed 26 people.
Whatís so gripping about Raviís story?
I have read biographies of many dangerous men, including that of Velupalli Prabhakaran, the LTTE chief, to Pablo Escobar, the Columbian drug lord, to Dawood Ibrahim. But all those stories pale in comparison to that of Raviís. He was a soft-spoken shy guy. Under certain circumstances, he retreated into the jungles, became a rebel to avenge his father and brotherís deaths. With time, he became a folklore legend and eventually, a minister in NT Rama Raoís cabinet. Ravi was a dreaded name not only among his rivals but even the law enforcement agencies. He was gunned down by a deathsquad allegedly put together by his arch rival, Suri. The latter wanted to avenge his father and brotherís deaths! I have met various associates of Paritala Ravi and Suri and also their family members. I have also met Suri, who is presently lodged in Anantpur jail on trial for killing Ravi. My film is a statement on the disastrous consequences of a fatal mixture of caste, crime, family feuds and politics. Shooting should begin in August in the rural belt of India.
The title of the film, Rakta Charitra, is quite intriguing...
Since Raviís history has been written in blood, I thought thatís the most apt title. Iíve also decided to film this story at one stretch and release it in two parts about three months from each other. This is a first time such a thing is being attempted in the history of Indian cinema. I want to call the films Rakta Charitra ó I and Rakta Charitra ó II. Itís only possible to do justice to the content in a film thatís not less than five hours. Besides, Raviís life can be broadly divided into two parts from the time circumstances created his rise to the time he created circumstances that felled him.
Isnít it difficult to make a film on factionalism when one has to convince both parties of not being judgmental?
Iíve met both the parties. Most of the film is based on recorded history. There are court cases going on. While making a film, one has to understand that the human and emotional aspects will not come across through hard facts. The detailing of my film will focus on how both the parties went about with their jobs at hand. Iíve always believed that there is nothing like a good or a bad person. Everyone works under given circumstances and also have compulsions under which they take certain decisions. The film is not being made on the level of good and bad. Both Ravi and Suri lost everything in the end. My objective and intention should be justification enough for not wanting to hurt anyone.
Any political reasons for making this film now?
Iíve never voted in my life. Iím the last person to have a political agenda for making a film.
Would you be using live footage too?
Yes. Iím sourcing them. They will be used as a montage in my film.
Have you decided on the cast?
Iíll take sometime to finalise that. Although this is a biopic, I would want an actor who understands the spirit. Physical resemblance isnít all that important. The actor has to behave like the character. Before Godfather was made, nobody knew how Don Corleone looked like.
Is there any possibility of casting someone in the lead from down South?
Iíd want to go for someone from Bollywood.
Recently, your India 24/7 was in the news for Raima being replaced by Neetu Chandra...
That was a decision taken because there was a change in the character. It wasnít really a last-minute change. In an ensemble cast, there are so many characters and the script keeps on evolving. But that, in no way, changes the main story of the film.
Donít such changes make actors insecure while doing a Ram Gopal Varma film?
These things happen all the time. Itís a part and parcel about being in the industry and is not specific to Ramu.