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Interview with Ram Gopal Varma
Date: September 10, 2008, Hyderabad
ram gopal varma

Ram Gopal Varma is presenting the film 'Raksha'. It is directed by the debutant Vamsi Krishna Akella. One More Thought Entertainment Pvt Ltd is producing this film. Ram Gopal Varma is in Hyderabad to promote the film. met RGV for a 1-1 chat with him. Here are the excerpts:

Is Raksha a remake of Phoonk?
We call it a remake if it is copied scene by scene from the original. Raksha is not a remake of Phoonk. But the central point for both films is same. Both the films differ in treatment and characterization. Raksha is more customized to Telugu audiences and it is more rooted to the reality. Raksha will be more realistic and more popular than Phoonk. The director showed the transformation process of Jagapati Babu from an atheist to a believer in God in a convincing way. Phoonk is more of an aesthetic film where as Raksha is better in content and story narration.

The climaxes of your recent films (Sarkar Raj, Contract and Phoonk) have interesting twists. Is it deliberate?
It was just a coincidence that all these three films had unexpected climaxes. It is not deliberate. The subjects needed such twists.

You seem to be giving much better and more intense films after the debacle of Aag?
All the latest films are conceived by me. AAG is not my film (story). I added my own interpretation to somebody else film (story). Hence you do not find intensity in AAG film. That is why I made a bad job at it.

The close-up shots in Sarkar Raj are wonderful. But they did not get the same appreciation in Contract?
The close-up shots in Contract were due to some technical hiccup. We shot contract in Super 16 camera. While doing DI processing, all shots got zoomed in. Hence some of the shots turned out to be irritating. I take close-up shots since I know as a director what should be highlighted during those shots.

You create nice interest levels in Phoonk by showing the problem both from black magic (superstition) and psychological (scientific) angles. But don't you think you ended that interest the moment you shown the girl getting up in air in the second half?
Yes. Lot of people mentioned the same thing to me. But I did it for the thrill it generates. Again there is an interesting moment in climax.

Tell us about the director Vamsi Krishna Akella?
He came to me as a writer. Both of us worked on the script. I am impressed with his clarity, visualization and sincerity. After watching Raksha film I thought that I would have made him the director of Phoonk film too.

What is the budget of Phoonk?
Phoonk was made on a budget of 3.5 crores.

The visuals and aesthetics in Hindi films are high even if those are made on 3 crore budget. But Telugu film does not possess similar qualities even when those are made on 6 crores. What is your reading about it?
Aesthetics in Hindi films is far more superior to Telugu films. Making a movie is nothing but creation of moving images. Sarkar Raj is a middle-budgeted film as most of it is shot in a single house. Actors do make a difference and aesthetics in Hindi films reflect high production values.

How is Homam film?
I have not seen that film yet.

When will your Sabari release?
It will release in November 2008.

Bharat Shah has filed a complaint in IMPPA for recovery of Rs 25 crore against you. What is your comment?
It is a rumor created by the Mumbai media. I have not met Bharat Shah in the past 10 years.

What is your next project?
My next film will be based on the Indian news media. It is about how our news reports are being linked to the ad revenues. I will start shooting the film from December 2009.

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