Rattha Charithram


    Millions of films churned out a year and even after ages passes by; some of them remain as masterpieces forever. Francis Di Coppola would have not imagined his ‘God Father’ would be something more than a movie. Regardless of language and regional factors, they become a part of ritual for the film lovers as they watch it persistently. Every time you watch it, there is lots of newness and the process goes on.

    Ram Gopal Varma ennobles his upcoming film ‘Rattha Charithram’ to be one of those genres, where film is much closer to life rather than being a fictional piece. A master of his own dreams, RGV has conceptualized the raw realities into splendiferous dramas.

    His never-ending fascination towards underworld realms has urged to trigger out crème de la crème dramas of all time.

    Sathya - A hardcore drama about Mumbai’s most notorious criminal turned politician Arun Gulab Gawli fondly called as ‘Daddy’. Company - A crime drama about Dawood Ibrahim’s Company and the fictionalized view on how his close friend Chotta Raja rose against him.

    Sarkar & Sarkar Raj - Inspired from Hollywood’s ‘God Father’, RGV connected the film close to Bal Thackeray and his family. Following these mind-boggling realistic takes, here comes ‘Rattha Charithram’, a history that would never fade from the pages of India. The brutal combat between Andhra based politician Parithala Ravindra and Faction Leader Maddelacheruvu Suryanarayana Reddy.

    Ram Gopal Varma researched nearly 26 years for these biggest kingpins of Andhra Pradesh. Well, this particular factor itself implies the earnest efforts of sticking this theme.

    Keep logging to this column for we will bring you the complete history Rattha Charithram from Papers-to-Screens.

    Vengeance and Retaliations have been the gruesome elements prevailing between the lead characters of Parithala Ravi and Maddelacheruvu Reddy. The real life conflicts indeed haps to be a cinematic drama as they seek vengeances from the core of their heart.

    Ram Gopal Varma’s intensive researching on the murder plots between these characters should have helped him to make it more appealing over the screens. For instances, the newfangled TV set bomb plots were one of the major highlights in news channels and in turn the car bombing was yet another sensation.

    The two bigwigs turned the attention of entire nation with their own conflicts.

    Exactly getting it righter terms, this could be one perfect interesting job for Ram Gopal Varma as he exceeded his very own potentials and got deeper with research works. Imagine an auteur walking straight into the territory of Ananthapuram questioning about Late Parithala Ravi to his wife.

    Much before the filming would kick-start, there were many protests made against the film project.

    His next level of poking into the subject was his tête-à-tête with Maddelacheruvu Suri. Guess what? The real and reel life characters do have some identical traces when it comes to certain traits of emoting through eyes. As a matter of fact, Ram Gopal Varma was keener on signing Suriya for this role.

    Well is RGV trying to replicate the exact happenings of reality over the screens?

    Of course not, most of the quotients have been fictionalized as Ram Gopal Varma himself admits saying, “Yes their thoughts, their actions, and their emotions are highly exaggerated and that’s because cinema’s business is to exaggerate so as to heighten the emotional state of the viewer in the theatre. To this purpose everything about the film from its title to its posters to its promotional videos all should be employed for the same. It’s only then that the reel will look real and the real will look very realistic.”

    It is a vivid recollection of characters that lived and is still living across Andhra Pradesh. A theme so close to heart for those who can relate the onscreen characters with the real life personalities of Andhra Pradesh and that’s ‘Raktha Charithra’ all about.

    What could be the best terms to label Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Raktha Charithra’ - ‘Crime-Drama’ or ‘Docu-Drama’? A close call indeed: this isn’t a film meant for usual film lovers, but for those yearning out for a different line of cinema. RGV has completely stepped out of the usual narrative structure. The best exemplification of this would be the introduction of film’s lead actor Vivek Oberoi after 30mins.

    It’s an auteur point of view as the film opens with a brief introduction of present scenario of ‘Ananthapuram’ village. Narasimha Reddy (Kitty of ‘Thalapathy’ fame), a powerful and just politician feels that the equality should persist amongst the castes and asks Veerabhadrayya to nominate candidates from other castes… Nagamani Reddy (Kota Srinivasa Rao), close relative brainwashes Narasimha Reddy influencing his falseness over the caste peoples. Dashed down in hopes, Veerabhadrayya decides to float his own party and contest in elections. Nagamani Reddy murders Veera using his own man (Aashish Vidyarthi) and in turn eldest son Shankar sets out to seek revenge. Sooner he is culminated towards the same fate. Then enters the youngest, innocent and desolated son Prathap Ravi (Vivek Oberoi) settling scores and on course of change becomes the right hand of actor-turned-politician Sivaji Rao (Chatrugan Sinha).

    As mentioned earlier, this could turn out to be a usual vengeance-seeking story as the complete film; especially the first hour is all about killing each other. 3 sequences are really interesting and win our applause, though it’s clichéd.

    1. Bumping off the police officer at Police Station.

    2. Vivek Oberoi plotting murder plan of Pucca Reddy with the aid of an innocent man, who has a bad history to retaliate.

    3. Assassination of Nagamani Reddy at his own place.

    However, the abrupt ending looks so amateurish way. Soon as the car blasts, RGV could have shown Suriya walking along with his group men and a fade out. Instead, he has inserted the promo of ‘Raktha Charithra - 2’.

    Producer Dayanidhi Azhagiri made smart plans of not releasing the first part in Tamil. Of course, it’s a good idea as our Tamil film lovers may not have any idea of what is actually happening as they cannot relate themselves with the characters.


    1. Ram Gopal Varma: Rakht Charitra 2 isn't Suriya's launch pad

      Ram Gopal Varma could well have created a record. Known for making 2-3 films a year, he has actually made 5 this time around. He shot two instalments of Rakht Charitra and while its first part was released in Hindi and Telugu, the second part would be arriving in Hindi and Telugu as well as Tamil (which would basically be encapsulating both parts). Even as the first instalment continues to do huge business down South, he is now ready with the second which hits screens this weekend. On the eve of the film's release, Ramu talks about the experience of having made the film, especially with Suriya, for whom this film is 'not' being considered as a launch pad.

      When you signed Vivek for the film, there were quite a few murmurs in the industry. Many felt that it was a demotion of sorts after working with Amitabh Bachchan in a number of films. Was that again the rebel in you that continued to keep you charged up throughout the filming process?

      People have a tendency to say things like these when you are low. The point is that different things are said in different perspectives. To start with, I have hardly ever thought about whose market is up or low. I have always cast actors who are most suitable for the parts. When I made Satya, I took one actor from South (Chakravarty) and another who was still finding his bearings (Manoj Bajpai). When I made Daud, I had Sanjay Dutt in a different kind of personality. I have always been busy making films so such things don't cross my mind. Who says what or who writes what is something that I have never taken into consideration.

      But Aag is something that you react to till date, though in a self depreciating manner. It seems that is one film that you love to analyse every time someone asks you or writes something about it.

      That's because a film like that is easy to analyse, both for audience as well as me. We knew what to expect and what not to expect from the film due to which there are so many points we can discuss. On the other hand for films like say, Rann, you won't see many debates or questions since it was far more straightforward.

      There were also questions, though in a positive way, when you roped in Suriya for Rakht Charitra. It also came as a surprise to many since he is not quite getting a conventional Bollywood launch.

      Neither Suriya nor I ever considered Rakht Charitra to be his launch pad in Hindi films. He came in because he was very excited about his role in the film. The subject matter caught the attention of both of us and he was extremely fascinated about his role. He was supercharged with the way he wanted to interpret his part. Of course, it is a fact that he enjoys certain superstardom down South, which also came in handy when it came to him being cast.

      However, the film also stars Vivek Oberoi, who basically was the only main protagonist in Rakht Charitra - 1. Now that Suriya also comes in the second instalment, who is the central protagonist: him or Vivek?

      See, we know by now that the story is about the conflict of two people played by Vivek and Suriya. The main intention is to tell point of views of both of them in one part each. Having said that, Vivek is there in both the parts as it is about his rise and fall.

      Rakht Charitra is inarguably Indian cinema's most violent film till date. Many have questioned the entire justification behind it.

      Why you actually feel the impact of violence in the film is due to the emotional volatile characters that you see in the film. Also, if you look at it carefully, there is certain composure of each of the characters despite all the violence. In fact personally too, the kind of emotions and expressions that I got for Rakht Charitra is something that I have never got before. I feel that I have changed a lot as a director and a person while making this film. I have rejuvenated myself.

      Meanwhile, Rakht Charitra has now turned out to be your longest stint ever for a film. It took close to a year to be made. For someone who works pretty fast, was making a biopic like this turned into a really tiring experience?

      If you look at it, I actually made two films in this span of time. Moreover, the films are being released in three languages: Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. Considering the overall number of films being made and that too within a year, I guess this is pretty fast.

      Still, the very experiment of making a two part film and that too as a trilingual seemed like a big decision. In hindsight, do you feel that it was a huge burden that you put on yourself?

      Not really, I never thought that this was a business risk. Producers and I were super confident about the film and the content. Rakht Charitra is a huge scaled film and I don't think it was justified to tell it in a regular two and a half hour film. There were so many opportunities that we had to tell things differently. It was a first for me too to shoot two parts in a single stretch and that too in different languages. I wanted a certain excitement to set in while making this film and I got it eventually.

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