I have the highest regard for Amitabh Bachchan. You have been around for 28 years. In the early years of your career you could do nothing wrong. In the second half, most of the films you did were wrong. After the super successful debut, Shiva, in , I gave five flops in a row. Then, there were three flops before Rangeela in which was followed by another flop, Daud, two years later.
People remember only the hits after some years. But the truth is that I spent the maximum time, effort and money on films like Daud, Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag and Department and they are my biggest flops while films like Satya, which was made without a ready script succeeded.
There is no co-relation between working hard and making a hit film though I know nobody will believe me. Sarkar is a franchise which has kept you on top of the game. What are your expectations from Part 3?
For me, Sarkar is the epitome of what great film characters meant from the days of an angry young Amitabh Bachchan to the Godfather trilogy. Sarkar 3 is the epitome of the franchise.
How close is Sarkar 3 to your heart and will we catch a glimpse of the genius that was there in Shiva, Company and Rangeela in it? You will find the present RGV in Sarkar 3. Ridley Scott once said that when you see a film that you have made a long time ago, you almost feel as if someone else has made it. From my parents' perspective, I looked like a useless bum. It was the truth.
I had no objective. I was just fascinated by people, so I used to study their behaviour. I was most fascinated by the bullies in my classroom. They were like gangsters for me. They had the guts to push around people, do things I couldn't— perhaps did not even want to do myself.
But I'd want a friend like that laughs. I used to adulate them like heroes. That was my first touch with anti-socialism. Over a period of time, I developed a low-angle fascination for larger than life people.I was always a loner — not because I was unhappy, but because I live away from myself, not just others. Ultimately, the filmmaker is a storyteller. And if that thought was wrong, the film went wrong. I am constantly looking at camera angles, sound, this, that — which is not the way audiences look at the film. How should I know?
So do I take you as my mean audience, or do I take my driver? It was no longer a film. Those days it was like Shiva — a lot of hobnobbing between students and goondas.
I used to watch the Nirma ad.
To give an example, Dhoom 2 is the biggest hit of last year. They are bent on killing each other. Siddhartha Engineering College , Vijayawada.
Now, coming to what you were saying, yes, film is an expensive medium. I was always a loner — not because I was unhappy, but because I live away from myself, not just others.
Then this girl started seeing this guy — very good-looking, very rich, the only guy who had a car in those days — so we chamchas of Ramesh would goad him to go and beat that guy up. At that time, your exposure level, your knowledge is very different. Yeah, I would say that.
In that case, how do you explain the careers of people like Prakash Mehra or Manmohan Desai — apart from the fact that they worked in an era where more people went to the theatres because there were no TVs and VCRs? They want to be called the most famous or the most successful director. But that film worked. I realised that it was because these girls take pride in flaunting their body. And then you waited for the next scare to come. More than telling you about a scene from Phoonk, for example, which is a horror film, I can use the various tools at my disposal and enhance the effect of what I want to impress you with.
Apart from the costs, various actors and technicians are putting their trust — along with their time and effort — in your vision. So the night falling is the trigger for them to feel that emotion at that time.
But with Phoonk, the subject matter is very serious. Nasty one second and disarming the next, RGV remains an enigma.
Now, coming to what you were saying, yes, film is an expensive medium. But when you become a director, you tend to lose that way of looking at films. At an average of a hundred rupees a ticket, twenty lakh people saw the film. Or, you choose the second option and you make films for yourself.