RGV and his gimmicks

RGV recently wrote about making a “zero budget” film on his blog. Following is my response to that.
“Zero Budget” is a joke RGV. Well you have become a joke yourself now-a-days.
Tell me this:
Will the editing equipment be available for FREE?
Will the location be available for FREE?
Unless Canon is going to give you the THEREE CAMERAS for FREE, can anybody get those cameras for FREE?
The most important aspect in filmmaking is the story and writing of the story, then comes pre-production which you have conveniently not talked about. Making your film only “seems” to be done in “record time”. You have written about the production schedule without mentioning the pre-production work that you are presently occupied with. And you could have very well be occupied with pre-production for this for the last 2 years.
Also you are not the first one to attempt this. Earlier it was Blair Witch Project and recently Paranormal Activity is ample example. You have probably seen 127 by Danny Boyle. A film like that can very well be made with 5 people and 5 people crew with 2 or 3 cameras almost 1/2 locations.
Here is what I guess and I hope I am wrong.
Your film is perhaps going to be a horror flick, confined to one one or 2 locations nothing nobody has tried before.
I really admire your genuine efforts to come up with genuine gimmicks about your films than coming up with genuine films – that people and audience expect from you.
Sadly you turned out to be a better businessman than a better filmmaker. Make films Sir, leave the “critics” to write about how your film is made in record time, with no budget, no crew, no script, no story, no audience….
Wish you the best!

RGV’s so called reason for showing SARKAR to Bal Thakarey

Dear RGV, Thank you for answering my query.

20. Why did you buckle under pressure and showed Sarkar to Bal Thackeray?
Ans: Dumbo, he never asked me to show. It was me who was dying to show off.

And also thank you for showing your true colours. It is well known what kind of politician Bal Thackerey and his party is.(For the ones who don’t know I suggest simply google and read what researchers, professors and academics have to say about it’s communal Hinduitva politics.)

And when you say “It was me who was dying to show off” – this can be interpreted in two ways.

Either you LOOK UP to THACKEREY and therefore you wanted to show off your film to him. Honestly, I don’t think you were really tying to “show off” but rather did not have much choice than to screen SARKAR and get Thakarey’s un-official green signal.

I remember clearly evern during MANI RATNAM’S BOMBAY, MANI was put in a similar situation and was told to delete a few scenes and also to change the name of the film BOMBAY TO MUMBAI which he did not accept, but he accepted to delete a few scenes that were showing TINU ANAND playing THACKAREY in a “BAD LIGHT”.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know Sir. that yes, you can brush me off by calling me a Dumbo, which I may or may not be. But, I am surprised that so many of your fans who really look up to you as a man of courage and honesty and integrity cannot really see thorough your pseudo-boldness.

Your heroes like Harshwardhan Mallik are only limited to film for others to follow but when it come to you to follow the same, you remain to the same group of NAVEEN SANKALIA, just an opportunistic money making machinery. Now, I am not suggesting making “money” is bad. I know that everybody needs it. But what is perhaps more important is how you make it. Is that elaborate lecture of Harshwardhan for only for the audience to follow and not you?

I just hope that people realize the sham. Why preach when you cannot follow!

Sadly perhaps not much can be expected even from your fans here. Barely anyone here on this blog has the guts to blog with their real full names displayed. It is very easy to talk and feel protected with fake ID’s but takes more than “steel balls” to say whatever you want to say with honestly.

Additional thoughts on “What’s in a Title?”

Let us look at the following title and its correlation with the film:

Kaho Na Pyaar Hai
Qyamat Sey Qyamaat Tak
Kagaz Key Phool
Munna Bhai MBBS
Chachi 420

If we think carefully, we realize that there is not necessarily a quality of ’summation’ of the ENTIRE film in the title.

All I am trying to say is, lets not judge the book by its cover. First lets read it, understand it, try to comprehend it and then re-read it again. Those who read books it will realize that re-reading often add another dimension in understanding the book. One reason for that is that the anxiety of completing the book is over and now you are at ease with the characters in the book. The same can be said for films. After watching a film a number of times, we in a way get “into” the characters and then sometimes like certain things that we disliked in the first viewing and the opposite if also true.

Now, the West, especially HOLLYWOOD has a tendency to summarize the film its title, for example Psycho, Terminator etc. but if you think carefully that is really an easy tank.

It takes a genius to come up with a title like PYAASA, KAAGAZ KEY PHOOL, however before coming up with a such a genius title one needs to come up with an ingenious film.

And just for the record, here in Hollywood and Hollywood North (where I am) people just work on a film with a “working title” sometimes as lame as PERIOD FILM or HISTORY PROJECT. The titles are perhaps thought about much after post-production. Lets not lose focus, the film is of prime importance than the title…

Response to RGV’s “What’s in a Title?”

The film is perhaps more important than the title, if the film is good enough people remember the film and therefore the title. Lets not digress from important questions. Agyaat was a great title but beyond a certain degree because of the agyaat nature of the entity haunting the people it does not grip as well as Blair Witch Project. Incidentally, even in Blair Witch Project we hardly see any entitiy, however the film was still able to not only scare people but also was able to grip its audience.

In case of the great titled film Agyaat, it somewhere felt that your Special Effects people could not come up with a credible entity, perhaps which was suppose to happen in Post Production.

People go to see a film because of the film and not because of the Title. Have you heard anybody say “I am going to see Wanted today its SOUNDS like a great title”? Whether it is Pokkiri that later became WANTED in Hindi, a title my not necessarily have to generate interest in a film, there are innumerable inter-connected complex parameters that help make a movie interesting or generate interest. For the Blair Witch Project it was their internet marketing strategy, various film festival circuits that was responsible for its tremendous popularity. In other words if Blair Witch Project was titled Agyaat or The HAUNTED or THE HUNTING, or THE HUNT or OH MY GOD, I AM SCREWED! it would have still be as successful (if not more) because of the film and not because of the title.

Department or Company 2 or Ab Tak 56 Kay Baad will work if the film works. Wish you the very best.

Response to RAM GOPAL VARMA’s ‘Critical Point’

I have two question for all RGV fans and you may write back here or just ask yourself this:

1. Imagine RANN without Amitabh Bachchan. Do you think this movie would have worked without AB in the film? If the answer is NO, then it is clear that something is missing in the script…

We all know the STAR power of AB and had it not been for AB, RANN would not have even made whatever commercial success it has now.

2. Do you really need to SEE the film? Only the Audio of the film is almost enough to understand the entire film. In other words, unfortunately RGV under-estimated the contribution of VISUALS thereby leading to a very VERBAL SCRIPT.

I shall soon be posting a series of detailed Hindi film analysis and hope RGV fans would like it.



Comments on RGV’s ‘Strokes behind Rangeela’

This is written in response to Ram Gopal Varma’s blog on ‘The Strokes behind Rangeela’ a colourful film. Original RGV blog here.

I am glad you wrote about Rangeela, something I was eager to read about, directly from you. In 2005 I was researching on Bioscopes. I wanted to make a documentary on it. Your film ‘Rangeela’ opens with the titles via a Bioscope and then Urmila breaks into the song right after it. I wanted to know more about its significance, i.e. what prompted you to begin the film with a Bioscope? Subsequently, I tried to contact you, spoke to your PRO a number of times to know the same. Unfortunately, I never got a positive reply. I am not sure if he ever mentioned that to you or whether you were simply not interested in replying to my query then. 

However, while you are now opening up, I shall be glad to seek answers to those queries. If you could kindly throw some light on the idea of opening sequence of ‘Rangeela’, specifically beginning from the titles to Urmila’s breaking into the song.

My short film eventually changed completely after I met a wonderful ‘Bioscopewallah’ who dedicated his entire life being a charming entertainer. I finally edited it, excluding all the film clips that i had initially planned to include in my documentary now titled as ‘The Bioscopewallah.’

Thank you for the wonderful ‘insights’ on blogs. It is a brilliant format especially when directors personally contribute and reflect on their filmmaking, its nuances and its aesthetics, something that people in Hollywood could follow.

Good luck,


Prashant Kadam