Ram Gopal Varma’s Department released last friday and as expected, had a disastrous opening at the box office. Well, that’s not new. He wrote an open letter to clarify his stand. That’s also not new. And then started blaming Sanjay Dutt and Dharm Oberoi for the debacle. Now, that’s a smart pitch for the potential producers.
I strongly believe that what Amitabh Bachchan is for directors, Ramu is for producers. Everyone aspires to direct AB in at least one film and every producer wants to make at least one film with Ramu. Just for good old nostalgia. But most don’t realise or are blind to the fact that both don’t have any box office pull now. What else can be the explanation for still giving shitloads of money to RGV? What kind of blind faith is this? Even if you forget box office, in terms of intangible gain also, it gets you nothing. Not even a single decent review. Or may be, he knows some kind of black magic to woo the producers. That’s the only talent he still has.
It’s hard to digest that someone will give him 27 fucking crore (via HT Cafe) for getting AB, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubatti. And opening weekend collection is just 7.25crore – the lowest opener of 2012. And please don’t even to call it an indulgence – crotch cam is just being stupid and banal. That doesn’t qualify as cinematic indulgence by any rulebook.
Interestingly, Ishaqzaade – a film with newcomers managed almost the same amount in its 2nd weekend which Department collected in its opening weekend.
Going back to HT Cafe again, here are the opening weekend figures of Ramu’s last few releases –
Not A Love Story – Rs 2.1 Crore
Rakht Charitra 2 – Rs 1.25 Crore
Rakht Charitra – Rs 3.85 Crore
Rann – Rs 4.45 Crore
The list is quite long. To say that the man has lost it, will be putting it very mildly. And i can bet that the man is going to deliver ten more duds. Reason – he thinks he is making cult classics (read the open letter). He is dismissive of everything good or bad – it just happens by chance. And he is surrounded by yes-men. There was a time when he used to attract the best talent. Now it’s the opposite – anyone who is good, leaves him.
And here’s the bait for potential dumbfcks who will put money in his next films – his open letter which he tweeted yesterday.
I LOVE YOU TOO
I am not surprised at the hatred of some towards “Department” for the reason that when you do anything completely different from a beaten path many tend to pounce upon you with claws and knives. When Oliver Stone made “Natural Born Killers” most reviewers said it’s a piece of visual crap, exhibitionistic, he lost his head etc., which then in the later years came to be recognized as a cult classic. When DW Griffith cut to a close up they said how can a man be shown cut in half and when the camera moved in a Georges Melies film they said how can a point of view suddenly move.
Anyways the norm of critics these days is to bury the baby even before its born and kill the mother for giving it birth. It’s incredible to see the sadistic glee they take in running the Director down on a personal level even more than they run down the Film.
They accuse me of chaotic self-indulgence. I don’t know what that is but a Film eventually is a self expression of a subject matter which I as a maker chose to tell in a certain style and in Department I chose a graphic pattern in terms of angles and movements which were intended to represent the mindsets of the characters the film is dealing with.
A photographic image is a combination of the look of the location, the lightning, the costume, the make-up, the look of the actor etc. and any camera will only record whatever is kept in front of it. Then ofcourse there are the features of lensing, angles, movement perspectives etc., which would be employed as per the intended effect. In Department it’s the rapid swish pans and some hitherto unseen movement perspectives, which bothered some people, but the same were also liked by lots of others.
Also the rogue method I employed for Department is an alternative method I proposed but not as a replacement to a conventional method. The conventional usage of the cameras used for Department have been already used in “Slumdog Millionaire”, “127 Hours” and many other films the world over. In Department it’s their unconventional rapid movements, which created problem for some.
In “Department” I just attempted to do a realistic story with characters that intrigue and make one think rather than spoon feed and I attempted to package that in a never before seen visual style and some people got it and some didn’t.
It goes without saying that at the end of the day a Film’s likeability is about its content and its narrative grip and the technical style employed doesn’t matter to the viewer.
But having said that a constantly evolving innovative usage of the medium does add and sometimes also gives an emotional tone to the content and film eventually in its purest form is an emotional experience.
– Ram Gopal Varma
It seems like Subhash K Jha has converted this open letter into Q and A for Rediff. Click here.
And if that wasn’t enough, he has now put the blame on Sanjay Dutt and his manager Dharam Oberoi. You can check Ramu’s twitter timeline here or the snapshots here.
Wow! Some points for being candid at least.
Well, over to Dutt and Oberoi now.
Ram Gopal Varma doesn’t surprise and shock me anymore. He is the only filmmaker whose zero budget film was also a flop! You can’t beat that!
What baffles me is the fact there are “morons with money” who wants to blow it away by giving it to him. And at a time when films like Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani, Vicky Donor are re-writing the rules of the box office. If you have excess, just donate it. And if you don’t have a big heart, just burn them – That’s a better thing to do.
UPDATE (22nd May) – Sanjay Dutt and Dharam Oberoi have reacted to Ramu’s tweets. Click here to read Mirror’s report.
23rd May – Ramu drags Abhishek Bachchan into it and blames him for getting Dutt into the film. Click here to read.