Posts Tagged ‘Ramu’

The first part of the “Satya” series was posted here. And now the second one. Written by its editor Apurva Asrani.

Satya

–> Disclaimer: There is a term called ‘The Rashomon Effect’; in which observers of an event produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of ‘the truth’.

So it is possible, that my truth, may differ from yours…

1997.

Sequences from Satya were getting a fabulous response from those that previewed it. We were editing alongside the filming. Ramu was a very instinctive director and was confident enough to alter characters & screenplay as he went along. His vision was broadening before our eyes. Saurabh Shukla was on set playing Kallu Mama as well as collaborating as a writer. Anurag Kashyap too was writing on location, other times he wrote in the evenings at Ramu’s large but modest Four Bungalows apartment.

It was a vodka/whisky darbar and young non-drinkers (or beer-drinkers like me) spent evenings like this without a glass. I can be corny and say that we were intoxicated in the air of a brilliant collaboration! The fit and pretty Urmila Matondkar hung out with us too, she was warm and charming, a complete departure from her cold & reserved self on set.

Along with the other assistants like Barnali Ray (now Shukla), Pradnya Lokhande (now Sharma), Feroze and Dev, I too pondered about the plausibility of the Ramu-Urmila affair as was reported. We looked for clues in those casual evenings, and convened later on to exchange notes. My close friends would often ask for gossip and I would try to look for evidence. If you’re eager to know, I never did find it; nothing conclusive at least.

First day of shooting. 12th of August 1997.

The location was a stinky stable in the suburb of Jogeshwari where Manoj Pahwa’s character introduces Satya to his new home. I wasn’t sure about Chakri’s dialogue delivery, but there was comfort in the talk that it might be dubbed later. A few hours into the shoot, Ramu received a phone-call. I saw before my eyes the blood drain from his face. His friend, media baron Gulshan Kumar had been murdered, riddled indiscriminately with bullets.

Ramu became very disturbed. We stopped work and followed him around for more news, he was among the few with a mobile-phone. It dawned upon me for the first time, how close to the truth our film was. Ramu was taking a great risk by making a film on the extortion enterprise while gangsters still ruled Bombay. I didn’t know then, that much of the film’s story-flow would be altered post this incident.

Satya2

Chakri & Manjo

I liked Chakri (Chakravarti). He came from an acting background that I was familiar with. My mother is a Telugu girl and I had seen many Telugu film’s while growing up. I empathized with Chakri’s discomfort with Hindi and we spent a lot of time together, discussing his plans for the character. I was also privy to Chakri’s soft-spot for another crew member and I often dispensed to him the wisdom of a 19 yr old.

Manoj Bajpai also became a close friend. I called him ‘Manjo’. Manoj often hitched a ride with me on my rickety-old Kinetic Honda, came out clubbing with me and my friends, and even had a few drinks with my father. Manoj had the utmost awe for the work I was doing, and encouraged me to follow my style. One day Manoj signed an agreement with me stating that he would act in my 1st film for 2 rupees. Even though it was written on a paper napkin, I was sure that it would stand the test of time. Manoj was a talent like we had never seen before, and I remember feeling like I had hit the jackpot.

I learned much later that ‘editors are an actors best friend’. So when I bonded recently with the talented Rajkumar Yadav during the making of Shahid, we added a line to this pearl of wisdom…‘till the film is complete.’ 😉

Chakri and Manoj were another ‘hit-duo’ from Satya, who’s celluloid chemistry didn’t exactly come from admiration for the other. Their rivalry was less subdued than the other’s, and it worked wonders for the film. It was the battle of the North Indian vs the South Indian, of the NSD actor vs the commercial actor. I thought that both vied to be Ramu’s pet actor. But then everyone was in awe of Mr Varma, he commanded it effortlessly.

I had mentioned in my previous blog, the tension between Anurag & Saurabh, and I think from Anurag’s reactions to my blog, that he took my claim very seriously. I didn’t mean to say that their friction over credit on the promo caused any bad blood. It seemed quite innocent, and was obviously channeled correctly, which is why they wrote a cracker of a film. Besides the ones mentioned above, there were a couple of other ‘teams’ that struggled for their inpidual place in the sun.

Two’s company

Let me pose a few questions, and see if there is a one-word/one name answer that comes to mind.

‘To whom would you attribute the cinematography of Satya?’ Would you say it was the American veteran DP Gerhard Hooper or the realistic documentary cameraman, Mazhar Kamran? Both were eventually credited.

‘Whose words were Satya really based on?’ Were they Saurabh Shukla’s–who was basking from his association with the semantic Bandit Queen & Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi or were they Anurag Kashyap’s–who was this wonder-kid that everyone was talking about and had just written Jayate (Hansal Mehta’s first tryst with the courtroom). Both were credited.

‘Who’s music will Satya be remembered for?‘ Vishal Bharadwaj’s?–The man who infused emotion into the film with songs like the dreamy Badalon se kaat kaat ke or Sandeep Chowta–who’s stark and intense themes reverberated in a shattering new system called DTS. Both were credited.

‘Who actually edited Satya?’ Apurva Asrani, the urban kid who had made promos for Sanjay Bhansali’s Khamoshi and Ramu’s Daud or was it Bhanodaya-the Telugu editor who had earlier edited Ramu’s Ana Ganaga Oku Roju & Daud? Both were credited.

While Manoj-Chakri, Saurabh-Anurag, Gerry-Mazhar, Vishal-Sandeep will be best suited to answer how they felt about sharing credit at the time, they will also be able to tell you why why none of them ever teamed up again. I can only tell you how I felt. I got asked for years, ‘who edited Satya?’ and that question used to make me angry. I guess, the simplest thing for me would have been to say ‘we both did’. But to me, that would have been a diplomatic answer, not necessarily an honest one.

Jump Cut to: Bhanodaya

If I remember right, Satya was the first Hindi film to be cut on avid. We were choosing a work-flow that required us to make a print from the negative, transfer the print to tape, digitize the tapes onto the hard disk and then start editing. The process was fascinating and I think we used Avid to its fullest potential to maintain a fresh & compelling rhythm, now synonymous with the film. But it is when the film was edited, and the technical process had to be reversed, that Ramu began to get angsty. He was nervous about matching the negative to an Avid produced cut-list. He was worried that something may go wrong with the negative. He began to feel that his judgment would work best if he saw a print before locking the film. So Ramu brought in his Daud editor Bhanodaya, specifically to match the print to the list.

What I didn’t see coming, was that I would have to share credit with Bhanodaya. This came as a bolt from the blue. I first heard about it from Ramu’s cousin, Satya’s Executive Producer, Som Shekhar. I felt somewhat cheated by Ramu and began to find it impossible make-up lies about how Bhanodaya had co-edited the film. Jitesh Pillai, then the bright kid at Filmfare had interviewed me for his magazine, and had asked me about Bhano. I remember saying, ‘I don’t know Bhano, I never met him during the editing of the film’. It was the truth, but my lack of diplomacy and patience brought out the arrogance in me.

What made things worse were the rumors going around. I would hear that Ramu had gone about telling people that I had only cut the promos of the film, and that Bhano was the editor. Now whether the rumors were true or whether people were fanning my anger, I was too naïve to know.

Filmfare Awards, February 1998

I remember the night of the Filmfare awards when the award for ‘Best Editing’ was announced. I was sitting among my loved ones who became very emotional and pushed me towards the stage to collect the award. As I walked, from the corner of my eye, I looked at a familiar man, wearing a black shirt, who also began walking towards the podium. I remember thinking ‘I hardly know that man, have not had a single creative exchange with him, but he is sharing my award.’ Bhanodaya was being celebrated for my work, and it just didn’t make sense.

There was only one award statuette. So I buckled my speed. Bhanodaya also walked faster. He had the advantage of being two rows ahead – with Ramu. I was like an energizer bunny, high from the industry’s acknowledgment of my skills, but somewhat wounded by the sudden U-turn of my mentor. I somehow got to Jeetendra and Poonam Dhillon first, and they handed me the statuette. Bhanodaya followed behind me and shook hands with them after I did. As I held up the coveted statuette in the air, a much shorter Bhanoday reached for it, touched it, and smiled.

If only I had known then, that I would get opportunities to prove myself again; to be part of some meaningful cinematic attempts. If I had know then that I would see other awards and some rewards that are far greater than trophies, I would have shared that award gracefully with Bhanodaya. After all, his efforts touched the final product too.

So my dear colleague Bhanodaya, I guess it isn’t too late to say ‘Congratulations….! for our Filmfare award for Satya!’

– Apurva Asrani

( You can follow Apurva Asrani on Twitter here and his blog is here)

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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.

VOTD : Who said Ramu has lost his mojo ?

Posted: December 22, 2010 by moifightclub in cinema, Simbly South, VOTD
Tags: , ,

Beat this shit!

The song is from his new Telugu film KSD Appalraju. And if you are still not ROFLOL, then you must check out the lyrics. Our good friend Mihir Fadnavis did this great social service for humanity by translating the song in English and keeping its horniness intact.

Horny bastard (guy):

Teri maa ki… what are those eyes… what is that nose … what are those legs…

what is that waist…what is…what is….

How did your parents raise you…you are killing me day and night jaanu.. (x 2)

Are those lips…or Rasagullas….

Is that a waist… or ice cream…

The heat in your body… is heat in my body….

Your beauty is making me grow… this hot sun is burning me!!

Slutty Girl:

How did your parents raise you…you are killing me day and night jaanu.. (x 2)

Are those muscles…or granite stones…

Is that a walk… or super STYLE…

One look from you gives my body a shock…

My body parts are boiling up…. my whole body feels like sweets!

Yes, here it is. Ramuji ke dil ki paak awaaz!

And if the background music and the song in the trailer is any indication of the film to come, well, its time for #BOJam (Inspired by #MeterJam). Again! Southern Superstar Surya makes his bolly debut with this one. Plus,  it has the bolly superstar (atleast he thinks he is) Vivek Oberoi alongwith Priyamani, Shatrughan Sinha, Abhimanyu Singh and Radhika Apte.

Whats more, its in two parts. So, two movies, back to back, one after another in just few weeks. Get ready. Seriously!

So, the big question is will Superstar Surya save Ramu’s almost dead career or will Ramu manage to kill Surya in his bollywood debut! Though the hindi promo of the film is not out yet but this one surely looks like Satya-meets-Sarkar-meets-Sarkar Raaj! Ramu doesnt even give a new frame to stare at, forget anything else. Anyway, we will continue the bitchfest later on, have a look.

It stars Vivek Oberoi, Surya Sivakumar, Priyamani, Radhika Apte, Shatrughan Sinha , Kota Srinivas Rao and Tanikella Bharani.

Can someone please tell Ramu that you cant fool everyone all the time. You surely can make a joke of yourself by making one stupid film after another and still talking and giving gyaan like a Gyaan Guru. Get that GG avatar out of your heard, sir!

As if making horrible films is not a crime, Ram Gopal Varma has gone a step further. Ram Gopal Varma has always been Ram Gimmick Varma and he is still trying his luck with it.

For Phoonk, they ran a contest daring people to watch it in the theatre alone. Rules and regulations were not clear. And nobody knows what happened finally. Who watched, how, where, when. There were allegations that it was rigged. No answers.

Ramu did something similar for Agyaat too. It was a short film contest where it was announced that the winner will get to direct a film. We had put out a post on the same and when readers asked about the winner we had no clue. It seems no winner was announced and there were no prizes. Everything remained Agyaat! And here is the comment posted on our blog by one of the participants…

Has RGV become a fraud? This contest is a fraud on indian public. If u write on his blog asking about contest, ur comment will be DELETED. Try it urself. If makin bad films was not enuf he’s now cheating public with fake contest. That man has lost all sense of shame.

Ram Gimmick Varma is back again! For Phoonk 2. We would suggest, DONT trust the man and his gimmicks. But if you still want to, here is the official release on the contest.

The PHOONK 2 Scare Contest

• Before the release of “PHOONK” we had challenged that if any viewer could dare to see the film sitting all alone in a theatre and not run out scared he will get a Cash Prize of Rs.5 Lakhs.

• The contestant who took the challenge didn’t even last for 30mins and ran out of the theatre.

• After the release, some people alleged that the contest was rigged (Huh! Is it a way to admit it ? ) and that they never felt fear while watching the film. So now without going into a pointless argument on the same, we the Phoonk 2 team have decided to open ourselves to a scientific evaluation of that claim.

• For “PHOONK 2” we are going to implement our Contest in a very scientific way as never ever done before in the history of Cinema anywhere across the World. The viewer who will claim that he is not going to get scared will be fitted with a ECG machine while he is watching Phoonk 2 which will monitor his Heartbeat and Pulse rate and this will be shown live on a screen outside the theatre to both the Media and all concerned.

• A normal person according to professionals has a certain average heartbeat and when subjected to any kind of an intense emotion the beats will considerably go up. So if the challenger claims that he had no fear while watching Phoonk 2 the monitor will tell whether he is lying or not and on the other hand if he can control his fear and thereby his heartbeat and not let it cross his normal heartbeat then he will get to win the cash prize.

• The PHOONK 2 Team DARES any viewer to take this Challenge and watch PHOONK 2.

• We intend to launch the contest on 10th March on our official website www.phoonk2.in . This contest is Restricted to only healthy people with no history of Cardiac disease and also only to people who are between 18 and 60 years of age.

• The contest will be open for people across INDIA and based on a computerized random draw people will be shortlisted, who then further will have to give a medical indemnification for further selection by our team and a medical professional who will eventually single out the final Challenger to be subjected to the test. The Challengers normal heartbeat will be recorded before and while the screening is happening. We will also make sure that the contestant is actually watching the film without closing his eyes by shooting him Live through a night vision camera and showing his facial expressions to the media and all concerned on a screen outside the theatre. If at all he wins this challenge he will be awarded the Prize money right at the Venue in front of everybody.

PS: For any unforeseen situations an Ambulance will be on standby at the Theatre to monitor the contestants.

Phhonk 2 is directed by Milind Gadagkar and stars Sudeep, Neeru Bajwa, Amruta Khanvilkar and Ahsaas Channa. The film is releasing on 9th April 2010