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Stars "baggage" irritating

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Thursday, August 31, 2006 

Kolkata (UNI): Ram Gopal Varma finds the baggage that superstars carry an 'irritating' factor while making films. Talking to reporters on a sojourn to the city, Ramu, as he is fondly called, said, ''Superstars carry a baggage that can be very irritating. But at the same time the loads of experience that they have, helps. It's much better to track new talents and mould them according to the demands of the film. Shah Rukh is a superstar. His popularity cuts across the audiences and he has fans among children as well,'' Varma said. ''My audience is different. The kind of films that I make are larger than life; they are dark and intense. Shah Rukh would not fit in that world,'' he said.

About his remake of Sholay, the filmmaker said, ''Sholay is a perfect movie. One can't better it. I am just treating it in a different way.'' ''The film has been on people's mind for 30 years. The story will be set in Mumbai 2006,'' he said, adding that the casting is still under consideration. On his film Nishabd featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Jiah Khan, he said it had no link with the film Lolita. After 15 years of the release of the film Shiva, Ram Gopal Varma is making a film on the same lines, but this time around it will have a police backdrop.

In 1989 a movie came called Shiva, starring Nagarjuna and Amala in the lead roles, changed the face of the Telugu Film Industry and brought about a huge wave in Bollywood too. Talking about this film, Varma said, ''Shiva is my symbol of a rebel. Yesterday's Shiva led a rebellion against presence of hooligans and criminals in the educational sector. Today's Shiva-2006 leads a revolution against the corrupt police system infested with criminals and parasites.'' The film, starring Mohit Ahlawat and Nisha Kothari in the lead, portrays the law enforcement system through the eyes of a young policeman. ''I feel the need to return to my base, to retell the story in the present context,'' the prolific filmmaker said. The film also features noted Marathi actors Upendra Limaye and Dilip Prabhavalkar, among others. The film portrays the conflict of the protagonist's ideals with the harsh ground realities. 

Varma admitted that cop films are overdone. ''I have myself made Shool and Ab Tak Chhappan in this genre. But, here the intention is to bring back the intense hero, who ruled the 70s and 80s before he was sent into oblivion by the sugary sweet romantic films. It was that hero, who actually made films larger than life with Amitabh Bachchan leading the brigade, and then in varying degrees followed by Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Mithun Chakraborty, Sunny Deol and others,'' he added.

On releasing Shiva in a new format, Varma said he just wanted to reinvent that genre of films.

''I want once again to catch the spirit of one man taking on the odds when his principles and convictions are under threat. With a completely updated script and today's technical advances, I seek to capture that element of anger present in all of us. Most of us accept injustice mutely. But every once in a while, a rebel comes along who hits back,'' he said.

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