“I"d have been seriously worried if the reviews had been favourable. The critics were just as harsh on my previous horror film Phoonk. But, it made enough profits to keep everyone happy."
Agyaat, says Ramu, was made at a budget of Rupees 5 crores. The sequel would be marginally costlier to make. But again, it would feature no major stars. “The jungle will again be the star of the film."
And the plot? Over to Ramu, “At the end of Agyaat my lead pair Nitin Reddy and Priyanka Kothari come out of the killer jungle. Agyaat 2 will begin with the pair telling the police what happened. Nitin accompanies the cops into the jungle, and shows them how brutally the other members of his team were murdered. Now when he returns to the city, the creature follows him."
This would be Ramu"s second sequel after Sarkar Raj, which followed Sarkar. The first film was received far more favorably than the second.
Explains Ramu, “I like to leave my options. Most of my films are open-ended. I like to carry the story forward. I thought I"d make a sequel to Phoonk. But now, I"ve decided to do a sequel to Agyaat instead. As for the sequel not being received properly, I don"t think that matters."
Part of the sequel to Agyaat will take Ram Gopal Varma back to the Sangli jungles in Sri Lanka.
Says Ramu, “In Agyaat the challenge was to not show the murderous creature and still create panic and horror, as in The Blair Witch Project or John Carpenter"s The Thing. I think the power of cinema lies in the power of the imagination. I"ve used the jungle as a subtext for the entity."
Critics have complained about the insubstantiality of the terror and horror in Agyaat. But that according to Ramu is its USP. “The challenge was to create horror from nothing. Ridley Scott once said that if you try to explain a supernatural experience you lose the thrill of it."
Telugu star Nitin Reddy who plays the lead in Agyaat is very excited about the sequel. Apparently, he has been instructed to get into Rambo-like physical shape for Agyaat 2.
“I"m definitely looking forward to the sequel. It"d be a treat working with RGV again. It was tough shooting in the Sangli jungles. We had a couple of injuries. Let"s see what happens this time."
Characteristically defiant as hell, Ram Gopal Varma intends to go ahead with a sequel to his just-released shiver-giver Agyaat. The film has garnered extremely mixed reviews. But ask Ramu if he cares.