By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
"It may seem like a delay because we're starting in September. But it was always meant to be September. What we were planning to do in August is a technical kick-off for Sholay. Perhaps people presumed the project was delayed because there was no shooting with the stars. The stars were never meant to shoot in August. As for Ajay Devgan asking for changes in the script, he has never asked me for a script, let alone changes. We've worked together twice before (in Company and Bhoot) and there's no problem at all."
Ramu who's all set to release Shiva in September says nothing can stop Sholay. "Except for Mr Bachchan as Gabbar there's no other casting in Sholay that can determine or destroy its prospects. I'm very clear about making Sholay and how I want to make it. I don't know why people all round me seem so hell-bent to see the project go down. I'm sorry to disappoint the dooms-day prophets. But Sholay is starting in September. I'm wrapping it up by year-end to start Sarkar 2 with Amitji and Abhishek and then another project with Amitji early next year."
Having just directed AB in Nishabd, Ramu is speechless. "I don't want to sound boastful...but then on the other hand I don't mind if I do. I feel Amitji has given his career's best performance in Nishabd. Watching the film I feel he has completely surpassed everyone expectations, including my own which is saying a lot."
Reverting to his favourite topic Ramu says, "The casting for Sholay is all in place, but not Basanti. Why is everyone so keen to know who'll play Basanti? Let me confess the character won't be the same Basanti as Hemaji in the original Sholay. This is a different Sholay that will reflect a new sensibility (mine) and a contemporary reality. We can't have Gabbar Singh on a horse and a Basanti on a tonga any more." In fact all the original characters may not have the same names.
Is Karisma Kapoor going to be a part of Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay? A report that Karisma might be making a comeback with Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay has the enterprising Ramu baffled. "I've no idea where that came from. Very honestly I haven't thought of Karisma Kapoor in any film for the last five years. Where her name cropped up from for Sholay, I don't know."
Though Katrina Kaif has been cast for the widow Radha's role the boisterous Basanti's part remains vacant. "It isn't going to be the kind of Basanti that Hema Malini played, that's for sure," reveals Ramu. "My Sholay transposes the milieu and the characters to a more contemporary setting."
Right now Ramu has shot forty percent of his new film Darling. "It's not a love story. It's a romantic thriller-comedy. It's very difficult, almost impossible to define its genre. It's that unique in its content and treatment. I've shot with Fardeen before. But never with Bipasha and Esha."
Ramu's other directorial venture Shiva is ready for release. "I was tied up with solving my production problems. There was no control on the creative or financial level. I lost control over my projects. That's why I had stopped the release of all my films. Now my house is in order. Now I'm again ready to start releasing my films. Ram Gopal Varma productions has four releases till September-end. Shiva is complete. Darling is on the floors. And I'm starting Sholay next month. I'll do a bit of shooting and then start again full force in November."
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