Now this one has turned out to be the mother of all casting decisions. Seven years after launching Vivek Oberoi in the role of Chandu in Company (2002), Ram Gopal Varma has showed his faith in the actor again. He has cast him in the role of the lead protagonist Paritala Ravi in his ambitious venture Rakta Charitra, which would be made as a two part film.
Says Ram Gopal Varma who has almost finished the shoot of Agyaat and is busy wrapping up Rann, "After thinking hard on every actor both known and unknown, I have finally zeroed in on Vivek Oberoi as the most ideal choice to play Paritala Ravi."
On being asked if with Rakta Charitra he would be taking over the mantle of re-launching Vivek Oberoi, Ramu says, "That would be a wrong statement to make actually. The way I look at it, Rakta Charitra is a film which would be re-launching Vivek as well as me. This is going to be an defining film for both of us."
This is understandable for someone like Vivek who is currently facing rough weather in the industry. But why does he say this for himself when he has been doing quite good for himself?
"Well, the subject matter along with the research done on the film are the reasons that make me say that", reasons Ramu, "For me, Vivek is the perfect choice for the role. Also, I know for sure that no way can Vivek get a better role than that of Paritala Ravi and no ways can I get a better story than Rakta Charitra to be told. This is why the film would be re-launching both of us."
Narrating the reason behind his choice of Vivek, he goes on to add, "He has remarkable intensity in his eyes which I noticed in the making of Company. He has a voice which commands attention, there is an arrogance in his demeanour and an enormous power in his stance. Moreover, there is also a certain vulnerability which makes one instantly warm up to him, which is what is needed to fit in a role of Paritala Ravis profile."
Apparently there was a rough look-test done for the film before Vivek was zeroed in.
"After this test was done, I saw the approximation of how Vivek could look like in different phases of Ravis life. From being a rebel in the jungles to a political strong-arm man, he was just so perfect. There and then, I was absolutely convinced and my search ended," reveals Ramu. The story of Rakta Charitra will span 12-15 years during which Vivek would be seen in different looks.
As per Ramu, Rakta Charitra is the story of a mans (Paritala Ravi) phenomenal rise to power and a story of the most intense blood curdling conflict ever heard of between two individuals. A prime accused in quite a few murder cases, Paritala Ravi wasn't a rebel in his initial days but the force of circumstances made him become one. He was a soft-spoken shy guy who retreated into the jungles and then became a rebel. He wanted to avenge the death of his father and brother and even went on to become a minister in N.T. Ramaraos Cabinet before being assassinated in January 2005.
To be produced by Madhu Mantena, the film would be shot in one stretch beginning 1st August once Ramu is through with the shooting of Rann. Rakta Charitra will be releasd in two parts in the months of January and April 2009 respectively.
The filmmaker goes on to conclude in an interesting note, "The kind of material that I have at my hand, I don't have to work hard to make it well but I have to work hard to spoil it."