Entertainment Bollywood 07 May 2017 Exclusive: Wouldn&rs ...

Exclusive: Wouldn’t mind being part of RGV’s further regrets, says Amitabh Bachchan

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published May 7, 2017, 12:10 am IST
Updated May 7, 2017, 1:39 pm IST
Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Gopal Varma.
 Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Gopal Varma.

Despite his many eccentricities, Ram Gopal Varma has one of the country’s biggest stars as a permanent feature in his films. What is it about his films that never tires Amitabh Bachchan? Let’s find out...

What makes Subhash Nagre so powerful that he’s the only character of yours to be seen in three films?
I had not realised this, but thank you for bringing it up. Where there is continuity, there shall be desire to revert. You succeed in one vocation, you continue with it. Sarkar 1 was a success, but I doubt very much whether Sarkar 2 was prompted keeping the success factor in mind. It was done more for the continuation of the story, from where it was left off in Sarkar 1.

Do you see Sarkar as a metaphor?
There is a Sarkar in every home — one that guides, takes decisions, masters and commands either servility or compassion. It’s politics of a different kind, often referred to as ‘palace politics’. Derived presumably from the era of Kings, courts and Emperors with their inner coteries and subsequent intrigues. Today, every home is a ‘palace’ and every home has its ‘politics’, the nature of which is guided and abetted by the ‘politics’ it conducts.

Having played the character twice before, how easy was it for you to recapture inner life of this politician-gangster?
I have reservations about the way you express the character — ‘politician-gangster’ — of Subhash Nagre in this particular question. I hope I am wrong, but to me it breathes, vicious negativity. Politics compels you to take a stand, a stand that attracts disagreement and debate. Not all are expected to toe your thought or vision, but those that do become your ‘party’ or part of your ‘gang’. In normal terms, a gangster invites crime, terror and all that is violent and against social and moral norms. But would you address all such gang partners, or what you notify as a ‘gangster’, to only be defying moral and social norms?

But your character in Sarkar does break many laws?
The British Raj identified freedom fighters as ‘violent gangsters’ and hung them. Daku Man Singh and Veerappan were revered by the locals they served and looked after. Their means may have been wrong, but to them their act was right and for their own reasons — legal constitutionality not withstanding. Once that is understood, the act of performing is eased out by the concept devised by the director and the writer. My professional conviction is guided and operated by the director and in turn the writer. They have already ‘recaptured’ it in their initial discussions. I merely attempt to enumerate their final discussion and design it on film.

Ram Gopal Varma is a strange filmmaker — if for no other reason, then the inconsistency of his output. How would you describe your working relationship with this director?
You are so right — inconsistency is indeed strange. It is strange because consistency is downright boring and static for some. RGV is inconsistent because he is a restless creative mind, willing and deliberating continuously, to search valuable seed through his ‘outputs’. To have made me a part of that desire is a privilege for me. RGV’s ‘inconsistency’ may not have given him the desired results he expected, but which artist, maker, producer, director has been able to achieve consistent box office success?

Ramu has gone on record to say he regrets doing all the films he has done with you except the Sarkar franchise. Your comments…
He is wrong. I wouldn’t mind being part of his further regrets!

Abhishek was with you in the first two Sarkar films. Did you miss his presence in the third film?
This is an obscure question! Abhishek’s character dies in Sarkar 2. How can he be present in Sarkar 3?

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