RGV or Ram Gopal Verma as he is universally known is going through a lean patch and now all his hopes rest on his star-studded forthcoming police drama ‘Department’. ADC’s Sandeep Hattangadi spoke to the maverick director about his most ambitious venture
Comment on your upcoming film Department.
Department is a commercial film in my style unlike Satya or Company. Similarly, it is definitely inspired by Mumbai's Dirty Harrys — Pradeep Sharma, Vijay Salaskar and Daya Nayak. But it is not their story alone. Department is not based on gangsters. But, yes, we are talking about the police department...and somewhere gangsters are also there. The film is more of a mass entertainer format.
How similar is Amitabh’s character to the role he played in Sarkar?
The hairstyle is similar. He is still playing a political leader though the background is different. And there is a certain intrigue in his character and from the context of the film you cannot make out whet-her he is a villain or a positive character. His way of speaking is very crass compared to Sarkar. That's the reason I came up with the title ‘Nasty Sarkar’.
So, how different is Department?
If my film Company dealt with politics within an underworld organisation, this film deals with politics within the police department. This particular department is specially formed to tackle crime situations in Mumbai. So what happens among the members of the department is what the film is about.
Primarily, it is about the relationship between characters played by Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati.
You have worked many times with Amitabh. Please tell us about your equation with him...
Fortunately, he trusts me a lot as a director. So far it hasn't happened that I've approached him for a role and he has said no. Sometimes the films have worked and sometimes they haven't, but somewhere he knows my commitment is there.
So, which is Amitabh's best performance?
I think his best performance has come in Nishabd. People reacted to the overall film, but as a director I reacted to his performance.
You have used the song ‘Thodi Si Jo Pi Li Hai’ as a tribute that Sanjay Dutt pays to Amitabh. How did the idea come up?
This is the trend of remixing old songs. I thought the song fitted Sanjay's persona really well and if you have to pay tribute, this is probably one of the best songs of Amitabh.
Also, stars come with an image attached to them. They come with a certain background. That’s RGV for you! Candid as ever!