His forthcoming movie Rann has a stellar starcast of Amitabh Bachchan, Paresh Rawal, Ritesh Deshmukh and the like, but Ramu is promoting his film all by himself. “There’ll be a huge crowd to come and see a star, no doubt, just like the mall mayhem when Salman (Khan) was in Hyderabad. But whether those numbers will actually convert into tickets at the box office is not a guarantee. So I don’t see the need for a star to promote a movie,” explains Ramu.
“As far as Rann is concerned, there is no hero or heroine. The main protagonist is the media and other characters revolve around it. So there is actually no star who can speak about it other than me,” he elaborates.
Considering his love-hate relationship with the media, the next question was an obvious one — why make a movie on the media? “I think it’s a relevant topic today. Every home in the country has a TV set and people are hooked on to news channels. What I have done is present my view of the media. But I have not generalised it.”
So isn’t he worried about the backlash if the film fails to live up to expectations? “That’s the whole idea. As a filmmaker I want to start a discussion. I have done a lot of research and presented my views of the media. Now if someone disagrees, he or she is most welcome to present their points,” he says. And what about the critics? “Anyone who watches a film will have a view and a critic is no different. Reviews don’t make any difference to me because I never read them. I have better things to do in life,” he says.
The Hyderabadi who now has a strong foothold in the Hindi movie scene is working on another ambitious project, Rakta Charitra, which attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. Post death threats, Ramu is still going ahead enthusiastically with this project which many consider Vivek Oberoi’s big comeback. “I’m not scared of death threats or anything. As a film maker if the subject interests me, I’ll go ahead. And honestly speaking, no one makes a film to flop,” he quips. The movie, a bilingual, will also see Tamil superstar Suriya make his debut in Bollywood. Though many have tried, not many heroes from the Southern film industry have been able to make it big in Hindi cinema. “Well, that’s because they are already kings here, and they really don’t see the need to work hard and make a mark in Hindi cinema. Of course, the story is different when it comes to heroines,” he quips.
As a filmmaker what marked difference does he find between the Hindi film industry and Southern film industry? “Variety. Hindi cinema has a lot to offer in terms of different scripts, novel ideas etc. But Telugu cinema is all about formulaic films. No one wants to try something different and even if they do, it might not work,” explains Ramu.