Planet Bollywood
Interview with Ram Gopal Varma (Department)
- Supriya Davda           Let us know what you think about this feature article

Ram Gopal Varma’s Department, is all set to release this Friday. Planet Bollywood Correspondent Supriya Davda spoke to the talented director about his new film Department, a sharp thriller about the police department in Mumbai. It stars, Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubatti in pivotal roles. Department focuses on a group working with the Mumbai Police who are trying to abolish the underworld.

SD: Why is Department different to any other Bollywood film?

RGV: I wanted to give a completely new language to cinema, I was bored of seeing all our films being shot in the same way, an art director and several camera men, it was getting boring. I tried to implement a new style of camera work. Whilst shooting for the film I did not use any extra lightening on the sets either. The film was shot in eighty days with a few twenty year old students using still photography and visual effects. The size of the cameras were slightly larger than a match box, and the smaller the camera the better I could reach places.

SD: Tell me about Amitabh Bachchan’s role as a gangster turned politician Sarjerao Gaikwad

RGV: I went to Amitji’s home and explained I won’t be shooting the film in the most conventional way. On the set we had these cameras placed in different places and Amitji would ask which camera should I react too? And I said that’s the whole point you should not be aware of the camera. Even I wasn’t aware of what the camera was capturing. Amitji quickly reacted to the new process and I think he felt free.

(A tweet a few days back from Big B said “At times on Department you became your own cameraman, carrying the 5D in your hand, and enacting as you walked around in the scene. Working with the 5D camera on 'Department' revolutionary”.)

SD: Can the film be a success just based on the camera work or is there another motive behind that concept?

RGV: Such smaller and cheaper cameras or perhaps any new technique will empower talented hopefuls to turn their dreams into a reality.

SD: Are there any item numbers in the film?

RGV: In this day and age the film seems to be forgotten and it’s the songs and item numbers that are remembered. Even till today Company is remembered by the item number Khaalas. After Company I decided to make darker films rather than films in the commercial format. Department has an item number Dan Dan picturised on Natalia Kaur. I met her a friends place, I thought she was really pretty. Obviously looks aren’t everything but she had the enthusiasm and talent.

Department releases worldwide on Friday 18th May 2012


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