Who would have imagined a civil engineer would become one of the most famous and revolutionary directors of Indian cinema? The director is unlike other mainstream filmmakers and loves experimenting with genres as perplexing as his personality. With his upcoming release Sarkar 3, the director promises to be back with a bang. We are talking about none other than Ram Gopal Varma, who celebrates his 55th birthday today.
RGV’s directorial debut was nothing less of an epic as he not just convinced then superstar Nagarjuna to star in Siva (Telugu) but also started a unique style of filmmaking through his avant-garde works. Though the director is now known for all the wrong reasons with his highly inflammable tweets, his yesteryear glory and excellence at filmmaking cannot be ignored.
Today, let’s appreciate the legend that RGV is as a filmmaker and look back at the six masterpieces he created on celluloid.
ShivaRGV once spoke of his fascination towards larger-than-life personalities like the bullies in his college. Shiva, originally made in Telugu as Siva, touched similar anti-social elements and exploitation of students against a mafia backdrop. It went on to receive many awards and today is considered a cult movie.
The Gangster Trilogy
The Gangster Trilogy comprised films based on Mumbai’s famed D company, the mafia run by gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Through the films – Satya, Company and D, RGV tried to take viewers into the gritty yet devastating world of the Mumbai underworld and thus gave rise to a new genre of cinema; the Mumbai noir.
Years before Prakash Jha explored the politician-criminal nexus prevalent in Bihar, RGV made a similar attempt with Shool. Starring the enigmatic Manoj Bajpayee, Shool was a thought-provoking crime drama narrating the effects of criminalized politics on the life of an honest police officer. The film won a lot of awards and appreciation too including the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
KaunKaun was one of RGV’s most interesting works with the film shot in just one house with three characters. It was a suspense thriller, which was well received by audiences and definitely one of the director’s best experiments at filmmaking.
RangeelaBagging seven Filmfare Awards while also being remade by Hollywood as Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! is no ordinary success. No doubt, A. R. Rahman`s magical composition equally contributed to the film`s success. RGV found a firm footing in in Bollywood with Rangeela. It starred his favorite Urmila Matondkar alongside Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan and Jackie Shroff.
SarkarThis is one of his last few works that met with positive attention. A tribute to one of Hollywood’s unforgettable classic `The Godfather`, Sarkar was supposedly based on the life of Bal Thackeray and his politics in the city of Mumbai. It is one of the few films to star the famous father-son duo, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan in titular roles.
The director has seen his share of hits and flops at the box-office and many of his films, particularly recent ones have been trashed by audiences and critics alike. But, one cannot deny the fact that he is the same director who was once seen as a pioneering figure of the brave new Bollywood.
Here's hoping Ram Gopal Varma soon finds his lost glory yet again. We wish him all the success for his future endeavors.
Once again, a very happy birthday RGV.