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Bachchans and Ramgopal Varma in Hyderabad on Sarkar Raj tour
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June 15, 2008


It was a rousing reception to the Bachchans when they arrived in Pearl City, Hyderabad, in their first leg of “Idea Yatra for Sarkar Raj”, Sunday night in Pearl City, Hyderabad. Amitabh Bachhan accompanied by Abishek, Aish, Ramgopal Varma and partial cast of his latest film addressed a jam-packed press conference.

I spent a night in Punjagutta PS lockup: Ramgopal Varma
Ramgopal Varma, looking younger than his previous visit, addressed the media in his casual style, beginning with a memoir of his a couple of decades ago. “I am emotional to be part of this occasion. It’s not only the success of Sarkar Raj. But also the nostalgia that this venue happens to be where I was born at brought up – Punjagutta Circle. I had to spend a night in the lockup of the police station here. I was running a video library and it was raided for pirated stuff of Amitabh Bachchan’s blockbuster Aakhree Raasta (1986). From that instance in real life, I take pride at present hour, having made a successful film with Amitab as hero. Power is the ability to achieve what you desire. Those were the days when I stood in queue lines to watch Bachchan’s films. Now, I enjoy the success of directing blockbusters with Amitab in real life. The budget of Sarkar Raj is Rs. 30 crore, and it had already collected Rs. 50 Crore and maintains the stamina of its first week run, still.”

Sarkar Raj – a Groundbreaking genre
“I do not consider this as a mere commercial success. It is genre-breaking – with no songs and dance. I concentrated much on the realistic factors of grimness and intensity in presentation of Sarkar Raj. Bachchans’ performance matters a lot. The locations are their close-up shots. It is a milestone of its kind in the Indian cinema. for Tho when my video library shop was raided. It speaks of the diversity in filmmaking. This is power and strength as well.”

Varma established his credibility: Big B
The Big B looked composed as he spoke in his thoughtful style. “I am happy to be amidst the wonderful people of Hyderabad. The place is not new to me. Earlier, I was part of the city during the shoot of my films many a time. I am thrilled to know that Ramgopal Varma spent a night in a lockup for pirating my film. (In a lighter vein with patchy laughter) I apologize to him for that, and I hope he will never go back again. Ramgopal Varma is the son of the soil. From a humble beginning, he went on to make history and now celebrates the success Sarkar Raj. He won the credibility from the audiences. He has the power to conceive and construct ideas. He challenges us with his creativity.”

Amitabh’s clever correction of RGV remark
Referring to RGV’s calculation about Sarkar Raj as groundbreaking genre away from the regular style of Indian films with songs and dance, Amitabh Bachchan seemed to correct the director’s side. “It is important for the films and the media. In fact, songs and dance is the USP of Indian cinema. There was a time when the west criticized our films for being escapist in nature. Now, they slowly began to accept our path. The attitude of the people in US towards our films is changing fast. Such content is necessary, because India holds rich diversity in languages, traditions and tastes. Ramgopal Varma did prove his unique style and made a totally different cinema and proved his mettle giving importance to realism. I thank him wholeheartedly.”

Later, replying to a ring of queries from the media, the Bachchans and RGV collectively responded.

Audience decide Actor’s survival: Abishekh
Abishekh Bachchan replied, rather humorously all the time. “I don’t believe in celebrating Father’s Day. To that matter, I don’t believe in Mother’s day and such routine dates. I rather celebrate parents’ day everyday. I thank God for my parents. I look forward for more challenges in my career, with lots of creativity. I want roles that can provoke me to take up new challenges efficiently.” He ruled: “The survival of the artistes and their choices is purely dependent on the audience decision.”

Aish about Bachchans & Profession
Aishwarya Roy Bachchan showed a kind of over enthusiasm responding to the media. To gist it out: “I can’t bring any comparison between Amitabh and Abishekh, personally and professionally too. I used to work with them in films even before my marriage. I can just draw a simple line, for your satisfaction. It’s pleasure working with Amitabh. Abishekh is a super blast. The former is thoroughly involved in the subject and shoot from the start to finish on the sets. But, Abishekh will get attentive and concentrated while facing the camera, which otherwise a normal person.” At one stage, when RGV said Amitabh Bachchan came up in life by hard work and Abishekh was born to a superstar, Aish retorted immediately, saying: “He (Abishek) is also hard working. Her opinion about Art and Commercial films is that: What an audience considers as an art film need not be commercial to the other and vice versa. “I don’t want to be catergorised into any particular mode of films and characterizations. I wish to be versatile.” She further maintained that she wished to do films in all Indian languages, and expected one in Telugu in particular. Regarding presentation of women on the Indian screen, she made a curt reply: “I can’t make any profound statements on the issue of presenting women on the screen.”

Photo Gallery (by G Narasaiah)
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