Ram Gopal Varma's 'Maa Ishtam' ('Dangerous' in Hindi) is hitting the cinemas on April 8. In this interview, the filmmaker talks about the crime thriller, what made him make the film, his upcoming movies, and more.
Starring Apsara Rani and Naina Ganguly, the film is a multi-lingual.
The Supreme Court of India repealed Section 377 (that criminalized homosexuaity) of the IPC in 2018. Films that preceded the judgment were patronizing towards homosexuals. 'Fire' is an example. They sympathized with homosexuals and told the audience to treat me like humans. In 'Maa Ishtam', I have put two lesbians in the world of a crime drama. No fuss is made about their sexual orientation. A romantic duet has been shot on two women for the first time in world cinema.
We shouldn't desist from doing what we want to do just because some people are going to get offended. 'Maa Ishtam' is surely going to offend some people. I like to double down on going on the offensive. If you don't like 'Maa Ishtam', don't watch it.
Good and bad are decided by a film based on how the story is narrated. The audience is made to believe that the character from whose perspective the story is narrated is inherently good.
'Maa Ishtam' was written to tell the story of two lesbian women. But a story has been built around the characters. It has been designed like a normal, regular story.
Theatre is just an avenue. People are these days watching movies in other modes as well. I made 'Maa Ishtam' during the pandemic with no calculations in mind about how it would be released.
'Maa Ishtam' has got action scenes in good measure. But the lesbian aspect has been highlighted owing to novelty.
The movie is getting released in multiple languages. Pan-India releases started with Shankar's movies. When a story is not context-specific, it can be released in multiple languages. A Spanish movie got dubbed into 59 languages because everyone wanted to watch it.
The response to 'Maa Ishtam' will be known only when the film hits the cinemas. I have repeatedly stated that I make films for myself. If you don't like it, don't watch it. I take up subjects that excite me. Profit is dependent on the costs involved. It doesn't depend on how many people have liked your movie.
I don't have the passion, capacity and patience to mount huge movies. I like to make genre movies. I don't even know how to make them (big-ticket commercial entertainers).
Some films may take a long time to be made. It depends on the director and his pace.
I am doing a pan-India martial arts film that will be released simultaneously in India and China. Since there is a Covid-19 wave in China, the release has been postponed. Then there is 'Kondaa', the biopic on Konda Murali and Konda Surekha. All movies that I have announced over the years have been made/released. I have got 20 scripts ready.