: Ramesh | Camera : Mohan Kumar | Text : Jyothsna
the most talented and bankable artist of current Tamil
film industry, has completed Ram Gopal Varma’s
Raktha Charithra, his first Telugu and Hindi project.
The Tamil version Ratha Sarithiram will soon be out
and in an exclusive interview to behindwoods.com, Suriya
talks about the film.
Hi, I am very happy to discuss Ratha Sarithiram with
behindwoods.com readers. You can call it a dream of
4-5 years. It was my long-cherished desire to work under
Ram Gopal Varma’s direction and that too in Tamil.
Now my dream has come true.
What is Ratha Sarithiram
This is a film about violence with action; a story about
extreme emotions and hence the film will have its characteristic
fast pace, fight sequences and anger. The most important
thing about RC is - it is a biopic which is based on
incidents that happened in Andhra Pradesh for over a
period of 14-15 years. These have been compiled into
two parts of 2.5 hours duration each. First part is
already released which talked about Paritala Ravi. Suri
is the one who stood against him and his story is narrated
in the second part which alone would be released in
Tamil. The second part begins with a crisp compilation
of the first part for viewers to get an understanding
about the first part.
I play Suri in Ratha Sarithiram . As it is based on
a real-life incident, you can watch the film in a realistic
manner. Ram Gopal Varma has brought before us all the
characters sans cinematic elements. That’s the
biggest plus point for the film. RGV has made all the
characters behave in a different manner on screen.
It was a great experience to have worked with Vivek
Oberoi. It was interesting to learn many things from
How can the Tamil
audience relate to something that happened in Andhra?
I would like to repeat RGV’s answer for this.
“Godfather which was about Italian mafia is
engaging and interesting everywhere. There were 3
parts and the manner of narration and the behavior
of characters in all the parts captivated the attention
of audience. All the characters in the film were realistic
and extreme. I have read various books on extreme
people, mafia leaders, and terrorists of the world.
But it was shocking to realize that, in India, in
a place where I have lived, worse incidents have happened
in somebody’s life which is beyond all those
materials that I have read. That’s why I wanted
to record this in the form of a feature film.”
is different in RC?
plays a major role in the behavior of two characters
and people surrounding them, their choice of
incidents and their decisions. This has been
told differently in this film by RGV who has
deviated from the regular course of screen play.
The way decisions change and the way reprisal
of a person reaches the other and its effects
due to time and people are presented in a special
manner. I have not seen such visuals, such emotions
and situations in our Tamil films. That’s
why I wanted to do this film. I am sure there
would be a novelty in the characters in the
film, beyond what is being shown in the trailers.
There would definitely be freshness and realism
in this film.
I have not seen
such visuals, such emotions
in our Tamil films
is for a matured audience
kind of audience can see RC?
Sarithiram is for a matured audience and definitely
not for children. It is about enjoying RGV’s
visuals and his characters in Tamil cinema.
We shot for a month wherein every shot, every
incident was very well planned, be it a single
dialogue or a single frame. We have toiled very
hard and created a Ram Gopal Varma’s Tamil
in Ratha Sarithiram
was first excited that I would be doing a Hindi
film. I should admit that Ram Gopal Varma helped
me reach this level. He has been suggesting
many scripts for four years and when he came
up with RC, I was not able to avoid it at all.
His shooting process was very well planned and
professional. As RGV had a good clarity on the
script, we were neither tired at any point during
shoot nor confused about any issue; be it the
cameraman or the co-artiste or the entire crew.
People may think that this film is about violence
but it talks about the violence in life. There
is no forced cinematic heroism in RC and it
would be a take on real life. There would not
be unnecessary elements adorned for cinema and
you will see the anger of life around us in
various dimensions in the film.
There is no forced cinematic
heroism in RC
Priya Mani did
a better job than me,
you speak in all the three languages?
have shot in three languages - Hindi, Tamil
and Telugu and it is not a dubbed film. I have
spoken in all the three languages. My first
take was only in Tamil so that I got the emotions
right. It was a big process; first we translated
the Hindi dialogues to English and locked the
right Tamil words. This was done with the help
of friends like Gnanavel and we spent around
two hours every day on this. First we shot in
Tamil, then Telugu and finally Hindi. I have
completed Hindi dubbing also which took me around
4-5 days. I can say that the film is relatable
to people in any of the three languages. Vivek
Oberoi took pains to learn Tamil dialogues and
spoke in it and so did Shatrughan Sinha. Priya
Mani did a better job than me, having spoken
in all the three languages.
I can go on and on about Muthukumar’s songs. ‘Kathi
ethanai rathathai ariyum, ratham ethanai kathiyai ariyum
enru’. He gave such sharp verses and around 5-6
options for every song. We did not know which to choose
from. We made changes in Hindi and Telugu after listening
to the Tamil lines. It was a new exercise for me as
all along I was only acting in one language. I was able
to get completely involved in the project. I had an
opportunity to talk to RGV about Tamil dialogues and
lyrics. Viveka’s lyrics also have come out well.
I am not sure if you have listened to the songs but
you will realize that it would not be like the usual
films which again are a very characteristic style of
Ram Gopal Varma’s films.
Just like the lyrics of the film, dialogues
in RC also will not be very animated, forced
or ornamented. They will just be normal.
The manner of conveying emotions also will
be very different in RGV’s films.
I am sure the audience will get to watch
a never-before-seen visuals, emotions and
characters in RC. Ram Gopal Varma, who is
such a renowned director of India, has done
for the first time a Tamil film and I am
sure his treat would be absolutely different.
The audience will get to
watch a never-before-seen
visuals, emotions and characters
You have a big responsibility
as you are representing
the entire Tamil community
firsts and the encouragement
Ram Gopal Varma, RC is the first Tamil film
and for me this happens to be my first Hindi
and Telugu film. I remember vividly what Prakash
Raj sir told me while we were shooting in
Kutralam for Singam when I told him I was
learning Hindi for RC. He said, “You
have a big responsibility as you are representing
the entire Tamil community.” He wished
me luck and asked me to dub for myself in
Hindi too. As the character was a south Indian
speaking Hindi, he said accent errors would
be forgiven. I am able to say that I have
given my best for RC with of course RGV’s
encouragement. I was completely satisfied
after I finished dubbing.
Time factor and retribution
I liked the time factor in this film where the dimensions
of retribution have been covered in all possible angles
unlike other films.. The deep-rooted feeling of vengeance
and its aftermath have been portrayed well. Such events
are generally superficially covered in other films
but RC takes a different course.
The dialogues are not written by a writer,
the story is not created by a film maker but
someone really, truly, lived a life like that
amidst all pressures. That’s why every
moment in the film was special and real to
me. I am sure this film is going to showcase
somebody’s life which has been affected
by revenge. It is just not mindless violence
speckled over the frame.
RGV has played ‘time’ as a character
in an undercurrent manner. How time changes
a man, his thought process, his decisions
is clearly portrayed in Raktha Charithra through
Ram Gopal Varma’s craftsmanship in every
field, not only in dialogues, not only in
visuals but also in music, design and editing
It is just not mindless
I am sure Ratha Sarithiram is going to be a treat
of a different kind!