The seven deadly sins of Ram Gopal Varma

Like astronomers who make inferences about a distant planet's existence from certain anomalies in the space surrounding it, I didn’t need to see RGV Ki  Aag to know it was going to turn out to be a stinker. But the hubby, bored out of his mind on a recent India trip, decided to give it a dekko. On the evening call, after some preliminary coochie-cooing (Him: “The movie started off bad in the first frame and got progressively worse.” Me: “I told you so”) we sat down to chew the fat and discuss what possessed RGV to make such a colossal dud and came up with some theories –

Greed: Curiosity Factor X 0.5 billion people who have seen Sholay( I may be underestimating that number). You do the math.

Pride:  He did make another film inspired by an iconic movie and carried it off rather well (Sarkar/Godfather). Why not try for the Holy Grail of Bollywood? And the title says it all.

Gluttony: You have to be a glutton for punishment to take on a challenge of that sort. After all, this is a movie mothers motivate their young children with – “So ja beta, or main tumhe kal Sholay dikhaoongi.”

Envy: Farhan Akhtar’s stylish remake of Don and the opening collections must have prompted the question –“Why not ME?”

Lust: This is hubby’s charitable view of why RGV persists in casting the talentless Nisha Kothari in film after film. Me, I don’t think the casting couch has that much power. Heroine’s sidekick maybe. But not Basanti. The more likely explanation is that the lady has RGV’s pet dog Tommy in her kabza and is sending him regular tail clippings to make sure he keeps his end of the bargain.

Sloth: Why bother hunting for an original script when such nice, tried and tested ones are available for mangling? Just change a dialogue or two, find some contemporary stars to sign on, and voila, you have a queue of producers salivating at your front door.

Wrath: For all the naysayers who thought this remake should never have been attempted. You talking to me? You talking to me?

We also discussed possible casting choices that might have elevated the movie from a -5 to a respectable 0 out of 5. Ajay Devgan as Jai instead of Veeru, Salman(my choice) or Akshay Kumar(his) as Veeru, and Urmila as Basanti.

Also puzzling is the schizophrenia that seems to inhabit RGV’s Factory. There’s a Rangeela, then there’s a Daud. There’s a Company, then there’s a Naach. Kudos to him for constantly experimenting but boy, when he’s bad, he’s horrid. Judging by his track record, the next movie should be great! I look forward to it.

MY BOLLYWOOD PREDICTION: Saw the promos for Om Shanti Om. Don’t know about the movie, but my early prediction is that heroine Deepika Padukone will be a superstar. She has the ‘it’ factor that can’t be manufactured or earned. Remember, you heard it first here.

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