Agyaat [Photos | Videos]
Ramu, what is Agyaat all about; please tell us a bit about the film?
Agyaat is basically the story of a film unit, which works in a certain situation and eventually gets trapped in the forest. Something is out there to kill them one by one. This kind of cinema is found a lot in Hollywood and the immediate examples that comes to my mind are Friday the 13th, Anaconda, The Blair Witch Project and The Predator and all that stuff. Now amidst all these the activeness could be a psychopath killer, a creature or an animal or whatever. I thought that if I don′t show what is that thing which is attacking them, to the audience then the experience becomes very different from what they have seen before and that′s the precise reason why I have named my film as Agyaat - The Unknown. Now in the context of this premise with the help of camera movement, sound effects etc I have tried to create something in the imagination of the audience rather than physically showing anything at all in the film and that′s the uniqueness of Agyaat.
One unique thing about the film is that it has got no stars and it′s only you and the content which is the actual hero of the film, are you still hopeful that you would be able to pull in the audiences?
I don′t think so that it′s got anything with my name or whatever. Eventually films are of two kinds, in the first category people are only interested in watching only certain actors. In the second category there are films like Phoonk. People went to see Phoonk because the aspect of the black magic was the drawing factor. When you go to a DVD store either you pick something as per the starcast of the film or it could depend upon the subject of the film, which is generally printed at the backside of a DVD. So the concept involved is basically that Agyaat is about the uniquely shot jungle in the context of a scary emotion and an experience, which no one had before.
You shot the entire film in the jungles of Sri Lanka, were the people of the unit scared by any chance?
Well the people were actually scared before going to Sri Lanka because obviously the LTTE war was going on at that time. Prabhakaran was alive at that time so everybody had this fear .I said to them that that if you were to die in a terrorist attack you can also die at the Taj restaurant too and you don′t need to go to Sri Lanka for that. Apart from that they were psyched up because of the look of the forest of Sigriya. I think that′s the most frightening forest I have ever seen in my life. Obviously we try to take precaution in such cases. Of course big animals like tigers or elephants won′t be coming to a place where a big unit is present. Sri Lanka has got some of the world′s deadliest snakes so obviously that was a cause for concern because the actors were placed deep inside the jungles and were being shot with tele-lenses where no one can really be there. It was impossible to look at all places where there could be snakes or not so that was the kind of fear under which we worked.
Other than Priyanka rest of the cast of the film is very new, do you think the producers would be able to draw the audience?
I already gave my answer to this. But to add further all the actors have been chosen on the basis of the suitability and the way the characters have been written in the script.
Priyanka is looking very sensuous and looks very hot as per the promos, is that element an integral part to the film′s narrative?
Like I said earlier that the plot relates to a film unit who are in jungle for shooting purposes. Because of that reason they are shooting and then something happens and it is then that the proceeding of the Agyaat takes over. All the songs come before that.
Do we really get to know in the end as to what is that unknown element?
No, and that′s the whole point. That′s the reason I am calling it as Agyaat - the unknown. If I were to show it at any point of time in the film or even at the end then it′s not an unknown thing anymore.
Ram Gopal Verma
Do you think that such our cinegoers would be able to digest such a radical concept?
I think that this whole thing about Indian sentiment is a very insulting thing to say. It actually sounds like that they are either imbeciles or are fools. This is what I was told when Bhoot was on the verge of its release that Indians won′t see a film without songs. Why do we make this supposition? Unless someone tries it how will we get to know? Before Bhoot they said that no films can work without song but it actually worked, so in a way even I don′t know who is going to react and how. I think to pre suppose is similar to thinking as if Indian audiences are some peculiar animals, which live in a tribal area. The basic fundamental concept itself is wrong. I don′t want to be on a mission but I would like to experiment and do something, which no one has done before. I as an Indian want to see a film like this, then there is no reason to believe that why others won′t like to see it.
So is that the reason you don′t want to venture into comedy or romantic flicks?
No, it′s not the truth. I would like to make impact with every film of mine; it′s just that Agyaat is a kind of film, which I have never done before.
You also had organized a contest with Agyaat; do you think it worked with the audience?
It was not really for the publicity of the film. See, it′s more clearly a niche thing. Also tell me how many people want to be filmmakers today? Obviously it would be small number only.
Do you think that such small films require some gimmick or controversy to sail them through at the box office?
Well, eventually any kind of a campaign or a marketing thing has to come from within the concept of the film, which is what we are exactly showing in the promos.
Thanks a ton.