Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma needs to rethink his strategy of basing his films on real-life incidents as different from basing them on real-life characters. For, his latest, Not A Love Story, which was inspired by the real-life Neeraj Grover murder case, has had to bite the dust. This murder case got so much coverage in the press that the public was fully aware of the drama that unfolded before and after the killing of the media executive. Even the court case that followed the arrest of the two accused in the murder, was covered so extensively by the electronic and print media that the people were quite thorough about the case. As a result, there was nothing fresh for the public to look forward to in the script of the film which was based on the incident.

Ram Gopal Verma, Not A Love Story Movie Poster, Rakht Charitra Movie Poster
Ram Gopal Verma, Not A Love Story Movie Poster, Rakht Charitra Movie Poster

In the absence of freshness of subject, what Ramu had to do was to rely heavily on showing how the murder was committed and how the dead body was discarded. Well, even that, based as it was on the real-life case, was common public knowledge and, therefore, the audience did not find it worth its while to spend money and see the same story unfold on the screen. The Indian audience is an emotional lot and attaches more importance to the content rather than the style. Varma, however, seems to be attaching more importance to style than content which, in the case of films based on real-life incidents, is bound to be second-hand. That is why, perhaps, his films are facing rejection.

Even his Rakht Charitra and Rakht Charitra 2, which were based on the life stories of two powerful persons, did not find acceptance among the paying public, probably because of the reasons mentioned above. Yes, Sarkar, which was loosely based on the life of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, Company, which presented the life and style of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, and Jungle, which was about sandalwood brigand Veerappan, may have worked at the box-office but the number of failures exceeds the number of successes in this genre of realistic cinema. To the list of failures can be added Sarkar 2 too. Maybe, Varma needs to realise that the audience wants original drama, not stylised presentation of a stale drama, that too, which has already been ‘enacted’ on the TV channels.

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