Fire Escape- FAQs Friday, 17 April, 2009Posted by ~uh~™ in Bollywood.
Tags: Ajay Devgan, Amitabh Bachchan, Bappi Lahiri, Ganesh Hegde, Insects, Mohanlal, Nisha Kothari, Rajpal Yadav, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, RGV, Sholay, Sushant Singh, Susmita Sen, Vishal Bharadwaj
Me and Ramu
It was a lazy evening Ramu and me was sipping on our drinks on an abandoned factory, which was used as the set of RGV ki AAG. Ramu looked rather pensive than drunk. We discussed about the creation of the great masterpiece, the symbolism and the general reaction it created.
I present the excerpts as FAQs to help future viewers.
Is this movie a remake of Sholay?
Well, we started off thinking of doing a thematic remake with some twists like Don, but unfortunately, the script book got burnt during the diwali-shooting scene. Salim Javed was also not accessible. So thereafter, we worked freely without any influence or inhibition. Amitabh helped us a lot to provide us the details of music, dialogue and scenes from Sholay. He is really a director’s actor. So, finally I would say that this movie is a fried Sholay; I mean Sholay fried in Ramu ki AAG. I would advise all to forget Sholay before watching this.
But isn’t it difficult to overcome the aura of Sholay ? Especially when every character, music and story in yours is a reminder of Sholay ?
Whatever. The audience needs to work on it. Do you think of the Chicken when you eat Chicken Manchurian? Or say, when you think of the Paddy field or Dal when you relish your Khichdi ? Or do you really appreciate the mango tree while licking the Aachar?
Tell us something about the characterizations?
That’s been pretty easy. We wrote names of the characters in small chits, folded it and kept it in a glass bowl. Then we called the entire cast and asked them to pick up the chits. Confidentially, let me tell you; I personally wanted Urmila to play the role of Ghungroo, but it was sheer luck she became the item girl. She had to be there anyway.
Also, we called few kindergarten kids and gave them dictation of the names of original Sholay characters asking them to write them. So Gabbar became Babban; Veeru became Heero; Samba became Thambe, Radha became Durga, Basanti became Ghungroo etc etc…
But what about Thakur becoming Narsimha? Or Raj becoming Jai?
That’s because of Mythological reasons. I tried to symbolize Vedic interpretation of Karma, victory, Paap and Punya etc through the characters. Its philosophical, drunkards like you wont understand this deeper stuff.
What were the concepts behind the make-up?
We worked day and night on this one.
Babban the Bachchan– We found an old dusty gunny bag lying on the studio floor which was given to Diesel guys to transform into a army fatigue. You can see the effect, its crude dusty and looks hot. Amitabh sweated like a pig during the shoot, but then he is a director’s actor. I just wish if you could smell the dress…… Amitabh was still smelling of rotten potatoes in the premier show…ha ha !
Heero and zero…err I mean Raj- We tried to bring back the hippie look. If you notice their belts and jeans, they are all bought from Mumbai’s scrap sellers to give that worn out and stiff-with-dirt look. Also I did not allow both Ajay and Prashant to take bath or change undies.
Durga the Susmita Sen: We had to spend tons of money and hours on her make-up to give that no-make up look. I am happy it came out well. The designer churidaar is from Ritu Beri’s fall winter widow collection.
Thambe the Sushant Singh: I used paintbrush to design his moustache. It’s any day better than your Prof Shakoratti or Fauladi dude.
Rambha Bhai the Rajpal Yadav : I have heard Javed Jafrey did not like mockery of his dad’s role. But, believe me the editor kept this part uncut, he was fired eventually. We managed w/o any editor thereafter.
Did you take any special training sessions for the actors?
Oh yes! Amitabh was not allowed to brush his hair for 3 months. We also forced him to work in a carpentry shop to work with a hacksaw and ants. Mohanlal was sent to Hindi classes but he failed the class test. Nisha was posted on Mira Road with other Auto drivers, but she even failed to learn how to light a bidi. Worthless bimbo. 400 volts was good enough to give Ajay and Prashant that shocked look. In fact, Prashant lost all his expressions after 3rd session, ha ha.
Okay, I notice lots of ants and other insects in the movie. What was the reason?
Simple. When there’s flame, insects would naturally be attracted, right? For your info the ant in the matchbox was found in the gunny bag. I am very fond of insects as characters- they don’t charge large sum and you can show them in close-up without any make up too ha ha ha….
What new experiments you did with the camera?
Again, keep it upto you. One of our tripods was broken so we had to keep the camera on floor. So you will see lots of shots at the floor level. The fact that the lightman was deaf, he never heard the “lights ..” call, so most of the shot was taken on dark.
Which season of the year you wanted to capture in the movie?
We saw Amitabh wrapped in a quilt drinking a broth, whereas Nisha was in hot pants and bra, Urmila was drenched, Mohanlal’s beard was dry as in winter?
It’s beyond any season or reason. It’s the mood of the shot. Again its futile to explain these concepts to stupid audience like you.
Why did you delete the character of Angrezo ke jamane ka jailor?When I noticed you have kept Mausi, the blind father, ramukaka, even the ant?
Boman ditched. He saw the excerpts of Jay’s proposal to Mausi, the sooocide scene and the shouting of the hungal character and opted out saying “time nahin hai”. I believe he is pretty conventional and not game enough. I personally loved the sooocide scene, it added 10 minutes flat to the movie…gee!
Music team was impressive: Ganesh Hegde, Bappi Lahiri, Amar Mohile, Vishal Bharadwaj ! Are you happy with the outcome? I particularly liked the “theme” music, which was used in the promos.
Yeah, that was like Bond theme. In my next movie RGV ka Silsila I will use it again. Anyway I have now placed a contract with cotton ball suppliers to supply free with the tickets. Also I am requesting the hall owners to arrange for ambulance for any emergency ear drum ruptures and free ear check up camps as a part of the movie’s promotion in suburban India. Also, I was pretty upset with Prashant when he lost the harmonica.
I know you are drunk, but do you mind if I ask you ” were there a editor?”
You are drunk, man. I told you I fired the editor midway. My gardener was good with scissors, so he did the editing. I have now taken him in the factory as Constant Gardener ha ha ha…
I noticed the finer details like Heero sipping directly from OM bottle, Nisha smoking a bidi without lighting it and the tattoo on her back. Is there anything else I missed ?
You should have noticed Babban’s shoes, and Mohanlal’s fingers, Urmila’s belly too. Also you missed Abhisake who taught Babban how to dance during Mehbooba number. Were you asleep?
Man gaya Guru, why the name Kaligunj for the place?
It’s inspired from Tullygunge the mecca of crap Bong movies. You should see them once in a while.
Any words for the audience in general?
Please use the Fire exit and Fire escape staircase in case of Fire. Don’t panic. Don’t fall prey of rumor. Fetch your dear ones and run for life.
Was there any influence of science in this? Like gravity, optics, laws of motion?
What are you talking! Didn’t I inject the profound discussion on apple, gravity and its metaphysical representation in Babban’s theory? Amitabh even ate the apple on my special request. What are laws of motion ? I know Laws of commotion only, which is largely exemplified in the Diwali shootout scene. You hear lot of noise, loud background score , but you can’t make out whats happening exactly. That’s what good direction is all about !
ps: If you are courageous enough. visit the Official website.