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BizAsia talks to Ram Gopal Varma about ‘Department’

Ram Gopal Varma is mostly known for his action thrillers which are often dark, packed full of sequences which are perfect for an intelligent mind. The director’s latest offering, ‘Department’, releases today and��stars Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati. With a story surrounding a police department and the characters within, the excitement – as always – in building up to release is always interesting. BizAsia caught up with Varma just days before the release.

BizAsia talks to Varma about 'Department'

Tell us a little about the story of ‘Department’ and how you wanted to tell it as a director.

To explain it in short, ‘Department’ is about a unit which is born inside the police force. There is an extreme crime situation which they need to tackle. Because of that, a department is created which isn’t authorised by the police but still works within the force.��Morally, the department isn’t a part of the police because the activities are criminal in nature but in every other way it is still an interior unit within the police force.

I wanted to tell the story in a very commercial and cinematic way. The characters are very real but the treatment is a little larger than life. The action sequences are shot in such a way as well.

You have been reported to say that ‘Department’ is the other side of ‘Company’ (2002), what did you mean by this?

‘Company’ is a very different format to ‘Department’. ‘Company was about the politics within an underworld organisation and ‘Department’ is about the politics within the police force. The overall treatment of ‘Department’ is different from ‘Company’.

How would you describe your experiences of working with Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt again?

I working with Sanjay a very long time back in a movie called ‘Daud’ in 1997. I wanted to see Sanjay in a very hard-hitting, negative role rather than the comedy he does which is not my sensibility. Sanjay is doing the role of an inspector in ‘Department’. Of course, Mr Bachchan is a very versatile actor and it is always a pleasure to work with him.

How would you personally describe your directing style?

In this particular film I tried out multiple cameras and didn’t have a structure set to one camera when we were shooting for it. I’ve tried something a bit different.

What would you say is the USP of ‘Department’?

I think people who will watch this movie will appreciate the unique subject matter and also the action sequences. I think the way of capturing drama along with these things will be what stands out about ‘Department’.

You’ve always been known for your films within the action genre. If you were offered a romance or a comedy, would it be something you would take up?

I definitely have a sensibility for action rather than dramas. Romantic films are not a priority for me but I made ‘Rangeela’ in 1995 so there’s nothing to say that I won’t wake up one day and decide to do a romantic movie.

‘Department’ is currently showing in cinemas and BizAsia would like to wish Varma and the rest of the cast and crew who worked in the movie the very best. We would also like to thank the director for taking the time out to speak to us.