Interviewer : Ramesh | Camera : Mohan Kumar | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar
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Suriya, the most talented and bankable artist of current Tamil film industry, has completed Ram Gopal Varma’s Raktha Charithra, his first Telugu and Hindi project. The Tamil version Ratha Sarithiram will soon be out and in an exclusive interview to, Suriya talks about the film.


Hi, I am very happy to discuss Ratha Sarithiram with readers. You can call it a dream of 4-5 years. It was my long-cherished desire to work under Ram Gopal Varma’s direction and that too in Tamil. Now my dream has come true.

What is Ratha Sarithiram about?

This is a film about violence with action; a story about extreme emotions and hence the film will have its characteristic fast pace, fight sequences and anger. The most important thing about RC is - it is a biopic which is based on incidents that happened in Andhra Pradesh for over a period of 14-15 years. These have been compiled into two parts of 2.5 hours duration each. First part is already released which talked about Paritala Ravi. Suri is the one who stood against him and his story is narrated in the second part which alone would be released in Tamil. The second part begins with a crisp compilation of the first part for viewers to get an understanding about the first part.

Your role

I play Suri in Ratha Sarithiram . As it is based on a real-life incident, you can watch the film in a realistic manner. Ram Gopal Varma has brought before us all the characters sans cinematic elements. That’s the biggest plus point for the film. RGV has made all the characters behave in a different manner on screen.

Vivek Oberoi

It was a great experience to have worked with Vivek Oberoi. It was interesting to learn many things from him.

How can the Tamil audience relate to something that happened in Andhra?

I would like to repeat RGV’s answer for this.

“Godfather which was about Italian mafia is engaging and interesting everywhere. There were 3 parts and the manner of narration and the behavior of characters in all the parts captivated the attention of audience. All the characters in the film were realistic and extreme. I have read various books on extreme people, mafia leaders, and terrorists of the world. But it was shocking to realize that, in India, in a place where I have lived, worse incidents have happened in somebody’s life which is beyond all those materials that I have read. That’s why I wanted to record this in the form of a feature film.”

What is different in RC?

Time plays a major role in the behavior of two characters and people surrounding them, their choice of incidents and their decisions. This has been told differently in this film by RGV who has deviated from the regular course of screen play. The way decisions change and the way reprisal of a person reaches the other and its effects due to time and people are presented in a special manner. I have not seen such visuals, such emotions and situations in our Tamil films. That’s why I wanted to do this film. I am sure there would be a novelty in the characters in the film, beyond what is being shown in the trailers. There would definitely be freshness and realism in this film.

I have not seen

such visuals, such emotions

in our Tamil films

Ratha Sarithiram

is for a matured audience

What kind of audience can see RC?

Ratha Sarithiram is for a matured audience and definitely not for children. It is about enjoying RGV’s visuals and his characters in Tamil cinema. We shot for a month wherein every shot, every incident was very well planned, be it a single dialogue or a single frame. We have toiled very hard and created a Ram Gopal Varma’s Tamil film.

Realism in Ratha Sarithiram

I was first excited that I would be doing a Hindi film. I should admit that Ram Gopal Varma helped me reach this level. He has been suggesting many scripts for four years and when he came up with RC, I was not able to avoid it at all. His shooting process was very well planned and professional. As RGV had a good clarity on the script, we were neither tired at any point during shoot nor confused about any issue; be it the cameraman or the co-artiste or the entire crew. People may think that this film is about violence but it talks about the violence in life. There is no forced cinematic heroism in RC and it would be a take on real life. There would not be unnecessary elements adorned for cinema and you will see the anger of life around us in various dimensions in the film.

There is no forced cinematic

heroism in RC

Priya Mani did

a better job than me,

Did you speak in all the three languages?

We have shot in three languages - Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and it is not a dubbed film. I have spoken in all the three languages. My first take was only in Tamil so that I got the emotions right. It was a big process; first we translated the Hindi dialogues to English and locked the right Tamil words. This was done with the help of friends like Gnanavel and we spent around two hours every day on this. First we shot in Tamil, then Telugu and finally Hindi. I have completed Hindi dubbing also which took me around 4-5 days. I can say that the film is relatable to people in any of the three languages. Vivek Oberoi took pains to learn Tamil dialogues and spoke in it and so did Shatrughan Sinha. Priya Mani did a better job than me, having spoken in all the three languages.

Lyrics and Songs

I can go on and on about Muthukumar’s songs. ‘Kathi ethanai rathathai ariyum, ratham ethanai kathiyai ariyum enru’. He gave such sharp verses and around 5-6 options for every song. We did not know which to choose from. We made changes in Hindi and Telugu after listening to the Tamil lines. It was a new exercise for me as all along I was only acting in one language. I was able to get completely involved in the project. I had an opportunity to talk to RGV about Tamil dialogues and lyrics. Viveka’s lyrics also have come out well. I am not sure if you have listened to the songs but you will realize that it would not be like the usual films which again are a very characteristic style of Ram Gopal Varma’s films.


Just like the lyrics of the film, dialogues in RC also will not be very animated, forced or ornamented. They will just be normal. The manner of conveying emotions also will be very different in RGV’s films. I am sure the audience will get to watch a never-before-seen visuals, emotions and characters in RC. Ram Gopal Varma, who is such a renowned director of India, has done for the first time a Tamil film and I am sure his treat would be absolutely different.

The audience will get to

watch a never-before-seen

visuals, emotions and characters

in RC

You have a big responsibility

as you are representing

the entire Tamil community

Many firsts and the encouragement

For Ram Gopal Varma, RC is the first Tamil film and for me this happens to be my first Hindi and Telugu film. I remember vividly what Prakash Raj sir told me while we were shooting in Kutralam for Singam when I told him I was learning Hindi for RC. He said, “You have a big responsibility as you are representing the entire Tamil community.” He wished me luck and asked me to dub for myself in Hindi too. As the character was a south Indian speaking Hindi, he said accent errors would be forgiven. I am able to say that I have given my best for RC with of course RGV’s encouragement. I was completely satisfied after I finished dubbing.

Time factor and retribution

I liked the time factor in this film where the dimensions of retribution have been covered in all possible angles unlike other films.. The deep-rooted feeling of vengeance and its aftermath have been portrayed well. Such events are generally superficially covered in other films but RC takes a different course.

The dialogues are not written by a writer, the story is not created by a film maker but someone really, truly, lived a life like that amidst all pressures. That’s why every moment in the film was special and real to me. I am sure this film is going to showcase somebody’s life which has been affected by revenge. It is just not mindless violence speckled over the frame.

RGV has played ‘time’ as a character in an undercurrent manner. How time changes a man, his thought process, his decisions is clearly portrayed in Raktha Charithra through Ram Gopal Varma’s craftsmanship in every field, not only in dialogues, not only in visuals but also in music, design and editing too.

It is just not mindless


I am sure Ratha Sarithiram is going to be a treat of a different kind!

Tags : Suriya, Raktha Charithram, Priyamani, Ram Gopal Varma
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