Ronjita Kulkarni

One of India's best filmmakers Ram Gopal Varma (Shiva, Rangeela, Satya, Kaun and Company) is wrapping up Bhoot, starring Ajay Devgan, Urmila Matondkar, Fardeen Khan, Rekha, Victor Bannerjee and Seema Biswas.

Varma claims he has rarely looked to the West for ideas; old Hindi films, he says, are his inspiration.

All his films, he says, "are copied from the following five films in some way or the other, either as an idea, scene or perception."

Varma's favourites:


This Ramesh Sippy film is the most complete film because it had full measures of action, humour and performances [Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri, Amjad Khan]. The blend of these ingredients is what the magic of cinema is all about. It is a flawless film.

Arjun [Sunny Deol] was my kind of hero. The kind that does not bend to forces larger than himself. My directorial debut Shiva [starring Nagarjuna] in 1989 was born out of this film.

Very influential film about two rival families and the relationship between them [they hated each other but maintained the perfunctory graces at social functions]. Company was partially inspired from this film. Shyam Benegal set it against the industrial scene; I set it against the underworld.


This Gulzar film had fantastic and realistic comedy with no slapstick. It had unbelievable situations with both Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma in double roles.

Ardh Satya
This film opened my eyes to what really happens inside the police station: the events, the mindset and atmosphere. Rama Shetty [played by Sadashiv Amrapurkar], with his pot belly managed to create great fear. I learnt a lot from this film. It was very believable.

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