Breaking News. What was Ram Gopal Varma thinking?

Our investigative correspondent has now come across a draft on the making of the film, one that the filmmaker forgot to post on his blog. Here is what he may have said on the making of the film if he wasn't busy researching anti-critic quotes from Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and other filmmakers in his league! This is just in.

Mission Statement:

My new masterpiece Rann is a film that will expose the media (Neetu Chandra will have to wait). Obviously, the media will hate it. There is no point even trying for critical acclaim. But then, the issue itself is so complex that the masses may not understand. In fact, I don't understand it myself. Hence, I can only make a film that looks intelligent but only caters to idiots.

Treatment:

Film it like a horror film because what the news channels are doing is scary. Also use suitable horror-score.

Story/Screenplay/Synopsis:

Gee! I can't get over The Godfather. Strike that. I can't get over Sarkar, my original creation. What if Sarkar was now a media baron whose news channel was failing because of competition from the 300-odd channels?

Short-tempered elder son could have awkward dinner table conversations with his father (like in Sarkar) and a younger rookie reporter could step into Michael's shoes.

I can just turn The Godfather on its head by putting the opening scene of the film (“I believe in America”) right at the end when a visitor interrupts a joyous occasion to ask The Godfather for justice, after the system has failed. Wow!

Research Facts:

1. Fate of news channels can be changed by people with remote controls.

2. Credible channels are run by bearded Editors and evil channels are run by the clean-shaven liars. Since channels need a face of credibility, Amitabh Bachchan would be great casting. Instead of reading news, he can simply editorialise because there's no way the audience will know that the function of a news channel is to broadcast news. With Bachchan at the teleprompter, I can make the masses believe that the duty of a news channel, actually, is to share personal views and indulge in irresponsible propaganda on matters as sensitive as Security of State.

3. The TV channel is also a family business that practises dynasty politics. The son is, of course, the logical heir and needs to be given a free hand to revamp the channel when ratings drop. Such a preliminary meeting usually takes place in a conference room with about half a dozen people who constitute the managing team of the channel and this will somehow include the recruit who is hardly a day old in the organisation.

4. Crooked politicians and PR-savvy industrialists set the agenda for the media. Crooked politician can be represented with dark glasses and blood red vermillion on forehead. The sly industrialist can be given a range of stock expressions to communicate evilness. The suave Rajat Kapoor can be entrusted with the responsibility of delivering the “Look at me, I am an evil, evil man” look during every counter close-up in response to Paresh Rawal's over-the-top quips as the political leader.

5. Competing news channels spend their resources stealing titles and concepts of shows planned by rival (and pay their moles by cheque just so that the transaction can never be traced… or wait… Um… never mind!). News channels have absolutely no identity of their own. In fact, when one channel brings out a sting operation, the other does nothing to get the other side of the story at least for the sake of exclusivity. Or so I think.

6. Investigative journalism is about sending prank text messages to the suspect because conspiracies are planned by idiots without a plan. Also anyone can walk in with a hidden camera into a news organisation and characters only speak in expository dialogue that spells out what they are doing/what they did. This includes the bad guy explaining modus operandi of evil plan/conspiracy to the journalist who has already demonstrated integrity.

7. Since this is a behind-the-scenes look at news, all shots must include TV equipment in the foreground. Also because Shah Rukh Khan has already done a film called Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani which tackled the same theme with greater depth and a similar climax years ago.

In other news, Amitabh Bachchan, Sudeep and Paresh Rawal scorched the screen with sheer presence, while Riteish Deshmukh turned in an earnest performance in an under-written role. It is not yet known what Suchitra Krishnamurthy (who is given an elaborate introduction before she has nothing else to do), Gul Panag and Neetu Chandra were doing in this film.

Even if someone gives you a free ticket, Runn… Unless you are an RGV fan.

Rann

Genre: Drama

Director: Ram Gopal Varma

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh, Sudeep, Paresh Rawal, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Gul Panag, Neetu Chandra

Storyline: How a rookie reporter becomes the Managing Editor of a TV channel by doing a single investigative story

Bottomline: Run when you still can unless you want to be Rann-over by stupidity