Tracing Ram Gopal Varma's obsession with women — from Sridevi, Urmila Matondkar to Mia Malkova, Tori Black

Karthik Keramalu

Feb,03 2018 12:03:23 IST

If there is anything Ram Gopal Varma is known for, besides his gritty cinema and controversial statements, it is his obsession with pretty women. His movies, particularly the songs, have always depicted women in fashionable light.

In Govinda Govinda, the song “Amma Bramha Devudo” speaks about the godly charm of Sridevi. Nagarjuna’s character, Seenu, is in love with Naveena (Sridevi) in the movie, and here is how the lyrics (penned by Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry) go:

Amma Bramha Devudo
Kompa Munchinaavuro
Yentha Goppa Sogasuro
Yeda Daachinaavuro

Poola Rekkalu, Konni Tene Chukkalu
Rangaristivo, Ilaa Bomma Chestivo

Asalu Bhoolokam Ilaanti Siri Choosi Untadaa
Kanaka Ee Chitram Swargaaniki Chendi Undadaa

The lyrics roughly translate to: Oh my god, you have pinned me down. Where had you hidden this beauty? Have you added some flower petals and honey drops and created this doll? Has the earth ever seen this kind of a treasure? Does that mean this pretty woman belong to heaven?

These poetic words may have come from the thinking cap of an award-winning lyricist but the sentiment is certainly Ram Gopal Varma’s.

Ram Gopal Varma. Image from Firstpost

Ram Gopal Varma. Image from Firstpost

He has been quite vocal about Sridevi’s knockout looks. Apart from the incessant tweets he makes about the actress’s body parts, he has named his book Guns and Thighs (apparently inspired by Sridevi’s thighs).

In his book, he explains his initial interaction with the actress as: “The first heroine I was bowled over by was Sridevi and that was when I was just a viewer and hadn't yet come into films. When I first met her, I felt I had walked from the theatre straight into the screen. Over a period of time, I became close to the real Sridevi and for the first time consciously understood the difference between fantasy and reality.”

He has “consciously” tried to capture the gorgeousness of his actresses throughout his three decade long career. The other actress that immediately comes to my mind when somebody talks about Ram Gopal Varma’s films is Urmila Matondkar.

The track 'Tanha Tanha' from Rangeela is again an example of Varma recording an actress’s sex appeal for posterity. He wants to watch women through the lenses of a film camera and transform his lustful gaze (née boyish enthusiasm) into art. 'Art' is highly subjective here.

If you look at Jackie Shroff in 'Tanha Tanha', you can actually see Varma in his place. Shroff seems to be carrying Varma’s emotions of enjoying Urmila’s carefree moves on the beach. About Urmila, he says, in his book, “I was mesmerised by Urmila's beauty... from her face to her figure... everything about her was just divine. She had done a few films before Rangeela, which hadn't done well and she hadn't made much of an impact on the audience either. Then, after Rangeela, she became the nation's sex symbol. That doesn't mean it was I who made her look beautiful. I would say that she was a painting and I simply framed her. Apart from the frame, for a painting to be truly relished, it also needs the right place for it to be displayed in, and that place was Rangeela. One of my primary motives in makingRangeela was to capture Urmila's beauty eternally on camera and to make it a benchmark for sex symbols. I would say that I have never felt more of a cinematic high than when I watched her through my camera on the sets of Rangeela.”

That passage from Guns and Thighs must be enough to tell you how much he 'adores' attractive women.

In recent times, he has moved on to the web platform to make content the way he truly aspires to. The digital space allows creators to be their own bosses. The lack of a governing body (CBFC/Karni Sena) has sort of become a boon to makers like Varma. He has already released the trailers of Guns and Thighs (a series about the Mumbai underworld) and Kadapa (a series revolving around the rowdy elements of Rayalaseema). Though both the series are yet to see the light of the day, the buzz surrounding them, owing to the factors of profanity and female nudity, refuses to die down.

Do you notice the phrase “female nudity” there? That’s right. Varma has not shown any interest toward men’s handsomeness or making films on those subjects. And so, that makes only the women, of his choice, his top-priority.

That is also the precise reason for the absence of a male star in his recently released film God, Sex and Truth. Of course, there is a bit of philosophy (about how women are controlled in relationships and how they are not getting the kind of sex they are desiring) in it but when an adult star is narrating her sexual fantasies in a lyrical manner, and pleasuring herself in front of the camera, the motives behind Varma’s actions are not hard to guess. He wanted to capture Mia Malkova’s (the star of GST) beauty eternally on camera. Period.

Had he been accustomed to showcasing male nudity, there would have probably been actual sex scenes in God, Sex and Truth in addition to the masturbatory stances. If you keep the 'philosophical treatise' away from the table, you can easily guess how much Varma is bewitched by Malkova’s body. In fact, he dedicated his book, Guns and Thighs, to Tori Black, another famous adult star who has won a number of awards for her work in adult cinema.

Varma has proved, time after time, that he is not afraid of envisioning projects that could be frowned upon by a large section of the population (even Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag for that matter), or of speaking his mind.

There may not be any truth in his ode to Malkova’s body in GST. However, there is plenty of raw truth in his liking for women’s bodies in his tweets, talks, films and series.

(Also read: Is Ram Gopal Varma an enfant terrible or a mad genius? Here's why the disruptor-in-chief still matters)

Updated Date: Feb 04, 2018 17:24 PM