The idea of “AGYAAT”

 

I have always been an incredible fan of the thriller genre where there is an unknown or a known element which is out to kill at random a group of people trapped in a certain situation whether it is Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ or John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. Not to forget the “Blair Witch Project” in which the genius of the concept has gone to the extent of not showing the antagonist at all. I have titled my film based on this concept as ‘AGYAAT’ meaning the unknown.

Thrillers of this kind are a very popular genre abroad, not to forget the success of numerous dubbed one’s here in India as well. But as yet no film in the same genre has been seriously attempted with Indian actors with a story designed for Indian audience. This movie’s intention would be to explore that and also would be about the emotional complexities that extreme fear would unleash and how the triumph of human spirit refuses to give in even against impossible odds.

Story Idea:

A film unit on a shoot in a far away land and in a certain situation gets trapped deep in a forest and one by one the members start getting killed. They all are terrified not knowing whether it is a man or an animal or a creature or what?

Why I selected a film unit to be the protagonists for this story is because a film unit is literally like a walking office in terms of its various hierarchical elements.

A star who is obsessed with himself, a leading lady who bears with him because of his stardom, a director who thinks he will be the next Steven Spielberg, a producer who thinks that the director is screwing up his film, an assistant director who has a crush on the heroine, a script girl who has quite a few things for the assistant director, a frustrated action director who has a hidden maniacal streak in him, a highly subservient spot boy with a very perverted agenda, are just a few of the assorted characters in this story.

Whatever the entity is as it hunts them down, their suppressed passions come forth and they realize that it is not only their lives they are fighting for but it is also for their loves. As they are killed one after the other the remaining desperate characters struggle to survive the entity which is not visible to them, faster than them, smarter than them and hell bent on destroying them.

The film will be very near to a reality show in a certain sense as in putting a set of people in a certain situation and to see what happens to them.

It will have a cast of unknown or little known actors based on the complete suitability of the way the characters are written in the script.

The entity in the film is really a premise and what really is exciting for me in the story is the human drama of how in a given situation the whole film unit’s hierarchical differences get erased and all of them become as human as anybody else when faced with death.

To capture how their attitudes, personalities and inter-relationships change rapidly in the face of the impending danger is what for me is the most exciting and challenging part.

I am intending to start the film in December and finish the principal photography by January 1st week. There will be quite a lot of Special EFX work after that which will take as long as is required to get the intended effect. The movie will be ready for release in May/June 2009.

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100 Responses to The idea of “AGYAAT”

  1. Avinash says:

    =====================
     
     
    Blair Witch Project meets Khamosh?
     
     
     
     
    ===================

  2. Unknown says:

    Your storyline on AGYAAT is so terribly boring.  I beg of you not to go through with this project.

  3. Ram says:

    What is death according to you? Can you please give your comments on Death?

  4. AKKI says:

    News channels are making every personal differences as communal difference.I hope they are also indians,why tehy do so.they don\’t have to  help the country ,but not to harm.its no.1 anti social element in india.5 years back there was not much of security problem.but now every day is D\’day.Same people,same politicians,same country only difference is addition of corporate news channels.

  5. Ram says:

    Most of the news-channels don\’t know the difference between Breaking News, News Update or Flash News.\’Punjagutta lo Traffic Jam\’ (Traffic Jam in Punjagutta, Hyderabad). Thats a Breaking News for one Telugu News Channel. They scroll it as…\’Breaking News…Punjagutta Lo…\’. They kept that message for 5 seconds without giving the continuation of that. I was hooked to TV thinking what happened in Punjagutta. After 5 seconds, they continued with the message \’…Traffic Jam\’. On the whole the message is \’Punjagutta lo Traffic Jam\’

  6. Aju says:

    hey RGV,Mysteriously the plot looks similar to a popular kannada film which was shot 15-20 years back with kashinath. Tell me if i am wrong?Any way – Goodluck . May it launch fresh faces which inturn launch newer talent. Good luck

  7. Jay says:

    I have a problem. I like your kind of cinema. Even the Darna mana hai, zaroori hai types that you\’ve made.

  8. jeevan says:

    Even though movies with similar story line have been made sometime in 80\’s.What will make Agyaat special
    is the fact that there is hell lot of technological advancement in terms of camera & sound in todays times &
    combined with your creative direction I\’m sure Agyaat will turn out to be one hell of a thrilling journey.

  9. jeevan says:

    I think the important aspect of a movie belonging to thriller/horror genre is not the story itself but the way it is told. So guys dont worry about the story aspect. I\’m sure Ramu will definitely make an edge of the seat thriller
    with his direction.

  10. VJ says:

    Tropic Thunder is repeated thrice here. It\’s the most shittiest movie I saw this year. I didnt see Upendra\’s \’Sssh\’ but thrillers of Kaasi Viswanaath (Kannada) are something special. He\’s original, esp in narration.It\’s very scary if RGV copies Tropic Thunder.

  11. vamsi says:

    Dont get obsessed with this idea of "unknown or little known" cast. I dont know if you follow cricket, but its the best example for now – the difference between ICL and IPL is just the same "unknown or little known" players. The quality of the cricket is slightly lower, but the fun of watching a familiar face is totally missing in ICL.

    I understand that it kind of gives you a godly kick, but everything else has to really work to compensate the loss of experience and familiarity.
    Watch \’Aithe\’ again, if it helps. The screen play was so compelling that the cast was not important. The plot too was \’out of imagination limits\’ kind,,,  and that helped too. Understand that Phoonk was not this good and hence, little known actors did not help. Phoonk would have been better with well known actors.
    Even if it costs some money and some pain to put up with better known actors – its worth it – unless you have the ability to spot – amitjis, nana patekars, bomman iranis on a daily basis….
     

  12. Rajani says:

    You always do two movies simultaneously, when you announced rann, I was expecting your next announcement from that day. Which movies releases when?. Your are the only director, I think in India who touches all the genres like comedy, action, thriller, horror, auto_semi_biography, movie_in_movie, social, terrorism, underworld. Can I expect a cartoon (thriller) from youByeVasu

  13. Unknown says:

    Feeling for a fictional character in a movie is either an epistemic error or a psychological disease. But still we entertain the possibility that fictional character existed and are moved by the fiction. Why?
     
     

  14. Unknown says:

    What is "Fiction" and what is "Real" ?

  15. Unknown says:

    Though movie offers much more space for entertainment some times why a Book does better job better than a Movie?

  16. Unknown says:

    A Book author and a Movie director both play with their imagination. How are they different?
     
     

  17. Unknown says:

    The original movie in that genre is the 1980 movie – cannibal holocaust (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078935/plotsummary). At one point, the director of that movie was arrested because everybody thought the actors were killed for real.

  18. E says:

    Hi RGV,
     
    This is a familiar terrain RGV..and a well trodden path far too many times…a lot of movies have been made in this genre…albeit not in India..India and Indians are always creative..and innovative ,we always are "inspired"..and since you are the only Director who can say with much candor..and a gleefull smile…giggling…"yes I have copied"…it will be really interesting to see how different this movie will be…you say lot of SFX will be used..well RGV..please make it look realistic…you can get the services of ILM[Industrial Light and Magic]…if you have the budget…In Indian movies if SFX are used even a one year old kid can tell the difference..they appear so funny..and hilarious.[incidentally Ballayya movies have lot of SFX].and also..one interesting viewpoint i have about these movies as a viewer is, when the unknown entity is revealed in the movie..if it is revealed in the begining of the movie..then it is interesting to know its operational style…how it confronts the affected humans…if it is never revealed at all..and only in the end…the other drama should help us glued to the screen and it needs to have enough punch to make it look interesting..and also please show the origins of this entity….whether it is alien..or a human creation..like some secret government genetic/bilogical warfare experiment gone wrong..I know pretty well that our Government has no time for the later activities…
     
    P.S. I watched my first Alien series movie in Urvasi theatre Vijayawada..infact lot of movies ..good english movies I have watched in Vijayawada..and Nellore…Leela mahals…while pursuing my intermediate and EAMCET..long term training ..respectively…and that is reason I never could become a doctor or engineer..and here I am writing comments on this blog….trying to relate with a director who hails from my state AP. We are proud of you dude!!
     
    Good Luck for your project man!!
     
    CheersEV

  19. Bharat says:

    I guess the movie is still in planning phase – but are you thinking of finally revealing the entity ? Or are thinking of it like Ronin – where there\’s a group of people who live and die protecting something that is never revealed.. Not even at the end of the movie. The story of Ronin is not about the suitcase.. It is just a plot device to tell a story about everyone else around it. I hope I understood your intentions about Agyaat, in that it would be somewhat like this.

  20. Narendra says:

    Thanks a lot sir for attempting such a subject. It\’ll definetely be a refreshing thaali for the Indian audience.Watched "Dasvidaaniya". It has got Special Thanks to "RAM GOPAL VARMA" in the beginning. I seriously thought that you made a special appearance in the film and was very excited too. So why this special thanks sir?

  21. Jonah says:

    Reverse Chronology movies:The Betrayal by Pinter\’s play was made into a film in 1983;Happy End, (1968) – Czech comedy a farce which starts with a guillotined man finding his head popped back on his shoulders and ends with him as a new-born being pushed back into his mother\’s womb.Peppermint Candy (2000), by South Korean director Lee Chang-dong;Memento (2001), a mystery directed by Christopher Nolan about short term memory loss;Irréversible (2002), the technique is used so thoroughly that the end credits are not only shown at the beginning of the movie, but they roll down the screen, rather than upwards as is familiar. (this movie is gross)5×2, directed by François Ozon (2004), tells the story of a relationship between two people in five episodes using reverse chronology. (this movie is a propper drama)The Sweet Hereafter (1997) by Atom Egoyan,  in reverse chronology, with the first scene of the film set in 1977 and the last in 1968.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), a main substory is told in reverse. (this movie makes you deliquium)Best of the lot.. Memento. and Eternal sunshine.. they are mind freakish..

  22. manoj says:

    This seems to be an old telugu flick ….but still i am lookin forward.
    Are you going to use your real experience to build the characters?
    Then it would be more interesting, audience can have their time to guess the characters to whom they represent in real life. And it would be good publicity tooo…

  23. Pradeep says:

    why did u end "sarkar raj" in the scene where aishwarya says "Ek chai lao" …?
     

  24. Pradeep says:

    Why ur movies have an unfinished ending most of the times?
     

  25. Arun says:

    What makes you coming back to the same genre of movies ? You keep experimenting in same genres ?

  26. Pradeep says:

    I think sarkar raj truely depicts that ur a big fan of amitabh…..
    As u killed character "shankar" so as to elevate "sarkar\’s" role.
    Its really nice to see amitabh in such type of roles…
    so what can we expect from "Rann" on amitabh side?
     

  27. Mohan says:

     
    Anurag Kashyap wrote abt Satya..is it true RGV??
     
    satya the true story part 1
    http://passionforcinema.com/satya-the-true-story-part-1/
    http://passionforcinema.com/satya-the-true-story-part-2/
     
     

  28. raja says:

    Ramuji I\’m raja ambati. I\’m working in Telugu film industry and I\’m a very good friend of JD Chakravarthy. Very soon my first directorial venture will start under Pyramid Sai Meera.I\’ve read your Idea of  AGYAAT. It\’s good. But Two years back a Telugu film was released named A FILM BY ARAVIND. It was a hit. It had also the same story IDEA what u have told about AGYAAT. A Film By… also inspired by several hollywood movies, but it was a nice technical and well made movie as compared to our regular telugu movies. I\’m not comparing their ability with you. But your Idea has several resemblances with that film. A Film Unit, a hero, heroine, director, story writer at far away location. They get trapped in terrified situations in the forest and one by one the members start get killing ….like that.  Sorry… I\’m a lilliput compared to your knowledge about films but I\’m taking the step with dare  to give you a suggestion to watch the telugu movie A FILM BY ARAVIND once. Please.

  29. Arun says:

    I believe it would be awesome if the climax of Agyaat could be left to the audience\’s imagination. Like nobody would come to know if it was a creature, a spirit or any other such force, maybe human-made which would lead to mysterious deaths. Only hints of it may be given, and every viewer would make his own piece of with it which satisfies his own imagination and intelligence. I know you dislike advices, its your movie, your vision, but as a viewer, this is what "I" would like the best.

  30. Unknown says:

    I was very impressed with the movie "Phonebooth".  I hope you will also try out your hand in realtime cinema. 

  31. Swamy says:

    There is Krishna Vamsi, a top most director in telugu who worked under you, and still admits that he learnt " how to think " from you .There is Madhur Bandarkar who was your assistant director, now a 3 time National award winner.And offcourse there are many other assistants of yours who made( making) duds.Can we expect an article on your take towards your assistants ?

  32. Unknown says:

    hi ramu,
     
    i really loved a girl,really.
    but now i am avoiding her so that she can marry a better person than me and will lead her life happily
    cool,isn\’t it? 

  33. confused says:

    "a director who thinks he will be the next Steven Spielberg"in rangeela also director want 2 b nxt speilberg…do u wanna b speilberg urself

  34. Unknown says:

    Agyaat seems like a cross between Vidhu Vinod Chopra\’s "Khamosh" (1985) and Soham Shah\’s "Kaal" (2005). Reality show concepts and SFX will not save a bad story…. bad movie.

  35. naveen says:

    A R Rahman in an interview to srinivasan jain of NDTV, when asked about no films with RGV after Daud he said there were some Idealogy differenceswith you !!! Do you really have a difference with A R Rahman???

  36. Chet says:

    As you say, there have been too many films based on this concept, even in India.The treatment is usually what makes a difference in some cases. Hopefully your take will lift the (tried & tired) plot. One thing\’s for sure-the steadicam operator is gonna be very busy!

  37. naveen says:

    I agree with swami …. we would like a long areticle on all your assitant directors….. Do you miss them ???

  38. Bhaskar says:

    Dear Varma ji,
     
    I am not Satya, and my name is not Raghava, and moreover Bheeku is not my brother. Sure that I am not from Mafia background. But, I liked those characters, Satya and Antham movies very much. Recently, I had an argument with a person (15+ Exp as an Asst. Director) while developing script for his debut movie. I set hero’s backdrop to which was not well-used or not old-fashioned, He wanted hero backdrop should reflect to the most of the youth (as they watch movies, and not the character I suggested wont watch many movies) though it is old and touched in many movies earlier.  
     
    I believe that it is the characteristic of the character that attracts\\entertains\\…..the audience and not the backdrop.
     
    Can you please clarify me and explain the significance of protagonist backdrop?
     
    Thanks in advance

  39. Vinay says:

    Industries are famous for hijacking someone\’s idea with an objective simply to make money. Indian film industry too has its share of "Businessmen producer/directors". A case in point being they hijacked Barjatya\’s big family feel-good movies (after HAHK) and churned out so many movies in that format that the particular style wore out.
     
    You are the only film-maker who wears out his own style himself.

  40. Rock says:

    We r waiting to read abt ur association with ManiRatnam( During Donga-Donga, Gaayam,Dilse…. and also before n after these movies……)

  41. Dinesh says:

    Now you are working on my favorite topic again….  Hopes On…    

  42. SUBRAHMANYAM says:

    Sir,
         There is a news that telugu hero NITHIN is the pratagonist(hero character)in AGYAAT.
    U have choosen him by observing the publicity stills of his recent movie HERO. isn\’t it?
    Pls watch his past movies then come 2 a conclusion.
    IF the hero in AGYAAT doesn\’t needs any performance,then the above mentioned hero might be the right choice.
            

  43. Unknown says:

    All you do & think is about movies. So I guess imagination and fiction make up more than 90% of your “real” life. Isn’t this wasting time & life?

  44. Unknown says:

    You are like a child…who is completely egoistic. Feeling your needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them. But child will evolve and you didn’t. What is wrong with you?

  45. Unknown says:

    Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy. Does this also apply to movies?

  46. Unknown says:

    Does RGV blog to show the muscle of his ego…because ego is not master in its own house

  47. Unknown says:

    Your comment on civilization & evolution in one line.

  48. Unknown says:

    What does a woman want?

  49. Unknown says:

    Naveen
    About your question on A R Rahman differences with RGV…
     

    No two people think same. So ideological differences always exists. Using “ideological differences” as a reason to back off is indirect way of denying cooperation.

  50. Unknown says:

    hi RGV,
     
    so u r going to make agyaat now. please let us know abt the status of rann. please let us know when are u going to commence its shooting.

  51. Unknown says:

    From Satya to Phoonk to Contract to Agyaat…is it a conscious decision to pick a story that fits in to the formula – “put ordinary people in extraordinary situations” ?

  52. Unknown says:

    use the titles for new movies, soonyam (nil), shavam (deadbody).
    ….jeelani.

  53. Unknown says:

    At one point you have realized that the reason for making mistakes is that once we take a decision we will compare everything to that decision but never question the decision itself. Do you now question a decision once it has been taken…whether it is idea of Runn or Agyaat….etc?

  54. Unknown says:

    Does alcohol influence your mind?

  55. Unknown says:

    What is the most embarassing moment/situation in your life, if you remember and willing to share?
     

  56. Uday says:

    This plot resembles that of a movie called Arthanadam (1989), staring Rajasekhar, Sita Chandramohan etc.

  57. Unknown says:

    hi RGV,
     
    Big B wrote on his blog that he had a meeting with u a couple of days ago. he further writes that he is very excited and thrilled about his character in rann. he said that he finds the character quite challenging . there are rumours tht u have included  abhishekh , mallika sherawat and himesh reshmiyya to cast of rann. wud like to know how far it is correct..

  58. Pradeep says:

    why dont u write script of ur own?
     

  59. Pradeep says:

    Whats the tiff between u and sonal mehta?
    shes claiming that rann story is wrriten by her?is that true?
     

  60. Pradeep says:

    Ramu ji ,
    Starting form u career ur movies are known for ur camera work and Re Recording.
    I think in India u are one of the best director in that aspect.
    I think for SHIVA u had used steady cam for the first time in India.
    So my request is pls y cant u place an article over the cameras or technologies that u have used in ur films starting frm shiva to phoonk?
    shiva to phoonk  

  61. Pradeep says:

    I think ur biggest hits Starts with "S"
    SHIVA
    SATYASARKARSARKAR RAJ
    Do u believe in that sentiment?

  62. Ankit says:

    Ram,

    Hi.

    "The Blair Witch Project" will remain one of my all-time favorite
    thriller. Yes, the genius in that film goes as far as not to show the
    antagonist at all. But the fear is not subdued at any time.

    The Pakistani Independent film \’Zibahkhana\’ , belonging to the same
    genre, had gained quite some momentum recently. I wanted to see more
    such cinema from India.

    Somehow, these films can be made on low budget, but the quality is often compromised.

    As an audience, this is an exciting news for me. Awaiting with bated breath to see this one from you.

    Can we have a meeting sometime during this month?

    Love & Hope
    Ankit

  63. Unknown says:

    Hey RGV Sir,
     
    Is the casting for Agyaat already done? Can you tell us who are the ppl playing various parts in the film?
    also, can anyone paticipate in the casting process or is it that factory/you approach the ppl by urself?
     
    cheers,
     

  64. Chet says:

    A second read of your sketch outline of "Agyaat" seems to feel like "been there,seen that".Obsessed star,pompous director,et al, all give (to me at least) a sense of deja vu. Without changing the script much and gfetting rid of stock,shock characters like "a
    frustrated action director who has a hidden maniacal streak in him, a
    highly subservient spot boy with a very perverted agenda" would sort of change that. How about making the film being shot a semi-low budget horror film,the hero suffering from a string 0f flops,director who thinks he\’s making the next "Godfather",producer who just wants to cash in on the horror/scary film trend to finance his more important big budget film…?PS.-I know if you read this you are going to pass a comment like-do this when/if you make your own film…my answer to that-if I could make my own movie,wouldn\’t I be doing that right now instaed of typing this to you?

  65. Unknown says:

    Hello Ramuji,
     
    Thrillers of this genre have been attempted on Indian Screen. here is the list of movies :
     
    Shhhhh ….Directed by Upendra ( Kannada )
    Sazaye maut Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra ( Hindi )
    A telugu movie which I saw in my childhood, dont remember the name.
    It had Sharat babu as one of the Protagonists.
     
    Avinash
     

  66. Unknown says:

    Hello Ramuji,
     
    Thrillers of this genre have been attempted on Indian Screen. here is the list of movies :
     
    Got the name of the Hindi movie wrong in my previous comment.
    it is Khamosh directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra released in the year 1985.
    The plot is exactly similar to the story of Agyaat that you have narrated. 
     
     
    Shhhhh ….Directed by Upendra ( Kannada )
    Khamosh Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra ( Hindi )
    A telugu movie which I saw in my childhood, dont remember the name.
    It had Sharat babu as one of the Protagonists.
     
    Avinash
     

  67. sagar says:

    Agyaathahaha …what a story line..! what a cliche…!here is the caption:It is time someother english DVD is going to be Indianized…

  68. Unknown says:

    Dear Sir, I am script and dialogue writer. I know your hectic schedule and how mach busy you must be, but it\’s my humble request if you have seen this mail, please do read. Sir you are also in production line so you must be in search of good story line and script. I want you to give this opportunity to me. I have written such good scripts that after listening to them you cannot say \’no\’ because I know you would definately like it only once I want to meet you and want to share my scripts and ideas with you. I know it is not good to say highly about one self but I know one thing that after meeting me and listening to my script you would definately like it that is for sure, but for that I want you to give me one chance to prove my worth. I want to join you as script and dialogue writer. I sincerely hope that you would definitely give a chance to new writer and would not disappoint me. Thanking youAwaiting your answer Rani Thakur Email ID – ranisunita@gmail.comCont. – 09753025376, 09993675402 Bhopal (M.P.)

  69. ashwin says:

    EXCLUSIVELY TO SUBRAMANYAM:AREY SUBRAMANYAM FUCKING BASTARD WHY R U COMMENTING OUR TELUGU HERO NITHIN….KILL U BASTARD

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