Born in Andhra Pradesh, Ram Gopal Varma’s fame today knew no bounds. The maverick director has revolutionalized the Telugu cinema with his first film, Siva itself.
Penmetsa Ram Gopal Varma hails from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. His father Krishnam Raju Varma was a sound recordist at Annapurna Studios. Ram Gopal Varma completed his BE degree in Civil engineering from VR Siddhartha Engineering College in Vijayawada. After his education, he worked as a site Engineer at Hotel Krishna Oberoi, Hyderabad for some time.
He married Ratna Varma and they were later divorced and living separately. The couple has a daughter, Revathi Verma. Ram Gopal Varma still stays in touch with his daughter and recently married her off to her boy friend.
During his brief stint as site engineer at Hotel Krishna Oberoi, Ram Gopal Varma wanted to go to Nigeria and make some money. During that time he was fascinated by a video library owned by a friend and set up one for himself in Ameerpet, Hyderabad. He slowly grew connections with Tollywood and managed to narrate a story to Nagarjuna on Student Politics – Shiva.
The story was okayed by Akkineni family. By the time the film went on to sets, RGV had no prior experience in film direction. He used to linger around the sets of Collector gari Abbayi and Rao gari illu and gain some knowledge. Shiva was made and it remained as a testimony for RGV’s brilliance in technical departments and storytelling. It also added a new dimension in action films of Telugu cinema. Later he made his Bollywood debut with the remake of Shiva in 1991 and the movie was a big hit there too.
His next film was Kshana Kshanam starring Venkatesh and Sridevi which was an average at box office then. He went on to do bilinguals – Drohi/Antham, Raat/Ratri and got reasonable recognition both in Tollywood and Bollywood. Later on he made Gaayam and Govinda Govinda. Gaayam was a blockbuster and Govindha Govindha remained as an average.
1995 was significant year in Ram Gopal Varma’s career. He made Rangeela in Hindi and it created wonders at Bollywood box office and from then there is no looking back for him there. Till 1998, RGV was involved in 7 movies in various roles. Out of these, Gulabhi and Anaganga Oka Roju became blockbusters in Telugu while Satya and Dil Se ruled the roost at Hindi box office.
Post the 2000 era, Ram Gopal Varma mostly concentrated on Bollywood. He bagged several blockbusters there like Company, Bhoot, Ek Hasina Thi, Darna Mana Hai, Ab Tak Chappan and D. He completely neglected Telugu cinema during this phase but his market was intact here with his films getting dubbed in Telugu. In 2005, Ram Gopal Varma delivered one of the biggest hits in Bollywood – Sarkar. The film inspired from Hollywood film, The God Father redefined Amitabh Bachchan’s second innings there.
Ram Gopal Varma lost the trick post the success of Sarkar. His career was tangled in multiple flops. He made a prequel to his debut movie Shiva with the same title and also attempted a sequel to Bollywood blockbuster – Sholay as RGV ki Aag. Both the films ended up as big disasters and drawn heavy flak for RGV both from the audience as well as the critics. Finally he ended the flop streak with the part 2 of Sarkar – Sarkar Raaj in 2008.
Ram Gopal Varma is back to Tollywood in 2010. He selected the controversial subject of Anantapur factionism during the times of Paritala Ravi and Maddelacheruvu Suri. He made a two parts films on the subject as Rakta Charitra. The movie was made and released simultaneously in Telugu and Hindi. The first part of the movie did well at the box office but second part fails to impress. Later on he made films like Kadha Screenplay Darsakthvam-Appalraju, Bejawada (Producer), Department, Bhoot Returns, The Attacks of 26/11 and Satya 2 but could not bag the commercial success. However he managed to grab the attention of audience with Dongalamuta which was shot in 5 days and The Attacks of 26/11 which was based on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Ram Gopal Varma’s most recent films, Rowdy starring Mohan Babu and Manchu Vishnu, Ice Cream starring Navadeep, Anukshanam starring Manchu Vishnu and Ice Cream-2 starring Nandu failed to rake bare minimum numbers at the box office.
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