Ram Gopal Varma has managed to stir up a new controversy with his latest film Not A Love Story, which is inspired by the murder of Neeraj Grover.
RGV had announced that he intended to cast Maria Susairaj (who was recently acquitted in the Neeraj murder trial), in a film, which was met with protests. Youth wing members of a political party even staged a protest outside his office.
Neeraj’s father, Amarnath Grover, had expressed dismay at RGV’s decision to cast Maria in a film. “Neeraj’s parents were misled and thought that I portrayed Neeraj in a bad light in Not a Love Story. That is not the case. Some of our common friends have spoken to them and the matter has been sorted out,” he says.
Industry insiders, meanwhile, feel that RGV’s remarks about casting Maria are in bad taste. But the director is not perturbed by the reactions. “In my two-decade-old career as a filmmaker, I’ve always made films out of headlines. Every filmmaker needs to generate publicity for his product,” he says.
As for Not a Love Story, Varma adds that the real life connection ends with the headlines. “The film is not a biopic. It is loosely inspired by the case,” explains Varma.
RGV also refutes the political party’s accusation that he is supporting Maria.”I’m not bothered about her background. I’m standing by the Indian judiciary that found her not guilty. Who are we to call her a murderer?” he asks.
Meanwhile, RGV has requested police protection for himself. Has he put himself under house arrest? “House arrest is the wrong word. I asked for security cover after the reaction from the party. I am not shaken. I’ ve seen many incidents like this before,” he says. But has he approached Maria for a project? “No, I haven’t approached her as yet.” TOI