Don Appeal

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma on Satya 2,The sequel about a Don who wants to reinvent the underworld.

Published: October 11, 2013 2:23 am

When I first came to Mumbai during Rangeela days I was fascinated by the surface veneer and the dark underbelly of the city. Ever since I was a teenager I was always fascinated by crime and the rebellious nature of men,which resulted in my debut film Shiva. Due to this obsession,the Mumbai underworld quickly caught my attention and that’s how Satya was born. Now 15 years later,I can say that I have gathered tremendous knowledge of how the underworld originated,how it operates and I think I also know enough about what caused its downfall. I did this study for the purpose of subject material for my films and to create characters from real life references. Then one day it occurred to me what if the same study was done by another guy but not for a purpose of being a filmmaker,but for starting his own underworld company. This idea became the genesis of Satya 2.

With Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan being more or less inactive for many years and various other dons either being killed or jailed,it’s highly understandable that the police

today think that they have made the underworld non-existent. But as long as greed for money and rebelliousness towards the system exists,it would be a fallacy to think that the underworld can be completely wiped out.

Underworld will never die. It just keeps changing its form and history is witness to the fact that a new form of an underworld has always originated from the thinking of one particular individual. There is no difference between how a Dhirubhai Ambani reinvented the corporate world by moving away from the methods of the Tatas and the Birlas and how a Dawood Ibrahim reinvented the underworld by moving away from the likes of Karim Lala and Haji Mastan. Granted that since one was a constructor of value systems and the other a destructor,the comparison seems uncalled for,but what cannot be denied is the common factor that they both had a vision.

All this was in the early ’80s and we are now in 2013 and since there is almost no underworld now — at least compared to the hold it had a decade ago — it is clear that there’s a vacuum and whenever there’s a vacuum in any lucrative business there will always be an entrepreneur to step in.

If Satya was a story of a man who came in 1998 and shaped the then existing underworld,Satya 2 is about another man who comes in 2013 to reinvent the underworld. So there’s no precedent for the protagonist of Satya 2. He starts a new underworld company based on his study of the mistakes of all the earlier dons and the ways he develops to deal with the modern day policing methods. The police is caught off-guard by this menace of a new company and the reason for this is that the police will always be lesser than a criminal enterprise in their vision. That’s because the police is merely an evolved system whereas a criminal entrepreneur — for want of a better word — is a visionary in his own field. Only after a new kind of crime happens will the police learn how to contain or prevent it. So it follows that if a completely new kind of a criminal appears on the horizon,his past experience will be null and void

And that is the raison d’être of Satya 2.

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