23 Years of Satya: 19 Unknown facts About RGV’s First Gangster Movie

Juliet D'cruz

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Unknown facts About Satya Movie: “Satya”, since its release on July 3, 1998, has garnered cult status as a gangster drama for its realistic depiction of the Indian underworld. Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, the 1998 film featured Manoj Bajpayee, Urmila Matondkar, Saurabh Shukla and Shefali Shah in important roles and kickstarted the trend of gangster films in Bollywood. Anurag co-wrote the film with director Ram.

It’s the first film in the Gangster Trilogy about Organized crimes in India created by RGV. The film follows Satya played by JD Chakraborty, an immigrant who comes to Mumbai looking for a job, befriends Bhiku Mhatre, an underworld don played by Manoj Bajpayee and is drawn into the Mumbai underworld.

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23 Years of Satya: Unknown facts About RGV’s First Gangster Movie

Ram Gopal Varma’s directorial venture released in 1998 appears to be the one that changed the course of Hindi cinema ahead of a new millennium. Two decades on, the movie is credited with having laid the foundation of the careers of a great filmmaker like Anurag Kashyap, who wrote its script, and actors such as Manoj Bajpayee and Saurabh Shukla and many others.

Unknown facts About Satya Movie

  1. Satya is the first of Ram Gopal Varma’s “Gangster Trilogy” about organized crime in India
  2. Varma Initially planned to make an action film, but decided to make a film focusing on felony after meeting some criminals
  3. RGV hired Anurag Kashyap and Saurab Shukla to write the film, and opted to use lesser known actors.
  4. The soundtrack and score were composed by Vishal Bharadhwaj and Sandeep Chowta respectively, while the lyrics were written by Gulzar
  5. The script was penned by first-time writers- Saurabh Shukla
  6. The film was shot in a budget less than Rs.2 crore and made Rs.15 crore at Box Office
  7. The film had violence and strong language, yet it received no objections from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and got an ‘A’ certificate.
  8. Earlier, Manoj Bajpayee was to play the role of Satya. However, as the roles were developed, RGV realized that Bhiku Mhatre needed someone with good command over Hindi and Manoj Bajpayee portrayed Bhiku
  9. Manoj Bajpayee won the National Film Award for best Supporting actor for Satya
  10. Saurabh Shukla and Anurag Kashyap while discussing the name of the character played by Manoj Bajpayee, An office boy named Bhiku entered just then and decided to name the character bhiku
  11. When asked why did not cast popular actors for the lead roles, Varma stated he needed actors who has no set image in the audiences’ mind
  12. Satya received acclaim from critics and audiences. However, it was for this film that Manoj Bajpayee won the Best Supporting Actor National Award. It was through this film that Bajpayee, who played the role of a gangster named Bhiku Mhatre, shot to fame.
  13. The costumes of Urmila Matondkar, who played the protagonist’s love interest, were designed by Manish Malhotra. However, Bajpayee arranged his own outfits in a budget of a mere Rs 25,000.
  14. Varma wanted to cast Mahima Chaudhary as the female lead initially. Eventually, Urmila played the role of Vidya, he told PTI.
  15. JD Chakravarthy lives next door to Urmila in the film, but she doesn’t know that he is a gangster, this sequence is inspired by real life experience
  16. When the film’s shooting started, there was no script. “I went half by instinct and half by Anurag’s manic way of writing highly realistic dialogue which mostly used to happen on location,” Varma wrote.
  17. In the first week itself, Satya tanked at the box office. The film then started to pick up, and some theatres screened the film after taking taking it down. “I was asked to visit a theatre in Dadar. I knew people were dancing inside the theatre and were leaving after Bhiku’s death. In interval, people got to know that ‘Bhiku Mhatre’ is outside, so they gathered to see me,” Bajpayee told PTI.
  18. Urmila’s character was inspired from a person Varma’s friend. Explaining how Urmila’s character came into his mind, Varma wrote, “A friend of mine who lives in Oshiwara on the fourteenth floor, told me about an instance. My friend used to bump into this guy in the building’s lift once in a while. And they used to exchange pleasantries, “Hello, how are you? Happy Diwali” etc. And then one day my friend’s wife told him that this guy has been arrested and taken away . The thing about Mumbai is that you may live for years and years in a building and yet have no idea who your neighbour is? That was where I got the Urmila’s track for Satya. The fact that Urmila’s character doesnt know who Satya really is but yet ends up in having a relationship with him.”
  19. Danny Boyle watched Satya and Company (2002) to understand the true colour of Mumbai before he started filming his acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire

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