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    Nov 2008

    Default Anurag Kashyap : compared to Bejoy, I feel like an inferior film maker

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    He hails from an ilk that is constantly revolutionizing Bollywood films; with work radiating a lucid style that repulses the idea of 'candy floss' like cinema. Anurag Kashyap is treading places many filmmakers dread, harboring a penchant for subjects that reflect the realism in his films like Black Friday, Gulaal and Dev D. He acknowledges his expedition with filmmaking saying, "It has been tough, exciting and fruitful." The multifaceted filmmaker has now garbed a producer's hat with his latest 'thrilling' endeavor, Shaitan. The film is directed by debutant, Bejoy Nambiar, who has also penned the screenplay which was more "precise and objective", as Anurag likes to put it. Bollywood Hungama gets the dark and psychedelically inclined noir filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, to converse about superior debutant filmmakers, skeptical film honchos and the derivations of Shaitan.

    The thriller film takes its cue from the youth, based on that one moment when people are off guard, an alienation that defines their entire their lives. Bejoy, who has written the script along with Megha Ramaswamy, hung around affluent kids to get a gist of what it is like in that environment. Says Anurag, "When I read the script I was sold, because there were elements in the script that reminded me about my immature years with Paanch, the issues that Paanch deals with are similar to that of Shaitan". Harking back into his initial years, he says, "Back then I feel that I was slightly immature handling the script. The command that Bejoy has over the script is far more superior, intelligent, objective and precise."

    Bejoy Nambiar maybe making his debut as a filmmaker but he has been working in Bollywood for quite a few years now. He has assisted Mani Ratnam on Yuva, Guru and Raavan and has also made several short films in that time period. He also won the Gateway Competition, a reality television show for filmmakers. Anurag recalls, "A fraction of the competitions winnings required the winner to make a film, I'm not sure if it was Shaitan but I remembered Bejoy coming over to my house to converse about the film with Kalki. They had been in discussion with it for over two years. There was a time that someone had pitched a similar idea to Arshad Warsi, but nothing transpired of it. I had asked Bejoy numerous times on the status of his film; he would state that he is trying to work things out, but in vain. I said to him that if nothing works out I will produce the film. That is how Shaitan was conceived. Most of the big guns and studios were reluctant working with the script and a debutant director since they thought of it as a risky venture to take on." Anurag who eventually produced Bejoy's film was confident though. "I have no inhibitions whether it is a new or an established director. I partnered along with Studio 18 who have completely backed the film. I got on board very late into the film. By then Bejoy had already taken care of the pre-production and casting aspects of the film," states Anurag.

    Anurag says that he feels inferior compared to the young breed of filmmakers who have come up in past few years. He says, "I have met and worked with numerous people through the internet, this young creed are passionate and have their own vision. Somewhere deep down these guys complex me, I have always felt that I am an inferior filmmaker as compared to, Vikramaditya Motwane, Bejoy Nambiar and Raj Kumar Gupta. They are far more superior than I am. I have always learnt something with the filmmakers who I have produced with." With reluctance from studio honchos and big filmmakers in producing debutant films, Anurag makes it possible for the younger lot of filmmakers to express their vision. "These budding filmmakers carve their own route with their first film, and it's bloody brilliant! Bejoy is one of the most superior filmmakers we have," he says. Reminiscing the time when people were cynical with Vikramaditya's vision last year, Anurag says, "People will be praising Bejoy just like I said about Vikramaditya last year. But it's not like they would have thirty or so contracts thrown at them. There are scores of of filmmakers who are far more superior to us old filmmakers who have been lingering around for ten years or so. I feel that the younger lot is far more intellectual and I think they will push us to get better. Every time I see work like Bejoy's or Vikramaditya's, I feel that I should strive to make my next film better."

    A barrage of avant-garde films have swoon into theatres, in contrast to its peppier counterpart, Anurag believes that this is the turning point in Indian cinema. "Some filmmakers today derive the nuances of reality and tell their stories; they don't have any reference point to start from. I think more people will start making their own renditions instead of 'inspired' stories, they would not make textbook cinema. Shaitan was shot all over Mumbai and some parts were shot in Pune. All the locations where the film was shot in, were unexplored by other filmmakers."

    Anurag points out that his films are relatively 'mild' when he showcases it to his foreign counterparts. "To label my films as 'dark', I think is a very relative term to use. Our Indian audience has been conditioned and habituated, to watch and be fond of this softy candy floss like cinema here! To the world over, my films are termed as 'real cinema' not dark. In India, anything that is real is considered, dark cinema. I still hold back because of the kind of cinema that we are exposed to, have ingrained a routine in our psyches, where everything looks colorful, beautiful and frothy! If you compare my films to the others here, then you could call it dark, but I beg to differ. It is real cinema addressing genuine stories."

    While Shaitan was being edited, Anurag was finishing his shooting schedule for Gangs Of Wasseypur, "I went straight to the editor's studio to check out how the film looked and, I was taken aback. I think that this is very different from what we get to see today and we all are very happy the kind of work the younger lot of filmmakers is churning out. We are quite excited for Shaitan."

    With Bollywood films experiencing a revelation of sorts Anurag believes that we are in the middle of the old and new Bollywood, which still does not hold stable ground. "I think in about three years, this is going to be thoroughly explored, and those who cannot catch up, never will. I think that Shaitan will have a larger cult following than any of the films that I have done. It is something that you would watch again; it is a tremendously strong and exciting film."



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