Anurag Kashyap has spoken about how, in the past, financial constraints meant that his movies took a long time to make. For Gulaal (2009), it seems, he shot every year during Diwali because he didn’t have the money to afford the decorative lights. Now, the finances seem to be in place, thanks to films like Dev.D (2009) and Gangs of Wasseypur.
Yet, for his upcoming film, Bombay Velvet, set in Mumbai during the ’60s, he has been recreating the city digitally for six-and-a-half years. And the cost of this ambitious project, we learn, is approximately Rs.26 crore. Anurag says, “This is my first attempt to do a love story. I believe there are many things that can be done within mainstream cinema. I want to make a film where people can see Mumbai during the ’60s. That’s what we have been working on since 2005.”
Of course, you can expect Anurag to get the historical angle spot on. Prod him for details, and he says, “We are recreating the landmarks of that time. It’s not like we feature a few buildings and say, ‘See how Mumbai used to look.’ We are building the whole thing digitally: how Victoria Terminus and Flora Fountain used to look; how Churchgate and Marine Drive were when there was no Nariman Point.”
About the money and the time spent, he says, “We are already spending a lot of money. But we don’t have the budget to create it in one go.”
The shoot starts in April 2013. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma will play the leads. Has he abandoned his earlier penchant for casting newcomers in favour of ‘stars’?
“If stars understand my script, I have no problem working with them. Ranbir has done films like Rockstar (2011). It’s wonderful working with intelligent actors,” says Anurag.