You remember the raw and rugged character of Definite from Anurag Kashyap’s magnum opus Gangs Of Wasseypur? Well, Definite aka Zeishan Qadri is a director now. His debut directorial feature Meeruthiya Gangsters is scheduled to hit the screens this week.
Qadri, an Anurag Kashyap prodigy, says, "I got all my Cannes nominations and all kinds of awards the moment Anurag sir appreciated my film. He is an institution in filmmaking."
He further says, "Meeruthiya Gangsters has Gangs of Wasseypur kind of characters but they are funnier and quirkier. It is about college kids who take a shortcut for money and fame."Talking about the premise of his film, Zeishan says, "In Wasseypur, Faizal Khan killed people because he wanted to avenge his father's death. Crime is no longer a result of society's attitude or oppression. It is a business now and that's what you see in Meeruthiya Gangsters. Kids nowadays simply want shortcuts to things, money, fame et al. At times, people kill others out of frustration. Once, a friend told me that a few kids from a UP village killed a guy stepping out of a BMW at a liquor shop simply out of frustration that he could have all the jazz money could buy and they did not have anything! There was not even a verbal fight before shots were fired."
Zeishan Qadri was the co-writer of Gangs Of Wasseypur.
Zeishan was last seen in Kangana Ranaut-starrer Revolver Rani which was not only a dud at the box office but was also widely panned by critics. "When the film was narrated to me, it was something else. While working on it, I realised they had turned it into something different. You know what kind of film you've made; I knew Revolver Rani was a disaster and I just wanted to be done with my role and leave the sets," he says, adding, "And no, I don't really care about working with stars. I could have assisted Anurag sir and worked with Ranbir Kapoor or Anushka, but I chose not to. You could make me work with Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt and that won't change my work a bit."
"Meeruthiya Gangsters, I can assure you, is one film where you will see what you have never seen before. We like movies that surprise us and we can identify with. This will surprise my audience. Anurag sir didn't want to watch my film as he feared he might not like it and then I'l be offended if he criticises my film," he adds.
After watching Meeruthiya Gangsters, Anurag said he saw his own reflection in Zeishan. "I can see myself from the time when I was making Paanch, Zeishan has that kind of an approach and imagination in filmmaking," he said.His mentor Kashyap faced the wrath of critics in Bombay Velvet, but Zeishan stands by him, "There was nothing wrong with the film except for the screenplay and character graph. Just rework the writing, screenplay and character graph and see what a wonderful film it is. I told Anurag sir that he's made films with stars twice and this is what he ends up with -- John Abraham's No Smoking and now Ranbir Kapoor-Anushka Sharma's Bombay Velvet. The problem is that stars rarely get to real locations. With stars, you are forced to shoot on sets."
Zeishan says he learnt "a lot of technical stuff" while working on the movie. "I have not trained in filmmaking, there is no NSD or FTII background to my art. Having a clear vision of what I want in each frame helped me a lot. Initially, I just knew what frame I wanted for my scenes but working with Naren Gedia (Cinematographer) I learned it all and by the end I'd tell him what lense he can use for my frames."
Now that his film has been released, will he return to scriptwriting. "I will be producing a few reality shows for Ekta Kapoor. I am not much into writing these days. Just wrote a script that Anurag sir liked. I hope he directs it. Otherwise, I will be working on Wasseypur 3."
Jaideep Ahlawat, better known as Shahid Khan of Gangs Of Wasseypur, is playing a pivotal role in Meeruthiya Gangsters. Ahlawat also talks about his role in the film, “These are unprofessional gangsters. They’re different, but they’re together. I am playing Nikhil Chaudhary who is the planner of the gang. He has a combined family of over 50 people, and he wants to rise in their eyes. Unfortunately, his friends are most likely to dash all his future hopes.”
Ahlawat, who earned praise for his role in Vishwaroopam, further says, “There used to be a football ground outside Meerut College where I met Sanjay Foreigner. His hair used to be of a different colour. All these characters are heroes and villain at the same time. Isn’t this how life is for all of us?”
“We have shot in Meerut and Noida. We shot in daylight and in full public view in Meerut. It was very challenging. Every other day we had to confront problems,” adds Ahlawat.
Meeruthiya Gangsters is scheduled to hit the screens on September 18, 2015.
Read: Suresh Raina turns Bollywood singer for Meeruthiya Gangsters