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Anurag Kashyap: I will tone down language in my films but not the anger

Why would Anurag Kashyap experiment with something that has become something of a badge that every Kashyap film wears proudly, especially in a film that is set in the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh?

bollywood Updated: Jan 17, 2018 11:15 IST
Sweta Kaushal
Sweta Kaushal
Hindustan Times
Anurag Kashyap,Mukkabaaz,Phantom Productions
Anurag Kashyap promotes Mukkabaaz in New Delhi.(IANS)

Most of us identify Anurag Kashyap movies with the raw language but his latest venture, Mukkabaaz, has proved to be a major deviation. Why would he experiment with something that has become something of a badge that every Kashyap film wears proudly, especially in a film that is set in the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh? To expand the reach of his film, claims the filmmaker.

“I want to make socially relevant films. I also want to expand my audience. I want to tell more stories because it’s in my blood. I also want my films to reach out to more people. For example, I wanted budding sportspersons to watch Mukkabaaz - 10-12 year-old children. If that means I need to tone down the language, I will. I will not tone down the anger of it, but I will tone down the language,” Anurag tells Hindustan Times.

Does that mean we will never get to see something like Gangs of Wasseypur? “I will continue making those films but it really depends on the subject. Yes, I want to consciously expand my audience. The more audience I have, it will empower me to make better and more relevant films. I have great support system and I want to continue making films.”

Zoya Hussain and Vineet Kumar Singh play lead roles in Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz. (IANS)

“I also want to make two films in a year. At least three films in two years. Production me ghus gaya to isse door ho gaya tha (I was away from direction ever since I entered production),” he adds.

Anurag, along with Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl, started their own production house, Phantom Productions, in 2011. It was considered a “directors’ company” where the focus was on filmmaking, but they have begun working much like other studios in Hindi film industry. “Ab to Phantom mainstream studio ho gaya (Now, Phantom has become a mainstream studio). But these are choices made by individual directors. By the end of it, only Vikram and I are sticking to our own kind of cinema.”

Reminded about his film with stars like Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor, Bombay Velvet, the director says, “I know I have done that, but I am done with experimentation and I am back in my zone. The world I want to create, I cannot create it if the star comes with his stardom. There is market pressure. Whenever the question of star versus director arises, everybody will always be on the star’s side. How do you fight that? Chahte the but nahi hai abhi waisa (I wanted to make a difference but we do not function accordingly yet).”

The past few years have also given us stars directors. “I agree. I have got an audience, which is why I can make a film with Vineet Singh as the lead.”

Talking about Mukkabaaz, Anurag says, “Sports movie ka idea fix hai. Humari country me sab kuch mere haath me to hai nahi. (The idea of sports films is fixed here, I do not control everything in our country.) Mukkabaaz is a sports drama. This is not about victory. It is like a biopic of an unknown, unsuccessful sportsperson. In the process, we are covering many grounds. Mukkabaaz is about family, dreams, government jobs and aspirations.”

Elaborating about cow vigilantes, mob lynching, caste system and other issues raised in his film, the filmmaker says, “Jo chees society me hai wo to film me rahegi (Whatever exists in our society will be there in the film).”

Despite such sensitive issues being shown in Mukkabaaz, it faced no troubles at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). In fact, Anurag posted a rather sweet tweet after receiving the certificate. “I was asked by the board, my intention to make this film and I spoke freely and fearlessly and was accorded the respect of a filmmaker by CBFC. Last time that happened was GOW #Mukkabaaz. The Voluntary audio deletion was the difference between the A certificate and the U/A #Mukkabaaz. Thank you @prasoonjoshi_ and @smritiirani and the board and the revising committee panel . Just to be given space to speak freely and fearlessly makes it all so worth it. #Mukkabaaz,” Anurag had tweeted.

“They (members of CBFC) were so rational about it. They just asked me about my intention. I said nothing, they said the incidents in my film have parallels. But all that also exists in our society. They did not object as my film does not point fingers, it simply shows you what is happening in our society these days,” Anurag says.

Talking about the politics of his cinema, Anurag says, “Politicians will always be there and they will always take advantage. Socio-political cinema is used to talk about the people and people believe in certain things. They get used and misued and that is what our cinema should shows. People have imbibed casteism and now we also witness reverse casteism. UP se to kabhi gaya hi nahi casteism, people still ask me about my caste. But now it is spreading even in the cities.”

While Chak De is Anurag’s favourite sports film, Sujata, Prem Rog, Lage Raho Munnabhai and Bandini are among his favourite socio-political films.

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First Published: Jan 17, 2018 11:13 IST