Anurag Kashyap says pan-India bandwagon led to Bollywood destroying itself: 'When you emulate, you set up for disaster'
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has said that the obsession with pan-India films and the attempt to manufacture them has been Bollywood's undoing.
Anurag Kashyap has said the tendency to jump onto bandwagons has been Bollywood’s undoing of late. In a recent interaction, the filmmaker cited the example of the pan-India film trend and said that the bandwagon was responsible for Bollywood ‘destroying itself’. Anurag has been critical of the Hindi film industry’s alleged lack of originality as per him. Also read: Anupam Kher says Anurag Kashyap's take on Bollywood's woes is 'not important'
Anurag’s last directorial Dobaaraa was released in theatres this year. The Taapsee Pannu-starrer was a commercial failure even as it was praised by critics in moderation. Anurag had previously directed Choked, a Netflix film, which was released in 2020.
In a round table hosted by Galatta Plus, Anurag mentioned that he told filmmaker Nagraj Manjule that his film Sairat ‘destroyed’ Marathi cinema. “I was talking to Nagraj and I told him Sairat destroyed Marathi cinema, the success of Sairat. Because suddenly people realised there is a possibility to make so much money so they stopped making those films. Everybody wanted to emulate Sairat,” he said. Sairat, which was released in 2016, is the highest-grossing Marathi film of all time.
Anurag added that the craze of pan-India blockbusters has done the same to Bollywood now. “With pan-India, what is happening right now is that everybody is trying to make a pan-India film. Success will be 5-10%. Films like Kantara and Pushpa give you courage to go out and tell your stories. But KGF 2, however big the success, when you try and emulate that and set a project up, that’s when you start heading towards disaster. That’s the bandwagon that Bollywood destroyed itself on. You have to find films that give you courage,” he said.
The term pan-India films began to be used after the success of SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali franchise, the first film of which was released in 2015. The year 2022 saw a number of pan-India blockbusters, including KGF: Chapter 2 and RRR, two of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. Apart from these, Ponniyin Selvan: I, Kantara, Vikram, and Brahmastra Part One Shiva all made money across India.