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Two down, Kashyap moves on

Box Office failure hasn't affected Anurag Kashyap, writes Saibal Chatterjee.

entertainment Updated: Sep 12, 2005 17:02 IST

The two feature films that he has made to date have garnered unstinted critical acclaim, but for reasons known and unknown they are yet to see the light of day. But that isn't stopping writer-director Anurag Kashyap from getting on with a filmmaking career that by general critical consensus ranks among the most promising in present-day Bollywood.

The promotional screeners of Kashyap's maiden film, Paanch, made three years ago, have made it back to the multiplex screens, thanks to the fact that producer Boney Kapoor has picked it for distribution. But the fate of Black Friday remains in an undefined limbo, with the Supreme Court deferring the hearing on the case to December.

Kashyap isn't, however, waiting for his luck to sort itself out. "I am launching my new film next month," he announces. The film in question is titled Gulal, will be shot in Rajasthan in a two-month schedule, and features Anurag Kashyap regulars Kay Kay Menon and Aditya Srivastava in addition to "a few new actors".

Anurag Kashyap hasn't tasted Box Office success but that isn't a stopping for him.

Jhamu Sugandh, who bankrolled the controversial

Black Friday

, is throwing his lot behind

Gulal

as well.

Gulal, pretty much in the manner that Paanch and Black Friday did, will probe a dark and disturbing recess of the reality of contemporary India that Bollywood's escapist cinema rarely dares to delve into.

Kashyap finds it strange that though we live in a democracy we have so many films being denied permission for public screening every year. "Even China now allows films that are overtly critical of the system," he says.

Is it easy for Kashyap to find producers when his first two films are still lying in the cans? "It's not," he admits. But that's not what worries him so much as the fact that "producers who do want to work with me want me to make films that they want, not films that I want."

Gulal promises to be a characteristically dark film with Kashyap's signature all over it. "It," says the co-writer of Ram Gopal Varma's epochal Satya, "is set in the not-too-distant future where democracy is collapsing and wars are being waged in every corner of the country."

Gulal will explore the questions of idealism and expediency in the context of a movement launched by a bunch of rebels. "When people who are seeking change start out, they are driven by commitment to a cause. But as internecine power struggles take over, one-time idealists fall prey to corruption. They become just as corrupt and manipulative as the system that they want to overthrow," says Kashyap.

Rajasthan, feels Kashyap, will provide the perfect backdrop for the political drama because it is a society where "tensions have been simmering under the surface for quite a while". But Gulal, he is quick to point out, isn't set in rural Rajasthan. "It will be an out and out urban film," says the director.

Having burnt his fingers twice, will Kashyap deliver a softer, less provocative film this time around? "Gulal will be my most hard-hitting film," he asserts.

How long does Kashyap hope to stick to his guns as a filmmaker in relentless pursuit of unconventional themes? "Well, I'll do it as long as I can," he says. What he does for a living is write dialogues for occasional Bollywood films. "I write some films because I need the money; I work on others because I believe in them," Kashyap says.

Among the films that Kashyap has written dialogues for are Mani Ratnam's Yuva and the Ajay Devgan-starrer, Main Aisa Hi Hoon.