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Anurag Kashyap On The Irony Of Trend-Chasing In Bollywood

Anurag Kashyap On The Irony Of Trend-Chasing In Bollywood

Anurag Kashyap On The Irony Of Trend-Chasing In Bollywood

MUMBAI, (IANS) – One might envision the Indian auteur Anurag Kashyap as a heavily guarded and serious individual, immersed in books and his signature library of DVDs all day long, with no hint of a smile on his face. While his cinema might partly contribute to this perception, the truth is far from it. The filmmaker has a knack for humor, boasting a repertoire of “dad jokes and sick jokes.”

In a conversation, Anurag mentioned that he finds humor in the mundane. He said: “I have a stock full of dad jokes, sick jokes, and inappropriate ones (laughs). Humor is something that you must find out which genre works for you. You can be good at clean comedy, slapstick comedy, or dark jokes. It’s on you to identify what you are good at and then keep practicing it with your timing, your delivery, and the pauses. I find humor in everyday things, and I use it the way I like in my films.”

Throughout his career, Anurag Kashyap has made the films he wanted to make, steering clear of the conventional norms of the Hindi film industry. He stands as one of the most successful independent filmmakers in the country today. However, such success comes at a cost. Not every creation resonates with the audience immediately. Sometimes, a film gains recognition long after its theatrical release, labeled as a cinematic masterpiece or ‘a film ahead of its time,’ a phrase that Anurag refuses to acknowledge.

Anurag said, “For me, every film has a different reason to be made. It’s very easy for someone to say that ‘You made a film which was ahead of its time.’ But I made that film when it came to my mind. I’m not running ahead of time; perhaps the audience could be trailing behind. “When one sees films from France, Germany, Siberia, and Iran, it becomes evident how far behind we are in terms of quality content compared to them.”

The director feels that Hindi cinema is largely still stuck in formulas. “Bahar log kamaal ki picturein bana rahe hain (People outside India are creating exceptional cinema),” he added.

He then pointed to an even stronger example, the Malayalam film industry.Anurag Kashyap said, “The problem of chasing trends is major with Hindi cinema, I feel. Look at the Kerala film industry; they are really doing some great work. Let me tell you an irony. I saw ‘Manjummel Boys’ and wrote on Letterboxd that nobody would have put their money on ‘Manjummel Boys’ in the Hindi film industry, but if it gets a good response, people will do its remake.”

And guess what? It happened exactly as he had prophesied. “The film was released, and after two days, I got a message from a producer asking if I knew the guys behind ‘Manjummel Boys’ because he wanted to remake the film in Hindi,” he said.

Anurag continued, “If S. S. Rajamouli were a Hindi director, he would never have been able to make the kind of films he is known for. That said, I will say that I’m the most privileged indie filmmaker in the country because I get to make the films that I want. Other filmmakers sadly don’t get that chance to put their voices out there.”

He also pointed out that trends dictate the market due to India’s hugely disproportionate screen count compared to its 1.4 billion population, the largest in the world.

His upcoming series ‘Bad Cop,’ premiering June 21 on Disney+ Hotstar, casts him as an antagonist. Asked about his interest in the crime genre as an actor, he replied, “My fascination with crime began with Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ at a young age. I have forever been in this world.”

“I read a lot of noir and crime fiction. There’s a certain intrigue about crime stories in the sense of what makes a person criminal and what pushes them to commit a crime,” he added.

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