"Keh Ke Loonga Doesn't Have Sexual Undertones": Anurag Kahsyap
Faridoon Shahryar (FS): I have always discussed with Anurag Kashyap and asked him ki aap aisi filmein kyon nahi banate jo entertaining ho aur jisme log seetiyaan bajaaye. And when I saw ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’, I got my answer. The film is, from a viewer’s point of view, thoroughly entertaining. Aap usme seetiyaan baja sakte hai and you enjoy its entire process. At the same time, you are having your point of view which is very typical of Anurag Kashyap and hence you have not compromised as well. Huge please to have you on Bollywood Hungama and congratulations for the success of part 1!
Part 1 mein aapne bola hai ki ‘teri keh ke loonga’ aur ab aap aakhri vaar karne waale hai! Tell me what do you mean by ‘teri keh ke loonga’?
Anurag Kashyap (AK): When anybody says ‘teri keh ke loonga’, it doesn’t have sexual overtones or undertones. In other words, it means that ‘I am going to scr*w you’! Aur iska jo meaning English mein aata hai, wohi Hindi mein bhi aata hai. It’s like ‘I’ll tell you before I kill, attack or whatever I do to you’. That’s what it means.
FS: Somwhere, you are telling the same thing to the audience as well…
AK: (laughs) I am not telling it to the audiences!
FS: Maybe to your critics?
AK: Not at all. That was never the intention. My intention has remained the same after every movie – I’ll make a film and make sure that no one loses money. If it brings in profit, bahut acchi baat hai.
FS: I believe the nett collection of the first part is around 27 crores?
AK: 27.5 crores.
FS: And 15 crores was the total amount spent on the film?
AK: Yes, including P&A. Nett ka share aata hai 12 ke aas pass. Satellite aur baaki sab rights ka milaake automatically profit mein chala jaata hai.
FS: Will you have cuts when the film will be screened on television?
AK: Of course they’ll be cuts. Adult film hai!
FS: Will you be happy if the film gets a late night slot?
AK: I am happy with anything because the best films I wanted to watch used to be aired late night, on Doordarshan. Aur main jag ke dekhta tha. To jo audience hoti hai, woh film kahin bhi aayegi, dekhegi.
FS: You altered the climax of ‘Dev D’ taking into account whatever happened with ‘No Smoking’. But in ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’, you haven’t compromised on anything. You have given it all. Is that a correct assessment?
AK: I have given it all, also, because the story inherently was entertaining. It is always the choice of the subject. When I chose a subject like ‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’, right from the beginning, you know that bahut saare log dekhne waale nahin hai. Ussi hisaab se uski limitation mein aap kaam karte ho because you feel that ‘I want to make this film and I have to make this film, but not at the cost of others’. That was the only lesson I learnt from ‘No Smoking’. After ‘No Smoking’, I never learnt that lesson that main No Smoking dobara nahin banaungaa. Agar dobara banaungaa, to nuksaan mera hona hoga. As for ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’, the subject gave me the opportunity to go wide because the subject inherently was entertaining and will easily translate to the audience.
FS: Why do you say that it’s entertaining? Is it because of the filmy element…
AK: No no! It was because of the filmy element that I wanted to make the film at the first place. I didn’t want to do a gangster movie. Why should I do it? Itni ban chuki hai. What set this gangster film apart from others are its characters, which you’ll see more in Part 2. Part 2 is complete Bollywood influence.
FS: Rajinikanth bhi to hai movie mein…
AK: Rajinikanth nahi hai movie ke andar.
FS: The way Faizal smokes, it is an influence of Rajinikanth.
AK: Yeah, he’s a filmy character. But it’s not just Faizal. Definite Salman ka fan hai aur Perpendicular Sanjay Dutt ka. To ye saare fans jo hai, inka hi aapas mein clash chalta rehta hai. So it’s because of that, that I wanted to make this film. When I started researching for the film, I wanted to know ki yeh mafia karta kya hai? And what I found very interesting ki dono ki dushmani chal rahi hai, lekin badla to leta hi nahi hai! This is because wahaan real life mein aisa nahi hota hai ki aadmi baith ke film ki tarah badla plot karta hai. Woh wait karta hai ki mere ilaake mein kab aayega! Agar woh uske ilaake mein aayega nahi to woh baitha hua hai! After all, har aadmi aapne ilaake ke sher hai na. Par woh aaya hi nahi aur uske pehle Sardar Khan ko goli lag gayi!
FS: However, the film has suffered criticism in the sense that it becomes kind of a documentary. Also the long duration of the film was not liked.
AK: The problem is that people are in a hurry to decide and define how a film should be. Aap jab film dekh rahe ho, aapko film hold kar rahi hai na? Documentary nahi hoga to context nahi aayega. Aur context laana zaruri hai. Hum logon ko itna time lag gaya ki woh context laaye kaise, kis tarah se use karein usse voiceover mein taaki jaldi se khatam ho jaaye taaki hum aage nikle aur kahaani mein ghuse. Par woh context bahut zaroori hai kyonki ye film 5 ghante 20 minute ki hai. Unfortunately, hamare country mein cheezein itni pre-defined hai ki 5 ghante 20 mins ki film koi theatre lagaayega nahin. To isliye 2 hisson mein lagani padegi. Aur ye humko banane se pehle hi pata tha aur uss hisaab se pressure kam ho jaata hai ki do hisson mein banegi, to do baar box office pe jaayegi. So we can get more money, for 1 ½ or maybe 2 films. The idea was that it should work as a whole. While doing an estimate, we were hoping that if the first part does 14-15 crores business, we are happy. This is because our large expectation is based on part 2 because usme documentary ya context nahin hai. Part 2 is like a rocket – it’s just a story. Agar part 1 itna pasand aayi, to part 2 to kahin aur hi jaayegi!
FS: The part 1 opening was around 8-10% but to sustain it is phenomenal. It’s still running in theatres and people are going for it. I have a colleague who is a huge fan of the film and he told me that ki usne film logon ke saath dekhi aur log Manoj Bajpayee ke scenes mein taaliyaan aur seetiyaan baja rahe hai. This is unprecedented.
AK: Accha hai na! Bahut saalon se zaroorat hai aur agar ho raha hai iss film se, to bahut acchi baat hai. Kyonki main to nahi jaata hoon theatre mein (laughs).
FS: The Pehelwan scene turns out to be comical, despite the fact that it’s a violent scene.
AK: It is, because these are comical heroes. Aur part 2 mein to aap ye bahut zyaada dekhoge. Banda bandook chalane jaata hai par bandook atak jaati hai. Hamari filmon mein kabhi bandook nahi atakti. Hamari filmon jab log chase karte hai to road khaali ho jaati hai aur sirf 2 gaadiyaan bhaag rahi hoti hai. Jaise baaki saare so rahe hai. Maine kaha ki aisa nahi karna hai. Meri film mein traffic jam mein chase hai! Traffic jam mein khadi hui hai gaadiyan aur ek dusre ka peecha kar rahe hai. To khadi hui gaadiyaan traffic jam mein kaise peecha karti hai?! Part 2 is full of such stuff! Ek gangster hai jo roz wohi dukaan loot ta hai! Aur dukaandaar bhi roz usko wohi saaman deta hai. Woh bacha hai. Usko pata hai ki ye dukaan waala mujhe de dega kyonki woh mujhse darta hai. And that is what is exciting is that aise log hai, aise gangsters the, aisa underworld raha hai aur inse bhi log pareshan hote the!
"I Never Criticised Amitabh Bachchan In Print": Anurag Kashyap
FS: You have done a unique thing in the sense that people like Nawazuddin are recognized as heroes because hamare yahaan jo star system hai aur bahut hi well-defined hai ki ye character actor hai, ye hero hai, ye heroine hai, ye villain hai and so on. Even awards are given accordingly. Do you feel vindicated in a way because you have striven hard for a very long time?
AK: I am happy that sticking to my guns inspite of everything against me has paid off in a small way that mere pass woh freedom hai aaj ki date mein ki main jo karna chahta hoon, kar sakta hoon. But I envy filmmakers from all over the world jahaan kahin bhi aisa star system nahi hai. Aur star system har jagah bhi hai aur nahi bhi hai. Hollywood mein bhi star system hai. Hollywood mein bhi ek Tom Cruise jaisa bada star hai. Lekin usse ek bhi award nahi mila hai. Yahaan sab kuch star-driven hota hai. Star system to rahega har jagah, chahe who sports ho ya journalism ho. But it’s never star driven. It’s based on the performance. Aisa nahi hai agar koi accha nahi kar raha hai, to usko jagah nahi milti hai. Yeh hamare Bollywood mein hota hai. Saare award bhi har saal wohi logon ko milte hai. Woh system agar change hoga, to bahut acchi baat hai. Nahin hoga to iska matlab ye nahi ki hum woh karna band kar denge jo hum karte aa rahe hain.
FS: People who know you say that you are a very simple person. But in case of your interviews, it’s very startling to read your quote that Indian audiences don’t understand cinema and that Cannes mein jo hum jaate hai, woh show off hota hai. Somehow, the ‘I know cinema better than what the other people are doing’ attitude is coming across.
AK: Aisa isliye hota hai kyonki hamara media headlines pehle decide kar leta hai. Ab main ek-ek cheez ka batata hoon. Pehli cheez ki ‘hamari audience accha cinema appreciate nahi karti’. JNU mein 1 ½ hours ka discussion chal raha tha ki hamare cinema mein Dalit kyon nahi hai. Maine kaha ki woh isliye kyonki Dalit koi dekhne nahi aa raha hai aur jo khud Dalit hai, usse bhi Katrina Kaif ko dekhna hai. Agar main Dalit ki problems ke upar cinema banaungaa, to wahaan 10 log khade ho jaate hai. Hum log to surname lagane se darte hain actors ke, kyonki koi khada naa ho jaaye. Jaise kisi ne interview mein bola ki Qureshi saab jo hai, woh naaraaz ho gaye kyonki humne unko villain dikhaya hai.
FS: Yes and I know people who are Qureshi’s and they are bit skeptical!
AK: To iss country mein itni saari dikkatein hai. To maine kaha ki hamare audience jab woh cinema dekhne jaayega, to log banane bhi lag jaayenge. Jis tarah ki filmein audience dekhne jaayegi, wohi cheezein bana rahe hai. Baat woh thi. Sawaal kya tha – Dalit kyon nahi hai. Woh sawaal aapne kisi bhi article mein padha?
FS: No I think it’s not there at all!
AK: Har article mein sirf 4 line quote ki hui hai – hamari audience accha cinema appreciate hi nahi karti. All this is done by vested interests. Ye article ka origin kaha se hua? Ye ek aadmi ne likha hoga. Woh aadmi kaun hoga? Woh Dalit Association se associated hoga aur usne pehle se hi decide kar liya ki ye aadmi mere baat ka jawab nahi de raha hai aur isliye article aisa banayenge.
Jab Cannes ki baat aati hai, to maine kaha tha hum log sabse zyaada obsessed hai Cannes aur Oscars se. Inke baare mein jitna India mein chapta hai, utna duniya mein kahin nahi chapta. Circle ka ticket jiske pass hota hai, har woh aadmi Cannes ke red carpet pe jaa sakta hai. Aur usme se 70% journalist’s hote hai. Unki photo koi nahi chaapta. Baaki jinko free tickets milte hai, unko jo sponsors hote hai, woh apne ambassadors ko alag-alag country se bulaate hai. Jis country se jo ambassador aata hai, uski photo chapti hai uss country ke newspaper mein. To maine kaha ki Cannes jaana hauwaa ho gaya hai! Mere se sawaal pucha gaya tha ki Cannes kya hai aur wahaan hota kya hai. To maine woh explain kiya. Aur log headline pe react kar rahe hai. Jaise log 5 star dekhte hai aur review nahi padte, waise bhi log article to padhte nahi hai. So, agar main apni saari zindagi barbaad karne lagu ye sab cheezein explain karne mein, to yaar main kaam kab karunga? To mereko aap article batao aur main batata hoon ki mujhe sawaal kya pucha tha, maine jawaab kya diya aur woh chapa kaise!
FS: You said in an interview that ‘I prefer working with newcomers because they are hungry for perfection and give their soul to their work. I never run after stars. I keep looking for good talent because it’s fun working with newcomers’. At the same time, you are working with Ranbir Kapoor and were in talks with Shahrukh Khan as well. How do you deal with this dichotomy?
AK: Why should I deal with that?
FS: There are certain groups which consider themselves purveyors of independent cinema…
AK: Na to main independent cinema ka purveyor tha, woh title bhi mujhe kisi aur hi ne diya aur indie movement ka pioneer bhi kisi aur ne hi banaya. Maine to sirf ‘Paanch’ banaya tha. Usko release karne ke liye lad raha tha. ‘Black Friday’ banaya. Uske liye lad raha tha. Apni film banayi aur uske release aur paise ke liye ladta tha. Meri film release nahi hui aur saari duniya aah ke personal level pe taarif karti thi par kaam nahi hota tha. Tab blog discover kiya. Woh saari frustration maine blog pe nikaalna shuru kiya. Maine to jis din internet discover kiya, ussi din blog discover kiya. Mujhe thodi na malum tha ki duniya padhne lag jaayegi! I have come here wanting to make films and I’ll always make films. Main producer isliye bana kyonki jab film banane paise chodne padte hai, aur picture paise kamaayi to back end milega. Lekin back end hum company ko de sakte hai. To humne company bana li. Warna ‘Aamir’ mein to company nahi thi. Usme to sirf creative producer ka credit tha mujhe. Ab jab company khadi hui thi, to ‘Udaan’ banani thi. Dost se paise udhaar le liya. Mujhe naye tarah ke cinema se aur nayi tarah ki script se darr nahi lagta hai. Naa hi mujhe naye logon se darr lagta hai. Mujhe bahut kam paiso mein picture banana aata hai.
FS: ‘Jung’ ki script bhi aapne likhi hai, Abhinav Kashyap ke saath…
AK: Haan. Uske saath-saath ‘Shakalaka Boom Boom’, ‘Main Aisa Hi Hoon’…matlab, jitni classics rahi hai, sab pe mera naam hai (laughs)!
FS: Amitabh Bachchan has praised ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ profusely. In the past, you had a tug of war with him and you’ve been critical of him, in print. And seeing the film, I think you are a big fan of Amitabh Bachchan. And the way Nawazuddin maarta hai, that is very typical of Mr Bachchan…
AK: I am the biggest fan of Amitabh Bachchan. I never criticized him in print. I criticized him on facebook without taking his name. You can still go back and check the status. But yes, I was upset with something and that remain like that, na. Unhone meri film ke baare mein tweet kiya aur bahut bahut shukraguzaar hoon ki unko film acchi lagi aur itna saara likha unhone mere film ke baare mein. Unhone ‘Udaan’ ke baare mein bhi likha tha. Lekin bahut hypocritical hoga agar main unke tweet ke badle thank you kahoon. Mere liye tab cheezein sort out hoti hai jab 2 log aamne saamne baithke sort out kare. Hamara aamna saamna to hua nahi hai. Jo mere andar hai, woh hai. Saath hi shukraguzaar bhi hoon unka.
FS: You were supposed to write a script for him…
AK: 12-13 saal purani baat hai. Unke ghar pe baitha rehta tha!
"Aamir And Me Are Sorted, It Doesn't Matter...": Anurag Kashyap
FS: People like Jameel Khan and Piyush Mishra have been appreciated for their performances but inka zikr zyaada nahi ho raha hai.
AK: Woh zikr karna aap logon ka kaam hai na. Main to inko kaam deta hoon kyonki acche actors hai. Log carried away hote hai sirf main characters ke saath aur bhool jaate hai baaki logon ka kaam.
FS: Tell us more about these actors.
AK: Jameel Khan is a terrific actor and I have known him since theatre days. Piyush bhai ko to main guru hi maanta hoon. Unko film mein cast nahi karna padta hai. Saamne se aa jaate hai aur bolte hai ki ‘main hoon’!
FS: ‘Dil Chi Cha Ledar’ is sung by a 12-year-old. Is it true?
AK: There’s this girl Durga from Andhra Pradesh jo local trains mein gaana gaati hai.
FS: And is it true that it’s not recorded in a studio?
AK: It was recorded in Sneha (Khanwalkar’s) house. And most of the songs are recorded like that. ‘Womaniya’ for instance. Sneha ki find hai Durga. Usne pehle bhi uske saath kaam kiya hai. ‘Dil Chi Cha Ledar’ ke liye bahut se logo ko try kiya aur finally, Durga ki voice sabse correct lagi.
FS: Apparently, thanks to Manoj Bajpayee, you got a chance to do Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya. So is this your way of paying him back because Manoj was phenomenal in the film. So things have come full circle?
AK: Between us, yes, it has come full circle. Beech mein 8-10 saal ka sulk tha hamare beech mein. Bachho ki tarah roothe hue the hum log.
FS: Woh bhi mohabbat ki ek nishaani hai!
AK: (laughs) Hum log bewakoof the aur jab bewakoofi realize hui, to maine galti sudhaar li.
FS: When are you starting Bombay Velvet?
AK: Next year in April.
FS: And when will it release?
AK: Yaar, main post-production mein bahut time leta hoon. Film involves lot of heavy CG work. To kaafi time lagega. 2013 mein shuru hoga to 2014 mein release hogi.
FS: What are your plans of ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ for international market?
AK: Kaafi saari countries lock ho jayi hai. 20th ko Singapore release hai, 26th ko France mein release hai aur ye releases chalte rahenge agle saal March tak lagaataar.
FS: What are your hopes from the international market?
AK: We have got incredible amount of minimum guarantee (MG) which we can’t disclose and which is why you are seeing the smiles on our faces (smiles). And this will probably be the biggest release any Indian film has seen world over. It is releasing in every single country over a period of time.
FS: Are your promising more entertainment in ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur 2’?
AK: ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur 2’ is ten times more entertaining. Part 1 had documentary, context and was incomplete. Part 1 had 60 years of story. Part 2 is 5 years of story. Part 1 had 5 different time zones. Part 2 has one time zone, all characters have been introduced and two more characters need to be introduced…
FS: Who are they?
AK: Perpendicular and Shamshad Alam
FS: Shamshad is…
AK: Rajkumar Yadav.
FS: ‘Abbu ne salaam bola hai’…kya dialogue tha?
AK: ‘Abbu ne kaha hai, bacche ko hello bolna’!
FS: It can’t get more filmy than that!
AK: Bollywood is a character in the film and has been referenced. All are characters are Bollywood fans, except the villain. Ramadhir Singh hates Bollywood!
FS: Do you think that ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ is a turning point for you and you’ll get much more opportunities to make the kind of films you wanted to make…
AK: I hope so. ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ would lead me to ‘Bombay Velvet’ which in turn will lead me to ‘Doga’.
FS: Have your written dialogues for ‘Talaash’?
AK: Only the additional dialogues.
FS: Also, a story appeared that Aamir is finally working with Anurag and that Anurag was upset with Aamir...
AK: Yaar main kaun hota hai Aamir se upset hone wala? Na to main kisi ko rok sakta hoon likhne se, naa kuch bol sakta hoon. As long as Aamir and I are sorted amongst each other, it doesn’t matter what anybody writes.
FS: Fantastic! We can keep on talking to Anurag, but some other time. Thanks a lot for being on Bollywood Hungama. Great pleasure to watch ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur 1’ because I’ve been following your work since quite some time and have always been critical that you should come up with a full-on entertainer and this is looking like an entertainer in a different context, without compromising on your principles. So, looking forward to part 2 and all your future ventures as well!
AK: Thank you so much!