Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why does Anurag Kashyap irk me?

There are many reasons why I despise and envy Anurag Kashyap?

I remember the first time I came across the name was when I was in college and came to know the director of this banned movie Paanch was coming to give a talk. It was kind of exciting mainly because it was my first exposure to the big bad world of the Indian Censor Board (barring hearing a few things about Bandit Queen) as a child. I, fortunately or unfortunately could not attend the seminar but heard he was quite interesting.

Anurag Kashyap has a unique graph as a film-maker. Never have I seen a film-maker who has had so many problems in getting his films released forget getting made.

The first time I came across the man was in Pune during the First Annual Screen-writers conference. Anurag, Javed Akhtar and Abbas Tyrewala stole the show then and that was my first exposure to a frustrated animal called Anurag. Not one film out and he publicly criticised Boney Kapoor, Rakesh and Hrithik Roshan, Robin Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma, et all. Javed saab called him arrogant but it was something new. People like rebellion especially when it concerns a truck-load of celebrities. Here was the man who called Anil Kapoor the most insecure man in the film industry.

Anurag wanted to vent out. He needed to release his frustrations- he needed a platform. He couldn’t show it thru his films mainly because nothing was happening. His debut Paanch still hasnt released (though cleared by the Censor Board), Black Friday released after ages, the promos of his Gulel are finally out, an Allwyn Kalicharan was planned with Anil Kapoor, Anurag needed a punching bag. And he got it in the form of passionforcinema.com. In the beginning I did admire the man’s guts. This was the time when I hadn’t seen any of his films and he seemed intelligent to me. When I saw Black Friday, I personally thought it was an average film both technically and in terms of story-telling. Yet, I could see a spark somewhere.

Now, then in my horrific Indiatimes days I was asked to review No Smoking. Went to watch it with my mom and dad. Somewhere I consider myself smarter than the average movie-goer but after watching No Smoking I was thinking to myself if I am just a pseudo-intellectual lying to myself and the people around me that I want to make movies. I didn’t understand the movie. Two years down I still don’t understand it. I know people who rave about it and praise Anurag’s balls but I am yet to meet a person who can explain the movie to me. I could easily have made something up and tried to look smart in front of some of my dumbass Singh is Kinng loving public but I decided to see where I stood. We have Tarantino whose films make too much sense that it seems senseless and we have David Dhawan who senseless films are accepted as the Bible to formula films in India.

Anurag doesn’t fall in either category- he is a film-maker who makes his kind of movies and if we fail to understand them then he unleases his passionforcinema morons from the innermost gullies of Faridoonabadistan to write the most insensible things on the web. I read I think an 8 page review of the movie on the website… and it didn’t make sense to me at all and I could conclude it must have been written by the writer of No Smoking himself. I remember the flak Taran Adarsh got from one of the passionforcinema idiots for giving it a negative review. Just like to mention that this was one of the first instances where users got a response from a known figure. So here we see these dime a dozen pricks that have access to a celebrity.

Please try to follow some of the user comments. They are simply hilarious. Im sure Anurag is happy with his online fan- following (I would be too) but I bet you my personal copy of Hollywood Nudes in 3D book that even Anurag must be laughing his Black Fridays off reading some of them.

I am not ashamed to say I don’t understand No Smoking mainly because I am not your target audience. Your movies may or may not be ahead of its time, but I am sorry you cannot insult industry people and the audience just because you took interest in reading more books and watching more movies than the rest of movie-watching urban India did.

That is why I wasn’t really looking forward to watching Dev D. People were going gaga over the song Emoshanal Atyachar but I just sat back waited it to pass. (Don’t get me wrong. It’s only good if Dev D works.)

But that being said, I want to say this to you. In Indian cinema’s present day scenario where we still struggle to be taken seriously worldwide, if at all there is a director today who can take it in the right direction it is you.

I personally don’t think you have a vision. You have talent but you go over-board with it. Use your energies in the adequate proportion and we just might have a film-maker whose cinema will be remembered in the decades to come. You might say I'm being hypocritical by saying this after I lambasted your movie(s). Well, let's just say... our formula guys are slumped too much into their couches to get up.

I just wished you could make the one film where I wouldn’t just say ‘it’s good’ but would shout over roof tops and say ‘Indian cinema has arrived and it took us just a little over 100 years.’

Just don’t be full of yourself and don’t think you are God’s gift to cinema. You are not!!

Still undecided whether to watch Dev D or not…

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