He is moody, quirky and unpredictable; Anurag Kashyap has risen as one of the finest filmmakers in the Indian film industry. This director is everything that mainstream Bollywood is not. Right from his unusual venture into the film industry to his openness about his personal life, everything is refreshing about this filmmaker. His honest press interviews, non-filmy airs and his eloquence over his personal life have always made this Bombay Velvet director stand out from the rest. Not to mention his genius in filmmaking has made him a superstar overseas.
As, Anurag turns a year older today, here’s to this man who started by making films with completely no money (Paanch, Gulaal) but had the whole industry sit up and watch his work eventually.
The Man Who Took Us To International Market
He’s the one who took us abroad and gave the international market to look inside. He is a big celebrity at the Cannes Festival. He’s also been called the ‘Best Film School’ in India and film-maker Anurag Kashyap is living up to his name.
His co-production ‘Udaan’ made it to the Cannes film festival in 2010. Later, Kashyap receives a whipping applause after the screening of his film Raman Raghav 2.0. The film made its appearance in the Director’s Fortnight at the festival. This is Kashyap’s third time in this segment after Gangs of Wasseypur, and Ugly. They were also screened at the Cannes sidebar.
Kashyap, known for his jumpy style of film-making is among the few directors giving Bollywood a new direction, choosing subjects and themes that would have been taboo a few years ago.
The 45-year-old has always been vocal about what it means to have his movies at Cannes, crossover cinema and why he believes in the economics of film-making.
The Man Who Took Risks In His Dark Narratives
He is viciously pragmatic and clearly honest. He is called ‘Tarantino’ of the Indian film industry for giving us notable gems like the Gangs of Wasseypur series, Black Friday and Ugly, among others. Why this man rises above the usual mediocrity common in the Hindi film industry, we’ll tell you by listing some of his films:
Gangs of Wasseypur Series
Nobody will deny that this two-part series is the highlight of Anurag Kashyap’s career. After Gangs of Wasseypur, Kashyap was known as the ‘God of Independent Cinema’, and anyone who has watched this film will know why. No one but Kashyap could have weaved a story out of changing political and social landscape about some obscure place in rural India and turned it into a five-hour long movie!
He created quite a stir by opposing to add a ‘No Smoking’ stipulation in his film Ugly where all his lead actors are shown smoking. He very boldly took on the censor board and refused to comply to its ‘rules’ as he thought adding such warnings will ruin the cinematic experience for the watchers. He lost the case but we praise his guts!
Hailed as a modern-day classic, Black Friday when came out just blew everybody’s mind. Nobody had dared to make a film so real, so arousing about the chilling 1993 blasts! It is indeed a risky business to touch a topic so responsive and does full fairness to it without making it look sensational or worse, over the top.
The Man Who Worked In All Spheres
Known to scout for fresh talents to giving huge respect to his co-workers, this man is the genuine hero behind his remarkable movies. Anurag Kashyap has come a long way from being livid about stars and criticizing the ‘ideal commercial cinema’ that dwells in India to naturally moving to the same profit-making film space. From writing, directing, producing to even acting (recent debut in a Tamil-language film, Imaikkaa Nodigal), Anurag continues to prove his spirit in every sphere with each passing year.
He made sure he built himself as an ace writer. He’s also produced some critically and commercially successful films of recent times. Udaan, Shahid, the Lunchbox, Lootera, Hasee Toh Phasee, Queen is among them.
A theatre artist and an acting student, Kashyap has also shown his acting chops by doing cameos in films like Black Friday, No Smoking, and Luck by Chance, Dev D, Gulaal, Shagird, Aiyyaa, Bhoothnath Returns and many more.
The leading director has often cast young and new talent in his own films. He strongly believes there are a lot of gifted people out there, who with the right kind of direction will be able to make inroads in the industry.
His films are often blemished by controversies and not always accepted by the audience at large, but they have always played an important part in bringing positive change to Hindi films. From practical, hard thumping narrative to techniques, Kashyap brought a fresh let of life in the 90s with his exceptional manner of filmmaking. Some would say his style was similar to Hollywood’s Quentin Tarantino, but the director managed to instil the Indian element into each of his films.
We wish Anurag Kashyap a very happy birthday and good luck for his upcoming pictures, Manmarziyaan, Super 30.