I want my  audience to be provoked and disturbed:  Anurag Kashyap

His vicious villain’s role in Sonakshi Sinha starrer ‘Akira’ was appreciated but Anurag Kashyap says, “Acting is not my cup of tea.”

By Neeru Saluja

Director Anurag Kashyap never fails to create waves in the film industry. Be it his passion to make films, the endless fight against the censor board or his cameo acting appearances. He always fights for change in cinema and is a fearless and independent filmmaker. And that’s why a conversation with him is candid, intellectual and unconventional.

Thanks to Mercury Cinema in Adelaide, we engaged in a long conversation with him in between his visits to Australia for film festivals showcasing his latest film ”˜Psycho Raman (Raman Raghav 2.0)’. With an undying love for Australia and a wish to go diving in the Great Barrier Reef, Anurag starts talking about the film that has made him a favourite guest for festivals down under.

“Psycho Raman is a film about exploring the nature of humans within the Indian society when the world is becoming so extreme wing, fundamental and hyper-sensitive. For the plot, I have used a serial killer and an unrequited love story between two men. Crime has always fascinated me. I love the human aspect of crime. I’m happy to show my film in Australia, it’s a big honour as I haven’t shown many films here.”

Kashyap says he loved working with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Raman Raghav 2.0 about a serial killer, “He’s a brilliant actor. He completely gets into (the skin of) a character.”

Before Psycho Raman, Anurag made the magnum opus ”˜Bombay Velvet’ which failed miserably at the box office. It’s said that the failure of this prompted him to make the crime thriller Psycho Raman. Confirms Anurag, “This is absolutely true. I couldn’t recover the money from Bombay Velvet because of the failure. So I took a take on it and made my next film”.

Commercial success or failure has never affected his urge to make films. Last year, he fought a tiring battle for ”˜Udta Punjab’ with the censorship board. His first crime film ”˜Paanch’ never saw the light due to the censor cuts. So is it a never ending fight? “The censorships in India is not consistent. It basically depends on who sits to chair the committee. The fight is endless. I have had more battles than this one, but this time the fight was more voracious,” tells Anurag.

So do you call yourself a fighter? “I would rather call myself a survivor! I want to stand up for my fundamental right that has been given to me. I understand my rights and who doesn’t, I don’t want them to interpret them for me.”

And this is the reason why Anurag still rules since his struggling ”˜Paanch’ days. How would you define your journey, struggle and your biggest challenges? “It’s been a fun and an emotional rollercoaster ride! Challenges are always there. The most difficult challenge is what lies ahead. I don’t like going to the past. I wouldn’t wish for another life. I wouldn’t have been another person. Struggle is in the head. If you want privilege you need to struggle. It’s all about the choices you make and the consequences you have to face. I can’t blame it on others. I have always been ready for the consequences that I had to face because of my decisions in life”.

With this tumultuous ride, Anurag has dabbled not only as a director, but a writer, an actor and a producer. But he enjoys writing the most. “Acting is not my cup of tea. I enjoy writing the most. I can write anywhere. I write with my hand. I don’t type. I just lock myself in the room. I like to write my own scripts and know aspect of my film.

“With films, I go very much by instinct. If I feel strongly about anything I go forward with it. I’m a very organic person. If I don’t relate to a film, I won’t do it. My script decides the actor,” says Anurag.

Talking about actors, you have mentioned that while making ”˜Raghav Raman’, you loved working with Nawazuddin? “I loved working with him. He’s a brilliant actor. He completely gets into a character and has the most expressive eyes. He fits in any kind of character. Amongst actresses, Radhika Apte is brilliant.”

You have named your favourite actors, but which are the films that are close to your heart? “Gulaal and Ugly. Both were very emotional experiences. Gulaal took 8 years to make. It was an emotional ride. There was always an uncertainty if the film will see the light. Ugly was about a child and that was the reason why I made the film”.

Be it his films or bold statements, Anurag has always been termed controversial. To this he declares, “Speaking the truth makes you controversial. I don’t think I have done anything controversial. I always stand up for what I believe in.”

You have always believed in a modern cinema. Do you see the film industry changing? “People are more accepting now. That kind of cinema always existed. There is always an immediate reaction at international film festivals. In India it takes time. It took four years for India to accept Gangs of Wasseypur. They wait for the star rating of the film.

Last but not the least, what message would you like to give with your upcoming films? “I don’t believe films should give a message. I want the audience to be disturbed and provoked, I want the film to live with them,” says Anurag.



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