If home is the reflection of the homemaker, films are the reflection of the filmmakers. However, this adage doesn’t hold true for Anurag Kashyap, who turns 46 today. Abhishek Bachchan, who has been directed by him for the first time in next week’s release, Manmarziyaan, recently revealed how the director is drastically different from the cinema he makes. Given the brusque mold and blunt arc of his characters and films, it’s hard to believe the man can be a recluse and reticent in real life.
Kashyap’s cinema has a voice of its own, and even when it has been attempted to be quelled by the Censor Board on multiple occasions, his fearlessness as a filmmaker continues to be unfazed. And these seven films prove why Hindi Cinema needs him and should celebrate his existence:-
1. Black Friday (2007)
Unarguably his bravest and most sincere film, Black Friday unfolded almost like a documentary on the 1993 Bombay Blasts that shook the entire nation and left the city of dreams in horror, nightmare and shambles. It was also heart-breaking and infuriating to witness the film lying in the bins of The Censor Board for being too controversial to be allowed a release. Every character in this solid drama was etched with perfection and felt straight from the time when the attacks crumbled Bombay. And equally resolute was the portrayal of Rakesh Maria by Kay Kay Menon, who, instead of attempting to replicate the nuances and miens of the Former Commissioner Of The Police, brought fury and fire of a man appalled by rampant brainwashing by the Mastermind behind the terror attacks. A totally unmissable gem and Kashyap’s best till date.
2. Dev D (2009)
Unlike Bimal Roy and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s interpretations of this hapless lover turned alcoholic which were replete with tranquility and grandeur respectively, Kashyap made this impassioned saga a heady cocktail of sex and subterfuge. In the earlier adaptations, Dev’s obsession with Paro knows no bounds. SRK even declared to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan- Mere Alawa Tumhe Koi Aur Chue, Yeh Mujhse Bardaasht Nahin Hota, when all she was being touched by was a house-fly. In Dev D, Abhay Deol and Mahie Gill, the Gen-Next Dev and Paro, are making out in the fields where he dismisses her as a slut and puts the zip of the pants back on. This was the filmmaker’s way of informing the audiences how he perceives two of the most iconic celluloid lovers and how times have changed.
3. Gulaal (2009)
The hunger for power and thirst for revenge formed the crux of this political drama. All characters distinctive, some hiding demonic intentions, Gulaal veered into the space Kashyap never explored before, yet succeeded in giving us an untapped portrayal of dynasty politics. A lot of the film’s adrenaline rush was absorbed by the audiences because of the colorful characters the filmmaker had on display. From the magnetic and idealistic Dukey Bana (Kay Kay Menon) to the evocative Rananjay Singh aka Ransa (Abhimanyu Singh) to the eccentric Prtithvi Bana (the inimitable Piyush Mishra), it can be argued this Kashyap directorial had as many fascinating actors as his ambitious and amazingly crafted Gangs Of Wasseypur.
4. Gangs Of Wasseypur I & II (2012)
Before Bombay Velvet, came a gangster drama that could be described as Kashyap’s foray into gargantuan scale and ambitious budget. This two-part saga may have been about guns blazing and dead bodies dropping at breakneck speed, but it was this very directorial that affirmed his position as the Quentin Tarantino of Hindi Cinema! And rightly so, not many filmmakers are able to construct their film’s premise on two rival families and sprinkle it with humor and hilarity. This was one of those ensembles where each character’s idiosyncrasies were infectious and the dialogues immensely contagious.
5. Ugly (2014)
This metaphorically titled thriller wasn’t just about a father’s search for his daughter. It graved deeper and dug out the hideousness and gaudiness hidden deep inside a human. It was a dingy display of ego clashes, greed and ultimate loss. That climatic twist was both startling and nauseating. After raising our heartbeats with its unpredictable narrative, Ugly left us with a lump in our throats. That’s Kashyap’s cinema for you!
6. Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016)
It doesn’t come as a surprise that it was Anurag Kashyap who decided to make a film on one of the most psychotic and cold-blooded serial killers, Raman Raghav. It also doesn’t come as a surprise that the police officer ordered to nab the killer who’s on the loose, is ultimately drawn to his psyche and repulsiveness. Bathed in noir, Nawazuddin Siddiqui made us believe he could be Raman, as not much has been heard, seen or spoken about the man or why he does what he does. His ordinariness and spooky appearance added the much-required terror to his character and Kashyap proved yet again there’s hardly anyone in the business who understands grime as meticulously as he does!
7. Mukkabaaz (2018)
We are still five days away from the release of Manmarziyaan, so this boxing drama could be called as his detox film. Drifting apart from murk and barbarity, the director presented an aspiring boxer’s struggles to fulfill his aspirations and dreams. This too, was a metaphor used for our protagonist Shravan Kumar Singh (played to perfection by Vineet Kumar Singh). Before he can step into the ring, he has to wrestle the hurdles and obstacles outside it, plenty of them. If Kashyap’s previous films depicted darkness on the celluloid, this was a film where all of it lied inside our hero.
Stick to this space for the latest in Bollywood!