'My films never have a hero' : Anurag Kashyap
Anurag Kashyap has again donned the director's hat for Ugly, which he says is a thriller with strong emotional quotient. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu in conversation with the filmmaker in Mumbai You have always been quiet about Ugly. Can you tell us what the film is all about? It's a film that I have been wanting to make for a very long time. This is a film which I have always preferred to keep under the wraps and intend to continue keeping it like that. I have never shared the script with anyone, until I had to approach my producers and show them that this is the film I intend to make. So I can't tell you what the film is about at this point of time. What was the reason behind your silence about this particular film? Simply because when you work on a script, it pushes you to a lot of interesting boundaries. Also I wanted to reveal the film when the time is right for it. I didn't want to make another film which people would say is ahead of its time ... that's a very boring excuse for a film that doesn't work. At least give a cue. Well, the film is about that time of life, when we face crisis and when we look back, we realize, all our dreams remained unfulfilled. It is then that we realize how fragile we are and how trapped we are among moralities and other things. There are so many things around us which we end to overlook, especially in today's time when our eyes don't shift from our smartphones and we don't even care to take interest what's going on just next to us. It's a very emotional film in the garb of a very strong thriller; and it's a very 'straight' film. You have also written the story? Yes. In fact, after Black Friday (2007), this is the first film which I have penned alone. So, do you want to project the film that will be first of its kind? Not at all. Ugly is not Life of Pi or Avatar ... it doesn't have anything that people have not heard of or seen before. But it hits some note within you and you feel that you should make this film as it will be a correct thing to do. Who is the hero of the film? My films never have a hero. Ugly has a huge cast and has many actors like Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhatt, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Surveen Chawla and Vineet Kumar Singh ... but it doesn't have such a big name that if I mention, you will understand who he or she is. This is also the first Hindi film of National Award winning Marathi actor Girish Kulkarni. The film has many characters, not heroes.
When is the film going to release?
We have shot half the film, the other half is still left to be completed. So I don't think the film would release before May-June next year.
Is it true that you have not given any script to the actors of the film?
(Laughs) They trust me and come to shoot every day and I tell them what we will shoot on that particular day.
How much have you shot for Bombay Velvet with Ranbir Kapoor?
We haven't started shooting yet. Bombay Velvet shooting will start after I am done with Ugly. Right now my focus is on this one film. I have always done one film at a time. Right now Ranbir is with my brother (Abhinav Kashyap; for Besharam).
You are a producer as well as a director. Which role do you prefer more?
I have always preferred to direct films. And producing films help me to do the way I want to do them.
How will you define your journey as a director after making over 10-11 films?
I didn't realize I have made so many films. It feels good. It's nice to make so many films and also being able to produce films which nobody wanted to invest in, feels quite good. I think today is the most exciting time to be a filmmaker and be in this film business because now we have space for everyone. There is a very local, Indian mainstream that we have come back to, which is not an imitation of any other mainstream; we have very good independent films which is making impact internationally like Ship of Theseus, Miss Lovely, Peddlers and all that; and we have a mainstream that is re-defining itself, which is getting more real and more about India and not about New York, LA or Australia, like Kahaani and Vicky Donor. And all of them are working well with the audience.
But critics still discriminate between art and commercial films. Do you agree?
According to me, the film that earns loads of money after its release becomes a commercial film. You should not limit cinema like that. That way, even cinema will remain limited.
Since we are talking about Ugly, what, according to you, is the ugliest thing that people generally face during their lifetime?
The ugliest thing that people see is that moment of insecurity they have within them that pulls you back in life.