Anurag Kashyap on his struggle with the Censors and more
Q. You have always been a non-conformist. You are vocal about everything.
A. I am really not a rebel. I have always been truthful as I can’t be diplomatic. In fact, I recently watched PK and enjoyed it. I envy Rajkumar Hirani, Imtiaz Ali, Vishalji (Bhardwaj) as they make outstanding cinema. I have always been honest to myself. I fight to exist and that keeps me grounded.
Anurag Kashyap. Pic/Satyajit Desai
Q. You also took on the Censor Board.
A. Yes, that fight is not over. My film Ugly has released, but the fight will continue on a larger scale. I want to continue fighting because I don’t agree with their diktats. It’s not even the law that is passed by the judiciary. It’s just somebody puts out something and we have to follow it. Mahesh Bhatt sahab has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court which is still pending.
I feel now the time has come for all of us to take a stand.
Q. You have a fixed audience for your films. Don’t you want to expand your territory?
A. The audience increases over a period of time. Recently, I went on YouTube and saw one of my films. There were five lakh views; it’s a big thing. My films get downloaded and more people watch it online. Someday this audience will be the paying audience. We just need to figure out a way to get them to the theatres.
Q. Why do you dig dark cinema? Don’t you want to tread other genres?
A. I think dark is a relative term. Who are the filmmakers we admire in the world? What cinema do they make? What is 'Gone Girl'? What is 'Birdman'? It’s funny but they are all dark films. Why don’t we refer to them as dark cinema? Just because they are from Hollywood? In India, we love to make feel good films. I’m going to make what I like. I like the real and the raw; and this will always be in my films.
Q. Do you want to be a part of the '100-crore club?
A. I am not saying that I don’t believe in it. Everybody should make money, but I can’t let this govern me and my filmmaking.
Q. How’s your equation with Rajkumar Hirani now?
A. I’m a huge fan of his work. In fact I am his airconditioner. My anger lasted for only a week. Who can get angry with Rajkumar Hirani? He’s a good friend.
Q. Buzz is that you are planning to shift your base to Cannes.
A. I just want to travel a lot right now. I want to cut down the pace of work. I have been working for 22 years and I think I need a break, but I will continue to make films here.
Q. How do you react to the constant buzz about your film, 'Bombay Velvet'?
A. Recently, I met Rishiji (Kapoor) and I asked him, “Sir, you watched 'Bombay Velvet' and you didn’t like the film. Where did you watch it?” Rishiji replied, “Yaar, tu toh film dikhata hi nahin hain.” He has not even seen the film yet there’s so much talk about him not liking the film. In fact Rishiji asked me, “What have you done? Why is there so much of negativity around you?” I had no answer for him.