This year the man is involved in the making of nearly a dozen films. From a small unpredictable filmmaker Anurag has become the poster-boy for independent cinema in India. Point is: Has Anurag bitten off more than he can chew? And what does it mean for the future of the ‘small’ Indian film, quintessential of the past decade?
Starting his career on television nearly 15 years ago, Anurag Kashyap then picked up the pen for his first-ever Bollywood script with Satya. The film became a cult in its own right. Anurag then followed it up with his directorial debut Paanch (2003) that never saw light of the day.
Post his critically–acclaimed Black Friday and Gulaal, Kashyap was known to be quite a ‘jinxed’ director with many big films announced that never got made. However, after his 2008 production Aamir and Dev D in 2009, the Gorakhpur-born whiz-kid suddenly turned into the most bankable and sought after directors-producers in the country. It’s been a quite a roller-coaster ride for Anurag ever since! There’s more to come…
In terms of box office figures, the films Anurag Kashyap helmed as a producer haven’t always made huge profits. Nonetheless, they’ve been encouraging. Here’s a lowdown on how the films fared commercially:
Aamir (2008): Average
Udaan (2010): Average
That Girl in Yellow Boots (2010): Flop
Shaitan (2011): Average
Gangs of Wasseypur 1 (2012): Above average
Gangs of Wasseypur 2 (2012): Flop
Aiyyaa (2012): Flop
Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (2012): Flop
On why he isn’t directing films and leaning more towards producing them, Anurag once remarked that since his films feature relatively lesser-known faces, he ends up lending his name to the projects. If that remains true for the coming year as well, he has a lot of work to do. The reason is simple: A lot of money is riding on his reputation with about a dozen films lined up to hit the marquee.
Trishna: Rs10 crore
Lootera: Rs 40 crore
Bombay Velvet: Rs40 crore
Queen: Rs10-15 crore
Haase to Phase: Rs 12-15 crore
Michael: Rs 3 crore
Shahid: Rs 5 crore
Emraan-Hollywood Film: Rs 20-30 crore
Ugly: Rs 9 crore plus
Moonson Shootout: Rs 2-3 crore
Peddlers: Rs 1 crore
Haramkhor: Rs 1 crore
Lunch Box: Rs 7-8 crore
Tasher Desh: Rs 1-2 crore
Vakratunda Mahakaya: unknown
(All the figures mentioned above are in approximations)
Break and enter
Anurag reprised the lost parallel cinema of the ’80s with introduction of talents like Rajeev Khandelwal, Huma Qureshi, Kalki Koechlin, Mahie Gill, Prithviraj, Rajat Barmecha and Gulshan Devaiah to name a few. Furthermore, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda received a fresh breath of air with Gangs of Wasseypur. Fresh talent was encouraged behind the camera too, a la Vikramaditya Motwane or musician Sneha Khanwalkar.
With Anurag himself now making Bombay velvet, a Rs 40 crore film, his biggest production so far, and with his discoveries like Nawazuddin, Mahie and Rajeev reportedly charging no mean amount per film, it poses a question mark on the economics of the ‘small film’ (around Rs 3 crore) model that he so popularised in the last decade.
In March 2011, Anurag took a snarky swipe on social media at the Khans — Salman and Arbaaz — for replacing his brother Abhinav as the director of the Dabangg sequel.
He later simmered down and deleted the comment and apologised to all concerned saying that he was inebriated when he made the remarks.
Ramu has lost it!
After Ram Gopal Varma made his 2007 disaster Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, Anurag, his erstwhile assistant, proclaimed Ramu has lost it all. “I can’t see the Ramuji I used to know, at all now. I have stopped watching his films completely.
I see the trailers of his movies and tell him what I feel about them. I fear that if I see his movies and don't like them, I might walk up to him and tell him things he may not want to hear.” The pair has patched up since.
Koffee’s too hot to handle!
Anurag was involved in a verbal volley with Koffee With Karan host Karn Johar. The fight started when Anurag allegedly started bad-mouthing KJo’s show Koffee With Karan and also Yash Raj Films.
Anurag passed derogatory remarks about the show saying that how can you say who’s the best actor with only choices of Hrithik, Abhishek and SRK? While Karan quipped that Anurag may be suffering from depression and may need a psychiatrist.
Yo-yo, it’s only words
When the world was screaming for Punjabi rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh for his derogratory song about women, Anurag Kashyap defended him by saying that there is sexual repression in society.
He felt there is a market for celebration of hate and degradation of women and it is wrong to ban anything in a civilised society.