Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap loves to put society's underbelly under a scanner and his films like "Black Friday", "Dev D" and "Gangs Of Wasseypur" are a case in point. Now he has come up with another dark drama "Ugly", saying he delves into such themes because he believes in showing "real" things.
"I think there's a certain honesty and truth in dark themes. Rest everything else is a camouflage - like they decorate a cake with icing. I believe in real, and that's what I show," Kashyap told IANS during a tete-à-tete here.
That's precisely what he does in "Ugly", which had its Asia premiere at the recently concluded third edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) in this Jammu and Kashmir region and was well-received.
He put together "Ugly" after coming across multiple true-life stories during his research.
Kashyap requested the media not to reveal anything about the film, but one can't resist from saying that the edge-of-the-seat thriller keeps you engrossed from the word go.
"Ugly", which was initially screened at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year, is set for a Sep 19 release.
Apart from enjoying accolades for "Ugly" here, the 41-year-old loved soaking in the sun and being in the breathtaking landscape of Leh.
Meanwhile, the moviemaker's "Yudh", his ambitious TV project, which is 71-year-old Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan's first fiction show for the small screen, is ready to go on air. He says that there are many factors about the show that excite him.
"There's this whole excitement...the whole idea that Mr. Bachchan is wanting to do (fiction on) television and he's taking chances - an actor who is in his 70s and is taking chances and redefining things and doing things himself...it's amazing," he said.
"And that I'm getting to participate in it is a high in itself for me," added Kashyap, the creative director of the show, which is slated to go on air on Sony Entertainment Television in July.
The Big B-Kashyap partnership doesn't end here. Amitabh will be seen in a cameo in "Ghoomketu", which is co-produced by Kashyap, who also stars in the film.
There's another film that Kashyap and Amitabh have joined hands for.
On that, the filmmaker said: "It's still in its writing phase. Mr. Bachchan has become very busy right now."
Thanks to his past successes, Kashyap's plate is full and he is also roping in big names for his projects.
For instance, there is Ranbir Kapoor- and Anushka Sharma-starrer "Bombay Velvet", which has entered the "editing" stage, he said.
"Now it is in post-production. We take a lot of time in that," he said.
Instrumental in introducing a new style of content, presentation and genre to the Indian cinema, Kashyap is sure that he would "continue making films" he wants to.
Nevertheless he is glad that between him and his partners in Phantom Films, Vikramaditya Motwane and Vikas Bahl, they are offering a "balanced" dose of entertainment to cinema aficionados in the country.
"I make 'Ugly', Vikas makes 'Queen' and Vikram makes 'Lootera'. It's a good balance," he said.
Creativity is not the only thing that keeps him busy.
Till some time back, Kashyap was also fighting a case to show a smoking scene without the disclaimer - 'Smoking is injurious to health'. But he lost it.
He however hasn't given up!
"We have to continue fighting it - at least I will continue the fight in the hope that some day someone will understand that if I don't want an anti-smoking logo running on my movie that doesn't mean that I am encouraging smoking," he said.
Kashyap says that running a disclaimer is not a bad idea, but the current format is not right.
"People need to see that. It is fine to put an ad before and after the film, but on the film - it's not just distracting, it's insulting," he said.