"No one believed in "Gangs of Wasseypur" script"
By Bedika Anurag Kashyap is a happy man with his three films being screened at the ongoing Cannes film festival in different sections but the director says his two-part revenge saga "Gangs of Wasseypur" almost did not get made as no one believed in the script initially.
"Gangs of wasseypur is a film that people did not believe in. I have been wanting to make this film for quite sometime. People asked me why I wanted to work on this film and not something like "Dev D" which was a success. So it almost did not get made.
"I don't understand the concept of re-doing the same thing. But then Viacom 18 people came forward knowing that it had no big star cast, it was in two parts and was too long," Anurag told PTI in an interview.
Kashyap, who is already in Cannes, says he is awaiting the screening of two part "Wasseypur" and home production "Peddlers" with a lot of nervousness.
"We have to deliver first. I have not seen the films so I will watch them with the audience but I am scared about their response to the films," says the director, who is keen to take his films beyond the Indian diaspora.
Kashyap's films have been recognised worldwide for their unique approach in storytelling, which is often bereft of the usual Bollywood cliches. The director says he wants to continue reaching out to new audiences. "I had a dark period from 2007 to 2009. That was the time when my biggest support was outside India. Because I am getting to make movies here I can't abandon them. For me that market is very important as it kept me alive as a filmmaker when I had no support here.
"The audience defines your longevity in this business. My audience is non-diaspora. It was hard for Indians to digest a film like 'Yellow Boots', the diaspora is more conservative. But there is a different audience which is interested in my films and I want to explore that," said Kashyap.
"Wasseypur", Kashyap's most ambitious project till now, tells the story of revenge set in the world of coal mafia. The film stars Manoj Bajpayee, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Huma Qureshi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Reema Sen and others.
"Revenge is a very interesting theme but it is important to use it well. Through revenge we are telling many more interesting stories. The canvas is bigger in this film because I am telling the entire story of the mafia's origin."
Kashyap, the man behind films like "Black Friday", "Dev D" and "That Girl In Yellow Boots", says it is his first commercial film with lots of songs and dance. "If I get the chance to make a commercial film like 'Wasseypur' then I want to make commercial films all my life," maintains the director who feels that the film has the potential to change the ways of Bollywood.
"I hope that it brings change. I would want it to happen someday, this film or any film. Kahaani has changed a lot of things but I want to fix it further. If this film works, makes the cost and shows profit, I will be set free. My lifelong struggle has been that to make a good film, you need a good story, a good team and good actors.
"You don't need a star. If something like Wasseypur works, everybody would get a bit more confidence. I feel the industry has to change. The filmmakers don't often get enough credit for their work and that should change," said Kashyap.
The two parts of "Wasseypur" will be screened back to back at Cannes parallel section Director's Fortnight while his home production "Peddlers", directed by debutante Vasan Bala will be competing at the Cannes Critics Week.
Kashyap, whose production house is dedicated to encourage young storytellers, says he does not make it easy for his directors. "I always tell people to work on their script first. Vasan is one of the most brilliant boys in our company and he wanted to experiment in a certain way. If he wants to do that then he needs to take the harder route. I don't make it easy for anyone because I don't have money. I have to raise money for every film.
"Guneet (producer) is always running around to raise money. I need to believe that here is something I will stand by till the end. It is important to make it difficult for the first timers. If it is easier then they take it for granted," he said. PTI