Anurag Kashyap has changed the way films are watched and made in India. Film students now seem eager to want to learn his style; home grown cinephiles want to watch films that resemble what Anurag Kashyap would make. You cannot talk of Hindi cinema and not mention his influence over the fabric of the mainstream landscape. His path and journey through the years has been a major milestone- a turning-point, an one of a kind once-in-a-generation filmmaker.
To think back, it was Vittorio De Sica’s, “Bicycle Thieves” that proved to be an ‘epiphany’ and brought the aspiring filmmaker to Mumbai. And where he is now, is awe-inspiring to say the least. And what stands out the most is his fascination with cinema in its purest form.
Kashyap started off by struggling for years, sleeping on friend’s couches while trying to bring his films on the screen. In 2003, when “Paanch” was held back by the censors, he was told he ought to quit making films. Later, he opened up about how that delay prevented him from becoming a self centered auteur filmmaker. After delivering critical successes with the likes of “Gulaal” and “Black Friday” (both of which are now considered cult classics), he made a niche for himself; Kashyap became an icon for aspiring Indian filmmakers to go to.
He turned to the producer’s gaze in 2010 with coming-of-age cult classic, “Udaan”, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, with whom he later made Netflix India’s landscape changing, “Sacred Games”. Kashyap has also produced thoughtfully complex and thematically layered films. Starring Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah, he made “That Girl in Yellow Boots”. More recently, he produced one of the most thought provoking political satires, “Eeb Allay Ooo!” (Netflix) in 2019.In his now famous interview with Baradwaj Rangan (Galatta Plus), AK speaks about the current state of Bollywood- the limbo it seems to be stuck in and the possible reasons behind it. As he spoke about his love for films, it almost felt as if the innumerable (and invaluable) collection of the blurays behind him reflected in his own passion towards the medium.
Once Akira Kurosawa wrote a letter to Ingmar Bergman, penning down how deeply he admired his films and how Kurosawa believed, even after Bergman being so many decades into filmmaking at that point, that his best work was yet to come, he was still to bloom even further. That’s how we feel about Anurag Kashyap as well. Having already changed the way Hindi Cinema works, Kashyap is to bloom all the more, touch newer horizons and make more films that will stand the test of time.
This past week, Anurag Kashyap turned 50. From “Black Friday” to “Gangs of Wasseypur”, it has been quite a journey for Kashyap. And we believe, his best is yet to come.