I want a hit... I need a hit!
Anurag Kashyap is changing in more ways than one... is it all because of love?
When I first met Anurag Kashyap, he was angry and angst-y. Less than a year later, he's almost a different person. He's calmer, and he's smiling! The last time I interviewed him, he went through two packets of cigarettes and half a bottle of whiskey.
Now he puffs two tokes of his rolled ciggie, and was having chai! What brought about the change? The fact that he has just finished making a romantic film Dev D (his take on Devdas), or because he seems to have found his 'Paro'? Read on to find out.
Who have you made Dev D for?
For Dev D, the target audience is for everybody who is between 15-30. Largely, the people who have brought up in a city. There are some chunks, which will connect with people from the villages too.
Is the movie a cynical look at romance?
Dev D is an extremely honest film and it looks at romance the way it is today, but surely not the filmy idea of it, no. It is as real as it can be and it is a musical.
What do you want the audience to walk into the theatre thinking?
Like always, I want the audience to walk into the cinema hall empty- minded. And walk out thinking about the movie.
Is this movie an attempt on your part to prove to people that you can make a commercial romantic film?
Dev D is not made to prove anything to anyone. This is more of an attempt to prove to myself that I can make a love story.
What genre is it?
See the film is about love, lost love, identity crisis, alienation, soul-searching and it is about the youth today. But if you tell me to put a finger on the genre of the film, I would call it a musical!
You have a word like 'whore' in one of the songs. Did anyone object?
No-one did. That's how we talk! Don't you talk like that with your friends? There is nothing in the film, that was put in deliberately. The movie simply uses the language that we speak today and it also uses the situations that happen in our day-to-day lives. Dev D is my most accessible movie till date
You fell in love during making Dev D. Comment.
I didn't realise that I fell in love. Nothing happened until I finished the shooting and that's when you realise that something is amiss. On the sets even though there was a lot of proximity, we were working, partying and the whole crew was staying in one hotel. You don't realise something is happening till the team breaks up and everyone goes their own way.
How did you fall in love?
I have never denied it and I have never said that we are just best friends, but at the same time I wouldn't want to elaborate more on it. It is something very personal and very close to me and you can see the effect on me. I am very happy. It has made me calm and I don't get angry. I watch first-time makers' movies, I watch low-budget movies and I feel good about it and I feel good about people's achievements rather than what they couldn't manage to do.
You once told me that if your films do well or not at the box-office, it doesn't bother you…
If I ever said that I want to change that. I want my film to do well. I want a hit and I need a hit. I believe after my No Smoking experience, whatever film I make makes one or two rupees more that what was invested in it. Because I don't think anyone who wanted to break any box-office record ended up doing the same.
Like Devdas, would you give up everything for a woman you love and become an alcoholic?
I don't think so. What I don't like about Devdas are exactly those things I have changed in my movie. There has always been a streak of self-destruction in me but I always keep working on it. I don't like to give into depression and self-destruction, where it completely finishes me off. I have been on the brink of doing so and I have come back. Dev D is not about one character, it is about three people. The idea was to find parallels with Devdas and write a script. That's why we don't call it Devdas!
How do you look at Devdas — is he is a loser or a hero?
I don't think Devdas is a hero. As a matter of fact, I don't even like the concept of a hero in Indian movies either. A hero is a hero only after his journey is over. In Hindi cinema, we have a hero from the very first frame itself. Hero is a man of a personal quest and when he reaches the end of it, he is a hero in his own world. For me, a Chandramukhi is a hero, a Paro is a hero more than a Devdas ever was. But Devdas is not your eternal loser either; he is trying to find himself. It is a film about self-discovery and not a film about self-destruction.
Do you think Devdas is a today's story?
I don't know but Dev D is today's story. Devdas is very applicable in India because ours is a country known for its self-pity. We are the old people who celebrate self-pity in songs like Ghungroo Ki Taraha Bajta Hi Raha... When we are young, in a small town, we fall in love with a girl and she doesn't even know we exist and when she gets married, we get drunk, and we listen to sad songs
Anurag's fave romantic movies
Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
Ek Duje Ke Liye
In one line…Love means...
a lot!Love is... there to be found
being in love
Most romantic thing that a woman can do to you...
Just look into my eyes with that thing in her eye!
Most romantic thing you have ever done...
I have not done anything romantic!
Most romantic hero...
Most romantic actress...
Is it possible to love two women...
I don't know. It is possible to sleep with two women, it is possible to think that you are in love with two women but this idea kind of bothers me! Actually yes, it's possible to be in love with two women if one of them is your daughter.