Friday, March 30, 2007

The jinx is over

The jinx is over
Mar 30, 2007

Anurag Kashyap

It took acclaimed scriptwriter Anurag Kashyap eight years and three films embroiled
in controversy to prove his directorial skills. More on the man who directed ‘Black Friday’
Anurag Kashyap

By R. Sanskriti

Anurag Kashyap – whose controversial film Black Friday released recently after a long wait – idolises writer Franz Kafka. Thankfully, he didn’t have to wait as long as Kafka did (Kafka’s works were published and appreciated only after his death).
Kashyap has been a filmmaker-in-waiting for eight years now. He spent his years thus far writing for top Bollywood filmmakers from Sanjay Gupta to Ram Gopal Varma and Mani Ratnam.
The film Black Friday, about the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed over 253, is not his only film to have gotten into trouble.
Paanch, his ‘debut’ film, too has seen many a hurdle. First the controversy when the film was banned. Then problems related to production going over budget. This followed by his falling out with producer Tutu Sharma only to patch up soon after.
Eight years later, Paanch is yet to be released and its actress Tejaswini Kolhapure is yet to see her debut act on the big screen.
Sanjay Routray, executive producer of Paanch and a close buddy of Kashyap, says, “Anurag is a strong guy. He has gone though a lot of turmoil mentally as well, fighting all odds. Anyone in his place would have crumbled.”
After Paanch got stuck, Anurag got down to making another film called Gulal. The film about student elections shot in Rajasthan had Antara Mali and Jesse Randhawa as part of the cast. This film got stuck as well when producer Jhamu Sughand’s finances dried up.
Kashyap’s run in with luck however, did not see a drop in those wanting to make films with him. Producer Kumar Mangat, who got Kashyap to direct No Smoking with John Abraham in the lead, had earlier said, “He is very talented and is a great writer. He will show with No Smoking that he is a great director as well.”
Fortunately for Kashyap, he made his mark as a director in Bollywood before the completion of No Smoking and the film industry is only but happy for him.
“I’m really happy for Anurag. I don’t believe in things like a jinxed director, because eventually your efforts bear fruit. From the looks of it, Black Friday is a super film. Anurag, as a writer and director, always had talent.
“As a writer though, he has brought about several changes (in Bollywood). That’s no mean achievement. In the years to come, he will prove himself as a director too,” says veteran filmmaker Sudhir Mishra.
Kashyap’s fame is widespread and directors have always heaped lavish praise on him for his scripts.
“Anurag brought a great deal of flair and language when he wrote Yuva for me. I do not speak Hindi well but Anurag managed to do the right thing by doing the dialogues correctly. I am sure his vision as a director helped him,” says ace-director Mani Ratnam.
Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, who is all praise for Kashyap’s scripts for Satya and Kaun, is believed to tell his writers to match up to Kashyap’s standards of writing.
For Kashyap, the recent release of Black Friday was the best Friday he could have had.
Says he, “I was very nervous and had been biting my fingernails all along. But now, I am happy and relieved. The film has finally released and it is a great feeling to know people like my work.”
Silently, even veteran film producer Jhamu Sughand (Fire, Earth, Bombay, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) must be a relieved man. His troubles too began after Black Friday got stuck. Further films like Gulal, Johnny Gaddar and Abbas Tyrewala’s film were also stuck because of problems with Black Friday.
Kashyap now awaits the completion of No Smoking and if Jhamu’s problems get solved as well, even Gulal will see colour on the silver screen. Just hope Paanch too gets a clearance, it’s been eight years
too many.

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