I capture realism with its complexity: Anurag Kashyap
The filmmaker talks about his upcoming directorial venture Mukkabaaz, which addresses multiple "complex" issues of society
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, known for projecting realism in his cinema, is looking forward to his new directorial venture Mukkabaaz, which addresses multiple "complex" issues of society -- from the poor infrastructure to "reverse caste politics".
"My film is set in Uttar Pradesh, the state I come from. So, the casteism that you see in the film is as real as it looks. This is the reality of that society. When we talk about casteism, we only project how the higher caste is discriminating against the lower caste. But in reality, reverse casteism also exists. There are people from the lower caste holding the higher position in administration and years after, take revenge with the higher caste people who once discriminated against them," Anurag says.
Was it intentional to bring politics alive in a film which is essentially about boxing? "I am making a sports film about boxing. Through the film, I am showing the real condition of the sport of boxing and the social background of the players. So, the various layers of the narration are basically revolving around that," says Anurag, known for films like Black Friday, Gangs of Wassepur and Ugly.
As the protagonist sets out on his journey to achieve his dream to be a national champion, the film unfolds the reality of the flawed infrastructure in the country's sports scene that does not allow India to make a global mark in athletics. "That is the question that I want to ask -- We celebrate cricket internationally, but not a sport like boxing... A boxing champion is never celebrated like a cricket champion, why is this?" asks Anurag.
Being a director who has also produced films like Queen, Udaan, Shahid, The Lunchbox and Masaan, Kashyap has collaborated with filmmaker Aanand L Rai for Mukkabaaz. Was there any creative conflict? "I always believe that a film director makes a good film producer because he understands the perspective of a storyteller better. Therefore, Aanand and I bonded well. The collaboration happened over a cup of tea. He wanted me to read the script of Maanmarziyaan, for directing it. I loved the script and I said I will direct it, but first I want to work on this film (Mukkabaaz). So then we decided to do both the films," says Anurag.
Well-versed with world cinema, Anurag is a popular name in the international film festival circuit, but his stories have a very local flavour of the Indian middle-class. Explaining that, he says, "See, it's simple. As a member of the audience, I watch films that give me an insight into the local culture of a country and a community. Honestly, when I look at a story, I do not think about if it has the potential to travel globally. If it does, great, if not, it's okay. I am happy as long as I am making a film of my choice."
Mukkabaaz is releasing on January 12.