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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Anurag Kashyap's 'Gangs of Wasseypur' to hit UK cinemas

Anurag Kashyap may have been branded a torch-bearer of new-age Indian cinema but the filmmaker says he hates carrying any such burden.

“I hate being a poster boy because a poster boy eventually becomes a dart board. I never consciously carried any kind of burden of new-wave Indian cinema but people have a tendency of label you. All I felt was that if there were more filmmakers who made cinema I related to, then I could also co-exist. It would increase my chances of survival,” Kashyap said during his London visit to promote Gangs of Wasseypur, which releases across Britain on February 23.

Describing the two-part gritty gangster flick as his most commercial film till date, he added: “I am very keen to see how it does in the UK. I know a lot of audiences here who have been waiting to watch it on the big screen. I hope it will benefit from all the word of mouth. The audience around the world have just simply enjoyed it. There has been a lot of analysis in India, but we tend to do that in India.”

The film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and proved a box-office hit in India, is set in the mine fields of Wasseypur in Jharkhand and was largely shot in Kashyap’s own hometown of Obra in Uttar Pradesh.

“The only reason I was able to do everything was because I shot it in the town where me and my brother (fellow filmmaker Abhinav Kashyap) grew up. I used all my father’s contacts, who was a senior engineer based there. People opened up their homes to me and were so excited about the film being shot there, wanting me to put bombs in their houses too. Major on-screen blast sequences would have cost crores but I got them for free as I was told to just land up with my camera when a mine blast was happening,” said Kashyap, who has been compared to Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino as a result of a similar streak of brazen gun fights in Gangs of Wasseypur and its sequel, which opens in the UK on March 2.

“I have stopped reacting to such comparisons. The only thing that has changed for me is that I now get paid for the movies I make; and that has taken 12 years. I have now consciously tried to extract myself from any labels. I don’t want my name to figure anywhere and have even renamed my company Sikhya. Expectations are a killer. I wish I could be a new filmmaker with a new name with every film. I just want the freedom to make my films,” said the 40-year-old artiste, who is also known for his on-screen performances in films like I Am and Trishna.

The writer-director behind award-winning films such as Black Friday and Gulal now wants to only focus on direction and is also keen on exploiting the television medium with Western-style season-based dramas that are rooted in Indian sensibilities.

“The biggest problem has been the first-generation Indian Diaspora’s control over film and TV content. They left India physically but not emotionally and were forcing the same stories down the second generation. And because the money was coming in dollars and pounds, that was the audience being catered to. But the next generation is now coming into its own and liberating itself. The mainstream itself is getting more rooted and when the mainstream gets rooted, everything else changes. The world has realised our cinema is changing and once the authorities in charge realise that too, it will reflect in the international awards scene as well,” he said. 

- Aditi Khanna

Screening schedule: http://www.marapictures.com/

Aditi Khanna is Senior Editor of India Inc - www.indiaincorporated.com

 

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