Is Anurag Kashyap Bollywood's Newest Motor Mouth?

September 17, 2007
Sakshi Juneja

Okay before you shoot torrents of abuses at me, hear me out. But I would like to warn you, if you are a die-hard Anurag Kashyap fan, you might as well bump off this piece of cynicism. Because let's face the facts here, you will never agree to what I say or think, and I would not budge either.

When I interviewed Anurag Kashyap sometime last year, I loved the man. I never had doubts over his artistic capabilities but what impressed me the most, was his bold outlook towards the Hindi Film Industry. Despite many failures, his passion for his films took precedence over his misfortunes. He didn’t mince, he openly bitched about the Chopras and Johars and their underworld kind-da nexus in Bollywood. All in all, I respected his “never say die” attitude and more importantly I thought of him as an artist with his heart in the right place.

But all of this was back then, today for me, he is just another wanna-be in the glamorous world of pretense where people will go to any lengths just for some space in the Page 3 section or few minutes of stardom on the tele-screen. I guess it all started, once he signed on one of Bollywood’s most popular ‘non-actor’ actors for his upcoming project (Yes, I am talking about John Abraham) and then followed the release of the much-stalled, Black Friday.

The said film without any doubts was fantastic and very true to its conception and this not only the critics but also whose-who of Bollywood took notice of. Anurag Kashyap had arrived and that too with a mighty bang. But I believe in an industry like Bollywood, it’s f****** difficult to maintain sanity and not get high headed especially when everyone’s sucking up to your butt. Only the ones with a firm mind and even stronger willpower succeed in sticking to their path and staying away from tempting distractions and sadly, to me Anurag wasn’t one of them.

In one of his posts (on Passion For Cinema, an excellent assortment of filmy write-ups, unfortunately leaning more towards commercialization), he blasted a well-known film critic for his thoughts on the forgettable Kabul Express and even more forgetful portrayal of Suhel Khan by John Abraham. Now it does make sense if he was playing the role of a good friend by defending John and blaming everything on the film’s director and the critics’ double standards – but what about the opinion from a professional point of view. The truth is John Abraham sucked and so did his acting.

The next few months we saw, heard and read nothing but Anurag’s series of rants against some of the other big-shots belonging to the Hindi Film Industry (actor Anil Kapoor being one of his targets). The ONLY good things he had to say was either about his soon-to-released film, No Smoking or one of his close buddies. Nothing wrong in that, methinks, this is the way Bollywood works; the more shit your blabber the more you get noticed.

But what seriously shocked me, was his recent open criticism of his so-called mentor, Ram Gopal Varma.

I can't see the Ramuji I used to know, at all now. I have stopped watching his films completely. I have not seen Aag or Darling and have no intention of watching them either.

And then he tries to nullify the effect with this…

I firmly believe that he is quite capable of doing so much more than what we see him doing. I would love to see the new film that he has announced, about the underworld. I am sure it will have the Ramu touch in it, I hope.

From a director’s standpoint, his thoughts on Ram Gopal Varma can be accepted but why was Ramuji not given the same treatment as his Johnny boy. Is it because Ramuji is no more needed as a stepping stone? Or maybe because he is no more part of circle of close buddies? Or maybe now he is looked upon as competition? Or it was just a stint to get some media footage, right in time with No Smoking’s first promo release. Don’t know about you but personally I would never talk shit about someone whom I regard so highly and that too in front of the whole wide world, irrespective of what others may think of them.

Well I can go on and on here but instead will stop; all I have to say is that Anurag may have a creative vision but he desperately needs to get his head back to Planet Earth or soon he too would be on the same path of digression as his mentor Ramuji. An urgent lesson in nobility from fellow contemporaries such as Madhur Bhandarkar, Vishal Bhardawaj and Shimit Amin is highly recommended.

P.S.…my thoughts are my own and this post has nothing to do with my personal vendetta against expressionless Mr. John Abraham.

P.P.S…okay you caught me there but only a little bit. By God kasam!

Saakshi O. Juneja is an active blogger, feminist and overboard dog lover. Currently working as a Business Development Manager for a sportswear manufacturing company in Mumbai, India. Did graduation in Marketing & Advertising from Sydney, Australia. As far as blogging is concerned...is a complete Blog-a-holic.
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September 17, 2007
10:13 AM

yes lets hope his coming films live up to the expectations of us movie maniacs who loved black friday. and also that he gets the hawaa out of his bheja.

September 17, 2007
10:41 AM

Between Salman Khan and Himesh Reshammiya Bollywood has two V8 motormouths... i wonder how you'd compare Kashyap with them.

September 17, 2007
11:49 AM

oz's comment on passion for cinema:

I'm not gonna allow this to turn it into a flame war. I've read Sakshi Juneja's article and it is her opinion. She makes it very clear. I'm sure she is not very clear about the "blogging" concept a medium she herself has used to write that article. Actually many in India and the Indian media have yet to decide what and where they should place this whole new thingy called "Blogging"... that article would have had very different shades had Saskhi understood a blog, on open online diary. Had she understood that it's a stand alone website that is not shoved down people's throats or sold off stores, rather people interested in it would go to the web address and read it. And lastly it's an open forum, of course moderated for just the comments section, but yet good bad whatever, people can come in talk and be published right on the same page as the author's post. Sakshi could have done that but chose not to. It's her choice her decision. I have no problems with the article, just that it gets very skewed when the author hasn't completely grasped the term blogging.

She even accuses PFC of leaning towards commercialisation... this on a website where authors are forced to enter amazon item numbers to create advertisements by the software for those entered item numbers... posts don't get published unless an author enters those amazon numbers. She fails to give examples of commercialization... again a whim, a fancy, she took to without giving any reasons for it. Had she known how PFC is run and how the cash is collected to move it from month to month... again it's a journalist taking potshots... without any research

September 17, 2007
12:02 PM

Anurag Kashyap responds to oz on PFC too:

it's her opinion..that is skewed and i did get upset and posted a comment on her blog.. but then it was my anger that passed and it's ok..i have met her and she is straight..atleast she doesn't have pretense and she speaks her mind..guess i will take her slap too..

but yes i strongly disagree with her views about PFC..

September 17, 2007
12:18 PM

Saks,your opinion is valid, but one must say I have a soft corner myself for iconoclastic filmmakers like Anurag K. While they might be nouveau cineastes, unlike, say, Ray or Tarantino, their passion for cinema is undeniable, and if they could let go of the Bollywood film structures, they might actually be creative originals.

Being a motormouth is almost normal in art, film,etc., FWIW

Deepti Lamba
September 17, 2007
12:18 PM

Jeez, I don't think our gentle Sakshi is prone to slapping people; are you Saks?;)

September 17, 2007
03:29 PM


Sounds very different from the Anurag Kashyap I thought I knew. (Through all his plays with Makarand Deshpande & a workshop that I did with him)

but then that was 2 years ago before his movie released.

If what Sakshi says is true, then it would be really sad because Anurag has a wonderful brain, creative spark, extensive in-depth knowledge of non commercial & commercial cinema around the world. The sad part would be if all this has been suppressed & over looked because of current success.

September 18, 2007
03:17 AM

Oh No! I am just so misunderstood. A decent and overly polite soul like me has been accused of "slapping" people around...and to top it up, I have been called a "journalist". Wow....now that's seriously a blow below the belt.

With regards to Mr. Oz (is it after Wizard of Oz or you just happen to love Down under??)'s comment - Firstly, I am not a journalist taking a dab without knowing what I am speaking off. Secondly, I think I do know what blogging is all about considering I have been doing so over 2 years now (maybe you need some hand at backhand research), plus I don't generally boast about this...but dude my techno rank is way higher than yours.

I know what you have written as a reply back to my post is nothing but siding with your good friend. So in many ways your words have been simply ignored by me. On the topic of PFC, well its funny isn't it, you chose to ignore my compliment but concentrate more on the "not-so-buttering" part. I guess you are not good at tasting your own medicine.

Anyways, like you...I too am not interested in any sort of flame war blog war (this is in fact the correct term, thought you knew the ins-n-outs of blogging world??). I personally think PFC is excellent when it comes to assortment of thoughts on films from world over....but it would be a more worthwhile visit without the Google Ads being shoved right in my face.

Wish you the very best...
An amateur blogger,

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