Director Anurag Kashyap has fought long battles with mainstream cinema. With his unconventional choice of subjects, his films have been stalled, butchered by the CBFC and even banned. As he gears up for his next release, Mukkabaaz, he is upfront about how his film is not the conventional Bollywood stamped biopic. As 2018 looks at a long line of biopics, he explains why Bollywood’s is never true to a story.
“I mean that we turn everything into formula. Even our biopics are not honest. See the films that have come out … it has become a formula now. People with one singular achievement have a biopic being told about them. Or people whose life is not over yet … and all biopics are super nationalist and patriotic and end with the national anthem. And that pisses me off. They are born heroes, from the first frame to the last. I find them extremely manipulative and don’t like most of them.,” the director told Reuters.
Mukkabaaz tells the story of an athlete from a small town and how he rises to national fame. But Kashyap defends that he is not trying to sell patriotism here despite it being an easy concept to work with. “People have always bought patriotism. Most people across the world live very meaningless lives. When they feel patriotic, they think they have a purpose and that’s why patriotism is sold to them, because their other issues they cannot redress,” he added.
As a director who loves the art of filmmaking and cares little about making movies churn at the box office, he is not afraid to peel away Bollywood’s money driven productions. “Cinema in India is less of an art form and more of a business. So producers always say, put in a bit of this and that. You should hear when they say ‘we should put in the national anthem in the end’. It’s like putting in a bit of jeera (cumin) to a dish. That is what they reduce patriotism to. It pisses me off and that is what I have addressed in my film.”
As Mukkabaaz releases on January 12, audience can expect a film that goes beyond a biopic.