‘Don’t blame cinema if you can’t handle onscreen violence’
FOR ONCE, Anurag Kashyap tries to put all allegations to rest. He dismisses any Godfather influences, disagrees to the normal perception of parenthesising sex with gore and scoffs at what he calls the ‘overprotective reaction to violence’. At the Gangs of Wasseypur part II press conference following its screening at this year’s 12th Osian’s Film Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, the crew (Richa Chadda, Zeishan Qadri, Huma Qureshi and Reemma Sen) seemed dwarfed by Kashyap’s presence as he answered questions that ranged from the blasé to the risqué. While on one hand, he informed us (quite disappointingly) that he’s not into pot, on the other he told us that revenge does not necessarily need to be violent.
He told an eager crowd that his gangster influences ranged from Coppola to Scorcese to early influences of Johnny Woo to Michelle Placido to Takeshi Kitano to Ram Gopal Verma (for whom he wrote Satya and Kaun?). And that even though his intention was not to make a desi spaghetti Western, he does not mind the credit.
He informs us that the lyrics of the celebrated songs were assisted by an IIT Delhi graduate Varun Grover, who digs deep into his college days jargon to give us Womaniya, Hunter and Electric Piya.
He tells us that real incidents led him to almost every frame ( justifying my disappointment at not exploiting a blade-chewing Perpendicular to the fullest) and believed that Dhanbad will not brush part II off, because the sequel is set in our times. Following the response to part I, he consciously chopped off a gory beheading scene and defended cinema at the aftermath of the Aurora killings at Denver. “How can you blame cinema for that? That screening was the first screening of the day. If violence on screen reviles you, stay away from it. Don’t blame movies. Violence on screen does not lead to violence in real life, it is quite the opposite. While shooting in the kasaikhana (butcher’s), the crew gave up non-vegetarian food for a whole month. That is how real-life violence affects you,” he fumed.
On asked how much of 1990s cinema inspired him, given the various times they were mentioned in the movie, he said that it was 1970s cinema instead (those that ended with K Raghavendra Rao’s Himmatwala).
The women in both the films were grateful because they were not ‘used as props’, building on the layered nuances of man-woman relationships.