An Open Letter to Naseeruddin For Critizing Kashyap
In a recent interview with a leading Daily, Naseeruddin Shah criticized Kashyap in “Greed drove Anurag
Kashyap to make ‘Bombay Velvet’”
That sounds okay and all, coming from Shah, for who I have immense and immeasurable respect, but he needs to lay Kashyap off. I have, in a very petit cinematic experience of mine, seen innumerable directors making great first films (or maybe a couple) and then vanishing from the scene. Vishal
Bhardwaj kind of lost it post Kaminay; Dibakar Banerjee made two and then got derailed a bit; RGV,
whatever he may try, cannot seem to get back to his original self; Shimit Ameen is nowhere to be seen,
Manish Sharma did good with Band Baajaa Baaraat but then got messed up;, Rahul Dholakia made
Parzania but his Lamhaa could not live up to the mark; Habib Faisal did amazingly well in Do Dooni Chaar
but failed miserably with Ishaqzaade and Daawat-e-Ishq; Subhash Kapoor, Abhinav Kashyap, Neeraj
Pandey too to some extent. The list goes on.
Anurag Kashyap is one rarest of exceptions. He, along with Abhishek Chaubey, Shakun Batra, Nishikanth
Kamath, Meghna Gulzar (if at all she gets to make a film quicker this time) and Shoojit Sarcar is someone
who is experimenting without any fear.
I almost had it with Kashyap post No Smoking (which I later loved). He was writing stupid stuff (read:
Paisa Wasool, Fool & Final, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, etc) and wasn’t getting funded for his aspirational
projects. Even Gulaal, that got made as early as 2003 was not being released, until Dev.D got successful.
We need to understand one fact here. Good directors don’t run after money, it is the other way round.
For instance, Rajkumar Hirani got Aamir Khan and the money he needed only after he had made two
good Munnabhai films!
Anurag Kashyap is a game changer. He needed a bigger cast because people would not have seen it
otherwise (he wanted Aamir Khan who kept on stalling then went on to SRK who he could not finalize
and in the end eventually ended up with Ranbir). To pull in a bigger cast, you need money. To need
money, you have to make good cinema. And he had just made GoW – one of the best crime films this
country has ever seen. Moreover, he has another passion project – Doga, with a much bigger production
cost, which he believed could only happen if BV gets successful. Which it didn’t, granted. Most of the
films fail after all. The reasons for BV failing could be many, though. I for one believe it to be the miscast!
Had it been Ranveer instead of Ranbir, it might have carried a lot less load on the director, keeping a
star’s hopes high and all, and he would have actually made what he wanted – not what he was made to
Anyhow, Shah is right in his opinion but he should not forget that That Girl In Yellow Boots, which he
had a small role in, was a Kashyap made and is still one of his greatest works till date!
Give him some time, Raman Raghav 2.0 will bring him back (not that he has gone anywhere)!