Indian Cinema will never be the same again thanks to the collaborative effort of two irreverent film personalities, namely Anurag Kashyap and Abhay Deol. Its not like they are the innovators of good cinema in India, but they have given a boost to the new wave Indian cinema. Thanks also to the multiplex culture, we have a lot of variety. But all said and done, if I had to choose the flagbearers of alternative cum commercial cinema today, it has to be these two.
Anurag Kashyap, as we all know by now, had written the hard hitting Satya and the rest as they say is history. Offlate he is in the news for his marvelous adaptation of the age old classic Devdas in the avatar of the new age vodka guzzling, coke snorting Dev D. A couple of months later another movie of his named Gulaal, made much before Dev D, released, silencing all the critics who called Dev D a fluke. The debacle of No Smoking notwithstanding, Anurag Kashyap is one film maker who is here to stay. It’s a different matter that I did indeed like the Kafka-esque (according to my Kafka fanatic college buddy) No Smoking.
Anurag’s blogs on the making of Dev D and Gulaal make for exceptionally appealing read. The one piece of his that really got me hooked was when he wrote a post after the debacle of No Smoking. It was greatly emotional. From No Smoking to Dev D, is like the proverbial rise of the phoenix from the ashes. And the inspiration was an anecdote that Abhay Deol shared with him, about a stripper in LA with whom a drunkard was besotted as he was spurned by his former lover.
Anurag’s understanding of music is something I really am a major fan of. Irreverent is the one word that comes to mind when we talk of music in an Anurag Kashyap film. Be it the ‘Duniya’ and ‘Emosional Attyachar’ in Dev D, to the ‘Chak Mak’ item number of Gulaal to the pshychedelic ‘Phoonk de’ from No Smoking, music is as good as one of his film’s characters. And it’s given equal importance. One can sense the cohesion between music and the script which shows that the director is highly involved in the music making process as well. Unlike other movies, where there is an abject disconnect between the script and the music. Having said that, credit has to be given to the new age music director Amit Trivedi (Dev D) and the supremely talented actor cum lyricist cum singer Piyush Mishra (Gulaal).
Abhay Deol came out of nowhere and now is touted as the face of Indian Indie Cinema. I remember having seen Socha Na Tha, and I was like, wow what a movie for a debut. This guy is someone to watch out for, cos lets face it, which Bollywood actor who comes from an illustrious family as the Deols, debuts with an offbeat rom com like Socha Na Tha.
Manorama 6 Feet Under was another sterling performance by Abhay D, where he played the writer cum detective with élan. Barring Ahista Ahista and Ek Challis ki last local, I have seen all of his movies for the simple reason that I can sit back and expect a quirky movie if he is in it. Variety in roles is his forte. Agreed that he has done less than 10 movies, so it’s not fair to put him on a pedestal so soon, but I don’t care. In a world where stupid worthless actors like Zayed Khan and Fardeen Khan come up with complete crap and yet survive, its heartening to see a guy like Abhay Deol, staying put with his brand of cinema.
Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! was another comic caper about a unusual thief. It was a runaway hit. Then came the movie which would make Abhay Deol a household name, Dev D. That it was conceptualized by the actor himself is known.
One thing that I absolutely fell for in the movie was the kind of T shirts he wears, they were just brilliant. While reading through Kashyap’s blog, also came to learn that Abhay used to design T shirts and sell them in Goa, before joining the film industry. Moreover he had done some work on Kashyaps famed Black Friday. All of this before plunging into the film industry. Another feature of his irreverence can be gauged from the fact that, after the release of Dev D, Deol was nowhere in Mumbai as he had shifted base to NYC to learn the art of sculpting and woodcraft. Yeah you’ll read it right. I mean which actor in his right senses would let go of the post movie adulation, specially with the kind of path breaking movie that Dev D turned out to be. Any other actor in his case would have milked the opportunity to its fullest. But not Abhay Deol.
Eagerly awaiting his next movie called Meridian Lines which also happens to be written by Anurag Kashyap (according to imdb). The bar has been raised by Abhay D, so im sure he must be feeling the pressure to deliver in his next. Same goes to Anurag Kashyap. 1 super duper flop and 2 back to back hits, I am not concerned with the BO status. The expectations for both these unconventional film personalities are sky high. Im sure they will deliver.