Anurag Kashyap is superbly unconventional in whatever he does; he has been donning many hats since the advent of his career. Be it story writing or a dialogues or direction. With films like Satya, Shool, Yuva, Nayak, Mixed Doubles, Main Aisa Hi Hoon, Kaun and Fool and Final, he has left an indelible imprint on the minds of people.
Black Friday was Anurag's directorial debut. Although it did not make the box office registers ring, it was critically acclaimed. Now, Anurag is all set to release No Smoking starring John Abraham and Ayesha Takia.
In an interview with IndiaFM, Anurag Kashyap talks about his directorial venture, No Smoking that will be releasing on October 26. What is No Smoking all about?
No Smoking is a mind bending comic thriller, a Kafkaesque. It revolves around this man named 'K' played by John Abraham, who is a chain smoker. People dislike him because of his addiction to smoking. His wife is aggravated about of his smoking habit and decides to leave him. In order to bring her back into his life, he enters a rehabilitation centre.
How was it working with Vishal Bhardwaj and Kumar Mangat since they have co-produced the film?
It was a sheer delight working with Vishal Bhardwaj and Kumar Mangat. The making of this film would have been impossible without their support and of course John too. All of them are thorough professionals and great human beings.
What is Ayesha's character in the film?
Ayesha does a double role, one as John wife, and the other as his secretary. Ayesha keeps nagging John about his obsession for smoking. Out of frustration, she finally takes an extreme decision and abandons him.
How is the music of the film? Which is your favorite track?
There is only one word to describe the music in the film, 'Smoky'. My favorite track is 'Ashtray Bharti Ja Rahi Hain.'
How was it working with John and Ayesha?
It was a great experience working with John and Ayesha. All my inhibitions about working with stars have vanished. I think this is John's best performance until date, as far as Ayesha is concerned, although she did not have a great scope of performance in the film she still has done justice to whatever was offered to her.
What according to you was the reason for the film, Black Friday to fail at the Box-office despite having a strong concept? Is it Promotions?
Black Friday not being the part of mainstream cinema says it all. Nowadays the audiences like entertaining and commercial films, which was not offered through Black Friday. Most of them watched it on DVD's which in turn affected the box-office collections. However, whosoever, watched the film liked it. Moreover, I feel every film is promoted in a different manner. Blaming it on the lack of promotional activities would not solve the mystery of film's failure in the box office.
Are you satisfied with the promotional measures taken for No Smoking?
Everything until now is the best we could have done for a film like No Smoking. I could not have asked for more. 'Phook De' picturized on Bipasha Basu and John is a special promotional song.
What are your expectations of the film?
Expectations are sky high. I want to break my Box-office jinx.
What is your take on Remakes?
My take on remakes…. (Pauses) one should not do a remake.
Then, what is the reason to remake Devdas?
Devdas, rather Dev D is a reinterpretation of the original book and not based on any other film. The film will be depicted in the modern day world in Punjab and Delhi. I cannot talk beyond that.
Who would be composing the music for the film and when is it going on the floors?
Amit Trivedi is the music director and the film will go on the floors by February next year.
What is your take on Popular Cinema?
A film, for which the audience enthusiastically waits is a popular cinema (laughs) and vice versa. Chak de India would be an apt example of popular cinema.
What is the status of Hanuman Returns? It was supposed to release on Diwali?
Hanuman Returns is not completed yet so; we had to extend its release date. Now, its release date is finalized for Dec 28.
What is Hanuman Returns all about?
The film is about Hanuman fighting evil in the modern day. He is bigger than a super hero is. Smaller in size but his deeds speak bigger volumes.
Who would be lending voice to this big Super Hero?
We have not yet decided over the perfect voice, which could match up with the power packed hero.
Coming back to No Smoking, why should people go and watch the film? What is the USP of the film?
No Smoking is an experience, which the audiences will never forget. It is something that they have never witnessed before. The whole film revolves around cigarettes and non-smoking. Cigarette as a metaphor addresses every other issue of life. The film's uniqueness lies within the subject it is dealing with and its portrayal.
There have been many assumptions regarding the story of the film. What is your take on it?
No Smoking is a story that nobody can ever imagine so all I can say is that the assumptions are going to fall flat when one watches the film.
What made you opt Vishal Bhardwaj as a producer?
Vishal was the one who called me…read my script and was excited to go ahead with the shoot. As I said earlier, if he would not have been there, No Smoking would still have been a dream. I am glad that he was there with me to make this dream come true.
Since, smoking has become a style quotient for the present generation. Is the youth your prime target audience?
Those who smoke will watch the film. Those who hate smoking will watch the film. In addition, those who are indifferent to smoking will also watch the film. Therefore, I have targeting this film to everyone.
How would you categorize your genre in the film?
Anurag Kashyap is unpredictable. I do whatever excites me. Sticking to a particular genre is not what I want to be known for. If you take a look at the films that I have done be it Black Friday, Hanuman Returns or No Smoking, all belong to different genres.