Director and producer Anurag Kashyap is gearing up for the release of his much delayed film 'Ugly' that hits the screens this week. While all the filmmakers decided to stay away from Aamir Khan's 'PK', Kashyap's sudden decision to release the film a week after 'PK' came as a surprise to all. In a quick chat at his well done up office, Anurag explains talks about his film, his fight against the no smoking disclaimer and more. Excerpts:
There's a review in Hollywood reporter which said that GOW has raised the bar so much, that any film after that will feel underwhelming. Do you feel the pressure to make a film of that level?
The Hollywood Reporter review is from the screening of Cannes which had bad subtitles. From the same screening read the review of French subtitling, it is a complete contrast. They got the film wrong. Barring the two reviews that came out then, all of them have been great. I don't feel the pressure. It is because of 'Gangs of Wasseypur' that 'Ugly' was possible.
Woody Allen had refused to release 'Blue Jasmine' on similar grounds as you. But don't you think it's necessary to release the film than to focus on that one line?
More Power to him. No I think so it really kills the film. I will not watch my film on-screen because of the great disclaimer. I feel insulted looking at it. I don't understand why the filmmakers don't love their films and allow the disclaimer to be put. It is unfair. If the government wants to ban the problem of smoking and drinking, they should ban the tobacco industry. Why should the filmmakers suffer? They don't have the power and feel impotent to battle it out.
Since you lost the battleâ€¦
(Interrupts) I didn't lose the battle. The Supreme Court differed the judgment and now Mahesh Bhatt is fighting the case. High Court said we can't take the decision since the case is pending in the Supreme Court.
What made you release the film then?
There is a producer whose money is put in and his interest is rising. I can't be so indulgent that I make someone else pay for my beliefs. My fight continues even after 'Ugly' releases.
Is art your key concern or you take special care to make your films a profitable venture?
We always take care to make films a profitable venture. We take care in a different way. Profits are not going to dictate the content of my movie. The content is going to dictate in what cost should I make a movie to make it profitable. When you see the scale of GOW, you will realize it is a 60 crore movie. But we can't spend that much and hence we work our ass off to get the budget down and make it below 15-16 crores. To make it profitable, we work backwards. My idea of commercial is anything that engages you and makes you come back again. I am not competing with 100 crore movies. My responsibility is to make one rupee more than what is invested.
Have the delays in 'Ugly' and 'Bombay Velvet' frustrated you?
No I don't think so. I finish my film, deliver it and forget about it. As soon as I finished 'Ugly', I moved on to 'Bombay Velvet'. For me, as soon as I complete 'Bombay Velvet' in March, I will move on to whatever is next.