Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, known for projecting realism in his cinema, is looking forward to his new directorial venture Mukkabaaz, which addresses multiple “complex” issues of society — from the poor infrastructure to reverse caste politics.
Kashyap said here: “My film is set in Uttar Pradesh, the state I come from. So, the casteism that you see in the film is as real as it looks. This is the reality of that society.
“When we talk about casteism, we only project how the higher caste is discriminating against the lower caste. But in reality, reverse casteism also exists. There are people from the lower caste holding the higher position in administration and years after, take revenge with the higher caste people who once discriminated against them.”
Was it intentional to bring politics alive in a film which is essentially about boxing?
“I am making a sports movie about boxing. Through the film, I am showing the real condition of the sport of boxing and the social background of the players who are coming to play it. So, the various layers of the narration are basically revolving around that,” said Kashyap, known for movies like Black Friday, Gangs of Wassepur and Ugly.
As the protagonist set out on his journey to achieve his dream to be a national champion, the film unfolds the reality of the flawed infrastructure in the country’s sports scene that does not allow India to make a global mark in athletics.
“That is the question that I want to ask — We celebrate cricket internationally, but not a sport like boxing… A boxing champion is never celebrated like a cricket champion, why,” asked Kashyap.
Being a film director who also produced movies like Queen, Udaan, Shahid, Lunchbox and Masaan, Kashyap has collaborated with filmmaker Aanand L. Rai for Mukkabaaz. Was there any creative conflict?
“I always believe that a film director makes a good film producer because he understands the perspective of a storyteller better. When it comes to me and Aanand, therefore, we bonded so well.
“The collaboration happened over a cup of tea. He wanted me to read the script of ‘Maanmarziyaan’, for directing it. I loved the script and I said I will direct it, but first I want to work on this film (‘Mukkabaaz’). So then we decided to do both the films,” said Kashyap.
Well-versed with world cinema, Kashyap is a popular name in the international film festival circuit. It is interesting how his stories have a very local flavour of the middle-class society of developing India.
Explaining that, he said: “See, it’s simple. I as an audience watch films that give me an insight of the local culture of a country and a community. I watch a film that has an interesting story.
“Honestly, when I look at a story, I do not think about if it has the potential to travel globally. If it does, great, if not, it’s okay. I am happy as long as I am making a film of my choice,” he said.
Featuring Vineet Kumar Singh and Jimmy Sheirgill, Mukkabaaz is releasing on January 12.