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A Birthday Tribute to Anurag Kashyap- The Tarantino of Bollywood

Pop Quentin Tarantino and Francis Ford Coppola into a blender and add Indian masala to it and finish it off with a dash of tadka, Anurag Kashyap is the result. A prolific screenwriter and a producer with a taste for uniqueness apart, Anurag Kashyap gave Hindi cinema a whole new dimension when he directed movies like No Smoking, Dev D and a movie has been regarded as the Indian Godfather, Gangs of Wasseypur and its sequel.

His love for movies began at an early age, when he was 5 years old. Much later in life, after graduating from Hansraj College (Delhi University), his passion for films was rekindled when he attended the International Film Festival of India in 1992. That was when he realized his ‘calling’ and landed in Mumbai. After struggling for a few years, he was introduced to Sriram Raghavan (who would make movies like Ek Hasina Thi and Agent Vinod later). The two along with a few others, planned a movie based on a serial killer Auto Shankar; for which he was the screenwriter. He got his major break when Manoj Bajpai showed it to Ram Gopal Varma and was hired to write the award winning script for the 1998 hit Satya; creating a genre Mumbai Noir in the process.

He continued writing for Varma for films like Kaun and Shool. He also wrote the script for the much acclaimed Water by Deepa Mehta. He ventured into direction with Last Train to Mahakali which was an award winning short film though his first directoral debut feature film is an unreleased movie Paanch. He went on directing and experimenting with movies like Black Friday, Return of Hanuman, etc. His career shot high with Dev D a modern day adaptation of the classic novel Devdas where he added elements from real life incidents, starring his wife Kalki Koechlin and Abhay Deol. The movie was a hit and it got him his first Filmfare nomination for a best director award.

His first production Udaan won numerous awards including the Filmfare awards for best story, best screenplay and the Screen Award for the best film. His films in 2012 were the crime dramas Gangs of Wasseypur and its sequel. Based on the coal mafia of Dhanbad, the two films were shot initially as a 319 minute long movie. It bagged several Filmfare awards including the best film (critics).

His acting where he played a child abuser in the anthology I Am was acclaimed by the critics and it was a meaningful role to him as he could identify with it- he was abused sexually when he was a child himself.

There’s more to come from him, with films like Hasee Tho Phasee, a romcom; Doga, a superhero movie and Bombay Velvet, which is touted to be a realization of his dream. All these apart, there’s one movie (Paanch)which was shot years ago but was not released because of censor issues. Whenever that is released, it sure will be a delight for his fans. Happy Birthday Anurag Kashyap!

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