Interview with Director Anurag Basu

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Posted: 16 years ago
Interview with Director Anurag Basu
Saturday, March 25, 2006
One movie that is making moviegoers curious in the month of April is ''Gangster''. Here we get into a conversation with the film''s director Anurag Basu to know more about the film, his experience while working with the Bhatts, music and cast of the film.
How are you doing? All charged up about Gangster?

Yeah, charged up and also nervous!

What really makes you nervous? In fact recently you just commented that you were confident!

Those who have seen during the film's editing say that it has turned out well. The more people say that it is a good film, the more I become nervous. The promos have generated good curiosity but now the real test is how the audience like the film.

I believe Bhatts were the people who stood by you throughout.

Yes, that's right. They were with me throughout. Also there were lots of other people in the industry who stood by me when due to my illness; I needed a lot of blood. So many people came forward to do that and stand by my family!

Weren't there casting hassles as the names of both Shoaib Akhtar and Sanjay Dutt had come up for the title role?

Yes, in fact Sanjay Dutt was the first person to be approached when the idea came. He didn't have the dates at that time while we couldn't really wait at that time for anybody. Then John [Abraham] is a good friend and we approached him but even he too wasn't free at that time. Then we went to Shoaib Akhtar and started talking. But it wasn't that it took a lot of time to finalize actors. One after another, we kept our different options in place.

What about Emraan's bespectacled look? Does he play a serious and sober guy in the film?

Yeah, in fact his is not an obvious casting in the movie and hence no one can immediately pick up what he does in the film. He has played the character quite beautifully.

So does his character take various shades in the movie?

Not just his, but each of the three characters in the movie has their own grey shades and the positive shades. There is no villain etc. in the film!

From where did the germ of 'Gangster' originate?

Bhatt saab gave me an idea to write a film about a gangster who is in love and is running across the globe with his girlfriend. Though at the beginning I wasn't too sure if a film could be made around this plot but when I came up with the final script, I was myself amazed with it. And from thereon I was excited about directing the film.

Coming to the music of your films, each of them from 'Kucch To Hai' to 'Saaya' to 'Murder' to 'Tumsa Nahi Dekha' have boasted of popular music. What do you have to say about Pritam's score for 'Gangster'?

If I had my way, I would have asked for Pritam to be the composer of all my films. He is a very good friend of mine and our relationship goes a long way back. See, what happened that during 'Murder' and prior to that, I wasn't in a position to ask for someone whom I wanted in my film. Till then Pritam's 'Dhoom' too hadn't come. But then with 'Gangster', I could rope in Pritam. What he has done is quite well for the film and one can see his hard work that has gone in for 'Gangster'. There are 5 numbers in the film out of which 'Bheegi Bheegi' is at the top of my list. This is the number that he used to sing years back as a part of his band. I also like 'Ya Ali', a number that plays as a part of the background, and 'Lamha Lamha'. If you ask me, its very difficult to select one as I like just all of them!

From where did you find James [a Bangladeshi singer] who has sung 'Bheegi Bheegi'?

I had heard James some time back. Pritam had also heard him but then didn't really remember much. I got the CD and made him hear him and this is how James came into picture.

How did debutant heroine Kangna fit into scheme of things?

I saw her at a cafe and it struck that she could be the right choice. We didn't want a typical filmy heroine and were looking for someone different. We wanted a girl who is new and has a personality of her own. She came in for the audition and though she wasn't very good in the audition, she was on soon and now she has come up with an amazing performance.

Does she have any acting experience in any form before 'Gangster'?

Yeah, she has done some theatre in the past in Delhi, though I don't know what exactly she has done on stage. Now there is a lot of positive feedback that I am getting about her based on the promos on air.

So what's next in the pipeline?

Currently I am working on two films. One is for which the title still needs to be finalized, though it is tentatively titled 'Metro'. The cast of the movie still needs to be closed. The other is for Vishesh Films and is called 'Suicide Bomber' in which Mr. Bhatt's son Rahul makes his debut.

Posted: 16 years ago
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Posted: 16 years ago
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Anurag Basu

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