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Anurag Kashyap: My filmmaking process is changing

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By Sugandha Rawal

Demonetisation plays an integral role in Anurag Kashyap’s “Choked Paisa Bolta Hai”, and the filmmaker says it helped them put together the story of money and marriage in a seamless manner.

The filmmaker says “Choked Paisa Bolta Hai” always had a great idea and a good script, but was missing the “X-factor” — a gap stitched together through demonetisation.

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“Working on the film was a good process. It was a long wait. It started in 2015 with a script. At that time, there was no demonetisation. When demonetisation came, it had to be included in the script and we had to rewrite the script.”

“Nihit Bhave kept on. Saiyami Kher came on board in 2017 and Roshan Mathew came on board 2018. We shot the film in 2019,” Anurag Kashyap told IANS, recalling the process of putting the film together.

Back in 2016, the Indian government decided to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to flush out black money, eliminate fake currency notes, and combat financing of terrorism.

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What followed was long queues at banks, people looking for different ways to exchange old notes with new ones, and disruption in many big events, like wedding — something that Kashyap has captured through the story of Sarita Pillai (Saiyami) and Sushant Pillai (Roshan).

“The film was always about money and marriage but demonetisation had to become a part of it because when we were shooting the film, it happened. And it was interesting to place the film in that period so that it doesn’t remain totally absurd and has much more meaning to it.”

“The film suddenly came together because of demonetisation. It was always a great idea and a good script, but I felt that there was this X-Factor missing, so when demonetisation came in, it started to make sense,” said the filmmaker.

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“Choked Paisa Bolta Hai” is the story of a middle-class housewife, who finds cash flowing out of her kitchen sink every night, and how this changes her life. It also puts spotlight on how she is supporting her jobless husband.

The suspense drama comes with understated tones of humour, and can’t be placed in Kashyap’s relatively dark storytelling genre.

Asked if steering away from his trademark style was intentional, Anurag Kashyap said: “I wanted to stick to the script of Nihit and I wanted to do right to the author. He was an incredible collaborator.”

“There were times when I was tempted to take the script in a certain direction. When I would try to do that, I would have someone from the team to correct me. Rahul, my second unit director, was my biggest conscious keeper. They would all say ‘it is becoming an Anurag Kashyap film’.”

The filmmaker, known for “Black Friday”, “Gangs of Wasseypur”, “Dev.D” and “Ugly”, asserted: “With this film, I was trying to go away and stay away from what I would generally do with a film.”

“My filmmaking process is also changing, because the last three films I did, the idea originated from somebody else and not me, and that really is a big help sometimes,” he added.

“Choked Paisa Bolta Hai” is out on Netflix on June 5.

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at sugandha.r@ians.in)

–IANS

sug/vnc/pgh

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