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Every Anurag Kashyap Film Ranked

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5. DEV D [2009]

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Abhay Deol’s rendition of the titular character DEV is not a likeable character. Unlike Bimal Roy’s charming Dilip Kumar or Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s tragic Shah Rukh Khan, he is an avant-garde dick (The D in DEV D stands for Dick). He paunches upon the easiest possible way out of feeling hopeless, mostly dissolving and drinking himself to death. Most of all, he is confused. He never seems to take the right path.

While all versions of Dev, Paro and Chandramukhi end signifying undeniable love, Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D signifies understanding life and death, while love is a pathway. When Dev D came out in 2009, it had rave reviews all around. Critics praised it for its near-perfect defiant charm that would make your jaw-drop. In all the filth, Anurag managed to create a hypnotic environment. Also, Kashyap’s film is so densely detailed that you wish they were mere accidents. There’s a shot in the film where Dev receives a phone call when he had drowned himself in alcohol the previous day. We see him putting his shades on before receiving the call in classy Kashyap style.

Also Read: Dev.D [2009]: A Refreshingly Unusual Black Comedy

When the film ends, the credits seem as confused as its protagonist who only understands the meaning of his life when a car hits a wall beside him as he is busy collecting pennies out a public telephone. When you leave aside all the greatness that surrounds the film, there are still 18 other reasons to love it. Laced up with the most experimental, and possibly the best soundtrack in any Hindi film ever, Amit Trivedi emerges as the unsung hero. His songs dance along this 3-hour long masterpiece in complete sync.

4. Ugly [2014]

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The Subject of Ugly isn’t a unique one; we have seen Child Abduction in films before in Ben Affleck’s ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Prisoners’. But in those films, the focus constantly remains on what might have happened to the missing kid, which makes them a riveting thriller to watch. However, Ugly is a different film altogether, it doesn’t delve deep into finding the missing girl but focuses primarily on the ever changing mentalities of the key characters.

The parents, their divorce, the Step-Father, the father’s friend, the uncle; these are the players around whom the story revolves. Each one of them uses the kidnapping as an opportunity to benefit something from it. Most of them are trying to make some dirty money while some are using the incident to settle old scores. Of course, some do care for her, but she isn’t priority. The Kid is the centre point of the film whose abduction extracts the ugly sides of these people. After Paanch and Black Friday, Ugly is the third film where Anurag Kashyap portrays a relentless Bombay we don’t get to see often in cinema with all its glamour and Glitz, I call it the Bombay Trilogy.

3. Black Friday [2004]

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Black Friday is raw in its narration, impartial in its characterization, melancholic for its entire length & gritty in its look. From the first scene of Bomb exploding that will have your heart pounding in the horror, till the end credit rolls, Black Friday never ceases to ease the tension & thrill that will chill your bones & soul.  Black Friday shows the events of 1993 Mumbai Bomb blast that resulted in hundreds of casualties and left thousands of people injured, as the manifestation of religious hatred between Hindu majority and Muslim minority.

Listen to: Arre Ruk Ja Re Bande.

The best thing about Black Friday is that it never takes sides, whether it is a character or a religion nor does it try to justify the act of anyone. Black Friday oscillates splendidly between pre-blast phase and the post-blast phase without sensationalizing or glorifying any character or the even itself. It very sensitively captures the psyche of Rakesh Maria, Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and one of main bombers Baadshah Khan without even making an effort to draw sympathy for anyone. Black Friday is a film we all should be proud of, the film that defines realism, the film that is brave enough to use real names and location, the kind of a film that should be sent to Oscar.

2. Gulaal [2009]


Gulaal is a socio-political drama at its outset , which when peeled layer by layer shows the labyrinth of humane characters who have never been so angry with themselves, with their own people and with the political structure of the state. They are deep drown in plume, their revenge turns into vendetta, they seek only Power, and their fight against the injustice inflicted to Rajputana community is blinded by greed,hypocrisy,betrayal and deception. If you closely look, all the characters are quite monotonous, their character does not go under any change except for Dileep (played by Raja Singh Chaudhary) and we see issues like campus ragging, student activism, caste biases through the eyes of Dileep.Ironically he comes out as the weak performer in this ‘actor’ studded film.

Gulaal is a multidimensional film where every subplot stands on its own and still they all come together as a powerful story supporting the core plot. If you wish to indulge in depth, it has many references from real life characters, and they are amusingly done in a very subtle manner. However, the ace in a hole of Gulaal is eccentric poet Prithvi Bana played by Piyush Mishra. Mishra’s music & lyrics are majestic and acts as a catalyst for the film. Gulaal is a very impressive & matured piece of Indian cinema is unconventional in its storytelling.

1. Gangs of Wasseypur [2012]

Anurag Kashyap had made great films before; Black Friday, Gulaal, Dev D and a few more brilliant ones but I believe that Gangs of Wasseypur is his one ultimate Masterpiece that will go down as one of the most important films of the Hindi Film Industry in the decades to come. Released in two parts, Gangs of Wasseypur is Anurag Kashyap’s most ambitious film to date. It is an Epic Gangster Saga that portrays the life and times of a small Indian town across 7 decades.

From the man of few words Shahid Khan to the colorful yet ruthless Sardar Khan to the romantic and flimsy Faizal Khan, this film travels through generations of violence in the name of revenge and rivalry. On the other sides of the ring are the QURESHIs and the men from Singh Mansion. Each one of them win a round or two but the film isn’t about who wins the battle because everyone here is a criminal with different ideologies, the film is rather about a place, a hellhole that constantly witnesses change in its landscape, a place which is constantly becoming more violent by the minute, no matter who is the proprietor of violence. 

City of God, The Godfather, People have drawn all kinds of comparisons and why not, Gangs of Wasseypur is a love letter to the Crime Genre and it will remind you of every masterpiece that belongs to the genre.

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