Gangs of Wasseypur writer Zeishan Quadri had put a condition before director Anurag Kashyap that he would part with his story only if he gets to play a key role in the film that deals with the coal mafia.
Anurag agreed on one condition: Quadri had to appear for auditions. Eventually,he got through the auditions and bagged the role of ‘Definit’,a wily and street smart goon who imitates Salman Khan.
Quadri’s journey from the country’s coal capital of Dhanbad is no less interesting than a film script. His Hero banna hai” aim took him to Mumbai in 2009 but after several auditions he got no break. Meanwhile,he began watching world cinema and got attracted to films like Men of Honor,City of God,No Man’s Land and No Country for Old Men.
It was then that the idea to write a script on Wasseypur coal mafia gangs struck him. After about two months of research and picking up real incidents and fictionalising them a bit,he was ready with the skeleton of his story.
One fine day,I met Anurag Kashyap at Prithvi theatre and told him about my script. I gave him a eight-page concept of my story said I also want to act. He was impressed by my story and on my acting condition,he said I had to go through the audition rounds, Quadri told PTI.
Gangs of Wasseypur,also starring Manoj Bajpai,Nawazuddin Siddiqui,Piyush Mishra,Shabana Azmi and Reema Sen,tells the story of three generations of a family who are deeply enmeshed in tentacles of crime,extortion,murder and how they wade through its morass.
Quadri a.k.a the stubborn,eccentric and crude guy Definit belongs to the third generation of the family who is hungry for power. He has also co-written the film’s screenplay and dialogue.
Definit is a follower of Salman Khan and aspires to become the biggest goon of Wasseypur. He imitates the actor’s style and hairdo right from his ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ days to ‘Tere Naam’ and beyond, said the 28-year-old.
The five hours and 20 minutes story of Gangs of Wasseypur deals with incidents between 1941 and 2009. It got a rousing reception at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The audience at Cannes had the patience to sit for five hours and 20 minutes and appreciate it, Quadri says.
Zeishan was from Wasseypur and a few things that he told me about his place dragged me back to my roots,my backyard,my growing up and my tryst with Bollywood and the politics of my region. The few anecdotes that Zeishan shared with me of this place then went on to be retelling and an analysis of the history of the place explaining its evolution as a burning inferno and its fight for coal to the way battles were fought, says Kashyap.
From digging coal to killing someone over an innocuous brawl to vengeance being inherited,Part One of the film gets to the roots of the people and explains why they are the way they are. Part 2 explains the Bollywood obsessed growing up of their inheritance of vengeance, he says.
Towards the end of colonial India,Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) loots British trains,impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku. Now outcast,Shahid becomes a worker at Ramadhir Singh’s (Rajat Bhagat) colliery,only to spur a revenge battle that passes on to generations.
the turn of the decade,Shahid’s son,the philandering Sardar Khan Sardar (Manoj Bajpai) vows to get his father’s honour back,becoming the most feared man of Wasseypur.
true to its real life influences,the first part explores this revenge saga through the socio-political dynamic in erstwhile Bihar in the coal and scrap trade mafia of Wasseypur.
In the second part of film,Wasseypur is no more the town that was once consumed by the raging war between Sardar Khan and Ramadhir Singh. It has spawned a new generation of money squandering lobbyists,turning into foolhardy gangs overnight.
With illegal profiteering through scrap trade auctions over the Internet,corrupt government officials,election rigging and hooliganism,the town got murkier.
Everyone wanted alliance with the most powerful man of Wasseypur,Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). His sole ambition however,is to annihilate Ramadhir Singh,the man with the grand scheme. The second part is a fitting conclusion to this story of vengeance,which by now,not just the family but also this town has come to inherit.