Playing by the rules, chasing a genre, sticking to a formula, counting crores — filmmaker Anurag Basu chooses to defy every norm the Hindi film industry thrives by. Instead, the child in him keeps him restless and charged and his passion for cinema leads him in search of a new story. Every time. From Gangster, Life in a Metro, and Barfi! to his forthcoming Jagga Jasoos, Basu has always chased “the element of surprise”. “I am hungry for reinvention, for experimentation. I believe that repetition breeds boredom, and I consciously keep every film different. They are not genre or style specific and this is a risk, but I like to keep the element of surprise alive. Having said that, I am still struggling for a genre, but I want to make films that scare me the most,” says the filmmaker, who is now focused on Jagga Jasoos starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.
Before he could enter the space of the detective caper, he had to shake off all lingering effects of his last hit. “I had to clear my head of Barfi!. In this industry, you are known by your last film and the pressure to deliver that Barfi! has created for me is huge. I had to get rid of that and then get on board with Jagga Jasoos,” he says. Basu rubbishes the reshoot rumours that hit Mumbai tabloids recently. Contrary to speculations, he wasn’t unhappy with any footage. In fact, he says he has just started shooting. “We are barely 15 days into the shoot and there has been no need to reshoot anything,” he says.
With Ranbir Kapoor wrapping the Sri Lanka schedule of Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet and Kaif’s Bang Bang getting postponed, it’s only now that Basu has got the mindspace and date diaries of his leading pair. The fact that the two are rumoured to be real-life couple did bother Basu. “I have never in the past worked with actors who are romancing in real life and I feel that, if they are, there is a probability that you will not get that raw energy on sets. I was nervous knowing that Ranbir and Katrina were (allegedly) together, but they are fabulous and thoroughly professional,” he says. Though he’s reluctant to divulge much about the film’s plot, he confesses that he took his time to get the film’s title right. “I consciously chose an odd title, one that stands in contrast to the film for it piques curiosity and creates an instant image in the head. People are already talking about it and such continued…