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Is RRR riding the pro-Hindutva wave? Anurag Kashyap says ‘honest films’ work but the problem is ‘opportunists who make propaganda’

Anurag Kashyap opened up about how opportunistic filmmakers try to ride the wave of the moment and make propaganda films.

RRR movieRam Charan and Jr NTR in a still from RRR.
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RRR is winning accolades across the world and is on its way to grab a few nominations at the upcoming Academy Awards but while the film is garnering all the applause for its spectacle, there is a section of the audience that perceived it as pro-Hindutva. In a recent round table discussion, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap spoke about the same when he was asked about the ongoing debate and how some films are designed to appeal to a certain kind of audience.

Anurag said that there are two kinds of films and filmmakers. “There’s a filmmaker who actually believes in something and if he puts his belief out there, there’s an honest film there. The problem are these opportunists who think this is a wave and if we jump on that wave then what happens is like, we’ll get funding, we’ll get backing, we’ll get access to the powers to be and this and that and these are the problem films. Those are the problem films. Some films actually come from a belief system,” he told Baradwaj Rangan at the Galatta Plus roundtable.

He added, “Problem is most of these opportunists, the way they use, then it becomes propaganda. And opposing view is also a counter propaganda.” When Rangan pointed out that the opposing point of view from Bollywood is being seen as the reason for the declining ticket sales, Anurag said, “This is not true at all, Bollywood is the most capitalist. There’s no left or right there.”

In an earlier conversation with Rangan, Kashyap had praised RRR and said, “When he makes me believe in something which only comes from his mind, I believe in it. But when you’re building a mythology, then I feel it’s not really sticking. RRR, some action scenes had an impact on me. Like when the animals come out, I was like, ‘How can someone think like this?’ I was blown away by that.”

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Karan Johar chimed in and said that these are just ‘conspiracy theories’ and people will go for films that are done well. He said, “A lot of it is just ridiculous and it is just theories and conspiracy theories that can keep happening and going on. People want to watch your film, they are going to watch it. No one is targeting Bollywood because if that was true, why would a film open to Rs 35 crore at all? Nobody is being like ‘anti-Bollywood, but not for this person’.”

He continued, “We make great films, they will do phenomenal, you don’t make a good film it’s not going to (work). We don’t have a forgiving audience anymore. We used to have. There was a time that riding on a superstar, we’ll watch a substandard film. Now, even a superstar has to deliver a super product.”

The year 2022 was seen as among the weakest for Hindi cinema. Only select films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, The Kashmir Files, Drishyam 2 and a few others managed to make a mark on the box office. South films like RRR, KGF 2, Ponniyin Selvan 1 managed to great numbers across the country.

First published on: 09-12-2022 at 12:29 IST
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