Published by: Anurag Kashyap
Published: on Dec 30 2008 @ 10:20 am @ 10:20 am
I was always told i can not make a love story and it always bothered me. But there wasn’t a love story i related to. Not the ones they referred to. I enjoyed QSQT, DDLJ, Maine Pyaar Kiya and then i grew up. Later I enjoyed Dil Chahta Hai, Metro and Jab We Met. One was about growing up and friendships, second was about relationships the latter was fun. But could i make something like that without killing it, the very thing that made it. Impossible. But yes i did want to make a love story. The love story that i have enjoyed the most, Head On by fatih akin(in recent times) and “love me if you dare”, these were the one’s i wished i made them. Chungking express and Happy Together and In the mood for Love. Breathless. Jules et Jim. Will I ever get to make something like them. No. I wasn’t that good . So i never attempted to make one. Only once I got any closer to write a love story was Gulaal, but was it a love story?
There was a love story or many unrequited ones in it amongst others. So why could i never make a love story? Because i had set myself very high standards and that blocked me from even attempting one. I was also too scared of my own darkness. Failure of NS scared me even further.
Abhay had started it and i was excited but NS came and bombed, filling me with severe self doubts. We were set to go on the shoot, I lost courage. I could not write, Vikram’s draft was done, I had to add my bits to it, and my ideas were formed but i lost courage. I sank. I disappeared, went through some really indescribable things. And it suddenly came back. It came because of a lot of people judging me on the basis of that one film. A NS which i am extremely proud of and because i kept refusing to say that,”i m sorry, i made a mistake with it”. And the failure of people to get it and my failure to reach out to them with it, made them write off “black friday” and all else. I felt judged and that gave me the idea to what to do with Dev.D. Write a story about the young people who were judged by the society and were given no chance to come back. That is what Dev.D is. It’s the story of the outcasts. People we give up on, because they are stubborn, because they refuse to confirm and they don’t listen. they want to do their own shit, take their time figuring the rights from wrongs and in the process discover themselves. Like i always said, Dev.D is the story of self realization, self discovery , self destruction being one of the routes to it or the result of it.
The another thing that happened at the same time was the first cut of Aamir. It blew me. I was completely taken by surprise by what Rajkumar had achieved. I remember refusing to come to the edit suite to see it, i was depressed and asked him to put it on a dvd and sent it home. I started watching it, midway through it my depression was gone, i called him. I asked him to come over, he came. I had not finished watching it when he arrived, i made him sit down and finished watching it. I hugged him. It challenged me. I told him now you see what I do. What he did with Aamir breathed a new life into me.
I wrote it then on. All the ideas incidents used borrowed from real life. From the headline stories, newspaper front pages. Idea being , take devdas and find parallels to it in todays world. Be unapologetic, real and weave it together with music. Amit was already done with the tracks. Listening to them we, me and Vik kept rewriting, fighting, lots of things he disagreed on but we continued, I borrowed from my life, his life , Abhay’s life. Something was still missing, could not figure out what. We started shooting. We started shooting in london. On the way back , i don’t know what happened, i felt we needed to see chandramukhi’s story separately, what makes that girl Leni, to end up doing what she does. I wrote on the flight. Final draft of it on the flight from london to bombay. Got back and got it printed, The new development completely altered the film. A new song had to be included. The nature of the songs in the film being that, either they are used as states of mind of various characters or their journeys. None of them lip synched by the main characters. Either background or happening around.
It became a completely different movie.
Then we started shooting the Paro’s story in Punjab and I got a call from Kalki. She said she was not sure she could pull it off, on being asked why she said, everyone is in punjab and i don’t know who to rehearse with, and i need to keep doing that and i am not sure i will be as good in front of the camera. I asked my line producer ajay, can we get her here, even though she is not needed. He said yeah, so she flew down. Next day when we were shooting at the railway station when Paro leaves for the city, it was chaos and kalki was also standing there. I don’t know what happened to me , I asked her to get in there. “Get in where”, she asked.
In the shot with Mahi. This is where Paro and Chanda cross each other.
But they don’t.
Well in SLB’s version they meet and dance together. He has already taken the original one step further, lets take it up from there. Get in the train is about to leave.
And my costumes?
What you are wearing is ok, just give it to the costumes department after the shoot.
She got in and we took the shot and the film changed even further. That one day if Kalki wasn’t there, Dev.d would have been another film. From then on, strands kept emerging and without rewriting much we just kept creating shots, thrice actually, which made the film what it is today. I call them happy accidents.