New Delhi: A hardened drug dealer falls hard for a moody painter, a police officer fights his inner demons and the grisly killing of a 16-year-old by his friends. If you did not know what the super rich in Mumbai do in their own time, you will, after the release of experimental filmmaker Anurag Kashyap's dark thriller 'Shaitan'.
The film that revolves around the lives of five Mumbai youngsters is set for a June 10 release and promises to shock with its high octane violence and risqué screenplay.
The film's premise – each one of us are fighting a demon within – is enough to rouse curiosity about the non-conformist director/producer's Kafkaesque moody narrations through films that bear distinct influence of the 'Fight Club' director, betraying his fascination with director David Fincher-like explorations of sex and self-repression and breaking taboos.
Fascination with Fincher
Kashyap recently compared 'Shaitan' to a David Fincher movie set in Mumbai. The experimental filmmaker canvas is often disturbingly dark and unapologetically brilliant. So if he appears irreverent by comparing his new age thriller 'Shaitan' to a Fincher masterpiece, he may have earned the right to.
The recently released trailer of 'Shaitan' is as fast-paced and eloquent as the 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' – Fincher's American version of writer Stieg Larsson popular trilogy and promoted as the 'feel bad movie of the year.'
'Shaitan', Kashyap himself says, covers new grounds in teenage angst and self-expression. His wife Kalki, who plays a painter in the film, sparked off a controversy with her on-screen lip-lock with co-star Kirti Kulhari in the racy drama that sees its protagonists battling their inner demons.
Flashes of the screenplay show its protagonists in roles that define the character in deep charcoal tones and the unbridled violence is a recurring theme in all of Kashyap's films.
Perhaps Kashyap fulfills with Kalki's role the story he left incomplete in the Paanch – his untold story of the lives of music groups and their own demons. But if evil is be conquered, Kashyap has done it many times in his career in Bollywood as he struggled to write and drew into a shell in the process.
Who are the Shaitans?
The actors of Shaitan said the film contains "horrific" violence and dark humour and bears testimony to the changing tides in Indian cinema where a young, gritty and raw generation are reclaiming cinema. Director Bejoy Nambiar portrays Shiv Pandit as a devil-may-care drug peddler who is also mentor for the protagonists.
He falls in love with Kalki Koechlin, an artist who prefers to etch with charcoal, who also brings out the human in him. Rajeev Khandelwal plays a police officer battling demons from his past whose life is falling apart professionally and personally.
The Adnan Patrawala case?
Nambiar had told the media at the beginning of filming that 'Shaitan' started off from the Adnan Patrawala case where a teenager was kidnapped by his friends for ransom in 2007 and later killed. He said scriptwriter Megha Ramaswamy wrote the film with him.
The edgy film is all about how well you deal with your inner devil. Produced by Kashyap and co-produced by Tipping Point Films, the youth film arm of Viacom 18, 'Shaitan' stars Rajeev Khandelwal, Kalki Koechlin, Neil Bhoopalam, Shiv Pandit, Kirti Kulhari and Gulshan Devaiah.
Kashyap has rarely disappointed till date, especially with his 'Black Friday' (2003) No Smoking (2007), Dev D (2009) and Gulaal (2009) and his 'Shaitan' is eagerly awaited.