In the last few months, there has been a rise in the number of Bollywood films and movie stars facing boycott culture. Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha and Akshay Kumar’s Raksha Bandhan – both set to release on August 11 – are the latest films to be at the receiving end of boycott calls by sections of the social media.
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who is gearing up for the release of his latest directorial Dobaaraa, along with the lead actor of the film Taapsee Pannu, urged people to boycott their film too. Making a joke about the current climate of the country, especially towards cinema, the filmmaker says, “I am amused because I feel these trolls want to boycott everything. There is a trend of boycott culture in this country. Itne saare log bol rahe hai boycott karo films ko, phir bhi log jaa rahe hai movies dekhne (laughs). I just thought we should also be in the trend. The boycott culture is a joke and I thought I also want to be a part of the joke and feel important just like others.”
The Manmarziyaan director is well known for portraying realism through his movies has delivered many critically acclaimed films. At the same time, Kashyap has had to face several hurdles to release many of his films including Black Friday, Paanch and Ugly, “Boycott Bollywood isn’t new for me. This is affecting the people who haven’t faced it in the past. I have been getting boycotted for 22 years so the condition is the same for me (laughs).”
Kashyap feels Hindi cinema is getting specifically targeted, “Why is no one saying boycott Malayalam cinema or boycott Tamil cinema. Hindi is a universal language and all these faceless and nameless trolls who are bots just want to control the narrative of everything.”
Ask him about the debate between Hindi and South cinema and he says, “I don’t think anything is going wrong or lacking in Hindi films. Just because of the narrative that is being created, filmmakers are feeling scared because they are being scared. Some buy into it, the others don’t. We are making all kinds of films and the perception is being made about ‘big blockbuster’ films that hasn’t come from a Hindi film.”
Kashyap says that a good film will always work. “People want to go and watch good cinema. I agree there are a few good films in the recent past which haven’t worked but one should also understand that we are going through an economic slump in the country. Basic things like biscuits and paneer are being taxed today. Do you think people will buy expensive tickets of a film until they are sure that the film will entertain them? Also, I believe the whole idea of having a half an hour interval should go away. It is boring and the audience just lose interest,” he says.