Give Me The Freedom To Choose

It’s pretty sad to see nasty feedback and reviews about the movie – No Smoking. It’s not surprising though… Indian audience (in general) has never really been willing to understand such movies… and they will never be… I hope there are a few who understand the masterpiece Anurag Kashyap has created… Anurag Kashyap has been one of my favourite actors since I saw him first at Prithvi Theatre performing in a play “Sir Sir Sarla”. I started liking him as a director and writer when I watched Black Friday and I like him even more after watching “No Smoking”. He continues to make something different and meaningful unlike most others in the industry.

So what is No Smoking about? Is it about quitting smoking?

Read what Anurag Kashyap writes about it (http://passionforcinema.com/i-smoked-classic-milds/) :

…Yes it is an arrogant film..it is a film about arrogance.. of two kinds..why i made it , the way i made it, the reasons i have never discussed it before.. it is (like thani said) my most personal movie.. i am K.. K’s arrogance is the obvious arrogance, that everyone sees everyday.. he smokes..he breathes nicotine.. he says no one tells me what to do.. i breathe cinema.. and forever everyone has been telling me not to make the kind of cinema i do.. NO SMOKING is a tale of an arrogant man and another who is much more arrogant, who lives in his world, where he controls everything and he thinks he is morally superior to anyexisting Homo sapiens, he is the kind of man who thrives on minorities and underpriveleged, he worships the dictatorian attitude and all he wants from you is to lose your soul and convert….it,s a tale about an arrogant man’s descent into morality.. and the architecture of the moral world is so absurd that it sometimes beats reality.. what happens in the film is a parallel to what happens in the real world..

…baba bengali is like that man, who has already deciced what kind of cinema should be made and should exist.. the film is about my struggle against the system to have the freedom to (smoke)make films..

GIVE ME THE LIBERTY TO KNOW , TO UTTER , TO ARGUE FREELY ACCORDING TO MY CONSCIENCE ABOVE ALL LIBERTIES

since i do not have the liberty, and i get banned everytime i am directly stating my opinions(we started shooting much before Black friday got the clearence), one has to wage a guerilla war.. no smoking is my guerrilla war.. and in the end the man loses to the system and the only way he can survive is after having lost his soul(freedom).. everyone expects a good versus evil film, where good wins over evil, where the end sums it up, and all is well at the end.. well it doesn’t happen here.. here K doesn’t want to, but never comes to know how and when he gave in to the system, but accepts it and starts to do what his own people did to him,,why? in order to survive.. why his treatment becomes an incomprehensible nightmare, because it does in real life, i am the living proof..this film is just the treatment the powerful(baba Bangali) puts K(the man whose allusions are of greatness, seemingly invincible) through to bring him over to his side and manages.. there is nothing more.. i have seen the industry’s waking conscience when FANAA got banned in gujrat, and reading hrithik roshan’s democratic rights speech in midday the next mornig,, never saw none of that solidarity when my two films got banned..
Have had my film scripts stolen from right under me by the most powerful, respected and supposedly just people and did not see anyone even whispering it..and yes i am arrogant, because i work very hard to put my neck and my sense of security and my goodwill on line.. i do not scratch anyones back.. i criticise those who will always get the oppurtunity to trash me like they have this time.. i live on my own terms in this spineless world and that makes me arrogant, and i would rather have a good review when people like my film than by being on good terms with them..
in the end i do not want to explain no smoking anyfurther and would say i prefer it over Black Friday and i love every bit of it and i still hope it finds it’s audience and makes money for my producer who trusted me to make this film.

Siddharth Pillai writes:

…Superficially the movie may seem to be a shocking depiction of addiction and withdrawal that follows a common template for a horror flick, but deep down it ponders on the very philosophical issue that concerned ‘A Clockwork Orange.’ What is the notion of a ‘human being’? When K places his palm on the touch-screen at the Prayogshala the data arrives as ‘Species: Homo Sapiens’. The soul is disregarded. The nightmare of K is not one of addiction but of social dystopia. The Holocaust is invoked and Baba Bengali is shown in photograph sharing space with Hitler. Bengali’s appellation of ‘Shri Shri’ and the paranoid fervor with his inmates later spread his word are all an indictment of a system that runs on herd mentality. Baba’s methodology for curing addiction is a bloodlust driven by fanaticism. There is little to distinguish between him and a religious fundamentalist. It is like Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Mother Night- ‘True evil is hating someone and believing that God in on your side.’ Director Kashyap cheekily but furiously lashes out these extremist systems which require one and all to conform, submit and reject absolutely anything that is beyond…

…He strives for the right to choose, for human endeavor and he does it in style.

Another review:

…Wow, finally there is someone out there who tests the audience and at the same time explores the subconscious mind so beautifully that I felt I was dreaming, because that’s how dreams are and that’s what No Smoking is, the nightmare of a chain smoker.

Well, all the people who said it was absurd and hopeless have you ever got a dream in which you thought you were dreaming?

I can’t stop appreciating the guy who made it; for that matter any one can’t stop doing that once they get the point. Because it’s his proper understanding of the subconscious mind and applying that on an impulsive smoker combining this with a cool, slick look and a terrific sound track he delivers No Smoking. Kudos to you Anurag Kashyap.After listening to my fellow audience’s frustrated comments during some parts of the movie I thought of that musician’s character in Atlas Shrugged. What was his name?

And yes this aint an only bouquets to you thing hold this brick too Anurag. Why was the Natural Born Killer’s sitcom parody brought in? That seemed a little out of place. But the Schindler’s List’s gas chamber scene on TV and the mass bathing scene was subtle. Especially the frame when K looks up.

I don’t know what reviewers see in a film when they write a review. Seems like there is a greater urgency in delivering their product. Unfortunately these kinds of things give the audience a wrong idea.

In one line No Smoking is David Fincher and David Lynch having a hell of a party with Anurag Kashyap in desi style.

All I can say as an audience — I want more of such movies. I’m tired of sentimental crap like — “It’s all about loving your parents…”

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~ by Rajeev on December 24, 2007.

2 Responses to “Give Me The Freedom To Choose”

  1. हर फिक्र को धुएँ में उडाता चला

  2. bilkul

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