Friday, November 27, 2015

The true story of Satya

This was one of Anurag Kashyap's posts on his PassionForCinema blog. My favourite. Now the site is down but I retrieved this from the wayback machine. His posts on No Smoking and In defence of the 'I' are great reads too.
For all the Ramu/ Anurag/ Vishal/ Manoj/ Gulzar saab fans out there-

Satya - The True Story by Anurag Kashyap

There never was a bound script..i did not write the whole film..nobody did..there i a whole lot of myth surrounding the every other great sholay individual created Satya..passion did..most of which came from ramu..his being open to moments, ideas, to instincts, created was a different was a different Ramu..

How it began..Ramu was making Daud..there was a new actor he was working was manoj bajpai..i was there when he took that shot of Paresh going crazy and Manoj appearing from behind the door..Ramu fell in love with the shot..he fell in love with the actor..he fell in love with his intensity..he wanted to make an underworld film with him..he wanted to put Howard Roark in the underworld..thats how Satya started..

I met him..Manoj introduced him to me..i was supposed to be writing a film for Mahesh Bhatt which never got was called GIRVI..Ramu asked me “have i read fountainhead..i had..i was an ayn rand fanatic then..i was twenty three..i said “yeah”..he said lets put him in the underworld..i said “wow”..he also had an ending in mind which he remembered from some James Hadley Chase novel..that ending remained..Howard Roark didn’t..

i started working on it ..he asked me how much money i wanted..i didn’t give a fuck about i said “whatever’..we began work..whatever we wrote was not ther in the final film..anyways..after we started work Ramu left for Newzealand to shoot songs for DAUD..he disappeared from my life for two months..i thought this is not going nto was november 1996..February i got a call from him.. no mobile phones at that time..i had a pager..he paged me..he was serious..we made a one line order..Ramu has always worked with an one line order..never a script..this time he wanted a script..i still remember that first one line order..the opening scene was to be shot under the Milan never happened..

after the one line order was locked in..he wanted it to be written..he didn’t trust me with dialogues..he thought i was too young for it..he met vijay tendulkar for it..Ramu has been a fan of his since ardhasatya..

Vijay tendulkar wasn’t well..he wanted someone more mature..those days alot of people were talking about how Saurabh Shukla had done dialogues for ISS RAAT KI SUBAH NAHIN..saurabh has always brushed it off as just rumour..i had heard that too..but i knew him as a sometime playwrite from Delhi..i spoke about him to Ramu..Ramu offered him a double play Kallu Mama and write dialogues along with me .. he was to be the boss in that department..we were sent to Hyderabad..on his farmhouse..Ramu’s..At the Mumbai airport saurabh arrived late..he had the tickets..we missed the flight..we took the next one..

we worked more than a week ..we wrote something that looked and sounded like a script..we went back..we started shooting..we began in Goregaon with the chase sequence..the beginning chase..Gerard Hooper was the cameraman..i think i am jumping ahead..lets go back to naming the characters and casting..
but later..have a shoot in the morning..imagine doing this in the middle of my shoot..probably because i met Ramu today..later..

Saurabh and me wrote a draft..he was simultaneously writing a play called KAAL..after we finished we came back to bombay..another thing i forgot to tell you..when saurabh met Ramu for the first time and Ramu narrated him what he had in mind..Saurabh spontanously came up with that scene where bhiku comes back home drunk and shefali slaps him and he slaps her back..Ramu was so goddamned impressed with him..

When we were thinking how do we name our characters..Ramu called his boy to make coffee for us..he said “Bhiku teen coffee”..and i said nice name..Satya was named after a woman called Satya..Someone Ramu knew back in college days..He just wanted her to know that he still rememberred her..Ramu was an engineering some naxalite area in Andhra..then, when ever he got into trouble, he would strike a brucelee pose and make a eeyah sound to defend or protect himself..atleast thats what he told me..slowly all characters fell into place..

Ramu’s screenplay writer of Daud had been to Boston University Film Course..Gerard Hooper taught Cinematography there..he still teaches there..his two students made “THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT”..the writers name was KANNAN..kannan recommended he was fondly called..
We started shooting somewhere in August 1997..three days of shooting..third day we were was that sequence where Sushant Singh came to collect hafta from satya and satya refuses and slashes him..the way sushant reacted..he improvised or i didn’t know what..Ramu reacted in a way i never saw him reacting..he said now i know what my film is all about and he trashed the script me and Saurabh wrote..he fucking trashed it..he also cancelled shooting the next day and guess what.. Gulshan Kumar was shot dead..Ramu stopped shooting..Underworld equations had changed..script needed to go through a change.. somedays after that was Daud’s release..i remember..because it rained so much that day that noone could reach the premiere venue on time..anyways..Daud bombed..i still fucking loved it..I thought Neeraj Vora rocked in that film..

So Ramu threw our script in the bin and we started rewriting script..Ramu always treated me like a kid..he was fond of me but never took me seriously..i was the kid in the gang..only other kid was Apoorva Asrani..the editor..Bhiku Mhatre’s laughter was never written into the film..he just laughed one day when we were shooting at his fictitious house in bandra..we loved it so much that it became his character..The first day we shot with the lawyer Mule..Makrand deshpande ,who played the character overacted so nmuch,the scene was never kept in that was the scene where chandar appears in court..just before “goli maar”song..Mule was shown sleeping in the court..his Yawn was louder than Shakti just did not work.. at that time goli maar was not even ther in the film..the whole party sequence was shot on “Mera piya ghar aaya oh Raamji”..later the songs came into the film..Goli maar song had a different went“gham ke neeche bam laga ke gham uda de”..sung to the same tune..Gulzaar sahab wroteb “goli Maar”..we all including Ramu and Vishal prefeered the GHAM version..but who would tell it to Gulzar sahab..i was known to be blunt, so they chose me to tell it to Gulzar meeting with him ..they took me along ..and i said “sir gum work nahin karta” and he said,”Gum nahin gham,Pehle bolna seekho” andi was out of discussion..everyone agreed to Goli maar and thank god they did..what a song..