Written and Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Music by Vishal Bharadwaj
This is a review of a film which never came out, this is a review of a film made by a bunch of crazy individuals, a film for which the censor board denied release and most importantly, a film about arrogant filmmaking.
Anurag Kashyap is someone who had been able to break out into main stream cinema from as much chaos as possible. And this film, his debut as a director, pulls the viewer into his pandemonium and shows us that one can be successful on his own terms even in a industry of compromises.
The story of Luke, Murgi, Joy, Pondy and Shluli starts in a police station where everyone except Luke are filing a complaint against the freak – Luke. The film keeps cutting back and forth from the police station to the story of Luke. The paanch are a rock band and have a lifestyle which is portrayed with an arrogance and anger saying “you regular folk have never been here and only I’ve seen what I’m filming”.
They live in a cheap apartment which is a tiny notch better than the slums of Mumbai. The walls are full of spray paint, they have no money for food, they smoke marijuana all day and all in all it is a place which can appal you with its mere appearance. The portrayal of the apartment might seem pretentious now and then, then again it is something we regular folk have never seen and the authority with which Kashyap captured this is just too difficult to debate.
The band practices in a godown owned by one of their friends (Nikhil played by Pankaj Saraswat). Nikhil is a rich boy , but, doesn’t get to enjoy his riches. Nikhil suggests a small kidnap drama which would demand a ransom from his dad which can be shared by all of them. The drama however ends with no pay and in a flash of frustration Luke kills Nikhil. Luke ends up killing 3 more people (two cops included) to cover up his first kill and to get the money which he believes he rightfully deserves. And he pushes the others of ‘the paanch’ to the point of getting physically involved.
A twist is available towards the end about Luke’s death and the film’s end is far far away from a ‘happy ending’. The characters with their numerous layers of fear and change, roles destined for these actors (Kay Kay Menon and Aditya Shrivatsav in particular) and the way Kashyap puts you in places only a disturbed filmmaker can reach are the what make this film unique.
Polanski’s ‘Pianist’ is one film which transports you to the ghettos of Poland. Kashyap’s ‘Paanch’ puts in a dirty bathroom with tap leaks, it puts you at the end of a knife, puts you in a tunnel with its visual and score and explores a geography which is rather alien to the civilised world. A must watch for everyone who dedicate exclusive time for movies.