In the upcoming ‘AK vs AK’, actor Anil Kapoor and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap go against each other to deliver a larger point on film business
Anurag Kashyap believes one cannot make it into Bollywood unless their surname is Kapoor. It is a clear jibe at Anil Kapoor, who, in turn, states that Kashyap has finished the careers of artists by making “dark” films.
What starts as a banter between two AKs at the trailer launch of their upcoming AK vs AK on Monday, turns into a nasty exchange of words, forcing the intervention of filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane. Starring Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap, playing themselves on screen, the film pits them against each other, taking on celebrity culture and possibly settling the answer for the age-old debate: Is cinema a medium of the director or artiste?
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The genesis of the script originated from screenwriter Avinash Sampath seven years ago, said Vikramaditya Motwane. “Like all my films, it has taken seven years to make this [AK vs AK] one,” he said, adding, “[About who is bigger of the two] Ultimately, it’s the movie that matters and not these two.”
Never has there been three different trailers for a film. As the story goes, Anurag Kashyap approached Anil Kapoor for a film and is shown his place, despite being a celebrated filmmaker who has consistently represented India at international film festivals. In Anil’s version of the trailer, the star is bigger than the film, aptly reflecting the Bollywood we have come to know. “Stars make films in India, not the director,” says Anil Kapoor in the trailer, which, according to him, is the “original, Los Angeles-approved [headquarters of Netflix] trailer that Vikram and I agreed upon”.
A visibly miffed Kashyap accused Kapoor of, “sitting on Vikram’s shoulders and coaching him to make it look like there’s only one AK…Anil Kapoor.” Kapoor, on the other hand, said that the reason he agreed to be part of AK vs AK, apart from getting to work with Vikramaditya Motwane, is to show Anurag “what acting is, what cinema is”.
In Anurag’s version, Anil Kapoor can be seen approaching the filmmaker for an acting gig. This time, Kashyap has the upper hand showing the world that cinema is a director’s medium. “I have cast light on artists by making dark films. I am India’s [Quentin] Tarantino,” announces Kashyap.
Finally, in the original, director’s cut of the trailer, we get to see what one could expect from AK vs AK. The film is about a director (Anurag Kashyap) who kidnaps a movie star’s (Anil Kapoor) daughter (Sonam Kapoor) for their film. The actor’s quest in finding his missing daughter forms the premise, blurring the lines of real and reel.
On bringing the two AKs together, Motwane said, “I wanted a commercial star for my film, so, Anil sir. But I wanted to make it in my style, hence, Anurag.” He added that he lost 10 kilograms in the process of putting up with their ego issues.
What exactly happened between Kashyap and Kapoor that left them go head on? “There’s a history between us. He has offered me films but has used swear words, like he does in his films. The tension has always been there,” said Kapoor, pouring a splash of water on Kashyap, like the way the latter does in AK vs AK. The film releases on Netflix on December 24.
With inputs from Srivatsan S