MUMBAI : After the controversy surrounding Saif Ali Khan and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub’s Tandav, several filmmakers had to either shelve certain projects or make changes in their scripts to avoid similar backlash.
This also included Anurag Kashyap who had to stop making his adaptation of Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City after streaming giant Netflix backed out of the project. Anurag recently spoke about the impact this step had on him.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Anurag said, “It was my best work. I’ve never done such honest, important work.” Anurag added that Netflix backing out of Maximum City after Amazon Prime received backlash for Tandav is a form of “invisible censorship”.
He said that while Netflix did not give him any specific reason, he thought that either the script was too sensitive for the country’s political climate or they didn’t want to associate themselves with Anurag back then.
“Maximum City was where all my energy went. I was heartbroken. I totally lost it,” he said. Anurag added that after the film got shelved, he went into deep depression and took to drinking alcohol. He also revealed that he suffered two heart attacks during this period.
Anurag said, “Streaming was finally the space I was waiting for. The disappointment is it was supposed to be a revolution, but it was not. Like social media, it was supposed to empower people, but it became a tool.”
Earlier in February, Anurag spoke to The Lallantop about the film and said, “It’s written, but we’re figuring out the next steps. Netflix was supposed to do it earlier, but they aren’t doing it any more. The project had been green-lit, but a lot has changed since then on streaming. Lots of projects have stalled, like Paatal Lok season two…”
Maximum City is a non-fiction novel that depicts four perspectives on how people live in Mumbai. The book is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
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