Anurag Kashyap‘s Gangs Of Wasseypur will forever remain a cult classic because the brilliance in creating something so unconventional yet relatable does not happen in Indian cinema very often. From the story to the music, everything about this movie was an experiment so successful that it is spoken about even today as it completes eight years of its release.
Director Anurag Kashyap and the cast of this movie put in their heart and soul to create this masterpiece. In order to celebrate this incredible film, we will share 21 fascinating facts about the film as well as about the brilliant people involved in it.
1) Despite having worked together for Satya, Shool, and Kaun, Anurag Kashyap and Manoj Bajpayee hadn’t been on talking terms for a while. Kashyap was certain about the fact that no one but Manoj could play the role of Sardar Khan. So when he called him asking if he wanted to hear the script, the director wasn’t sure about Manoj’s answer. Interestingly, Manoj agreed instantly and reached Kashyap’s house at 11:30 PM where he sat with a bottle of red wine and heard the narration. The only thing Manoj said after it was done was that his character’s name should be ‘Sardar Khan’ and that’s how this iconic character was named.
2) Vipin Sharma played the role of Ehsaan Qureshi in the movie and in order to keep the authenticity of the character, a lot of scenes were shot at original butcher markets with the mud around being mixed with blood and body parts of animals. Vipin threw up numerous times during the shoot.
3) Anurag Kashyap and his team quit meat for a brief time because during the shoot, they witnessed over 60 buffaloes and camels being butchered right in front of their eyes.
4) It was Manoj Bajpayee who recommended Jaideep Alhawat to Anurag Kashyap when he was finding the right person to play Shahid Khan’s character.
5) Anurag likes to keep things in his movies as realistic as possible. The initial part of the movie has a scene where Shahid Khan is being hit by the guards who are responsible for the workers at the coal mine. The scene was supposed to be shot with artificial coal sacks full of foam in it but Kashyap being Kashyap, he changed it to real sacks of coal at the last minute.
6) Kashyap was having a tough time in picking a place that could be shown as Sardar Khan’s house and he eventually decided to shoot the scenes in a house where his brother Abhinav was born and the two had spent their childhood. Various locations used in the movie are actually places where Kashyap has spent his life and had vivid memories of them in this mind.
7) Pankaj Tripathi did a brilliant job in playing Sultan Qureshi and his character’s courage was described by a statement that mentioned how he could skin 60 buffaloes all by himself in a single day. His character’s inspiration was drawn while the movie was being shot. Anurag saw a 12-year-old boy butchering a buffalo all by himself and he couldn’t help but wonder how fearless this young lad would be when he grows up and that’s how the character of Sultan Qureshi was presented in the movie.
8) Anurag suffered a major setback when the airline lost his luggage that had the film’s script in it. He ended up spending two days at the airport waiting for the airlines to find his bag.
9) Gangs of Wasseypur also features Anurag’s assistant directors in two of its songs. One can see Vasan Bala during the ‘Bhoos Ke Dher Mein Rai Ka Dana‘ track that plays while Sardar Khan plots a plan to escape jail. Similarly, Shlok Sharma can be spotted in ‘I Am A Hunter‘. Bala has co-written Ugly and Bombay Velvet with Anurag Kashyap while Shlok Sharma went on to direct Haramkhor and Zoo.
10) Anurag lost his Chief Assistant Director Sohil Shah to a mishap that took place on the sets of this movie. While shooting in Banaras, there was a scene that required the jeep to cross a bridge. The team had a dedicated driver to complete this task but Sohil decided to go ahead and do this himself. Sohil was on the bridge when he saw two people walking on it and the sudden turn that was taken by him eventually took his life. He suffered a brain hemorrhage and was declared dead by the time they got him to the hospital.
12) Anurag’s talent of subtly putting across impactful things has never ceased to amuse people and the same has been done in this movie. During a specific scene, we see a man who meets Ramadhir Singh in a temple and suggests that he should join hands with the Muslims. This eventually leads Ramadhir to form an alliance with Sultan Qureshi. It is interesting how this man looks a lot like former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar. It is even said that Ramadhir’s character is based on an MLA named Suraj Dev Singh who saw Chandrashekhar as his mentor. This fact definitely explains a lot about the importance of this specific scene. Besides, Anurag Kashyap has said in an interview that there’s an unnamed character in the film who was modeled after a former Indian Prime Minister.
13) While shooting Part 2 of the movie, Nawaz was wired and equipped for a scene that required him to jump from the terrace of a building. Despite all the resources, Nawaz couldn’t get the right shot. That’s when Nawaz decided to get rid of the safety equipment and jump from the terrace because that was something he used to do as a kid, and as expected, the shot was complete in a single take.
14) The brutality of the scene where Sardar Khan stabs the bodyguard of a minister in a street will remain with us forever and it wouldn’t have been the same if it was created with the help of visual effects. In order to make it look authentic, little balloons full of red color were hidden beneath the bodyguard’s sweater and a ring in his finger was welded with a pin. So every time Manoj would stab the bodyguard, the bodyguard himself will burst the red balloons by placing his hand (ring) over the spot where he’s stabbed, thus bursting the balloon and releasing the blood.
15) Such has been the aura of this movie that instead of the usual olive leaves that represent the festivals the film has been to, the festivals for this one are enclosed in two inverted pistols.
16) Gangs of Wasseypur also happens to be Bollywood’s first commercial film to feature at the Cannes Film Festival during the Director’s Fortnight segment at the festival in 2012.
17) In the end, we see how Faizal Khan is killed. However, Faheem Khan, the person who inspired Faizal’s character is still very much alive and is locked up in a prison in Dhanbad.
18) The movie also shows Anurag’s method of paying tribute to Quentin Tarantino and his unique directorial style. The whole idea of bringing something unexpected on screen with the audience being curious and uncomfortable at the same time is something that Anurag does quite often. Shahid Khan’s sudden death while he’s on a duty for Ramadhir is also a classic example of this style. Faizal Khan who is the third son also gets shot in the same way. It was only Sardar Khan, Faizal’s father who is shot in a unique manner where the audience gets to see all the four killers but don’t really get a glimpse of Sardar. Anurag has used the same technique in Gulal and the audience can’t help but embrace this artistic discomfort.
19) Nawaz is someone who is known for his talent to bring a character to life and he did the same while playing Faizal. While shooting for the climax scene, he remembered a childhood incident where a woman was killed brutally and was chopped into pieces. Nawaz tried to channel the psychological state of the killer and we all know how it turned out.
20) It is quite interesting to notice the similarity between Sardar Khan’s death scene and Sonny Corleone’s death in The Godfather. In both cases, the shooting was unexpected, the workers did not help, and the target came out of the car breathing. The only difference is Sardar ducked to dodge the bullets and Sonny was shot continuously even when he got out of the car.
21) The next big thing in Bollywood, Vicky Kaushal was an assistant director to Anurag in this movie and he considers this experience as his schooling of cinema. The time he spent on the sets groomed him as a director and also as an actor and he believes that there couldn’t be a teacher better than Anurag.
A movie this great was bound to have equally interesting facts and stories behind its making and execution! Gangs of Wasseypur is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Voot, and JioCinema. If you’re looking for other movie recommendations, click below.