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Kennedy director Anurag Kashyap on violence: ‘I faint at the sight of blood in real life’

The acclaimed filmmaker’s latest film Kennedy – starring Rahul Bhat and Sunny Leone - premiered at Cannes 2023

Kennedy director Anurag Kashyap on violence: ‘I faint at the sight of blood in real life’
Anurag Kashyap

Last Updated: 04.28 PM, May 22, 2023


Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap is currently attending the Cannes film festival for the premiere of his latest film, Kennedy - starring Rahul Bhat and Sunny Leone. It will come as a surprise to many that the creator of crime thriller films such as Gangs of Wasseypur series, No Smoking, Black Friday, Raman Raghav and Dev. D, shares a ‘complicated relationship with violence’. He, apparently, faints at the sight of blood in real life.

“I have a very complicated relationship with violence. Violence affects me a lot. If I see blood in real life, I faint. If I see an accident, I faint. I am terrified of attending funerals. I have a very difficult relationship with violence, which is why in my films, the violence will be extreme, but off-screen. An exception to this is Gangs of Wasseypur,” Anurag told Film Companion.

Adding to that, the filmmaker said, “I have always kept it outside. The point of impact has always been off screen… In Raman Raghav, Ugly, Paanch and so on… you only see the rage, but not the impact. My whole thing is, the audience’s imagination is so vivid that it will be much scarier. If we put it on screen, we are limiting it. When we don’t put it on screen, their imagination makes it scarier.”

Kennedy showcases the life of a former insomniac police officer who was long thought to be dead but still operates in a corrupt system. The film features Sunny Leone, Rahul Bhatt, and Abhilash Thapliyal in lead roles and is set to premiere at Cannes film festival, under Midnight Screening soon.

The filmmaker recently revealed that he wrote the film keeping South Indian actor Chiyaan Vikram in mind, but due to lack of response from him, the role was bagged by Rahul Bhatt. “I only cast people who are totally available and who will give everything. I did not write Kennedy for Rahul Bhat. I had a specific actor in mind when I wrote this script, which is why the film was called the ‘Kennedy Project’. It was Chiyaan Vikram. His real name is Kennedy (Kennedy John Victor). I reached out to him, but he never responded. I reached out to Rahul after that. His reaction and response were enthusiastic. He gave up eight months of his life for this character. His devotion, sincerity and total surrender to the role were just incredible,” Kashyap said.

Talking about the violence in Kennedy, he said: “In this film, you are talking to a man who has become so used to violence that it has become a bodily function for him. It’s just an automated response. This is what he has become… This is what the society has become…”

“Here, I am not trying to lecture or anything. I am just telling a story When we live in his world, we see his loneliness and sadness… he is not a human being one should empathise with. Yet, you end up empathising with him, which is a very complicated thing. In the end, people are feeling like ‘I am not supposed to empathise with this man, but why am I feeling this?’ And that’s when people question themselves.”

Before Kennedy, Anurag had directed Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat, starring Alaya F and Karan Mehta. But the movie proved to be a dud at the box office.

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