Anurag Kahsyap is unlike most directors (eleboration not necessary) and it seems that movie pirates have a liking for the maverick moviemaker. And they have good reason to.
About a year ago on Zoom channel’s show Director’s Cut Anurag revealed to Kabir Bedi, the host, “I like piracy,” and went on to stress that “I’m here because of piracy.”
Anurag’s reason was that if it hadn’t been for piracy, a small-town guy like him wouldn’t have been exposed to the best of world cinema.
With Dev D releasing the week before last, the much maligned pirates seemed to have returned Anurag the favour. Unlike most movies (some bootleg versions get leaked even before the actual release) Dev D‘s pirated print took a long while to hit the markets (atleast that is what my research says). The first prints were available on the torrent networks a good week after the film’s release. This is important because movies tend to make a bulk of their collections in the first week itself.
Moreover, the prints that are circulating on the online torrent and video sharing websites are sloppy cam-rips. It isn’t even worth the effort to download them. Intentional? I wonder.
The Sunday following Dev D‘s release I was taking a stroll at Delhi’s Daryaganj (looking for old magazines and stuff). Though on that Sunday, there wasn’t any Sunday Market, but the pirated DVD sellers were omnipresent.
“Dev D hain kya? (Do you have Dev D?” I enquire.
“Haan! Haan! Bahut hain (Yes! Yes! There are lots),” comes the pat reply.
“Dikhao (Show me)”
“Khud hi dekhlo. Bahut DVD hain (See for yourself, there are lots of DVDs)”
“DVD, par Dev D ki DVD (DVD, but Dev D‘s).”
“Woh kya hain? (What’s that?)”
“Nayi film hain. Parson hi release hui hain (New movie. Released the day before yesterday).”
“Hero kaun hain? (Who’s the hero?)”
He gives me a confused look
“Sunny aur Bobby Deol ka bhai (A brother of Sunny and Bobby Deol)”
He shuffles through the DVDs and hands me one.
The title reads “Victory“.
Defeated, I gave up.
PS: Anurag’s Black Friday is still hot on the torrent network.