Top 10 Anurag Kashyap Movies

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Anurag Kashyap has not only brought the necessary change in Hindi cinema but also gave it a new identity that we could be proud of. He is one of the faces of the new wave in Indian cinema along with Ram Gopal Verma, Vishal Bhardwaj, Dibaker Banerjee, and Tigmanshu Dhulia. Anurag Kashyap delivered some of the best Bollywood movies of this century. Anurag is perhaps the only modern-day director in India who makes realistic films with high entertainment value.

10. CHOKED (2020)

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Inherently, all Anurag Kashyap characters have a grey side. They look and act in ways that make for an all-inclusive party of darkly comical hounds who are always on the lookout for something better. In his newest Netflix presentation ‘Choked ‘, Kashyap carefully constructs the lives of middle-class Mumbai people.

Every film made by a filmmaker is political. Wherein, he/she doesn’t have to necessarily draw a line and explain the reason for the line being there. In Kashyap’s Choked, the line is drawn again and again putting aside the narrative that could have made it more memorable. I mean, a middle-class family struggling with their morality and greed as their kitchen-sink problem turns into a mess of magic could have yielded a more hefty and complex human drama than the one we actually get here. Choked will divide its viewers. Much like the demonetization phase it propagates, the film will be divided into pre-Choked Kashyap and post-Choked Kashyap.

9. PAANCH (2003)

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Paanch is a commentary on the childish nature of evil, which also serves as a cautionary tale. As the title suggests, Paanch is a story of five slackers, whose only business is too fool around and get wasted. Every act of iniquity starts with a tiny step, the second step and so on until involved people realize that they are neck deep into the deadening mire of evil, but they keep at it, firstly out of pleasure, then out of compulsion. Those who set a foot on this vicious mire are bound to sink in the deepest trench of hell, there is no escaping.

8. MUKKABAAZ (2018)

Mukkabaaz on its surface is a love story of an amateur boxer, Shravan (Vineet Kumar Singh) Singh from Bareilly. His passion for boxing is eternal. In one of the scenes, Shravan’s father ridicules him by displaying how useless the winning cup is. Shravan retaliates savagely that boxing is his passion and he doesn’t know anything else to do in life. The whole passion crescendo of Sharavan reflects Anurag’s constant struggle to survive and tell the stories he wants to present in his intransigent voice, in this commercially driven Bollywood ‘industry’. And that could be one of the reasons the headstrong passion of Shravan is so tangible that it breaks your heart to see him getting punched, literally and metaphorically.

Mukkabaaz is dense, insightful though some scenes are theatrical and thoroughly cinematic. Anurag Kashyap lands a satisfying punch against the injustices and hypocrisies that keep India’s sporting underdogs exactly where they are. While he punches the last crude knock by ending the film saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. A tight slap in the face of over enthusiast patriots? Or just heartfelt gratitude to the native for giving such content worthy landscape? Or perhaps both.

7. NO SMOKING (2007)

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No smoking is Hindi Cinema’s own mind-fuck, an undaunted experimental movie straight out of Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Prayogshala’. A movie, which was supposed to be all about smoking gets more perplex and bizarre as it progresses, and the climax is bound to leave the viewer’s mind numb. It also has some surrealistic elements, rarely found in Indian cinema.

The protagonist of the movie, oddly known as ‘K’ (John Abraham) is a chain smoker and a narcissist. Tired of his smoking habits, his wife Anjali (Ayesha Takia) abandons him. This leaves no option for K but to visit Prayogshala. Prayogshala is a strange rehabilitation centre run by an idiosyncratic Baba Bengali (Paresh Rawal). Baba Bengali is assertive and is prepared to take any measure to help K getting rid of the smoking habit, even if it means killing him. K is forced to sign a contract and has a stamp attached on his forehead to trace him. K has to suffer dire consequences because of his noncompliance.

6. RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0 (2016)

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There’s a strange smile that appears on your face as you watch Ramanna dismantling his victims in Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0. It’s not because Kashyap somehow magically manages to justify the mystifying murders in his film. It is also not because he tries to ground you into rooting for his killing machine. But because the film jabs at that side of a human brain which has violence and anarchy all over its surface. He kicks a dark, blunt hole in your head, one that shakes you to the moment of spine chilling, psychotic disorder. Here’s a film that never steps back on its delivery of evil. It piles a dozen of grim shenanigans in front of your eyes and just keeps increasing the weight until you gasp or possibly choke yourself to death.

Starting off in true Tarantino fashion, Raman Raghav 2.0 works in chapters. It doesn’t overuse the gimmick of going back and forth in time, in order to trap you into an unnecessary mystery. The narrative of Kashyap’s film takes up a basic ‘serial-killer’ story arc and builds a solid, darkly delicious tale of insanity, anger & self-discovery. It’s a disturbing character study of two people, one on the verge of complete & total chaos of his psyche and one on the playful aftermath; were no relations, no emotions, no religion and no tragedy matters. Where gaining a Godly figure in its harshest sense is the ultimate and final aim.

Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 is dark, delirious and stylistically delicious. It doesn’t leave any stone unturned and is a true Kashyap film in all measures. Cheers to getting fucked inside out!

5. DEV D (2009)

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Abhay Deol’s rendition of the titular character DEV is not a likeable character. Unlike Bimal Roy’s charming Dilip Kumar or Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s tragic Shah Rukh Khan, he is an avant-garde dick (The D in DEV D stands for Dick). He paunches upon the easiest possible way out of feeling hopeless, mostly dissolving and drinking himself to death. Most of all, he is confused. He never seems to take the right path.

While all versions of Dev, Paro and Chandramukhi end signifying undeniable love, Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D signifies understanding life and death, while love is a pathway. When Dev D came out in 2009, it had rave reviews all around. Critics praised it for its near-perfect defiant charm that would make your jaw drop. In all the filth, Anurag managed to create a hypnotic environment. Also, Kashyap’s film is so densely detailed that you wish they were mere accidents. There’s a shot in the film where Dev receives a phone call when he had drowned himself in alcohol the previous day. We see him putting his shades on before receiving the call in classy Kashyap style.

When the film ends, the credits seem as confused as its protagonist who only understands the meaning of his life when a car hits a wall beside him as he is busy collecting pennies out a public telephone. When you leave aside all the greatness that surrounds the film, there are still 18 other reasons to love it. Laced up with the most experimental, and possibly the best soundtrack in any Hindi film ever, Amit Trivedi emerges as the unsung hero. His songs dance along with this 3-hour long masterpiece in complete sync.

4. UGLY (2014)

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The Subject of Ugly isn’t a unique one; we have seen Child Abduction in films before in Ben Affleck’s ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Prisoners’. But in those films, the focus constantly remains on what might have happened to the missing kid, which makes them a riveting thriller to watch. But, Ugly is a different film altogether. It doesn’t delve deep into finding the missing girl but focuses on the ever-changing mentalities of the key characters.

The parents, their divorce, the Step-Father, the father’s friend, the uncle; these are the players around whom the story revolves. Each one of them uses the kidnapping as an opportunity to benefit something from it. Most of them are trying to make some dirty money while some are using the incident to settle old scores. Of course, some do care for her, but she isn’t a priority. The Kid is the center point of the film whose abduction extracts the ugly sides of these people. After Paanch and Black Friday, Ugly is the third film where Anurag Kashyap portrays a relentless Bombay we don’t get to see often in cinema with all its glamour and Glitz, I call it the Bombay Trilogy.

3. BLACK FRIDAY (2004)

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Black Friday is raw in its narration, impartial in its characterization, melancholic for its entire length & gritty in its look. From the first scene of Bomb exploding that will have your heart pounding in the horror, till the end credit rolls, Black Friday never ceases to ease the tension & thrill that will chill your bones & soul.  Black Friday shows the events of 1993 Mumbai Bomb blast that resulted in hundreds of casualties and left thousands of people injured, as the manifestation of religious hatred between the Hindu majority and the Muslim minority.

The best thing about Black Friday is that it never takes sides, whether it is a character or a religion nor does it try to justify the act of anyone. Black Friday oscillates splendidly between pre-blast phase and the post-blast phase without sensationalizing or glorifying any character or the even itself. It very sensitively captures the psyche of Rakesh Maria, Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and one of the main bombers Baadshah Khan without even making an effort to draw sympathy for anyone. Black Friday is a film we all should be proud of, the film that defines realism, the film that is brave enough to use real names and location, the kind of a film that should be sent to Oscar.

2. GULAAL (2009)


Gulaal is a socio-political drama at its outset. When peeled layer by layer, it shows the labyrinth of humane characters who have never been so angry with themselves, with their own people and with the political structure of the state. They are deep drowning in the plume, their revenge turns into vendetta, they seek only Power, and their fight against the injustice inflicted to Rajputana community is blinded by greed, hypocrisy, betrayal and deception. If you closely look, all the characters are quite monotonous, their character does not go under any change except for Dileep (played by Raja Singh Chaudhary) and we see issues like campus ragging, student activism, caste biases through the eyes of Dileep. Ironically he comes out as the weak performer in this ‘actor’ studded film.

Gulaal is a multidimensional film where every subplot stands on its own and still, they all come together as a powerful story supporting the core plot. If you wish to indulge in depth, it has many references from real-life characters, and they are amusingly done in a very subtle manner. However, the ace in a hole of Gulaal is eccentric poet Prithvi Bana played by Piyush Mishra. Mishra’s music & lyrics are majestic and acts as a catalyst for the film. Gulaal is a very impressive & matured piece of Indian cinema is unconventional in its storytelling.


Anurag Kashyap had made no less than 3 great films before Wasseypur. But Gangs of Wasseypur is his ultimate Masterpiece that will go down as an important film of the Hindi Cinema in the decades to come. Released in two parts, Gangs of Wasseypur is Anurag Kashyap’s most ambitious film to date. It is an Epic Gangster Saga that portrays the life and times of a small Indian town across 7 decades.

From the man of few words Shahid Khan to the colourful yet ruthless Sardar Khan to the romantic and flimsy Faizal Khan, this film travels through generations of violence in the name of revenge and rivalry. On the other sides of the ring are the Qureshi and the men from Singh Mansion. Each one of them win a round or two but the film isn’t about who wins the battle because everyone here is a criminal with different ideologies, the film is rather about a place, a hellhole that constantly witnesses change in its landscape, a place which is constantly becoming more violent by the minute, no matter who is the proprietor of violence.




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