After making superb movies like ‘Raman Raghav’ and ‘Masaan’, Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Mukkabaaz’ parcels out new dimensions of cinematic brilliance. From the very first scene, the raw poetry of Indian life reflects through with inimitable art and skill. Unlike other directors, his stories do not try to win over their audience merely through their sensational plots, catchy lines, and item songs, but each moment or, better each scene, appears with its own hook for transfixing the eye of the viewer. Anurag is a great director because he finds the best stories and actors to play in his cinema, rather than fall back on certain prominent faces of the industry, to make his movie successful. This is why one does not find repetitions and redundancies in his cinema. Like great poetry, the said movie is saturated with lines and gestures that reveal Kashyap’s attention to the details. Out of his characters, he brings out new individualities within the same social setup without falling back on stock characters. Jimmy Sheirgill and Ravi Kishan as actors are famous for certain type-cast roles, but in the said movie, they transform themselves and bring out new individuals into life in such a way that suspecting any glitch in their authenticity seems impossible. Many directors have made movies about a man falling in love with a woman and rebelling against a suppressive villain. However, when Anurag does it, he filters the worn off redundant story and renders it in such a way that it plays like a completely new story. Neither the villain nor the hero does anything which could be expected beforehand While watching the movie, I found an unexpected correlation between the ‘falling in love’ scene and Slavoj Zizek’s thoughts on ‘Our fear of falling in love’. Zizek argues that falling in love breaks up the status quo in an individual’s life, and nothing remains the same anymore. In the first five minutes of the movie, Shravan Singh sees Sunaina and falls for her immediately. Soon after that, Shravan punches Baghvan Daas despite having worked for him as an obedient disciple, who massages him and brings wheat from the bazaar. The whole plot of the movie springs out like a series of events and encounters from the scene of falling in love and rebelling against the villain. Here, Anurag manages to show the revolutionary impetus, which falling in love incurs. Many directors have made movies about a man falling in love with a woman and rebelling against a suppressive villain. However, when Anurag does it, he filters the worn off redundant story and renders it in such a way that it plays like a completely new story. Neither the villain nor the hero does anything which could be expected beforehand. The particular scene in which Shravan rebukes his father and tells him about his ‘passion’ and ‘destiny’ is one example. One rarely comes across a scene permeated with so much intensity without becoming sentimental. After all, these are the little nuances and contradictions which turn a plot into a work of art. It is a pity that the famous stars of Bollywood wouldn’t reach the artistic calibre of a single movie like ‘Mukkabaaz’ if art and aesthetics are made the criteria rather than glamour and money. In the entire movie, one wouldn’t find a single scene which would give the impression that it was added merely to fill the space between major events. Bollywood and Lollywood movies are notorious for depicting women as stock characters framed as mothers, sisters, and wives, with no voice and individuality of their own. However, Anurag reverses the whole trajectory and delivers a female character, who doesn’t fall into the clichéd pattern, and reveals unprecedented individuality God knows where Pakistani directors live, for they do not seem to have any knowledge of great cinema, whether it comes from Bollywood or Hollywood. They do not employ genuine writers to write their scripts, who have witnessed the very essence of social life in Pakistan. At best, they imitate the glamorous movies of Bollywood superstars, which offer a lot of noise, action, and fun, but no art. Bollywood and Lollywood movies are notorious for depicting women as stock characters framed as mothers, sisters, and wives, with no voice and individuality of their own. However, Anurag reverses the whole trajectory and delivers a female character, who doesn’t fall into the clichéd pattern, and reveals unprecedented individuality. Sunaina, despite being a mute girl, appears as a rebellious young woman, who does not submit to the arch-villain Bhagavan Das himself and the family values that he projects. Furthermore, she does not fall in love, merely, for the sake of security, which the popular cinema tries to infiltrate in the young minds. She pursues her own dreams and does not compromise in any way, which becomes obvious when she demands that her husband learn the sign language. After watching such a brilliant movie, one asks oneself: why cannot Pakistani cinema produce a movie like ‘Mukkabaaz’? The central problem is that Lollywood focuses on the upper and elite classes in the country and rarely comes into the centre of social life out of the well-furnished homes. The reason behind this limitation is that most of the directors and actors belong to the upper classes. They fail to imagine the social and individual lives lived by the majority of the population within the country. In addition, middle and lower classes which make the major chunk of Pakistani society are still drunk on their puritanical values and consider acting, singing, and dancing as dishonourable occupations, from which they discourage their sons and daughters. However, at the same time, they consume the cinema produced across the borders and waters. They celebrate their passivity and inaction as something they owe to their moral values and lofty traditions. That is why no movies and dramas are made about the raw and, sometimes, unpleasant lifestyle of the middle and lower classes. No doubt, given the resemblances between the social life of India and Pakistan, the future directors of Pakistan will find a genius mentor in the cinema of Anurag Kashyap. The writer is a student of English Literature at Government College University, Lahore,and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, June 21st 2018.