There seems to be a strong resemblance between Anurag Kashyap's unreleased directorial debut Paanch and his forthcoming production venture Shaitan. And Bejoy Nambiar, who has helmed the latter, says both the films are inspired by real life cases.
While Paanch was based on Joshi-Abhyankar case from 1976-1977, Shaitan, which is releasing June 10, is inspired by Adnan Patrawala.
'The starting point for Shaitan was the Adnan Patrawala case where a 16-year-old was killed in 2007 by his friends for ransom. My co-writer Megha Ramaswamy (who is also writing Shekhar Kapur's Paani) wrote the film with me,' said Nambiar.
However, Nambiar admits that Shaitan, like Paanch, is about five youngsters who seek and get more adventure in their lives than they bargained for.
Paanch was about five young people's quest for adventure, excitement, money and greed and how they get embroiled in a botched kidnap incident, while Shaitan tells the story of five youngsters who are out to have a reckless adventurous time but get involved in a botched crime.
Interestingly, Nambiar has cast actors who are associated with real-life cinema. For instance, veejay-tuned-actor Neil Bhoopalam, who plays one of the protagonists in Shaitan, had played the role based on Shayan Munshi in Rajkumar Gupta's No One Killed Jessica.
'The idea was to bring in actors and a crew that understood the realistic space in cinema,' said Nambiar who also roped in Rajat Barmecha, Rajit Kapoor, Rajeev Khandelwal and Kalki Koechlin for the film.
Kashyap had the same idea when he directed Paanch, which stars Sharat Saxena, Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava, Joy Fernandes, and Tejaswani Kolhapure, eight years ago. No wonder in private, Kashyap refers to Shaitan as Aaj ka Paanch.
'It is Anurag Kashyap's revenge on the cruel commercial formula-cinema that prevailed when he made Paanch in 2003. Anurag couldn't release the film because of its strong content and language. It hurts him to this day,' said a source.
'When Bejoy Nambiar came to Anurag to make a film, Anurag immediately remembered his own travails as first-time filmmaker and decided then and there that Nambiar's Shaitan would be the new-age Paanch, but with the difference that this time people will get to see the story of five restless edgy people who stray into crime,' added the source.
According to the source, the resemblances between Paanch and Shaitan are uncanny and certainly not coincidental.
'Every character in Shaitan has a reference-point in Paanch. Kalki plays the part that Tejaswini Kolhapure did in Paanch, and so on,' the source added.