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20 years of Satya: Anurag Kashyap, Manoj Bajpayee, Apurva Asrani remember RGV's cult classic

Kashyap co-wrote it with Saurabh Shukla, Bajpayee played the memorable Bhiku Mhatre, and Asrani edited the gangster drama.

Manog Bajpayee as Bhiku Mhatre in Satya (1998)


Ram Gopal Varma's Satya (1998), which today completes two decades since its release, was a life-changing experience for Anurag Kashyap — who co-wrote it with Saurabh Shukla — and for actor Manoj Bajpayee, who played the memorable Bhiku Mhatre in it.

People feel Satya is real because it was true to its time: Saurabh Shukla

"20 years back my first film released. And changed my life forever. Being part of it was like going to the best film school in the world. All that I know I learned on one film and from one man. Thank you RGV," Kashyap tweeted.

Anurag Kashyap

Bajpayee wrote: "A braveheart came and changed my life and so many others with his sheer conviction. Thank you sir for your trust in us and your madness about the medium. Always grateful, RGV."

Even Apurva Asrani, who edited the intense gangster drama, was caught in nostalgia.

"Eros cinema, Bombay. The first show of my first film plays today in 1998. A young, spirited team chews its nails in anticipation. Then Bhiku Mhatre shouts to the city shoreline 'Mumbai Ka King Kaun?' and the audience erupts in ecstasy. Life will never be the same again. 20 years of Satya."

The movie is considered cult in Indian cinema, where realistic depiction of the Indian underworld was not seen often.

In a lengthy social media post, Varma had, on the eve of the movie's 20th anniversary, shared the nemesis of the project and the "actual truth" about what went behind the making of the "great film".

He wrote: "When people ask me today, if I realised Satya would become a great film, I will have to say no. That is because great films happen and no one can make them on intention.

"The proof of that is none of us, whether it's Anurag or Manoj or me, could reach beyond Satya in the last twenty years... If we knew how to do it, why didn't we do it again?"