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Paanch poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byAnurag Kashyap
Produced byTutu Sharma
Written byAnurag Kashyap
StarringKay Kay Menon
Aditya Srivastava
Vijay Maurya
Joy Fernandes
Tejaswini Kolhapure
Music byVishal Bhardwaj
CinematographyNatarajan Subramaniam
Edited byAarti Bajaj
Release date
Running time
130 minutes
Budget2 crore (US$280,000)

Paanch (English: Five) is an Indian crime thriller film written and directed by Anurag Kashyap and starring Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava, Vijay Maurya, Joy Fernandes and Tejaswini Kolhapure. The film is "loosely" based on the 1976-77 Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in Pune.[1]

The film never got a theatrical or home-video release. The Central Board of Film Certification objected to the film's violence, the depiction of drug abuse and bad language. After some cuts, the film was cleared in 2001. However, it could not be released as the producer faced some problems.[2] The film was later released in several film festivals.


Four friends, Luke (Kay Kay Menon), Murgi (Aditya Shrivastava), Joy (Joy Fernandes) and Pondy (Vijay Maurya) are wasted by youth and self-destruction and play together in a band along with a fifth female member named Shiuli (Tejaswini Kolhapure). Luke, the lead singer and self-imposed leader of the pack ensures his dominance in the group by providing accommodation, drugs and food for his wasted and broke friends. Pondy is fascinated by Shiuli who sleeps with rich guys for money. The movie revolves around a kidnapping plot gone wrong, in which the four male band members plan to kidnap another friend Nikhil (Pankaj Saraswat). Nikhil is part of the plot and agrees to get himself kidnapped to extract money out of his rich but miser father. In the process excess of drugs and uncontrolled anger leads to the murder of Nikhil by Luke. Luke blackmails all others and ensures that nobody leaves or confides into the cops. Meanwhile, Shiuli also gets entangled in the plot. The money hungry youngsters then go on to kill the father of Nikhil and a cop (Sharat Saxena) investigating the murder. The plot thickens with a set of betrayal and counter-betrayal leading to an interesting end.



The soundtrack of the film features music composed by Vishal Bhardwaj and lyrics written by Abbas Tyrewala. The album was released by BMG Crescendo in May 2002,[3] and marked the entry of the music publisher into the Hindi film music market.[4]

1."Main Khuda" (performed by K.K.)6:06
2."Ye Kaisa Hai Shaher" (performed by Dominique)4:22
3."Paka Mat" (performed by Hariharan and K.K.)4:38
4."Paanch Theme" (performed by Dominique)2:49
5."Ankhiyan Chipki" (performed by Ustad Sultan Khan)4:20
6."Jism Hai" (performed by Asha Bhosle)3:31
7."Tamas" (performed by Deva Sen Gupta)4:31
8."Main Khuda" (performed by Sunidhi Chauhan)4:36


In September 1993, while Kashyap stayed at the St. Xavier's Boys Hostel, he used to hang out with Adam Avil, Eddie Avil, Luke Kenny and Ulysses Veyra the members of a band—Greek (later Pralay). He took copious notes on how they lead their lives—forty pages of a small notebook, and began writing the script—"in bits and pieces"—for a film that he called Mirage but which would later become Paanch. Kashyap had seen ex-VJ Luke Kenny in a Vikram Kapadia play, and approached him with an incomplete script, but nothing came out of it.[5] Anurag Kashyap Interview Excerpts from the interview (in Hindi) conducted by Pravesh Bhardwaj and Ajay Brahmatmaj[6] Later on, while working with Nair, he came across files related to the Joshi-Abhyankar Serial Murders that took place in Pune in 1976.[7]

Five very ordinary college kids viciously murdered nine people. I got what I needed to finish my script then.

He had also seen a film, Fun, about two mentally unstable girls murdering an elderly woman. And Paanch was ready to be made into a film. Kashyap says—

"There was a structuring in Fun, which you will also see in Paanch. There was something in Fun. When I began looking for it, I saw a pattern in Last Train to Mahakali, in my own film Paanch and in Auto Narayan. All three films had a similar formula. I am able to analyze it because I have.[5]

Film festival premiere[edit]

Paanch was screened at Filmfest Hamburg in 2003,[8] Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema as closing film in 2005,[9] Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles in 2006[10] and at Jagran Film Festival in 2016.[11]


  1. ^ Total Recall
  2. ^ Aniruddha Guha (2009-02-01). "Anurag Kashyap is jinxed no more". DNA.
  3. ^ Paanch - music review by Mandeep Bahra - Planet Bollywood
  4. ^ BMG Crescendo Makes A Debut In Hindi Film Music
  5. ^ a b The 'Pahli Seedi'
  6. ^ Audacious, irreverent, yet refreshingly original
  7. ^ Total Knockout: A Censor Punch For Paanch
  8. ^ "Here's Bollywood, uncensored: The Times of India". Zee News. 16 July 2003.
  9. ^ Kumar, Anuj (2 August 2012). "On the mark". The Hindu.
  10. ^ Chatterjee, Saibal (8 April 2006). "LA film fest to fete Naseer". Hindustan Times.
  11. ^ "Naseeruddin Shah inaugurates 7th Jagran Film Festival". Mid Day. 2 July 2016.

External links[edit]