The controversy linked to Anurag Kashyap's "Paanch" reveals the complexities and difficulties involved in contemporary engagements with the city. The Indian Film Censor Board initially thought the film was excessively violent and lacked a "social" message. They added that the film did not have a single positive character. Finally, when "Paanch" was cleared for release, with many cuts, financiers blocked its release because the producer owed them money. "Paanch" creates an urban landscape where nihilism and the uncanny are narrated through a novel architectural journey. A critic said of the film "In Paanch the city is a merciless adversary that pulverizes every good quality in the man on the street".
The film narrates the story of a rock band called "The Parasites", who live in a Mumbai "chawl". One day, a man who claims to represent a music company, tempts the band with with the possibility of cutting their first CD. But the band needs money to do it. The group decides to stage a false or fake kidnapping of Nikhil, the wealthiest in the group, with his permissio, to extract money from his father. The simple plan turns into a nightmare. The father informs the police and troubles follows. Luke, the domoneering head of the band , murders Nikhil in a fit of temper. As one thing leads to another, the band members lose control, leading to four other murders. Violence, betrayal, death and destruction unravel in this film that enters heterotopic psychlogical spaces of Mumbai.
The film opens with images of Mumbai stylized through strobe-like shots. Edited to the rhythm of music, the sequence conveys energy, diversity of space, a sense of the crowd, and an air of gloom. The film plays with the classic features of detective noir; acts of confession, replay flashbacks. The most striking element in the film is the representation of Shiuly. As the female fatale, she does not get punished at the end of the narrative. " Paanch" journeys into areas of urban life unadressed by given generic structures.