Friday, 22 June 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur – Movie Review

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Richa Chadda, Piyush Mishra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi

Rating: Keh ke le li

Films invoke different emotions in the audience. Gangs Of Wasseypur invokes disgust with its gore and I say what’s wrong with that? It can't be kabhi khushi and kabhi gham all the time. Despite that feeling that it arises in you GoW is very commercial with all the masala intact; there's violence, there’s love, there’s sex and there’s music. And last I heard these very ingredients make a commercial film.

From the very first scene Anurag Kashyap establishes what the audience should expect and then he goes ahead and does the unexpected. It’s no fast paced thriller where people are chasing each other on horses and jeeps. It’s more of a game of chess, they all are facing each other and making their moves.

The story spans from generations when Shahid Khan, a dacoit who was ousted from Wasseypur by the Qureshi's and eventually killed by Ramadhir Singh, a coal mine owner turned politician. Shahid's son Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) grows up with a single point agenda which is to avenge his father. He starts destroying Ramadhir Singh’s (Tigmanshu Dhulia) empire and building his own and is helped by his two sidekicks Farhan (brilliantly underplayed by Piyush Mishra) and Asgar (Jameel Khan). In the process he also marries Nagma (fiery Richa Chadda) and is seduced by Durga’s (Reema Sen) sensual bare back which has more expressions than her face.

The story is a bit complex but Piyush Mishra’s narration makes it easy while you can concentrate on the characters and the dialogues. Especially when there are gems like; “Soongh ke batao mantriji nasta mein ka khaye hain?” “Joroo ka mar.” There is humour in the most horrific of scenes which will have the audience letting out a nervous laugh. A very Tarantino inspired style of film making. There are hints of inspirations from Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese too. The romantic angle of Sardar’s two sons Danish and Faizal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) makes for funny moments in the second half especially where Faizal tries to hold Mohsina’s (Huma Qureshi) hand and gets blasted in return. Bihar, as a backdrop provides for the use of colourful language and if you don’t go all red at the mention of a cuss word you’ll enjoy it thoroughly.

Anurag has craftily incorporated music in all the bloodshed without disturbing the pace of the film. The title track ‘Teri keh ke loonga’ plays in the background in most parts. The visuals of ‘Bhoos ke dher mein rai ka daana’ might remind you of ‘kaun kisi ko baandh saka hai’ from Kaalia only difference is that it’s less heroic and more rustic. The Chutney music (contemporary fusion of genres created by Indo-Caribbean people whose ancestors were from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and the South Indian area around Madras) inspired ‘I am a hunter’ sounds great on an mp3 player but the video is a bit of a downer. The highly awaited ‘Jiya ho Bihar ke lala’ sung by Manoj Tiwari comes in the end and at a time when you won’t expect it at all. Giving too many details might ruin the fun of watching it so I’ll stay shut.

Our Sardar Khan is no hero with high moral values. He’s bad and he takes pride in it. He kills like a skilful artist and doesn’t blink while doing it. There couldn’t have been a better role for Manoj Bajpayee to come back with a bang. Tigmanshu Dhulia is controlled and plays the badass minister with an air of comfort around him. Nawazuddin has taken a back step in this one but I can’t wait for the second part to see him as the full blasted gang lord. The highlight of the acting department is Richa Chadda and over powers even Manoj Bajpayee in certain scenes. We’ve already seen a glimpse of her acting prowess in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye but she’s a powerhouse in GoW.

Gangs of Wasseypur Part I is just an entrée, the main course is yet to come.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Why Shanghai is an excellent film?

I won't say that its Dibaker Bannerjee's best work cause he created his masterpiece when he made Khosla Ka Ghosla; a film which according to me is a complete film making school in itself. But I would definitely say that Shanghai is superior than any other so called brilliant movies made this year. If you follow my blog you'll know which film I am talking about here.

Shanghai is brilliant because it is not pretentious, doesn't exaggerate and does not try to entertain people. Its predictable and still has a shock value but this shock doesn't come with a bang...its subtle. It has a slow pace but there's something new happening in every scene. Dibaker doesn't take forever to establish a character or a situation which results into a tight script. The dots are not connected for the audience. If you still don't understand what happened in the end you seriously are living in a bubble.

Performances are worth all the applauds and kudos to Dibaker for introducing us Hindi speaking janta to an actor like Prosenjit. Abhay Deol deserves multiple awards for playing a South Indian (Tam-Brahm to be precise) with such subtlety never seen before in Hindi cinema. Thank you Mr. Bannerjee for not playing on the stereotypes set by the industry. And, not to forget thanks for digging out an actor from a guy who has been used and abused as a 'serial kisser' repeatedly. Although helped by a lot of props and makeup yet Emraan Hashmi did well to show the world that he ought to be taken seriously.

Shanghai is a good lesson for Prakash Jha on how to make a realistic film on politics and for Sujoy Ghosh on how to leave certain things unsaid.


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