Movie Review : ‘Gangs of Wasseypur 2’ (****Four Star)

(By Akshat Sharma) Spread in two parts ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ is India’s first ‘true blue’ desi gangster saga. Hollywood has produced its fair share of gangster movies with directors like Coppola and Tarantino being the flag bearers of such kind of cinema. Bollywood, on the other hand, has been scared to push boundaries all these years because most of the directors in India believe that Indian cine-goers do not want to watch cinema which is raw and real at the same time.

Anurag Kashyap understands the kind of cinema India appreciates and his ‘Gangs of Wasseuypur’ offers an interesting commentary on mainstream Bollywood which runs parallel in the narrative. Most of his characters in the movie are inspired by masala movies. Right from Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Trishul’ to Shahrukh-Salman’s ‘Karan Arjun’ Bollywood potboilers  serve as a reference point to the string of characters splattered all over in the movie.

Wasseypur is a non-descript town where revenge runs in average man’s blood corpuscles. Even the women living here have a special liking for such dark emotions. So much so when Sardar Khan (Manoj Vajpayee) is murdered in broad daylight female protagonist Nagma (played by Richa Chadda) threatens to severe her fingers if her son Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiquie) doesn’t seek revenge.  Faizal Khan gets sucked into Mafiosi like the way Michael Coroleone  in ‘Godfather’.

Death in Wasseypur evokes a mix of strange response. Strange because although death in Wasseypur is mourned by the people but it is also viscerally celebrated. The local brass band singer sings songs like ‘Yaad teri aayegi’ and ‘Teri Meherbaniyan’ as the people mourn the death of their beloved in the background.  The mourning soon gives way to revenge and the streets of Wasseypur witness the characters running on streets, spraying bullets and hurling expletives. Faizal Khan on his journey to take revenge indulges into activities like ‘steel business’ and runs a crime cartel in town.

He also finds time for his feisty wife Mohsina (Huma Querishy ) but their love is not the kind which we witness in movies. They don’t sing, dance or even pretend love. Their love is quite biological as it begins in the night and continues all night. Mohsina doesn’t want anything more out of this relationship. She only wants him to be safe and alive. Mohsina also croons “Nervousao Nahin Mura” to give her husband some comfort when his nerves are frayed.

Second part of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ introduces a litany of characters that have weird but interesting names and they are ruthless. For them there are no rules as their ‘golden rule is that there is no rule’. Perpendicular, Tangent and Definite form are the new breed of killers in town. They walk violence; they talk violence because they believe it is the only way to survive in this jungle.

‘Gangs of Wasseypur 2’ begins and ends with murder. It began with Sardar Khan’s murder and ended with Ramadheer Singh’s (Tigmanshu Dhulia) cold blooded brutal murder. In between these two murders Anurag Kashyap presents multiple chase sequences, fiery gun shots, brutal killings, humours situations and a filmi romance. It may sound absurd but Anurag Kashyap is the king of ‘absurd but clever cinema’ in India.

Anurag Kashyap deserves all the compliments he has received in the past couple of months. He is the man who knows his cinema and craft. After struggling all these years to find certain space for his kind of cinema in Bollywood finally with ‘Gangs of Wasseyour’ he can be assured that there are cine-goers who are willing to watch stories.

Spending money to watch quality actors like Nawazuddin, Richa Chadda, Tigmanshu Dhulia giving credible performances on screen is definitely a good idea if you do not have aversion to real life characters. The movie is set in rural background so do not expect them to have a polished fashion sense or diction. So deal with ‘Phaizal’ instead of chaste ‘Faizal’.

‘Peddlers’ Gets Ticket To Toronto Film Fest

After the 65th Cannes International Film Festival, debut director Vasan Bala`s ‘Peddlers’ is now set for screening at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) next month. He is elated. “It`s great that the film has been selected at Toronto after Cannes. Since the French press sighted a very American independent influence on the film, I am quite curious how it will be received here,” Bala said in a press statement.

‘Peddlers’ is a thriller about two parallel love stories – one about a cop and his married neighbour and the other of a girl on a mission and an aimless guy. Co-produced by Eros International, Guneet Monga and Anurag Kashyap, the movie is scheduled to be screened as part of the City to City section with an aim to bring global cities to Toronto audiences, and the focus will be on Mumbai this year.

“TIFF is among world`s top movie events, and is a gateway for international films into the north American region. Eros International saw the potential in the film the moment they saw it and decided to back it up,” Monga said in a press statement. The film features actors like Gulshan Devaiah, Siddharth Menon, Kriti Malhotra and Nimrat Kaur. TIFF will be held Sep 6-16 this year.



‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ Receives Rave Reviews At Cannes

International critics have given Gangs of Wasseypur, the first mainstream Bollywood film to be selected for the Director’s Fortnight, rave reviews following its world premiere at the 65th Cannes Film Festival earlier this week.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap, who is renowned for his work in creating a niche in Indian cinema’s ‘avant-garde’ space, the film is an epic tale, spanning 60 years of two feuding families set against the backdrop of the rural coal mining communities in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India. It combines clever filmmaking with a powerful, high-concept and entertaining plot, with revenge at its core. Accentuated by strong performances by a talented and eclectic cast comprising of Hindi cinemas finest, Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda, the film is cleverly told in two parts.

The Times (UK) said of director Anurag Kashyap; “(His) gritty, rowdy snapshots of contemporary India have marked him out as one of the hippest film-makers working on the subcontinent.”

The Hollywood Report called Gangs of Wasseypur, “A dizzying explosion of an Indian gangster film, whose epic structure and colorful, immoral killers capture the imagination for over five hours. Gangs of Wasseypur puts Tarantino in a corner with its cool command of cinematically-inspired and referenced violence, ironic characters and breathless pace.”

Screen Daily commented; “Never a dull moment … oozing visual style, laced with tight and often blackly comic dialogue,… this Tarantino-tinged Bihari take on The Godfather has what it takes to cross over from the Indian domestic and Diaspora markets to reach out to action-loving, gore-tolerant theatrical and auxiliary genre audiences worldwide.”

Generating widespread interest from critics and audiences alike, Gangs of Wasseypur represents the brave new Indian cinema breaking the cliches and conventions, something which Anurag Kashyap has come to be known for. The film is presented by one of India’s leading integrated film companies,Viacom18 Motion Pictures and produced by AKFPL.

‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’: A Must Watch

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s brand of cinema is diametrically opposite to the mindless comedy or emotional tearjerkers dished out by Bollywood. In fact, Kashyap’s cinema is dark, broody and psychologically claustrophobic in form and meaning. Starring Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah and Shiv Subramaniyam, ‘The Girl In Yellow Boots’ traces the life of an illegal immigrant to Mumbai – Ruth (Kalki) and her search for her missing father, who abandoned her family when she was a kid. The film paints a sinister picture of Mumbai, a place often called the city of dreams. Ruth’s brush with Mumbai evokes the stark reality of the city underbelly which is infested by warped anomalies of human life while Ruth tries to locate her father. In order to survive, Ruth takes up the job in a shady massage parlour and gives in to the desire of old men (Naseeruddin Shah being one of them) to make her ends meet. Single in the city, Ruth falls prey to her drug addict boyfriend (Prashant Prakash) and local goon Chitippa (Gulshan Devaiah). In ‘The Girl In Yellow Boots,’ Ruth internalises the trauma as she comes across the perils of an unknown cityscape. Ruth struggles to keep her sanity intact in the big bad city – a city which constantly gnaws her. Kalki literally lives up to the role of Ruth and so does Prashant and Gulshan, who add a lot of depth and conviction to their characters. Well, here’s another masterstroke from Kashyap, ‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’ is a must watch film.