Director: Anurag Kashyap
Producer(s): Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Writer(s): Zeishan Quadri, Sachin Ladia and Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Piyush Mishra, Richa Chadda, Reema Sen, Jaideep Ahlawat, Piyush Mishra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi
Music: Sneha Khanwalkar
Rating: * * ½
Plot: Set in the lawless land of Wasseypur in Dhanbad, the film narrates the tale of Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) who is hell-bent to avenge his father Shahid Khan’s (Jaideep Ahlawat) death. Shahid was killed by Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) in a battle to lead the coal mafia.
Review: Anurag Kashyap started the genre of unconventionally dark films in Bollywood. Irrespective of whether his films score at the box office, he has always been adamant in sticking to the genre. His latest offering Gangs Of Wasseypur follows the legacy of typical Kashyap films. Its promos triggered high expectations. But thanks to the off-track writing and the filmmaker’s desperate attempt to showcase his unusual style, the final product turns out to be an average fair with few wonderfully conceived moments and great performances.
The director and the writer should be lauded though for some creatively intelligent scenes in the first half. The idea of jumping to the flashback after the initial encounter works very well. A good foundation is laid by the way the story and the warring saga between Sardar Khan and Ramadhir Singh are built up. Some historical events are also smartly woven in the tale. Manoj Bajpayee’s entry adds fuel to the proceedings for it gives rise to a good number of thrilling as well as dark humorous moments. Despite some dullness, the first half provides descent satisfaction.
The post-interval portion maintains stability but soon loses focus. A number of sub-plots and too many characters create complication as well as confusion since they have nothing or very little to do with the main story. In addition, Kashyap’s over-indulgence of his unconventional style further hampers the narration. Obviously, this makes the film painfully lengthy. Although the climax creates some excitement for the second part of the movie, it is not entirely convincing.
But it is difficult to understand why a simple revenge saga needs to be told in five hours (this movie plus it’s sequel)? Considering that the second half of GOW Part 1 has hardly any story to tell, it looks like an adamant decision.
It is necessary to mention that the film is not for the fainthearted. The violence and gore presented is rarely seen before in an Indian film. This can be disturbing and depressing for many, especially since it is used unnecessarily at times.
Sneha Khanwalkar’s music fits the nature of the film perfectly although there was no need for these many songs. ‘Keh Ke Loonga’ and ‘Womaniya’ are the tracks that go well with the narration and bring a smile. Cinematography (Rajeev Ravi) is flawless except in few portions where the hand-held camera gives a documentary-like feel. Editing (Shweta Venkat Matthew) should have been tighter. The witty dialogues and the background score deserve special mention for they keep you engrossed when the script is going haywire.
It can be said that Gangs Of Wasseypur is Manoj Bajpayee’s return to the big league. He brilliantly carries the film on his shoulders as he plays an unusual character in an applaud-worthy manner. Easily one of his best acts till date! But it is Tigmanshu Dhulia who turns out to be the surprise element. The filmmaker, who is making his acting debut, gives a thoroughly mature performance as Ramadhir Singh. He should surely continue acting! Richa Chadda’s amazing act will prove to be a turning point in her career.
Piyush Mishra portrays his flawless acting skills. Reemma Sen showcases the oomph that was necessary and provides a descent act. With a realistically mature performance, Nawazuddin Siddiqui once again proves he is one of the finest young character actors currently. Due to his powerful act, Jaideep Ahlawat is remembered despite the small length of his character. The rest of the supporting actors (Mukesh Chhabra, Rajkumar Yadav, Jameel Khan, Vipin Sharma, Zeishan Quadri and many more!) play their parts with perfection.
Overall, despite being high on performance, Gangs Of Wasseypur suffers from over-indulgence. At the box-office, the film has a chance at the urban metros mostly.