Stories of gang wars and mafias have been churned out by Bollywood at frequent intervals, but Anurag Kashyap here, truly deserves a standing ovation for presenting a masterpiece with his new release ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. Exposing the dark underbelly of small-town India, which was unexplored till now, Kashyap’s GOW is a mother of all revenge drama. Something that, you may have not seen in the recent past.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say here that from the coal mines of Dhanbad, Anurag Kashyap has come out with a real heera.
All those who think Bollywood can never ever compete with the cinematic brilliance of Hollywood can go and take a walk, for India now has raised a tribe of filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Bhawrdwaj and ilk who with their brand of films can give the Scorcese and Tarantinos of the West a tough competition. And, who knows with the kind of film they are coming up with like ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’-in the future they might come to hold greater depth than their global contemporaries.
Coming to ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, the canvas is big, but the stars are not our usual Khans. The real star of the film is undoubtedly its screenplay. Credit goes to writer Zeishan Quadri for inventing a story from the not-really-fabled land of the mafias. The film is made in two parts. The story of first part circles around the character of Sardar Khan played by Manoj Bajpayee. He is hell bent to avenge his father’s death who got killed by a coal mine contractor-cum-Wasseypur gang lord Ramadhir Singh played brilliantly by Tigmanshu Dhulia. But, there’s another layer to the woes of Sardar in the form of long standing intercommunity rival - the Quereshis.
The maverick director brilliantly establishes the town of Wasseypur from the colonial times to the present through the background narration by Piyush Mishra, who also happens to be the mentor of Sardar in the film. But more than the story of the film, it’s the characters who breathe life into GOW. The film seems so real, it appears like the actors were born to play every single of the 370 characters which makers claim to have used in this magnum opus.
Sardar`s father played by Jaideep Ahlawat holds great screen presence in his extended special appearance. Richa Chadda is a firebrand as the compromising wife who doesn’t think twice before using choicest of explicit to her philandering husband Sardar.
And, despite the film being dark, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ has an inherent sense of humour that comes quite naturally as the film unfolds. The scenes which really stand out for its hilarious moments are when Reema Sen is charmed by Manoj Bajpayee over her daily chores or the one where Nawazuddin goes on a formal date with Huma Qureshi.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui deserves a word of appreciation. This guy breathes life into his character with his deadpan expressions. Making a late entry, Nawazuddin promises a lot of potential in the sequel where he takes precedence as the mafia lord of Wasseypur in the film’s second part.
So yes, the film has unabashed blood, gore and abuse wherever the scene demands but no one can really say it’s all forced there for sensationalism. The violence is gritty and ruthless so if you are too squeamish to watch bodies being butchered or heads bludgeoned with stones, better give this one a miss.
The only other area where the film might falter is its length. With a runtime of almost three hours, the film picks up the pace only after the interval. But, given the films theme, it looks quite justifiable. So if you want to experience an all new wave of cinema in Bollywood, GOW is your movie. It’s has some real quirky moments which I’ll leave for you to explore in the film.
Watch it for its sheer cinematic pleasure!