Friday, June 22, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur

Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Piyush Mishra, Jameel Khan, Jaideep Ahlawat, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Huma Qureshi, Richa Chadda, Remma Sen, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathy and many more.

"Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on the broken glass." 
Gangs of Wasseypur seems to be a perfect macro example for this quote by Anton Chekhov. You are not told that the following scene is thrilling or comic or masala but you are expected to notice it. If you fail there, probably you will end up disliking this masterful saga. This is how the core of this movie is build with it's own kind of storytelling that very few filmmakers of this age succeeds in.

Tulsi Virani opens the door for you and this is how the film starts (Sorry for this mild spoiler). And then follows a bombastic firing sequence to welcome you in this hamlet of Wasseypur. Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) was an audacious man who sought different ways to make it big and ended up being a rival with the Qureshis and Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) only to get killed by the latter. This sets the plot of this revenge drama where Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) has his only aim of vengeance that lets him to fight with weapon of each kind (katta, grenade, butcher's knife). Since then, Wasseypur is under terror of the Khans. And there's the thing which irks: It takes generations to fight with a single man!

Slowly paced with a heavy background storytelling by Piyush Mishra's baritone voice-over, you really need to maintain your keen devotion to grasp all the details. Also with the names of each character embroiled into the film. Some historic events like floods in Bihar, 1966 marks an event to proceed with the story but usage of a B/W video of Independence Day amidst the color film was felt too abrupt. Editing could have been crispier if not attempted to juxtapose various scenes that fluctuates the graph of emotions. What sets the mood with a very different aesthetic is the supremely contrasting background score on almost each scene. I won't blurt out which and what...go get treated with it yourself.

Gangs of Wasseypur stands out for its extensive research about the rural setting, locales, its treatment, dialogues and diction of each actor in their speech. Very raw. Note that in a scene when Ramadhir Singh's wife readies lunch for Sultan and gladly offers to have it in China clay plates but the only reason is the severe caste discrimination as China plates isn't considered pure by rural Hindus. 

Performances have a subduing power here. Manoj Bajpai as a character of vengeance yet with desire of lust, marries two women Nagma (Richa Chadda) and Durga (Remma Sen), pitches perfectly. Richa Chadda as Nagma, the one female to look out in the film, gets enthusiastic with new appliances at home, dazzles vibrantly between a strong and soft mother and a strict wife. Tigmanshu Dhulia is splendid with his expressions and perfect North Indian accent. It's a treat hearing even expletives from him. Though Sultan Qureshi's character is not fleshed out very much, Pankaj Tripathy doesn't fail to give a memorable performance in this one. Drug addict and Bollywood inspired Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) wears hairstyle of Amitabh Bachchan, is a meaty character and has whole next part of the film dedicated to him.

As said, each scene is a variety ranging from comic, romance, lust, thrill, and so the movie as a whole doesn't deliver very much of story but maintains a leisure development of characters and emotions and you are bound to get enthralled. It's like watching the movie sitting on a rassi bomb with the longest vaat.

This to-be-continued film ends on a very high note laying the foundation stone for the Part 2. The trailer of which rolls out after the end credits only to promise yourself that you'll visit cinema hall again to meet the characters named Definite, Perpendicular and Tangent.

So, Anurag Kashyap has dug the coal mines of Dhanbad right for you to find a diamond of Indian cinema.


santosh patnaik said...

well-researched and a well informed review....

Anup Pandey said...

Thank you Santosh! :)

Pranav Agarwal said...

Superb review. Superb line: Anurag Kashyap has dug the coal mines of Dhanbad right for you to find a diamond of Indian cinema.