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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur - my review

Here is an oven fresh take on Gangs of Wasseypur. 
The movie is set in the coalfields of Jharia (Dhanbad) and Wasseypur. For the uninitiated, Wasseypur is a small part of Dhanbad town, largely populated by Muslims. The economy of Dhanbad was largely sustained by the lucrative coal mining business since British times and continuing till present. Just do a google search on Dhanbad + mafia and you will get the dope.

Coming to GOW, the story is a revenge saga in the backdrop of the coalmines. Earlier too, some movies have been made on the backdrop including the Yash Chopra directed, Amitabh Bachan starrer Kala Pathar (1979).
Frankly speaking, I was kinda bored to death with the archetypal Mumbai based “bhai” or gangster movies. Every movie was showing the same locales, the characters mouthing the same mumbaiya language, and even their antics and pranks were cliched and done to the death with minor changes here and there in various films. There was hardly any novelty left in that genre.
Along comes Mr Anurag Kashyap’s magnum opus “Gangs of Wasseypur” which takes you on a journey on a strange land (not so strange for a lot of North Indians) and a totally different milieu. The gangsters are not cardboard characters but flesh and bones people with their own pain, anguish and quirks too.

Manoj Bajpayee is in the role of lifetime here. Enough has been already said about the Sardar Khan. If you haven’t read/heard all about it, then thank your stars and rush to the nearest theatre ASAP so that your fun is not spoiled by your friends / colleagues already spilling the beans.

Not only Khan, I find that other support characters too, have all been crafted beautifully and with depth. The feisty wife Nagma, the menancing Shahid Khan, the wily Ramadhir Singh, the Bollywood crazy but funny Mohsina, among many others add tremendously to the already colorful ensemble cast of characters populating the screen. Each one has been played masterfully and deserves or rather demands your attention.

I had recently watched Shanghai which was also a well-praised and decent movie. But to compare Shanghai to GOW, is like comparing moong dal khichdi (tame, diet food) to the Britannia Restaurant’s Chicken Berry Pulao. Explosion of taste peppered with tangy humor.
The story narration is fast and the story whizzes past. Stay alert or you will miss the wasp-ishly stinging one liners.

My advice: If your grasp of north Indian Hindi is wobbly, take a friend along (you can sponsor me, if you like) to help you along the dialogues.

Verdict: 4/5

Rocky is 4.5. So are Inception and LOTR-1, The search for a perfect 5 is still on…

Anachronism: I spotted an anachronism in the otherwise perfect movie. When Sardar Khan's son walks out of the jail, there is a board prohibiting use of mobile phones inside the jail. 
In the 1980s, there was no mobile phones