“When you buy yourself a movie ticket you don’t merely buy it to sit and watch moving images on-screen, you buy yourself a travel ticket for a cinematic journey, one which is highly unreliable.”- Not so anonymous (me!)
Keeping in mind the Indian audience we get to face some typical awkward moments in Bollywood movies. Be it when the female lead starts her seductive moves and you awkwardly rush to the washroom or when your younger sister questions you about her recent abusive discovery from movies like Omkara and Delhi Belly.
Combine all those awkward moments in one frying pan, add a spoonful of weird-but-cool music, a pinch of classic Bollywood one liners, stir fry on a flame of smoking hot script and garnish it with some hard-hitting performances. Prepared by” The King of Alternative Cinema” Master Chef Anurag Kashyap, this spicy treat is called “Gangs of Wasseypur” (Part 1). The only problem being it takes 2 hours 40 minutes to make it and is far away from simplicity.
Plot and Cast- Kashyap’s not-so-happy journey stretches from 1941 to 2004 and further will be in GOW part 2. Based in Dhanbad district’s Wasseypur, this gangster drama is about the three generations of a Khan Family with each having its own flavour. Starting from Shahid Khan played by an intense Jaideep Ahlawat who is root cause of this mess being served. His thirst for power ends eventually on doors of death. Following is a tale of revenge as Shahid’s son Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) vows not to flaunt any fancy hairstyle until he gets back to his father’s murderer Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia).
The family tree goes on blooming and more characters are added to the screenplay each being very significant for the movie. Sardar Khan’s cacophonous wife Nagma, played by Richa Chaddha, his trustworthy mentor Farhan played by NSD genius Piyush Mishra who also gives the movie a catchy narrative and Nawazuddin Siddhiqui as Sardar’s son Faizal. All characters are worth a mention here but I won’t risk my job doing that.
Bollywood’s obsession with revenge sagas can be traced from movies like Trishul and Karan-Arjun to this year’s biggest success Agneepath. I won’t be exaggerating if I say that Gangs of Wasseypur is the mother of all “Badle Ki Aag” wale movies credited to the way Kashyap has treated it. In a crafted-to-perfection screenplay, he gives viewers an option to choose the protagonist as every character is a villain.
Manoj Bajpayee undoubtedly stands out to be the ace of the deck as he perfectly portrays a character that is clear about his intentions. A common man’s basic needs maybe food, shelter and clothing but this animal called Sardar Khan survives on SEX and POWER. I can see a national award contender here.
Not many would know that Tigmanshu Dhulia, who plays Ramadhir Singh, is the man behind Sahib, Biwi aur Gangster and Paan Singh Tomar. Having a director’s vision in his blood he exactly delivers what Kashyap wants him to.
As Sardar says “KEH KE LUNGA”, he constantly tries to attack Ramadhir’s ideology. Sometimes by riding a megaphone van through streets of Wasseypur singing about Singh’s crimes or by asking his friend to predict what Singh had for breakfast from the smell of his fart. For the first time we get to experience dark humour in Bollywood. Sardar is far away being righteous and is free from the burden of principles. He acts before he thinks. Nagma, Sardar’s wife, is just how real Indian women are in villages, “loud”, ”abusive”, ”blunt”, “troubled” and yet “lovable”. There is a scene where she advises Sardar “Bahar jake beizati mat kara” when she comes to know about his plans to opt for prostitution.
The cherry on the cake is the unusual soundtrack by Sneha Khanwalkar. The strong point being that every song is so different from each other. You have a “Hunter” which has it pervert touch, “Womaniya” with jerky rhythm singing about the bad bitches of Wasseypur and “Jiya Ho Bihar Ke lala” a full on Bhojpuri track about Wasseypur’s “DABANGGAI”.
The only problem with GOW is the complicated script. Without concentrating, you lose out on a lot of trivia about the story. You just can’t reply back to ANYBODY during the movie (PARENTS and GIRLFRIENDS included). At times you feel you are in a history class as you keep discussing past references with your friends. Even the 2 hour 40 minutes duration seems to be less for this violent drama. People may complain that the climax is unsatisfying but a movie with its sequel ready to be served couldn’t have asked for better climax.
You constantly wonder if so much of violence and foul language is a necessity but in the end it’s the director’s call and Kashyap as usual follows his trend to make no compromises in messing with the censor board.
ROFL moments- Sardar Khan is one character who will force you to buy a second ticket. The scene that tops the list is when he imitates his second wife Durga while she is washing clothes. Watching your macho protagonist with feminine imitations is a laughter ride. The Bihari lingo is so kickass that I’m sure everybody will try Wasseypur style talks atleast once. The best scene is when Faizal’s love interest claims “KISI KE GHAR MEIN GHUSNE SE PEHLE PUCHTE HAIN NA KI ANDHAR AAU” when he shyly tries to hold her hand.
I am going with FOUR STARS for part 1 of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR. I agree our mothers and sisters won’t ever approve for such violent and maniacal movie but watching a KJo movie everytime with teary eyes isn’t good for your cinematic appetite. GOW makes a statement that ” Today Bollywood is not only about songs and emotions”. This is pure DESI action with guns that flower up when fired and handmade bombs which lighten up our villages. Watch this mad house in play with your friends who crave for Hollywood action. You may also risk watching GOW with your family if they like it when screen is drenched with blood. Just make sure you revise your “Dictionary of abuses” as you’ll need a lot of translations do then.
“With its well deserved adult certificate, Gangs of Wasseypur is sure to hit you hard, give you loads of awkward Goosebumps, confuse you with its complexity and tickle your funny bone till you ask for a break. This is a definite “two time watch” movie if you are a real cinema buff like me.”