The opening sequence in itself is a masterpiece. The way its scripted and executed is just mind blowing. All the bloodshed keeps getting more and more innovative. Its one of those movies that will always be mentioned everywhere whenever someone talks about the Indian cinema.
Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
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The opening sequence in itself is a masterpiece. The way its scripted and executed is just mind blowing. All the bloodshed keeps getting more and more innovative. Its one of those movies that will always be mentioned everywhere whenever someone talks about the Indian cinema.
The movie starts with a bang and carries the charm throughout. The way each character is introduced is terrific. It is story telling at its best. From Shahid Khan to Sardar Khan to Sultan, you actually end up fearing them all - the characters are so beautifully portrayed. Manoj Bajpai is amazing as Sardar (he really got into the character) and the narration (by one of the gang members) adds a lot of flavor to the entire flow of the movie.
Siddiqui's role is brief in the first part and I have a feeling he will play a major role in the remaining part of this epic. He is already looking good. Tigmanshu as Ramadheer Singh is terrific, his expressions too good.
Apart from this, the movie is informative - it very subtly tells the audience all about the way Indian coal mafia has progressed over the years, the gang wars, the politics. Obviously there is a lot of slang. I have not seen a Hindi movie with so crude a language ever, absolutely not recommended for family viewing and children/teenagers.
The camera angles, especially the final sequence is superb.
Anurag Kashyap is India's answer to Quentin Terentino. Gangs of Waseypur is already a Cult.
I was expecting another disappointment with another Bollywood movie but right from first scene this movie blew me away. The story spans last seven decades of Indian history with events taking place in mining towns of Wasseypur and Dhanbad. The tale of the cities is portrayed in the rivalry between the family of Shahid Khan,an ambitious man who loots trains in British Era by the name of Sultana Daku and Ramdahri Singh and Local Contractor turned Politician. The animosity is passed to the next generation where Sardar Khan portrayed by Manoj Bajpai,who wants to avenge his fathers death by destroying Ramdhari Singh and his family and the Qureshi's who outcast his father.
Manoj Bajpai has outclassed himself. Every single actor has done his part perfectly. You will feel like you are actually living in that part of the world. Hats off to the team, they have thoroughly researched every detail and make the whole scenario looked like real. A Must Must watch for if you love quality.
It is a story unfolding through generations in Wasseypur, Jharkhand(erstwhile Bihar). It starts with Sahid Khan( played brilliantly by Jaideep Ahlawat), who robs trains by the pseudonym of Sultana Daku which is in fact the pseudonym of another Dacoit that lives in the village. So, on one such attempt, the original Sultana Daku kills of Sahid Khan's gang and throws him out of Wasseypur. Thus starts the rivalry of the Khans and the Qureshis. Sahid Khan moves to Dhanbad where he leaves this life of robbery behind him and starts working in a field mine. During child birth, his wife dies while he was unable to reach her in time because he wasn't informed by the authorities. The son grows up over the years and India soon wins independence. With Independence, the British abandon the mines which are soon given to a Jamindar, Ramadhir Singh. He needs Pahalwans(bouncers) to run the mines and keep the workers in control, so he hires Sahid Khan. What Ramadhir Singh did not foresee was that Sahid Khan himself wanted the throne all for himself. When Ramadhir Singh finds out, he sends Sahid for a job at Banaras where Sahid Khan is assassinated. He also tries to kill Sahid's younger brother and son but they escape. The kid grows up to be Sardar Khan( Manoj Bajpayee) whose only aim in life is revenge against Ramadhir Singh, the guy who killed his father. "Goli Nahi Maarenge Usko, Keh Ke Lenge Uski".
I won't say that if i continue with the story, it'll give the movie away but the thing is every twist and turn of the story, every little detail, Anurag Kashyap wants you to explore for yourself. There are so many characters and so many stories that it becomes more of an epic than a movies. With Piyush Mishra's narration, the movie unfolds smoothly as you will keep watching dumbstruck at the crime and the 'bakaiti'. The usage of slang is in abundance. Definitely, not a movie that you can watch with your family, or even girlfriend, for that matter. Brilliant performances, a brilliant script, and wonderful direction leaves you expecting for more. Waiting for the 2nd part eagerly.
Set in Dhanbaad's(Jharkhand)Village, called Wasseypur, "Gangs of Wasseypur" starts with our very own "Kyunki Saas bhi bahu thi" and goes beyond the cinematic ethics. A saga which has all the ingredients of a cult cinema like black humor, full mouthed characters, adultery, bullets,vengeance and everything you expect in a film by Anurag Kashyap.
En route to end of British Raj in India, Shahid Khan, a dacoit, loots the British trains, masquerading as Sultana Daku, is shot dead by Ramadhir Singh's goon. Shahid's son, Sardar Khan, pledges to avenge his father's death and shaves his head. He becomes one of the most notorious gangsters of Wasseypur. The film reconnoiters his connections with power, politics and fraternity of crime. There is a clash between two Muslim groups Pathans and Qureshis, about their covetousness for glory and money.
Manoj Bajpai gives an impeccable performance as a violent and lecherous man. It is one of the powerhouse acts, we will ever encounter. The real find of the decade is Tigmanshu Dhuila a well-known cult director (Hassil, Paan Singh Tomar, Saheb Biwi aur Gangster etc), who embodied the character as if he himself is Ramdhir Singh.
Richa Chadda is believable as Sardar Khan's anxious and bold wife. Reema Sen is good as a silent and steamy concubine of Sardar Khan.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a born thespian; he is believable as weed smoking, Amitabh's die-hard fan and black sheep of the family. We have already witnessed him in "Kahaani" and "Peepli live". I think he is one of the most underrated actors, has now got an opportunity to flaunt himself in GOW II(I saw the trailer of Part II after the credit rolled).
Rest of the cast Piyush Mishra, Pankaj Tripathi, Huma Quershi(debut-She looks ravishing while persuading the theater's security guard for the second show of the movie "Trishul") and others are so authentic that you will easily relate the characters with North India (Bihar), the dialects, the dialogue delivery, the expressions are genuine.
The music by Sneha Khanwalkar is down to earth, a triumph, it has the rustic soul and is very unique. One can understand the geniuses by listening the beats and lyrics. Some of them are folks sung by the locals.
And after all it's Anurag Kashyap ,who can go to any length to enhance the quality of Indian Cinema. Undoubtedly it has been screened in Cannes,and people watched the entire saga (a delirious 5 Hours 20 Minutes run time) and lauded with the accolades. However, it should have been edited 20 minutes.
Impatiently waiting for Part II.
Gangs Of Wasseypur Adopts a different Approach.It makes the Audience identify with reality and makes familiar with the characters that 'are' around him.
Being from wasseypur in dhanbad i was super excited to watch the movie based on my locality. i had presumed the movie might be 'inspired' by the gang wars, but no movie is 90% the actual story of the town.
The movie has penetrating dialogues, harsh naked truth characters and language. Manoj Bajpayee's acting was breath taking. the scenes are still vivid even after 2 days of watching the movie. His Chemistry with the character 'Durga' was awesome.
'sardar khan's interaction with ramadhir singh in the movie is very interesting.
The movie was brilliant in first half. The only place where the movie could improve is that there are so many characters that a normal audience will be confused and may just lose the plot. One needs to watch the movie carefully.
9/10 to the movie made about my locality. Wasseypur Zindabad!
Manoj Bajpayee is rocking and superbly supported by a fabulous Richa Chadda, Reema Sen and Piyush Mishra. And final cherry on the acting caked is Nawazzuddin as a vulnerable young lad who is basically a romantic at heart but is getting transformed into a ruthless gangster much like Michael Corleone in the Godfather series.
Manoj Bajpayee's character is quite akin to much more ruthless version of Don Vito Corleone played by Marlon Brando in 'The Godfather'.
By repeatingly mentioning 'The Godfather' I am not trying to take away anything from GOW. GOW is a superb film which needs to be watched by anyone and everyone who has the slightest of respect and love for films and filmmaking.
Sneha Khawalker's rockingtingly superb music brings a whole new level of excitement in the film and Rajeev Ravi's cinematography is very very efficient, sprinkled with quite a few shots of sheer brilliance.
All this make a nice, superbly tasty biryani and the credit can only go the masterchef Mr.Anurag Kashyap.
8/10, and I'd defo recommend all my friends to go and watch this film in CINEMAS!
Script - Engaging, real, entertaining
Direction - Flawless
Dialogues - Cream of the movie (Go just for the dialogs alone if not anything else)
Performance - Outstanding from all actors. It never looks like acting. So real
Music - Heart of the storytelling. Compliments way too well. Love you Sneha
Cinematography - Best visuals possible for the terrain of wasseypur. It transports you to that place
Manoj Bajpai wants revenge on Tigmanshu Dhulia who had treacherously killed his father.
Sometimes there comes a story which has an epic kind of sweep. Spanning generations, introducing several characters, all caught up in empire building, love, lust and enimity. There isn't much point to them, the protagonists aren't clearly defined, the storyline meandering, their lives entwined in the events that befell the nation and the small town that the story inhabits.
Set in the backdrop of Wasseypur, a small part of Dhanbad, capital of India's coal belt, numerous characters come and go. India gains independence, Emergency is imposed, coal mining is first unionized and later nationalized. However, the story, at its core remains about Tigmanshu's star rising ever higher and Manoj building his own empire from humble origins, while seeking revenge.
There are times when you wish things would happen quicker. That there were less characters. Or that there was a point to some of them, who are introduced to either only die or shine bright for a few frames before being forgotten.
The environment is beautifully captured, including the lingo, the mannerisms whether it's the abject despair of the poor mine worker, condemned to live his life in the black shafts. The bestiality of the butcher, as he hacks away at his meat. The cowardice of the cops. The empty bravado of the minister's goons. Or the naked lust as hungry men eye their next catch, the woman to slake their base desires, even as the wife lies at home, pregnant.
However, there are several things which let the film down. For a film set in the coal belt, we see very little of it. Apart from one memorable scene where, caked in the black coaldust, a few men fight for their lives and another where coals water absorption properties are highlighted, there is too little was about the black mineral and much more made of ancillary businesses. National events of importance are also given short shrift or brushed over, their impact shown quickly, transitions happening smoothly rather than in real life where each change creates havoc in such a tiny eco-system.
Great camera work, flawless performances, several one-liners and very catchy music keep you engaged, though, as our two key protagonists slug it out and religion comes in, with different sects of Muslims engaging in war amongst each other. The story moves forward with a Godfather-esque gait, a kind of glacial majesty, in stops and starts, not always making sense. But then, isn't that how real life is ?
And what he had done to provide some gravitas to this tale, was a semi-documentary look at its background against the town of Wasseypur, where we witness how the wheelings and dealings between shady businessmen and their workers, and how some become politicians through bullying, gangster tactics, the laundering of money, and eventually buying support to ascend the political ladder. It's an intriguing commentary about, by extension, the country's state of affairs, and how some can grow influence through the use of hired muscles out to do their dirty work, for the duration of their useful lifespan, before being discarded.
Beginning in explosive fashion with a full assault on a property, key figures get introduced, but only to keep things under wraps until the companion film in Part 2. We then get brought back to the 40s Wasseypur and Dhanbad land, where the British found themselves up against the formidable forces of the Qureshis , only for Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) to impersonate their mysterious leader, pre-empt their attacks and undercut the Qureshis in their own game. Soon the Khans got exiled, only for Shahid to be brought back to Wasseypur when Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia), a rich, corrupt industrialist, needed a muscle man to help in his exploitation of workers. But jealously meant Ramandhir's orders to get rid of Shahid, and thus opening up the feud to the second generation, led by Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) who is hell bent on revenge.
But in a tragi-comedy sort of way, the character of Sardar is somewhat tough on the outside with his ruthlessness, but all soft and fuzzy inside with his libido being lacking in control, with first wife Nagma (Richa Chadda) being relatively tolerant of his gallivanting ways only because she gets pregnant too easily, and the introduction of a Bengali girl Durga (Reema Sen) whom he met while on the run. This sets up the third generation of cast with Sardar's sons Danish (Vineet Singh) and Faizal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), with a hint on what's to come disrupt his family dynamics with illegitimate son Definite, entering the picture, whom we'll see more of in the next film whose trailer gets airtime right after the end credits.
On the other corner are the heir of the Qureshis in Ehsaan (Vipin Sharma) and Sultan (Pankaj Tripathy), who are caught in the middle with their alliance with Ramandhir, and the marriage of Sultan's sister Sharma (Amirota Jha). And what makes it interesting in the entire male dominated world, is the story of the women behind the men, as seen from the major character arcs on Sardar's family involved in romance of some sort, playing critical roles in defining the male characters and contrasting them in both their private and public lives, and instrumental especially in the final scene, and going into the next film.
It might be overwhelming at first with a myriad of characters being introduced, but Kashyap got his presentation all under control like an old hand, bringing on new characters with proper title flashes, and providing adequate screen time for each to establish his or her backstory. This wonderfully crafts out motivations and characteristics of each family member, especially between the sons of Sardar, who will all play pivotal roles in the sequel, since the very first scene here would have shown each of them under different camps, and teasing us with just how allegiances would play out with family members now standing under different banners. Part of the engagement now would be to develop the narrative to reach the inevitable, and with the ensemble set up, the possibilities are endless.
And as such, Gangs of Wasseypur has its fair share of surprises thrown about, where those slighted will almost always come back with a vengeance. Revenge may be high on Sardar's agenda, but there's a permeating poetic justice that provides a cruel twist of irony, with the narrative rich enough to allow various subplots to populate the story and to add a vivid texture to the characters instead of letting them become one dimensional characters. It's a sprawling epic that called upon the best of Bollywood sans the usual Masala formula, to showcase the skills, craftsmanship and talent in the industry that are capable of making a serious, critically acclaimed film with commercial appeal. Definitely highly recommended, although I'm reserving judgement until Part 2 when the film is complete. If you haven't watched an Indian film for some time already, if at all, then make Gangs of Wasseypur your launch point now.
While watching the film I felt like I am revisiting a lot of films. There were a lot of instances when one can feel that he is watching the Indian version of godfather. Now the way this film is made defines what inspiration is. I also felt in the last 30 minutes like I was watching instances of City of God. Anurag Kashyap has properly set a standard for the Indian Directors about how to take inspiration from foreign films. When the audience sees that the starting scenes and the characters which were shown so early are linked in the end, they are hooked to the seats. They might feel amazed at that instant (also considering the fact that all these important twists and links are shown in the last 20 minutes of the film) and say that the film is amazing after leaving theater. While this is obvious for the Indian Audience who is deprived of such stories since they are used to watch senseless themes of Cocktail and many others. So, I would not say that the story or anything is so amazing, but this is what the audience of India need to start with. There is a lot more potential in filmmaking and I have no doubt that Anurag Kashyap too has that power to make films like the seventh seal. But he is bound by the mindset of our audience. I believe that he is taking his viewer's through a carefully chosen path to make them mature enough to understand films of Ingmar Bergman or Stanley Kubrick.
The film has a good story along with good performances which is the first reason to watch the film. To keep the viewer engaged, the film has a lot of twists till the end. I would not consider this film in the black comedy genre but it definitely has so many instances when you will praise the director for his witticism. Coming over to the songs, I felt that the soundtrack was better in the second part. The best humoristic moment in the film was when the two goons were catching each other and their bikes went out of petrol. That moment was too hilarious. Both are standing in the queue to fill the tank. There are many instances like this which gives you authentic feel of India. The second part bagged good songs as well. The portrayal of the ladies in the family was awesome. The way that the film involved us in their daily household activities was something not usual in Indian Films. Coming to the characters, I got attached with Nawajuddin Shiddiki much more than Manoj Vajpayee. His portrayal was very close to that of Al Pacino in Godfather. All the supporting cast performed extremely well.
In all, rarely in Indian cinema has this type of film been made especially with so much characters and their development.
VERDICT: "A must watch"
Anurag Kashyap's crime saga, irrespective of its entertainment quotient, marks a new beginning in Indian Cinema. It is for this very reason that Gangs of Wasseypur serves to be an essential viewing for anyone whose purpose for indulging in Cinema is not limited to seeking entertainment. Amongst the new crop of Indian movie makers, Anurag Kashyap seems to have a definite edge to be the obvious choice to lead the Indian juggernaut in the global arena. Now, whether Kashyap lives up to the expectations is for the time to decide, but what can be safely said at this stage is that with Gangs of Wasseypur Kashyap has significantly bolstered his prospects as a moviemaker. Gangs of Wasseypur, Kashyap strives to strike the right balance between various cinematic elements that helps the movie touch the lows and highs of cinema, thereby helping it break the stereotype associated with quintessential Bollywood Cinema. Gangs of Wasseypur serves to be a highlight-reel of some of the most disturbing sequences ever filmed in Indian Cinema depicting shootouts, prison-breaks, brawls, bomb blasts, rallies, kidnappings, rapes, train-robberies, forced marriages, women in labor, lovemaking, killings, and butchery. One interesting facet that makes these scenes really effective is the level of realism and conviction with which they are carried forward in the movie.
In Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag Kashyap presents a grim picture of human decadence: Amongst the hundreds of masculine characters depicted in the movie, one doesn't get to witness a single likable character, for most of them come across as bestial beings desperate to serve their basic instincts of survival, physical love, wealth and power. On the other hand, the women are portrayed as secondary beings who are looked upon by men as materialistic pleasures rather than meaningful pursuits. Manoj Bajpai delivers a tour de force in Gangs of Wasseypur. His portrayal of Sardar Khan ranks right up there with the very best performances in the history of Indian Cinema. Sardar is ferocious killer as well as a voracious lover whose feral instincts to kill (his adversaries) are remarkably matched by his play boyish passion to for physical love. The rest of the cast gives memorable performances that help bring characters to life with a special mention of Nawazuddin Siddiqui whose underplayed cameo as Sardar Khan's younger son offered a great contrast to Manoj Bajpai's over the top portrayal. Siddiqui is expected have a major role in the second part of Gangs of Wasseypur considering the similarities of his part to Al Pacino's Michael Corleone. Whether Siddiqui will succeed in carving a niche for himself as Pacino had managed with his portrayal in The Godfather I & II is for the time to decide. The Cinematography of Gangs of Wasseypur is at par with the best in the world. Kashyap's sense of timing with the use of music is also exemplary. Kashyap expertly introduces occasional bursts of music and comedy to punctuate the slowly augmenting tension tension at different junctures in the movie. Kashyap's use of dark humor to judiciously propagate violence has an uncanny similarity to Quentin Tarantino's style of filmmaking. His choice of music in the movie's final sequence that depicts the brutal killing of one of movie's major characters à la 'Sonny Corleone' assassination in The Godfather is bizarre yet remarkably effective.
Overall, Gangs of Wasseypur serves to be a unique cinematic experience that's not free of its flaws. However, despite its apparent flaws, Gangs of Wasseypur has enough to offer to a keen movie-viewer who would not allow him/her to be overwhelmed by movie's abundance of everything. Gangs of Wasseypur serves be a sanguinary carnival of epic proportions that's surely not meant for the faint-hearted. The movie is an essential viewing for the lovers of Indian cinema, for they will get to see something really refreshing in Gangs of Wasseypur, and also for those who want to get acquainted with it.
Watching GOW on big screen wasn't just watching a movie but an experience. An experience which also proves Anurag Kashyag as the face of new age Indian cinema after GOW, Black Friday, Dev-d. And how can I forget the brilliant No Smoking which was quite David Lynchish. Manoj Bajpayee is impeccable and irreplaceable in his career best performance.
Music is fantastic and specially how well the music have been utilized is another USP of the movie. For example the beautiful "Ik bagal mein chand hoga..ik bagal me rotiya" from Piyush Mishra. Suddenly the mood and visual of the film changes. The song reminds you of some 50-60's lullaby and how poetically it has been shot reminds you of Bimol Roy's classic "Do Beegha Zameen". So many references of the era gone by...from those colorful posters to Bachchan era..to the era of violence and lawlessness of such places..at times it feels like poetry in motion.
Just magnificent...Indian cinema at its best!!
Spread across 7 decades and over three generations it tells an authentically made and wickedly enjoyable romp of violence, politics, power and sex.
The film begins in the early 40s with the genesis of the gangs getting formed between the Muslim communities of the Qureshis (Butcher clan) and the Pathans. Trying to take advantage of this divide is the local contractor of coal mines Ramadheer Singh (director Tingmanshu Dhulia).
As the film progresses, the three groups transition from one criminal activity to another and keep slowly increasing their enmity siding with one another. The Coal mafia point is lost midway and the criminal activities start ranging from human trafficking to even fisheries extortion.
What strikes from the word go is the sheer realism of the ganglands of Bihar from nearly perfect performances of the very believable Bihar characters, to the dress sense punctuated by what is an almost unheard of in your face soundtrack made up of local Bihari hits mixed in modern sounds, this is Anurag's best in terms of art direction (maybe only bettered by his far superior Black Friday)
There is so much going on in the movie that at times it's hard to enjoy all of it. The sexually crude songs playing constantly in the back ground, the numerous acts of violence (at times hard to connect) or for that matter the out and out vulgar dialogues spouted by pretty much all the characters of the film.
However there is one major drawback which makes the film's narration slightly uneven and over dependent on a poorly placed cricket-like commentary to bridge the gaps. For example not much is shown or discussed of how the coal mafia operated other than the commentary and thus we get only glimpses of how the other two gangs, The Qureshi's Butcher Gang (led by Sultan) and Ramadheer Singh's sophisticated political gang, are evolving.
Instead, the script chooses to spend almost incessant time on the family and life of the alpha male Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) including his long drawn out romance with the Bengali immigrant Durga (a very hot Reema Sen)
Sardar Khan's Feisty wife Nagma (played perfectly by Richa Chaddha) ends up having more screen space than the main antagonist Ramadheer Singh (who could have been a tour de force). In the end Ramadheer Singh comes across more as a weakling against a thug like Sardar Khan. A little hard to believe considering he's been a landlord for a long time and is a politician to boot.
I guess with the film being made by Anurag Kashyap, a lot of folks will tell you that this is an awesome film which could hype-kill the movie.
It is undoubtedly a masterstroke in terms of gritty depiction of the ganglands but it could easily have been a lot crisper and stayed a little true to its title.
You could also give a benefit of a doubt to the script considering there is the still to be released second part which requires the side characters to take centre stage and hence so much time spent on their development.
Of course, the 3 hour long film picks up in the last thirty minutes when the third generation begins to come into the fore in a godfatheresque fashion and the film ends with a perfect act of violence you would have expected a long time back.
The second part of the film will be released in a couple of weeks and rest assured that those who have seen the first part will flock to see how this saga ends in what should be a definite cracker.
To sum it up, don't go in expecting a master piece and you will thoroughly enjoy and even love the film.
Special Mention: Try listening carefully to the songs playing in the background esp. Womaniya and Hunter – tunes which refuse to leave your head.
Now, this guy - Anurag Kashyap, is heavily influenced by Scorsese, and may be some other directors too. Being influenced and then delivering beyond imagination is a gargantuan task, only few blessed people can do. The film style and techniques which he carries with himself are rare, almost rare in the Bollywood where some quacks in the name of cinema produce utter rubbish stuffs and beguile the audience of real dimensions of cinema.
Let's quickly talk about the movie. Every dimension of cinema has been given full respect. Everyone's performance is quite commendable. The cinematography is simply amazing. The dialogues are such a bliss to any Bihari ears. Thanks to the God, I have got a pair. A great music to spice up the situations. You know, the music will remind you of Kill Bill. Music has been Tarantino's one of the greatest weapons. Tarantino has also influenced Kashyap. The direction of the movie- let's not talk about that. I have talked a lot already about the director.
One thing I want to mention particularly. Many directors tried to get into gang-wars, mafia and other stories involving Bihar and U.P. But the level to which this movie takes you has never been achieved earlier. I was just flabbergasted. How could the director boil down to such intricacies? That's the job of a genius, ain't it?
There were few things I did not like about the movie. The movie needed a little bit more work on editing. The narrator should have been a better one. A powerful voice was what I thought lacked. Also if the movie were little bit peaceful in the first half, it would have been a legend. Remember Taxi Driver. That calmness and that peace. And one thing particularly- it should have been released in one piece despite of any length it had got. But bad things come in twos and here is Bollywood's baddie my friend.
Do not listen to what one says. Just go for it. It will satisfy the voracious you. A perfect roller-coaster ride. And those who follow the quacks I mentioned - please avoid this movie. We do not want such slumps despising something heavenly.
P.S.- Do not watch this movie with your girl otherwise you will end up answering the one and only question throughout the movie. "What does that mean"?
The flagship Indian feature seen this year at the Florence Indian film festival, "The Gangs of Wasseypur" is a Bollywood production in the sense that it was made in Hindi (rather than one of India's other 21 official languages) with professional Bombay performers and staff, but the content, style, and conception of this new opus seems to be pointing the Bombay film industry in a new direction.
Wasseypur director, Anurag Kashyap, 40, is no newcomer to tinseltown having already helmed half a dozen features there since 2000 and acted as producer or writer on many more. Among his works until now are "Black Friday", 2007, which addresses the terrorist bombings in Bombay of 1993, "Dev D", 2009, a modern reworking of a semi-sacrosanct Indian screen classic, and "The Girl in Yellow Boots" 2011, which dissects the misadventures of a girl in the Mumbai sex massage trade, all hardball films of controversial content, one way or another. He also worked on the script of Ram Gopa Varma's unflinching study of the Mumbai underworld, "Satya" in 1998, which was deemed an Indian neo-film noir and is a kind of prequel to the current rural gangland saga. With "Gangs of Wasseypur" Anurag has pushed the Bollywood envelope about as far as it will go ...
Wasseypur is a small town in the Dhanbad district of the god-forsaken state of Jharkhand, also known as the Coal Capital of India, and has been described as the most violent, lawless, and fearsome place in the entire land because of the endless gang warfare going on there for over half a century. The names of real life rival dons Sabir Alam and Fahim Khan, the actual warlords of two rival mafia clans, are indelibly associated with Wasseypur where the film is set, however, while the movie characters called 'Sardar Khan' and 'Ramadhir Singh' are theoretically fictional, it is pretty danged clear that any similarity to actual persons living and dead is far from coincidental. Anurag Kashyap, who has roots in Jharkhand knows the scene there only too well and is obviously not interested in glamorizing it or gilding any lilies. He wants people to wake up to reality, to put it mildly. .Gangs is a big hit all over India but, according to The Times of India, the initial showing in Wasseyput itself was called off for fear of violence.
The direction Anurag explores in Wasseypur is a total departure from normal escapist Bollywood masala into the territory of stark black realism --"Reservoir Dogistan" -- to borrow a page from the Cineblitz fan magazine satire of the picture. The Anurag analog of Tarantino's slicing off of an ear is the carving off an entire head from the body of a still squirming victim as fountains of rich red blood spurt up gloriously in a beautifully backlit set -- very cinematic if this kind of bloodletting is your cup of tea. It obviously was at Cannes where Gangs was declared a masterpiece, and maybe it is --but not for the faint of heart or the mushy sentimental Yashraj crowd. The language of the film is incidentally not exactly Hindi, but a regional variety known as Bhojpuri, which is actually Anurag's native tongue, and part of the reason that attracted him to this gory tale from the gritty Islamic coal pit belt of Jharkand province. The fact that most of the protagonists are Indian Moslems is more or less incidental, just one of the facts of life in this grisly manifresco -- Assalamu Aleikum.
Another feature of this film is the utter obscenity of the language employed by the characters. The general flavor is conveyed by constant use of "motherfucker, asshole", and variations on these themes in the English subtitles, but the director assured me that much is lost in translation and that the original dialogues are far more varied and graphic -- which is apparently an important selling point in terms of shock therapy and linguistic titillation for the Indian public. A kind of documentary effect is created by the insertion of frequent dateline intertidal to help viewers keep track of events and set them up for the next assault on the senses. Actually these titles are necessary simply to keep track of who does what to whom, when and where, in this densely populated film where people keep getting knocked off every other minute and are almost interchangeable with the next corpse. Pehaps the whole thing is best summed up when one character says "In Wasseyput even the pigeons fly with one wing because they need the other one to protect their ass". Lots of catchy dialogues of this kind have made Gangs into an instant cult classic.
There is also a lot of sex in the film but this is not a sexy picture. The main guy of Part I, Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai, the only previously well known actor in the cast) is an insatiable satyr and will screw anything that moves, merely to get his rocks off without the slightest trace of anything but rage. But don't worry -- he gets pumped full of hot lead at the Intermission (end of Part 1) with a bloody shot to the head to top it all off. An emerging new star, Nawaz Siddiqui (the relentlessly pot puffing son Faizal Khan), takes over in Part II and smokes more hash than the cocaine consumed by Al Pacino in Scarface '83 -- in fact, in terms of graphic violence and substance abuse these films are distant cousins. Or one might think, Sergio Leone with a twist of the knife in the gut and countless shots to the head. Well, the French have a name for it --"danse macabre". A film not to miss, but make sure to check heart and mind at the door and abandon all hope Ye about to pass through the portals of your local Wasseypur show.
With Smriti Irani gleefully welcoming the whole nation to Tulsi's family of "Kyun ki saans bhi kabhi bahu thi"(famous Indian soap opera),the family setting is disrupted by a series of bang-bang thus setting the mood for a raw violent epic tale of deceit and revenge.Welcome to Anurag Kashyap's take on the violent gang-war of coal mafia in Bihar,the movie is one of rare docu-fiction made in India that has the signature mark of Kashyap–arguably the best Indian film maker of current generation.
The movie runs for a span of six decades telling us the evolution of coal mafia to its pinnacle of violence. With Sahid Khan impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku starts looting the trains just prior to the Indian independence. With Shahid Khan being thrown away from the village in Dhanbad he started working in a coal mine from where the game of rivalry took its first step as Shahid Khan was betrayed and killed by Ramadhir Singh's henchmen and later on Shahid's son Sardar vowed to take revenge.
The basic premise is simple about the age-old tale of son avenging the death of his father and how it all gets engulfed into a family rivalry with lies, treacheries and betrayals. The executions seem to be homage to Tarantino as the tale moves forward with its blood soaked screenplay.There is intelligent use of wit and one-liners which helps in building the proceedings. Rarely have we seen humor revolving around slaughtered bodies and body parts in desi films. As the movie spans over decades there is key eye for detailing which are reflected in every sequences. The usage of black and white footages increases the credibility of the docu-drama. Like Kashyap's previous films this also deals with the dark psychology of human. This time he chooses to unmask the violent reality ruling in the heart land of our country and ropes in enough humor to unleash the stark reality. For people of Wasseypur killing is like having lunch and that disturbing essence has been beautifully captured. The violent existence had injected hatred in the nerves of each individual. Syed Qadri should be applauded for having the courage to write the story. Being hailed from Wasseypur he even got life threatening calls for the story. Technically GOW is one of the best films of recent times and indeed shows reflection for the praises that are shown in various film festivals. Direction from Kashyap is unquestionably top-notch. Rajeev Ravi's camera makes the proceeding more real. Shot in real locations the camera and colors hops between reality and fiction playing with various colors. Sneha Khanwalkar's music is one of the real heroes of the film. Whenever the scenes were tending to get a little repetitive the music saves the scene. Sneha's music reflected the particular era. While "Ik Bagal" hits the right notes for 40s, "Hunter" is a effective modern day rendition of imagination of a person who is at "high".Without giving any spoilers I would say the sequence of "Jiya ho Bihar ke lala" and the way it has been shot in itself becomes a learning lesson for many budding film makers. Also without glorifying violence Kashyap seamlessly merges blood into the narrative and not for a single moment it looked gory.There is no space for melodrama or pseudo-morality. In fact he can give a lesson to mainstream film makers of effective use of action in a realistic yet entertaining fashion. I couldn't think of anyone except Manoj Bajpayee as Sardar Khan who has revenge in his mind but his weakness for female body costs him dearly. Richa Chadda as Nagma Khatoon excels in every scene.The rebellious wife of Sardar is probably the best written character in this film. Nagma is sensitive yet ferocious who has a clear thought process and her character symbolizes freedom otherwise absent in wives of male-dominated India.Tigmanshu Dhulia as Ramadheer Singh patronizes evil and he is a treat to watch.A superb director himself he showed that he is equally brilliant in front of the camera as well. After being part of several films Pankaj Tripathy really gets his due in a meaty role and he proved himself as Sultan Qureshi. The anger oozes out from his personality thus shaping the character.Piyush Mishra is as always effective and dependable.He speaks with his eyes and their lies the talent of the veteran.His lyrics here are as strong as the ones in Gulaal. . Reema Sen effective as Durga. Nawazuddin Siddiqui excels as Faizal Khan the younger and the rebellious son of Sardar Khan.He is there only in the last hour of the first part but one could gauge that he will dominate the second installment.His fiancé' débutant Huma Qureshi is gorgeous and spontaneous. Jaideep Ahlawat as Shahid Khan is superlative. He simply had the necessary energy to spark the proceedings in the initial hours.He steals the scene where his wife is about to deliver her child and yet he is caged in a coal mine following which he fights back with his master.It symbolizes the life we are leading at present when we are buried under burden of material existence and can't stand behind our beloved even in harsh times.There are many such sequences which work as metaphors to the degradation of the standard of life.
Overall GOW-I is a epic masterpiece. Kashyap dares to go beyond the conventional means while telling an off-repeated story of revenge.In fact this film is a case study for film makers who can learn the art and use it to make something unconventional yet entertaining.As a film lover I am eagerly waiting for GOWII.
P.S:The trailer of GOWII sets the mood with characters like Perpendicular,Definite,Tangent.The film looks to be more quirky than the first installment.One of the characters,a lean structure shown chewing a blade with an assassin look seem straight out of Tarantino films and my expectation increases manifold.
It is not the typical Indian movie with lot of dancing and typical good guy as lead character.
Watching Gang of Wasseypur is like watching The Godfather instead of watching Indian movies.
The main core of the story is almost similar with The Godfather, but overall with the Indian aspect in it, the story is different. the writer picked real events that happened in India, and put it in the story. So there is little bit history lesson of India there, which is cool.
The character is very different with the Godfather counterpart, Sardar Khan is not like Vito Corleone, he is more violence and kinda selfish, although their core story almost similar. But they are totally different character. The other filler characters is totally different.
Good news , there is no dancing in this movie, but surprisingly, there is many good soundtracks in this film. They put great traditional Indian music instead the typical music in Indian movies.
If you like The Godfather I think you can appreciate this Gang of Wasseypur, even if you hate Indian movies like me. This is not typical Indian movies, totally worth checking.
Each & every character in the movie seems to be destined to play their respective roles, be it Sardar Khan or Shahid Khan or Danish Khan or my personal favorite (actually quite a discovery) Ramadhir Singh. The beauty of this magnum opus lies in its sheer brilliance in acting deptt & the mammoth courage of Mr. Kashyap to envisage & put it in screen for us. Actually this movie had given me quite a hangover
Thanks Mr. Kashyap for reinforcing the faith. I will await for your next!!!
A lot better than Kahani, Ishqiya, Satya, Peepli Live, or any other this genre of movie. If you can portray so much reality in a movie, then the movie maker is really outstanding. Reality in looks, in language, in expressions, in problems and their solutions. Reality can be more felt when someone is really from these regions of the world. The kind of tension and awkwardness that is shown can be generally felt in these regions.
"Chaabi Kahan Hai ? Gaand Mein Dali Hai Kya Chaabi, Sala Sab." Khee Khee-Khee .. Hee-Hee
Most importantly I liked the posters of the film. They are like I am seeing the covers of 80s and 90s Comics, Manoj Comics, Tulsi Comics etc.
I am waiting for the sequel. "Jia ho Bihar Ke Lala, Jiya Tu Hazar Sala. Tani Naachi Ke, ..."
As with old Hollywood era, one side there were Tom Hank's feel good movies and other side were Clint Estwood's unadulterated Taxan flick. In Bollywood, we are coming up with good number of nail biting northern rural dramas (Can anyone forget Omkara or Ishqiya.. !). I personally believe these are much much better than latest trend of copying of southern OVER POWERED HERO's movies (does anyone needs Name?).
When top notch direction meets with crunchy script a full blown entertainment is sure to be due. And Manoj Vajpai ..who?? (Yes yes yes fair enough.... I still remember Manoj Vajpai of Satya frame) is coming up at his own. There were others (still not able to get their names ), who were equally impressive. The only disappointment was editing, 20 minutes of cuts could have given GOW a Gem status. But yeah, may be that I can wish for part II. All in all, its treat to watch, if you like Spices more than Sugar ;-).