To see an enemy humiliated gives certain contentment, but seeing him destroyed by your own barbaric action satiates your own inner demons – that’s Anurag’s Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur for you. A ‘bloody’ story of revenge narrated in the grittiest manner possible makes GOW less of a film and more of an epic to be remembered for a long time. Written and directed by Anurag Kashyap, GOW is a film to have broken all barriers and clichés to evolve as a winner.
Set in colonial India, GOW takes us through the streets of Bihar, narrating the story of the Khans and Qureshis, who’ve been fighting for generations over the reign for supremacy. Several years later, the fight has been passed on to three generations, as sons, family members and even villagers swear to settle score, only to multiply the killings in the process.
There’s nothing spectacular about GOW’s story – it’s yet another revenge drama with adequate amount of violence and entertainment. But, what sets GOW apart from other films is its screenplay, in a way you and I would’ve never anticipated. Thanks to Anurag and his team of writers who’ve not only made this an entertaining film but an experience of a lifetime. On the contrary, you’d ask yourself – did they write too much? Because, the first part is almost three hours long and there’s one more to follow. But, having said that if the first part was so compelling, I’m sure the second one will supersede the first in many ways (hopefully, yawwwwn).
Casting deserves some special award in particular, if not the film. Anurag’s pick shows the amount of time he must have spent visualizing these characters while he was writing/discussing the script. And, at no point, will you feel any character flawed because there’s no way you can feel that way. You may fall in love with these characters, which I’m sure you will, but you will not hate. Manoj as Sardar Khan is the modern-day ‘Gabbar Singh’. I know it’s no comparison but Gabbar instilled fear in his era as Sardar does in this one. Sardar Khan’s role is inundated with several shades – he’s cunning, clever, flirtatious, fearsome and importantly funny. And, it’s definitely not easy for any actor to pull off such a role with ease. Manoj makes it look so easy, as though he’s lived this role in the past. Nawazuddin’s role as Faizal Khan is the next best role after Manoj. His metamorphoses from a wasted pig in to a terrorizing Faizal will send chills up your spine. And one more role worthy of discussion is the role played Richa Chadda – the foul-mouthed first wife of Manoj, who’s best at cussing at her husband and chasing him on to the streets when caught red-handed cheating on her. Anurag’s portrayal of women as merely used for materialistic pleasures in the film, though offensive, deserves special mention as it brilliantly suits the mood and context of the film.
Anurag’s version of Wasseypur is a town no different from what most of us would’ve pictured in our heads. However, he takes an extra effort to make it appear real – especially the uncouth dialects of the villagers, political satire, non-stop swear festival and some entertaining dig at Bollywood. The dialogues are funnier than I imagined and crude too at times, which balances it out evenly. Not to forget some hilarious scenes; in particular the one involving the names ‘definite’, ‘perpendicular’ and ‘tangent. Watch out for this scene, it’s the best!
All those who complained that the film has 25 songs – guess what? You’d hardly notice the songs in the film even though they’re playing in the background and they definitely don’t intrude with the flow of the film, which I liked the most. Noir type shots, slick editing are proof to what Anurag’s best at and how brilliantly he can maintain it in all his films.
In essence; GOW may have been almost three hours long but it definitely was worth every minute. In the most offbeat manner, the film becomes the ‘Baap’ of gangster films.
Movie: Gangs of Wasseypur
Director: Anurag Kashyap