Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gangs of Wasseypur - Movie Review

Finally saw the much-acclaimed Anurag Kashyap movie 'Gangs of Wasseypur'. It is entertaining and interesting and left me feeling something I cannot say what. It's not a feeling of awe, nor of newness, nor of being completely entertained - its actually a feeling of having seen or known of this before. Maybe my short stint in Dhanbad in the early 90s, a period when Suryadeo Singh, the coal mafia don actually died (I was in Dhanbad that same day), got some deja vu acting up. 

Or have I become immune to the mafia stories? The movie is undoubtedly well-made with authentic characters and fine performances, great locales and a wonderful story, but why am I feeling rather low, or worse, apathetic. I must figure that out. Maybe its just my mood. But the idea of a revenge story set in the coal mines of Dhanbad (or Wasseypur), of a bandit, of a butcher mafia, of a son seeking revenge against his father's murder, is nice. Perhaps the motives were not strong enough for me - the son was too young when his father ( a goon himself) is killed. The son is no nobleman himself. How he manages to suppress the strong Qureshi clan by a few bombs and just two supporters is another thread that did not convince me. But I do like Anurag Kashyap's work and must say that it's a nice and a refreshing change from the flogged-to-death Mumbai mafia stories. Somehow the badness of these goons is not entertaining anymore, nor are they seeming like heroes. It's all rather pointless.

Do I recommend it? Yes, if you like gang wars, butchers, revenge stories. Manjor Bajpai is good and Nawazuddin Siddiqui brings his Michael Corleone like brooding presence forcefully. I was searching for how the Sardar Khan character lives up to his 'Keh ke loonga' line. To me he did not, really. He does bleed the mafia don but just about.

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