Saturday, August 11, 2012

Best Served Cold

Among all the things Gangs of Wasseypur II is, it is primarily two things – it is by far the best sequel to any film made in India, and when seen independently, it is a very good standalone film. And while it borrows some of its plot points from The Godfather — the theme of revenge and its futility — the essence of GOW II lies in the way the plot unravels.

The film opens at the murder of Sardar Khan, and then, sons seek to avenge the death of their father. The first part has thus been rendered moot. However, this film takes you on a journey of its own. Introducing characters into the already complex genealogy of the Khan family and adding other characters that take the story forward. Amidst all the shooting and bloodshed, we tend to forget the purpose and focus on the well crafted one-liners and cool dialogues. The dialogues are so important that, we tend to rely on who has the coolest punch lines to take sides. Some might find the duration a little hard on the bladder, but the build up to the inevitable climax is quite worth it.

The characterisation is quite intricately done and you are left wanting to know more about characters like Perpendicular, which in fact is based on a true character. At times you even wish for X-Men-like prequels to give an insight into the lives of Definite, Perpendicular among others.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui has assimilated Faizal Khan in his body and has portrayed the ups and downs, some more consistent than others, with the best of his abilities. The peculiarities his persona is shown to have in the first half of the film make him look magnificent and grand. Had this film hit the theatres in the seventies, Nawazuddin might have ended up hosting the first season of Kaun Banega Crorepati.
Tigmanshu Dhulia continues to impress, picking up from where he left in the first film. Zeishan Quadri plays Definite, the most intriguing character in the film who keeps everyone guessing what his next step is going to be. Among the female leads, Richa Chaddha transforms well from being the first lady to a sunken-eyed widow and Huma Qureshi wins hearts with the way she exerts power over the most feared man in Wasseypur.

Sneha Khanwalkar’s music draws the line that divides the two parts. The music makes it very clear that it’s going to be a case of ‘revenge is a dish best served cold.’ Kaala Re is the pick of the lot, sung beautifully by Sneha herself. And Moora, although over used in the film, is the song you wish someone sang to you when you feel down. Chhi Chha Ledar appears in the film during what can only be described as Indian cinema’s most rooted chase sequences. It has Shamshad Alam with his henchman chasing Definite through the narrow traffic-laden lanes of a small town on a moped. Apart from the original tracks, ridiculous songs from the eighties – Teri Meherbaniyan, Yaad Teri Aayegi, Nayak Nahi Khalnayak — light you up in the first half.

Gangs of Wasseypur (1 & 2) speaks volumes of Anurag Kashyap’s growth as a filmmaker. The visuals are finely crafted and the tiny details that give the film a touch of class can be seen in the use of properties – especially Mohsina’s (Huma Qureshi) choice of pulp fiction. Working with the highest budget so far, Kashyap shows control and poise in handling the story. He creates a world of his own and you willingly buy into the premise before the second gunshot is fired. And once you are into his universe, he introduces you to characters and makes you love them, hate them and for a long time, remember them.

In the words of Ramadhir Singh, “Jab tak iss desh me cinema bante rahenge, public c***iya banti rahegi”. But don’t let that stop you from watching this film. Like it or hate it, Indian cinema finally has a Godfather that it can proudly boast of.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on August 11, 2012

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