Superlative performances, expressive writing, matchless background score and brilliant cinematography are some of the many key elements that make Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur possibly the best dark comedy in Indian cinema
We see an extreme close-up of a television screen showcasing Smriti Irani chanting the title track of a renowned soap. The quintessential bahu goes Rishton ke bhi roop badlte hain, ek pidhi aati hain ek phidhi jaati hain, kyun ki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi! (Relations keep changing. One generation appears on the foreground the older one fades into the background because every dog has his day!) The camera zooms out and gives the full view of a room with a bunch of village bumpkins engrossed in catching up their daily dose of saas-bahu drama. And then, unexpectedly, bullets start showering from nowhere.The sudden blitzkrieg disturbs you, but it leads to a chain of events that unfolds a brilliant, multifaceted and highly absorbing drama. And just like the title of Kyun ki…the director brings forth a vicious tale of ever-changing power equation, dirty politics and gruesome legacy that is passed on from one generation to the other.
Sardar Khan (played by Manoj Bajpayee) is the focal point of this film, whose only aim in life is to avenge the death of his father at the hands of the capitalist-turned-politician Ramadheer Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia). And yet, Gangs Of Wasseypur is not only about Manoj Bajpayee. It is flooded with innumerable characters, their emotions and vulnerabilities. This complex tale makes you fall in love with the director’s unbelievable ability to execute a difficult to narrate plot with exceptional ease. Anurag Kashyap keeps his characters believable and highly relevant. The out-of-the-box background score enhances the sub-plots of the film and often haunts you with its spiteful, simplistic and in-your-face lyrics.The director smartly uses crisp montages and song sequences to propel the gripping story forward.
The entire cast of the film has delivered a commendable performance. Manoj Bajpayee’s corrupt, immoral and vicious character stays with you well after the film is over. The 44-year-old has delivered the best understated performance of his career. Tigmanshu Dhulia makes a fine acting debut as scheming Ramdheer Singh. He has a commanding screen presence. Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays his part with conviction and Richa Chadda as Manoj Bajpayee’s wife breathes life into her character.
Watch this film for the love of cinema. It’s a masterpiece that promises an equally good second part. The cinematic excellence, we are confident, will be continued in the second part of this multi-layered revenge saga.
* Poor- Avoid!
** Average – Give it a shot if you are desperate!
*** Good – One time watch!
**** Very good- Must watch!