When it comes to Kannada literature, it is believed that Dr. Shivram Karanth defied all rules of grammar. He used a language of his own and formed a structure that his readers couldn’t resist loving. To the non readers and critics it seemed baseless and annoying. I would say Anurag Kashyap is no different. He follows his own style of film making and has his own tone, language and grammar which either one would love or love to hate. Clearly, his films are not meant for the masses who expect the director to make them fall hopelessly in love with life. Gangs of Wasseypur bears the stamp of Anurag Kashyap’s uncompromised style and attitude from the beginning till the end.
Well, it’s raw, bloody and merciless. I won’t say that it lacks romance. There is ample romance depicted in various forms throughout the film – romance with the fully loaded guns, romance with revenge and yes, the usual boy meet girl – falls in love – goes against family romance. Wait! There is also boy meets girl – marries – leads a rather prosperous married life – boys meets another girl – falls in love again! So there you go, there is plenty of romance. But what I want to highlight is the romance that the cinematographer Rajeev Ravi has portrayed through his lens. He does not glorify Wasseypur nor does he make you want to visit it as part of your next trip. He does what is just right. His lens captures the harsh realities with care and adds a flavor to the narration and script that allows the audience to connect better. Absolutely loved his work.
Moving on, there is something I felt which might not have hit anyone else. When I read reviews I saw that most people drew parallels with The Godfather. I choose not to comment there. But I drew parallels with the national award winning Kannada film, Nagamandala. When I saw Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) on screen, I could not help but imagine Prakash Rai’s role in Nagamandala. The song ‘Ivana Garadiya Saradara’ kept running on my mind. Boy, the body language, the art in which the character seems to have been crafted and yes, his mannerisms just reminded me of Prakash Rai. His epic fight in the film reminded me of Rai in the gymkhana. Adding to my memories were the setting and production design. I’m not sure if Kashyap has even watched the Nagamandala; but yes, I strongly drew parallels between the two characters. And from then on, I knew nothing would make me dislike the film.
Various characters, plots, incidents and the dialect make it a little difficult to grasp every detail. However, the narration holds it through and acts as a cushion. At times, I wish I followed the dialogues better and it would let me analyze the film with greater detail. Is Wasseypur the hero of the film? I’m not sure. What I can vouch for is the casting. It just seems like each actor was handpicked for the role. Brownie points to the casting director and AK on this one! Richa Chadda – What a cracker! Who would not love her timing and gut. A great role and an even better performance! This woman has surely caught the attention of filmmakers. Next, I loved Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s performance. I guess his role gets deeper and profound in the next part. Frankly, his character and performance is what I am looking forward to in the sequel. Tigmanshu Dhulia has also been impressive. I do not want to really write about Manoj Bajpai as I consider him to be another Prakash Rai. If you have been following my blog then you already know how much I love Prakash Rai and what value I think he adds to every film that he is a part of. Manoj Bajpai is just the same. However, I’m not sure if this is his best performance or role till date. Sunny strongly believes that 1971 is what makes Manoj Bajpai one of his favorites.
Also impressive is the music by Sneha Khanwalkar. It’s just what the film needed! Amazing! It’s not something that might win awards but it’s something beyond that. It’s simply perfect. For me, Gangs of Wasseypur has been this great ‘welcome back to the world of films’ as I had lost track of cinema for a while. I’m still a little upset that I could not watch it on the first day and I was in two minds after reading reviews that did not speak in favor of the film. However, I knew that there surely is something awesome that would be hidden in the film like every other film by Anurag Kashyap. And I must say, I loved it! I can’t wait to watch the next part!! Director Sir, job well done! 😀