The first part of this Anurag Kashyap film was well received by a certain section of viewers and critics together who were greatly impressed by its execution, performances, music and dialogues. Admittedly these four factors impressed me too but at the same time I was not convinced from its routine storyline and concept which couldn’t exploit the backdrop of the coal-mine mafia to the publicized extent. However the movie ended on a bright note, giving us a fine glimpse of its second part which looked more entertaining and engaging as compared to its prequel.
And now after watching its Part II I can easily say that yes it is in fact far more amusing and compelling venture as compared to its part one, fulfilling all the promises made by its interesting promos. Honestly speaking, this is something way beyond what I was expecting and by far the best product from the house of Anurag Kashyap post his BLACK FRIDAY. Now though its the Part II yet one is not going to feel any major confusion of missing its previous storyline as the characters engage the viewers superbly right from the word go. Still one is sure going to enjoy all the continuity in its sequences more only once he knows the exact details of all the numerous characters shown on the screen as told in its prequel. The film makes a terrific start and wins over the viewer in just a few minutes with its brilliantly written script full of sharp humor and one liners. But on an exciting note, allow me to write about this experience of watching GOW II in a slightly different way than the usual.
Truly speaking, the film gave me a great energetic feeling in its first hour itself which reminded me of the days I was introduced to the World Cinema by a director friend of mine, more than a decade back. And it should be considered as a big compliment when I say that GOW II made me re-live the same entertaining shocks, unrest, passion and excitement which I felt while watching the cult movies like CITY OF GOD, HOTEL RAWANDA or BATTLE OF ALGIERS for the first time. Hence as I see it, this can easily be presented as the India’s answer to the WORLD CINEMA in the genre of crime thrillers and Anurag Kashyap should rightly feel proud of making it with such conviction.
In few words I would like to quote that there have been very few films in the recent times which successfully gave us the feeling of having watched something great while walking out of the theater. And there have been even fewer films in which we really hated the Interval being there as an interruption. GANGS OF WASSEYPUR II is just that movie only in which one doesn’t like the lights coming back for an intermission. It never lets you think anything else once it gets started and continues its winning spree even in its second half, where most of the films fail to deliver.
The biggest merit of the film is not its storyline or action, but its actually the crude humor in its characterization, narration and dialogues which keeps you thrillingly engrossed right till the end. Unlike its Part One which was not that entertaining as I felt, the present sequel is full of many bright enjoyable moments covering up for all the deficiencies witnessed in its first part. Particularly I simply loved the concept of Brass band and singing on the occasion of death in the family with Yashpal Sharma being there as the amateur local singer. Just imagine someone singing the famous song “Teri Meharbaniyan, Teri Qadardaniya” loudly with the band in front of a dead body lying and people crying. It was simply cunningly hilarious.
GOW II is also one of those rare, well directed and conceived movies which moves on a continuous upward swing superbly till its concluding moments. Its keeps growing and becomes better and better every five minutes with no dull moment of any sort allowing you to check your phone or start a talk which can rightly be termed as “Unstoppable Brilliance”. Having said that its also one of most bloody, dark, cruel and heartless movies which is surely not for the faint hearted. To be precise, if you don’t like to see gruesome killings, wounds and blood coming out of bodies like tap water then avoid watching GOW II as it has sequences as never seen before on the Indian Screen ever.
The film also reminded me the state of mind in which we used to be after watching a Ram Gopal Verma film till his BHOOT released in 2003. And that brings us to an interesting connection between RGV, Anurag Kashyap and his GOW series which might interest many readers here.
Before 2012, one film which was universally considered to be the best project made on the subject of brutal crime and gang-wars till date had to be SATYA directed by RGV in 1998. And very few friends might be aware of the fact that at that time Anurag Kashyap was in RGV’s team only and was also one of the key writers of SATYA along with Saurabh Shukla. Now nodoubt SATYA was the most authentic portrayal of Gang-wars and Crime world of Mumbai introducing many firsts on the screen at that particular point of time. So it rightly deserves its top place in the genre before 2000. But in the next decade, after witnessing the 9/11, fresh terrorist attacks and many tragic wars, the on screen portrayal of the same eventually got into a lot more bloodshed and brutality (especially in India) which gets truly depicted in Anurag’s present masterpiece too.
So in my opinion where the master (RGV) made his cult classic in 1998 as per the world around him in those times, his student (Anurag Kashyap) makes his own cult classic in 2012 based on the current deadly world around him in a truthful way. But here it can also be added that with GOW II, the student has outshined his master too which is nothing short of a lifetime achievement for Anurag. Because from here onwards whenever anyone will entitle “SATYA” as the front runner of this genre in the 90s, he will have to name “GANGS OF WASSEYPUR” too as the cult classic of 2012 without any doubt.
Another big triumph of GOW II is that the film is able to make a long lasting impression on the viewer without the presence of any known star or face in it as per the trend. And thats because it has got terrific performances delivered by the entire cast magnificently. Such is the impact of the perfect casting thought of by the director that I heard people asking the original names of the actors remembering them by their screen names while coming out of the theater. The basic reason behind that is that Hindi film audiences have rarely witnessed a movie where they are not at all familiar with any of the key artists on the screen and yet loved watching them perform. The whole film revolves around Nawazuddin Siddiqui who makes the best possible use of this unique opportunity given by Anurag and delivers a superlative performance which needs to be watched by all the big names of the Industry. With a common man’s physique minus any conventional hero’s looks the actor confidently tackles each and every scene written with a specific attitude in mind and wins over the viewers completely. Especially both in his comic entry (in front of Huma) and the final bloody scene of the ruthless killing, which is sure going to be remembered for long.
Huma Qureshi gets less dialogues but she perfectly supports Nawaz with her sensuous looks and body language. Richa Chadda continues to impress as she did in part one and comes up with an even better act of an old helpless mother. Both Tigmanshu Dhulia & Piyush Mishra (also doing the voice over) begin from where they had left, get lesser scenes but excel right till the last sequence of the film with elegance. Reema Sen doesn’t get much scope and so do many other actors in the script like Pankaj Tripathi. However as a rare ensemble of a superbly talented supporting cast, they together put up a great entertaining show which surely adds to the repeat value of the film unarguably.
GOW II can also be stated as having a complex script with too many characters running around with only a one point agenda of vengeance. Yet even its smaller characterizations are written so perfectly that you have them all in mind together once you have finished watching it. Particularly the remarkable young (unknown) actors playing Perpendicular, Tangent and Definite, having exceptional names which are given their own distinctive & hilarious definition in the film itself. The gifted trio enhances the overall spirit of the movie just like a jump board used in Gymnastics. Further, the well written insertion of Bollywood references in its script also give a kind of comic relief to the viewer and he strangely feels quite well entertained amongst all the gun fires, bloodshed and hatred.
Though the notes above would precisely give you an idea about the film itself but frankly any review of GOW II remains incomplete if it doesn’t mention the Cinematography, Soundtrack and Background Score of the film as its three strong pillars underneath a strong building. The film has a camerawork equivalent and reminding you of many cult classics of the World redefining realism depicted on the screen in India. And it can easily be studied or used as one of the best examples of how Background Music needs to be incorporated in such thrilling sequences to create a piercing impact upon the audience.
Personally I really loved the way Anurag used the song “Kaala Rey” in its first half and it has been a long time since I have enjoyed a song in such a way with my foot tapping on the floor and head swinging from left to right. Another joy which I witnessed after a big gap was when I found the whole crowd cheering loudly the moment Nawaz shoots his first bullet into his biggest rival in the end and one hears the song playing, “Teri Keh Ke Loonga”. Music composer Sneha Khanwalkar has already received many praises for her innovative yet melodious & groovy soundtrack of GOW from all over. But I must say that this Part II even uses her music in a much better way surpassing the first part which should deservingly bring her into the limelight once again. In short the film does have an outstanding soundtrack and background score but it even has a better execution of the same on the screen in its various sequences. To support the statement just try to recall how many times you have seen, these two elements used in such an impressive way in a deadly crime thriller before in an Indian film?
As a matter of fact, I found only one minor setback in this enjoyable murder sprint by Anurag Kashyap that it still doesn’t have a fresh new storyline for the viewers, moving on the same ages old plot of family revenge seeking to take over the power (with a predictable climax) and is a bit overweight too considering its dark subject. In other words, the film only and only relies on its execution, performances, script, dialogues and music which is in fact more than sufficient for the viewers to have a good time in the theaters. No doubt, these elements were all there in its Part I too, but as I felt the concluding part is miles ahead of its prequel and is sure going to be considered as a cult classic, path breaking, and trendsetting product of Indian Cinema in the years to come. Hence, If I am asked to send one film made in the 21st century (since 2000), as an Indian representative in front of the WORLD CINEMA then I would readily send GOW series with severely editing out the Part one and retaining the Part Two as it is.
So, do watch it at the earliest as we don’t make films like this very often here in our part of the world, moving away from the usual hero worshipping trend followed blindly. But would like to end with a small suggestion that if possible try to witness this explosion on Indian screen in groups of boys and girls separately. Because it obviously is a male dominated script with many explicit dialogues which might make you feel embarrassed repeatedly amongst the shouts, laughter and cheers of the crowd in the theater.
Summing up, I would like to admit that I am not really in favour of sequels continuing one after another. But in case of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, I will not mind watching its Part Three at all and in fact would love Anurag to make it, but only after a few years.