These gangs pack few punches

These gangs pack few punches

gangs of wasseypur
Hindi (A)
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Sood, Reema Sen
Director: Anurag Kashyap  

Anurag Kashyap lives up to his reputation of being a dark filmmaker in Gangs of Wasseypur, for he gets a chance (and funds) to give full rein to explore this side.

The underbelly of society — in particular the violence that inextricably remains woven into its fabric — has always fascinated Kashyap. Gangs… is no different. Kashyap attempts to take you to the level of his debut Paanch but misses — barely just.

If Paanch had raw earthiness of the violence that dominated every frame, Gangs… does too. The reason why Gangs… misses is because it is no longer the work of an innocent filmmaker. Instead, it is made by one aware of his craft, and so it lacks the spontaneity that all creative work needs. When treatment starts to predominate, it overshadows the very content it was meant to highlight in the first place.

A straight story of revenge of Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) against his father’s murderer (Tigmanshu Dhulia as Ramadhir Singh) is what Gangs… is all about. Everything thereafter — coal mafia, politics, cops, women that he takes as his wives (Richa Chadda and Reema Sen), sons — even the man he seeks to murder all, are embellishments to his cause.

Gangs… fails to connect with its viewers. One never relates emotionally to its characters. Unlike Paanch where one empathised with the angst, confusion and edginess of the protagonists despite their violent streaks, here you don’t believe Sardar’s angst is for real.

You fall in love with Sardar when he begins to woo his second wife or when he takes his bleeding son to the doctor or when you see him trying to maintain a balance between wives, but you don’t fall for his pain.

The treatment, however, is where the film scores. The guns that go off; gore that accompanies the violence; manner in which songs have been laced into the screenplay; mis-en-scene, dialogues, costumes — all make Gangs of Wasseypur a must-watch.

All these work because they are creations of people who have put their heart and soul into their first major work. Pity the content fails them.

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