Wasseypur’s Corleones for Bollywood

Gangs of Wasseypur (GOW) is not for the family, it is not for the weak-hearted and it is not for someone who is expecting the cliched Bollywood-style entertainment. The first part of the Wasseypur saga is another one of the gamechangers for the industry. Kashyap seems to be all about proving that he’s one director who can do anything. Be it the postmodern angst of Dev D or the rough GOW, the man shifts effortlessly between cinematic expressions and one thing is for certain — any actor, under this director’s control seems to be playing his own skin.

Much hyped and much awaited GOW’s first part does not let you down, but alternately, many would call it over-hyped. The plot has nothing new to offer, one will not be blown away by the turn of events. They seem rather natural. However, the execution is brilliant. After the usual fare of the gangster movies like
Satya and Sarkar, GOW
makes the usual Bollywood thoroughfare turn towards the ‘cool’ Netherlands and the smaller mafia unites flourishing there. From the coal mines to the slaughter houses, petrol pumps and then the fisheries, everything is business, and filthy business that too.

Part one of GOW is about the meteoric rise of the prodigal son Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) whose only mission is to bring down Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia; a praiseworthy transition from director to actor) who had killed his father Shahid (Jaideep Ahlawat). Ramadhir, the ruling coal king, could not handle the upstart Shahid and gets him out of the way. The son swears revenge. The son is very little like the father except for the fact that mercy is not his forte.

Sardar is the next big gangster in town as he systematically starts bringing down his father’s killer – 'Usko goli nahi marenge, keh ke lenge uski’. The coal fields go, the pumps go and then Sardar starts making inroads in to anything and everything that could shake Ramadhir off his high horse. And Sardar succeeds. With his sidekicks and his capacity to stab a man to death in broad daylight with an ice pick, zero regard for human life, there’s no stopping this man.

The only thing that remotely distracts the man is his women. He can’t seem to keep his hands off them. From his perpetually pregnant wife (Richa Chadda,
Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye
fame) to the fiery bangalan Durga (Reemma Sen), Sardar likes his womaniyas. And that is perhaps what brings him down as part one ends.

The family politics, the rise of the sons and a possible gang alliance just adds to the climax for the story is not over. As the history of a country progresses, the fashion changes according to the Bachchans on screen, the topography of crime bends and fits like flowing blood along the lanes of Bihar’s small towns. Dhanbad to Wasseypur, it is all about the home made bombs and the bullets. Small time rape and murder grows to high level politics and propaganda that branches out across the state. However, when small time arms dealer (who killed Shahid Khan) gets shot by Faizal (Sardar’s younger son played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui), the audience knows that this is one bullet that was long over due.

The actors are perfectly cast. There is no wrong choices in GOW. All the roles seem to be typed according to the actors. The dialogues are sexy (for the want of a better word), the action raw and left as uncensored as possible and cinematography dark. The smallest of the nuances in the characters add to the bigger picture and Kashyap has cut the cast to size and how.

The last scene is reminiscent of Sonny Corleone’s death in The Godfather. As Sardar Khan rides away, unceremoniously with his gun falling off, the audience will be left hoping that this Corleone gets up and killing as soon as cinematically possible. We can’t wait for part two now.
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