Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur 2 

Back To The Grind

Anurag Kashyap wanted to tell the story of the gangs of the Dhanbad coal belt from the days of the British Raj to the present, but could not compress it into one film.  So  Gangs of Wasseypur 2 came about.  It doesn’t seem to be the end of Kashyap’s wish to document the story of organised crime.  GOW 2 connects to Mumbai, and it will be no surprise if a few more films on other gangs ultimately connect to Black Friday.  The opening scene of GOW comes in the middle of GOW 2 (Quentin Tarantino’s non-linear style in Pulp Fiction inspired many filmmakers), so Kashyap does not believe in the A to Z manner of storytelling.

Those who like GOW, will probably like this one too, even though the violence is even more and disturbingly casual.  A man gets shot right before the eyes of a cop.  One reads of the lawlessness in Bihar-Jharkhand, but still, there is at least a pretence of policing  The first film set the dark tone and established the enmity between two clans and the politician, Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) who keeps fuelling it.

Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) is dead, and his sons now take over. When the hot headed Danish (Vineet Kumar) is killed, the dopehead Faizal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) heads the clan, while the lisping younger brother Perpendicular (Aditya Kumar)  runs his own small extortion racket. Nothing really happens except the Khan side and the Sultan (Pankaj Tripathi) side butchering each other.

In between Faizal manages to woo and marry the sharp and flirty Mohsina (Huma Qureshi), who gets to sing the funky Frusti-ao nahi moora song.  The best song—a wedding ditty-- goes to the widowed Naghma Begum (Richa Chadda), whose face remains unlined even when she is really old. But like so many other characters, she is also pushed to the side. Some new entrants, like Guddu and Ikhlaq are just guns for hire, to swell the numbers in Faizal’s gang. In the last film, there were startling characters like the quiet assassin in Benaras, in this film, there are none.  Definite (Zeishan Quadri), the son of the Bangalan (Sardar Khan’s mistress from the first film) turns up with his own agenda. 

 Anurag Kashyap’s skills as a filmmaker are never in doubt, even in the general chaos and grunginess of the setting, he manages a visual flair and authenticity.  He has an amazing control of his craft and can bring out the best in his team—cast and crew. Now if only he’d get over his fascination for random, macho violence and make a film one can admire... and like.


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