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Gangs of Wasseypur 2 - Review

Gangs of Wasseypur 2

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

Gangs of Wasseypur II delivers on the promise of being a quirky revenge saga. A saga which holds no bars and lets loose the internal animal which revenge itself seems to have given birth to. A saga so full of characters that a keen film-lover would want to watch twice – only if they can stomach the violence in almost every frame and profanity in every other sentence. Others, shouldn't even bother.

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[Poster for Gangs of Wasseypur 2]

Disclaimer: This review assumes you have watched part I. It might contain comments that refer to event of the previous film.

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A movie that uses a strong, scheming woman, who has very little to do in the rest of the film, as bookends - almost as if she was given the honor of holding the story together. A movie that uses humor provided by a local brass band singer as a leitmotif to mark all significant events – morose or celebratory. Gangs of Wasseypur II is a movie that engages you in its quirkiness because that quirkiness still has bearings with what is real. A fusion of sorts between grit of a village in Jharkhand and pulp-film style whackiness.

Gangs of Wasseypur II is as much about these seemingly insignificant characters as it is about its revenge-driven protagonists and the looming theme of the futility of violence. The smaller characters add flavor and ambiance to the brutal environment they are trying to thrive in. The main players of Wasseypur, Faisal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) keep you wondering about their next move. We know their motivations, yet we are unsure if and when they will strike.

It is macho to the core. The women too have an undying fire in the belly. Though they don't take matters in their own hands, but they surely don't stress over sending their sons to war. The ruthlessness in the violence is just something else. Some scenes are so gruesome as if compensating for the few that didn't feature violence.

Yet, none of it seems misplaced or overdone. A character who has gone through what he has gone through, with those motivations is bound to react with that ferocity. Only that, almost all characters share the same love for hardcore violence, so a viewer who has reservations against blood and gore might do well outside the theater. For others, though it is a release for the latent anger, vicarious as it may be.

So much so that, every time someone from Ramadhir Singh's gang is killed, you can sense the success in the audience. The bigger the player taken down, the stronger the sense of victory. Which is amusing too. Because the good guys aren't really good either, right? They are murderers, black marketeers, and brutal ones too. A doped-out good-for-nothing son of a goon, turns into a goon. So?

What is it then that the audience is rooting for? This question bothered me quite a bit because I knew not why I am rooting for these barbarous slayers. And the slight difference emerged - their motivations. The loyalty of the Khans to their main purpose versus the political and convoluted reasons of Singh's men. In fact, Faisal is even caught introspecting on why and how he got dragged into it all. He reflects on his personal dreams. And this is where all the Bollywood references fit in. As amusing as they might seem, they point at the unachieved dreams of the masses.

Moments and situations like these and the grounded feeling the whole film carries is what make me ignore the two main grouses I have against Gangs of Wasseypur II. The choice of narration – it reads like a book, chapter-wise, without smooth flow. If it weren't for Piyush Mishra's voice and tone, the voice-over would seem never-ending. It felt like the story was in constant exposition, especially when the voice-over continues the second half. That new characters and themes are still being introduced post-interval didn't help either.

The other complaint goes with my complaint against part 1 – it is not a stand alone film. I would have much rather seen the two parts as one and enjoyed it as one story. By watching it in two parts, both films feel incomplete. But, I guess commercial needs take precedence over my preferences. :)

Otherwise the film leaves no room for complaint. Once again to name one actor as having done exemplary work would be unfair. The women in Anurag Kashyap films always stand-out. Not only for the character accorded to them and their strength but also for the unique sensuality he has them bring out.

Similarly, to say an Anurag Kashyap film had awesome lighting, camerawork, sound, background score would be making a redundant statement. Also, something about the way Anurag Kashyap uses his music keeps you involved. Many a time, it makes very little sense (at least on first watch) but I still enjoy it. And for that I love it – making me enjoy something I don't understand.

Does it glorify violence? Maybe. It uses it brilliantly for sure, especially to bring the narrative to crescendo in the climax. Maybe, it exhibits the vanity of violence by using it paradoxically.

If a gang-war film needs to be made, this is the way to do it. Else of course, we watch Godfather, Pulp fiction, read the Mahabharata. But hey, why not try all three-in-one. Oh actually, make that three-in-two. But like anything that is a combination, it won't compare favorably to any one of those by itself. But is a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.

- meetu, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

Not for kids, for sure.
- Violence: We can most likely count the number of non-violent scenes in the film.
- Language: Full of profanity.
- Nudity & Sexual content: A bar dance. Mention of and references to sex.
- Concept: The futility of revenge.
- General Look and Feel: Gritty and rustic.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 4
  • Story: 4
  • Lead Actors: 5
  • Character Artists: 5
  • Dialogues: 5
  • Screenplay: 3.5
  • Music Director: 4
  • Lyrics: 4.5

Gangs of Wasseypur 2 - Movie Details

Gangs of Wasseypur 2 - Trailer

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Comments (16)

Rahul:

Was fortunate enough to catch Part 1 in Geneva. They were screening it in a theatre and in Hindi. In spite of the insanely high expectations that I had from the film, it was immensely enjoyable. Each shot is lovingly crafted and the background score is exemplary. An engaging screenplay, quirky dialogues and brilliant acting only embellish it further. A must watch, and I enjoyed it.

In short, can't wait for the 2nd part, whenever they screen it in this part of the world.

Guddu:

This might be Anurag Kashyap's epic gang lord film but it's still missing the awe of Pulp fiction , Scaraface and Godfather . I loved Vastaav , Company and Satya as well made gangster films but this one except for the quirky characters with exception some plot dynamics didn't had anything else to make me appreciate . I didn't found anything new or amazing in both the films .

B.H.Harsh:

So great to see a review up so early :)
I am somewhat apprehensive about the climax... but other, I think Anurag Kashyap decided to have all the fun he could... in true QT style!!

Particularly agreed with this one - "And for that I love it =E2=80=93 making me enjoy something I don't understand."
:)

B.H.Harsh:

*otherwise

meetu:

@Guddu Agree. But if you don't compare, stand alone it's and enjoyable, character-driven, thoughtful film.

@Harsh Thank you. If movie is out early, I can get a review out early :D I have a feeling you won't be disappointed with the climax. Let's see... :)

harish iyer:

i am soon going to write a full fledged article about the women in anurag kashyap's films.

they are the ones who drive the story, even if the story has men men and more men, the protagonist in his films is always a woman.

meetu:

@harish I know. At cursory glance they do like second fiddles or sidekicks but there is something very strong about their presence.

B.H.Harsh:

@Meetu: heyyyyy... I saw it last nite myself :D
I meant I haven't yet made up my mind about the climax.. (it somewhat left me underwhelmed)

meetu:

@Harsh oh like that. hmmm...

Raj:

How come such excellent ratings in all departments leaves it for - "The keen must watch it on screen - else DVD"?

It is easy to criticize - but even though let me indulge - it seems no critic/ reviewer has guts to say that an immature child has learnt a tool call 'direction', and is playing with it by imagining himself to be intellectual and presenting the world with a crass, obtuse & gross cinema - imagining it that people will call it a cult - because things shown are never shown before on screen.

Sad!

18 crores in making a film, 18 crores in marketing it! Did not everyone review it GREAT CINEMA with their media channels time booked, screened, paid for a good review?

Cult! I believe the stupid process.

hj:

I really liked the first part, maybe because of Manoj's teasing and playful depiction of Sardar Khan and the humor he brought into it. But hey, this is no less either, although i felt a bit dragging in the end.

meetu:

@Raj The overall rating reflects how I liked the film and what my recommendation is. The detailed rating reflects what departments made it a go or no go for me. Point being that excellence in a few departments doesn't necessarily mean it is a great film. Likewise, although rarely, even if the film might be ok-ok in a few departments or even bad, the overall experience might be much better.

As for your second point, I thought the film was good. Whether it is great or not I will know only when I watch both parts together, like I think it was intended.

I don't get the term 'Cult' film. A good film is a good film is a good film. Or not. Period.

Raj:

I understand Meetu, it is like a student score 80-95 marks in all individual subjects (English, Maths, Chemistry, History etc.) - but still we dont like the student - individual scores dont add to build a likablility.

'Cult' is a movie that is normally a low budget movie mostly showing never seen before on screen - horrow, violence, blood, drugs, violence, torture, sex, gore or nauseating toilet humor - and develops a devoted small group of fan base, who are obliged to praise that B-C grade movie. This small base following extends to several generations (each generations has got those frenzy loopy characters), affecting psychological deviants in the society who feel so imbibed in the cult of what is shown on screen - that they start practicing such things in real life.

It makes me smile when someone attempts to make a 'cult' base. I think its a de-generated human outlook. I think AK is trying to follow that path with psuedo-intellectuality.

critic:

very boring,very abusive and violent,seems like documentry,music is poor,

Samir:

It had admittedly a few brilliant moments which were ravenously devoured by Kashyap's self indulgence and overall cacophony. Its violence/profanity commits the ultimate sin of cinema---- after benumbing you it bores you! For once, I couldn't disagree more with your review, Meetu.

meetu:

@Raj Yes, something like that. 'Cult' - Somehow, I don't like to label films like that or even calling it 'for masses' vs 'for classes'. A film is a film. You like it or you don't. In the same tone, somehow, I can't make myself think why a filmmaker made a film. I tend to look at it from what he/she intends to convey/do with the film, within the context of the film only - nothing to do with what he is like personally and what his agenda other than being a director of that film is. I believe that by doing that I increase my chances of liking a film. And that's what I want for myself, like more films. :D I hope that makes sense, :)

@critic ouch!

@Samir hmmm...fortunately it didn't bore me one bit. And as far as disagreeing about a film goes - I have yet to meet two people whose views about films match one-on-one for every single film. Toh, ye toh ek na ek din hona hi tha. :) What I do hope though is, if you read the review before watching the film, you got a fair idea of why I liked the film and you could make a judgement of whether or not it would work for you.

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