Review - Gulaal: Just go for it
Dir: Anurag Kashyap
A political drama with some of the most intense performances. What more could a thinking brain ask for? Sure, there'll be nits to be picked but while walking out I just wanted to savor the experience.
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Honestly, I'd be more than happy to have a one-line review here saying - "Go watch the movie! Period." But that would be a lazy woman at work. It's always difficult to point a finger at what you liked in a movie. It also sort-of takes away from the experience by intellectualizing and breaking down something that you enjoyed as a whole. But you gotta do what you gotta do, so here goes.
When the opening credits begin a few minutes into the movie, I was shocked to realize - not once in those 3-4 minutes did it cross my mind that I was actually listening to a character give a political, inspirational speech. The visuals of those were so engaging and Kay Kay Menon's expressions so intense that they completely occupied my senses. For a person who gets bored very easily by monologues that even remotely sound like lectures, this was one big score on the positive side. The effort spent on casting showed in every pick and they performed well too. To name one would be to do injustice to the other and the list is really long. The women might seem a bit off because of their eccentricities but then again that might have been very intentional because they are not your regular 'miss goody two shoes' women-next-door.
And the positives only grew in number after that. Sure there's politics, and there's an undercurrent of romance. But there's a lot more happening underneath. There's dissatisfaction everywhere. The entire chain of power from the fieldworker to the henchmen to the puppet-leader to the chief strategist wants to exude confidence, power and smart-Alecness till the next person higher up comes in. Each one wants to claim superiority and find someone to pull down. Now, this is as true in state politics as it is in home or office politics.
There are many more subtle things which only a second or third viewing can uncover but you somehow sense their existence. And there are of course, what I call the director's eccentricities like the blue-and-red man and the flautist.
Then there's this strong sexual and gender-bias flittering around in this ecosystem. Though Anurag's women all seem to have a fierce sensuousness about them, they don't seem unreal and neither does it seem out-of-place, forced, contrived or any such thing. This I need to mention because I very liberally label an unnecessary expression of sexuality 'gratuitous'.
I always get apprehensive when I begin looking forward to a movie. The last thing anyone should do to themselves is spoil their experience because of their own expectations. But, one thing we can safely look forward to with a Anurag Kashyap film now is awesome and novel music, even better lyrics and perfect use of the compositions.
Too many words to describe something that one needs to get completely absorbed and soaked in. Let me just stop writing here, so you can stop reading and go watch the movie.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Goons bashing each other at equal intervals.
- Language: Loads of profanity and sex talk.
- Nudity & Sexual content: Not explicitly shown, but you know the people offscreen are either nude or half naked.
- Concept: College politics with a comment on the impotency of the common man.
Gulaal - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Z Lime Light
- Producer: Zee Limelight
- Director: Anurag Kashyap
- Lead Cast: Deepak Dobriyal, Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastav, Piyush Mishra, Ayesha Mohan, Raj Singh Chaudhary, Abhimanyu Singh
- Supporting Cast: Mahi Gill, Jessy Randhawa, Pankaj Jha, Mukesh Bhatt, Seema Rehmani
- Story: Anurag Kashyap, Raja Chaudhary, Aparna Chaturvedi
- Screenplay: Anurag Kashyap
- Dialogues: Anurag Kashyap
- Cinematography: Rajeev Ravi
- Editor: Aarti Bajaj
- Background Score: Hitesh Sonik
- Action Choreography: Shyam Kaushal
- Choreography: Rajeev Ravi, Mansi Aggarwal
- Music Director: Piyush Mishra
- Lyrics: Piyush Mishra
- Costume Designer: Fabeha, Shubra Gupta
- Art Direction: Wasiq Khan
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 150 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Politics, Social