Gangs of Wasseypur

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

quick review:

You'll watch a great film unfold that is engaging despite being slow and violent. Yet, it is quite literally incomplete. Powerful performances and rustic visuals and sounds make the film worth a watch just by themselves.

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Director: Anurag Kashyap
Running time: 165 minutes
More Movie Info

Gangs of Wasseypur - Preview

If there's one name I'd like to blindly follow and watch every film that he had anything to do with, it would have to be Anurag Kashyap's. Even beyond Amitabh Bachchan. There, I said it.

Which makes me really nervous too. I want to love the film; I want everyone to love the film; well, I want everyone to excitedly wait for the film - which is why I have to watch myself closely for biases when reviewing it.

Anyway, enough about my emotions, let's get to the film. There's dark humor, there's gory violence, there's supposedly material worth over 5 hours of run-time. Even if it's not all at one go, and the two parts are split two weeks apart, it is a huge risk. Should we admire this as confidence or get cynical about over-confidence? Should we snub at it as arrogance or for once admire the guts behind the arrogance?

In many ways, it looks like it will be our heartland's own Godfather. You can see the ganglord's (Manoj Bajpai) character growth even in the trailers. You can tell the characters relish humiliating each other. Doing it in two parts with story spread over a few decades is likely to re-register the age old conclusion that gangster films try to make - war is futile, revenge is futile. Here's hoping Gangs of Wasseypur will do it with a captivating narrative and detailed characters.

Just in case, any of us had any doubt about Anurag Kashyap's love for taking risk, just listen to the soundtrack once. While I'm not a huge fan of innuendo, 'hunter' tune has really gotten to me. And this risk paid off because the madness has become really popular. My personal favorite for being completely mental is 'tain tain to to.' The entire team has lost it by having too much fun. Full stop.

So, as I leave you with the music reviews, I cross my fingers that Gangs of Wasseypur is not one of those movies where the director whose films you really look forward to ends up disappointing you. fingers crossed with a loud heartbeat that's only speeding up.

Music Reviews:
Milliblog - "Gangs of Wasseypur is one of the most original and imaginative soundtracks in recent times!"
Music Aloud - "8.5/10"
dunkdaft - "Such a fantstatic soundtrack that is part innovative part funny and overall awesome!"
Bollyspice - "We went with 4.5 but to be honest I am seriously leaning toward our highest ever rating of 5/5!"
Bollywood Hungama - "2/5"
Happy Sing - "In fact the album tells me that music not always needs to be ‘composed’, you can ‘discover’ music and then produce it. Of course, that too needs a genius, but that would be a genius that would continuously learn, and it seems Sneha Khanwalkar is one such genius. More power to her."

- meeta, a part of the audience

'Whacky' - every frame of Gangs of Wasseypur reeks of it. Imagine that in film set in the interiors of Jharkhand. The language, the characters, the dynamics of their relationship with each other, the songs that play in the background all add to the rugged, earthy feeling of the film. An experience very few directors in India can provide. Yet, it is not self-sufficient. As a story the experience is incomplete because we know we have watched only half a film. There's more to come and what we saw so far is not a film that stands alone.

Much like its characters, Wasseypur has been pushed from here to there at hands of destiny and the world has been very matter-of-factly about it. In typical documentary tone you are told how Wasseypur has moved from Bengal to Bihar to now Jharkhand over 40-odd years. It is almost ironical when the voice behind that tone, Piyush Mishra is consoling a woman whose husband has cheated on her comment on her destiny. Many a time it does come across as a docu-drama that Anurag Kashyap wants to use to document the messed up system that most of India lived in since independence.

Gangs of Wasseypur is a story Wasseypur's story, where Wasseypur itself represents the many small towns in this country that suffer at the hands of politicians and goons. You can't even call it the underworld because the perpetrators are so blatant about the fear they want to induce with their power. At the same time, humor is infused and character of the film is built with time references to various films along the way. Almost as a pointer to the Bollywood-centric theme that part II is promised to have.

While Gangs of Wasseypur touts itself as a revenge saga, you will realize it is a lot more. An anti-hero as a protagonist who finds it difficult to go without sexual release. He almost always comes across as the underdog because of the situations that he gets himself into and often he looks like he is making a fool of himself. Yet he is tender at heart for the people he really cares about. The dry humor used only adds to that judgement. You can't but wonder how his experiences as a son might have changed the equation with his sons. Strong women who aren't lead ladies by Hindi film standards - they are proud of how brutally the men of their lives use power against the entire world (except for them), a staunch friend, a few double crossers, sons who find it difficult to get out of their dad's shadow even though they hate him, all don’t let Gangs of Wasseypur remain a standard revenge saga.

Yes, it is violent. Yes, it does try to make the same ol' point that revenge films have always tried - that it is futile because too many people on all sides die too gory a death. But Gangs of Wasseypur goes beyond that, it has characters who represent dissent - to them truce is not an option, never. Very few 'gang war' films allow room to those people who were bruised so bad that they cannot forgive. Also you see that exiting the trade is not an option. Even if a goon wants to mend his ways, if he is high profile enough, whatever business he gets into will invite unhealthy attention from rivals.

To single out any one or two actors as being good at their job might imply that the others weren't as good and that woul be plain wrong.

And what about the other stars of the film - the outstanding music, the way each film uses natural sources of light and keeps artificial ones at minimum, the fairly simple but amazingly perfect composition of frames, the three or four times slow-motion is used, especially in the last scene, the background score that becomes outright crazy given the context it is used in. No review would be complete without mentioning these heroes.

Gangs of Wasseypur may demand patience from some of the viewers, but I enjoyed the pace and the time it took to settle down. It's like reading beautiful prose, whether or not you like what is written, you admire the way it is written. More often than not, you find yourself wondering if this is India's very own Godfather. Yet, it doesn't take away from the nagging incomplete feeling. Though what it also means is you are asking for the more you have been promised with utmost eagerness.

Ps. What is it about use of abusive language in films that makes young adult males giggle like teenage girls?

- meeta, a part of the audience

43 reviewers(?) - 33 yays 8 so-so 2 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Anna Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...It’s the film’s good fortune that the tedium comes in the first half whereas the potential for genius shows through in the second, leaving us with a promise of even better things to come. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Nawazuddin holds out the promise of a stellar performance in Gangs Of Wasseypur 2... full review

Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...On a formal level, this is easily Kashyap’s most fascinating outing ... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...It has all the trappings of an entertainer, but with a difference. The film prides itself with substance that connects with enthusiasts of new-age cinema... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandita Dutta, DearCinema : ...For a revenge-drama spanning decades and chronicling generations, it does extremely well and engages the audience.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kshitij, Desi Martini : ...Barbaric Poetry - a Masterpiece !!!... full review

Thumbs up, by Smita, Desi Martini : ...I guess it takes time to settle into the atmosphere of the film, get under the skin of the language and the place and start to enjoy the experience... full review

Thumbs up, by Rony D'Costa, Desi Martini : ...Gangs of Wasseypur is Anurag Kashyaps Take your brains with you masala potboiler film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ameetbhuvan, Desi Martini : ...deliciously gripping revenge saga set in the bad lands of Bihar.... full review

Thumbs up, by Manu Agrawal, Desi Martini : ...I simply dont feel worthy enough to review it.... full review

Thumbs up, by Blessy Chettiar, DNA : ...Here’s a film that demands 100% attention and it won’t stop till it has it.... full review

Thumbs up, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...doesn't work as an original story -- in fact, it's Kashyap's most mainstream film -- but as a sophisticated retelling of a familiar tale in an authentic setting, complete with dialogue, styling and music that evokes the earthiness and raunchiness of the Indian hinterland.... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, : ...Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi along with Subodh Srivastava (costume designer) and G V Prakash (background score) provides the necessary impetus that makes GOW the film that it is. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, : ...Manoj Bajpai is fantastic as Sardar Khan. This character will be another feather in his cap. You will find everything {Revenge, Lust, Maniac, beastly, Revolting, malignant, Lover, etc} in his body-language, mannerisms and most importantly, his eyes.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Filmed crisply, without any gimmicks by Rajeev Ravi, Gangs is both steeped in cinematic tradition, yet modern in its treatment. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Fatema Kagalwala, India Entertainment : ...Leave alone the referencing, direct and indirect, it takes the masala genre of revenge and turns it around to give us as much masala as we are used to but as a dish differently spiced.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vinayak Chakravorty, india today : ...You spot tribute nods to Tarantino, Scorsese and Sergio Leone all along, as the film leaves you dizzy with its wanton celebration of the gory and the immoral... full review

Thumbs up, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...It reunites Anurag Kashyap with exactly the kind of style he is most comfortable with : hyper masculine, hyper real, going for the jugular.... full review

Thumbs up, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Even at a runtime of almost three hours, the movie, at no point, seems stretched or monotonous and there isn't a single dull moment. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...There aren’t many close-ups in the film, a tool usually used to hide the lack of thoughtful visualization. Every visual pulsates with the details of surroundings.... full review

Thumbs up, by Janhavi Samant, MiD DAY : ...A special word in praise of Sneha Khanwalkar’s music score; it’s naughty, rural, and right on cue with most of the film.... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...Definitely worth a watch for sheer cinematic pleasure!... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Gangs of Wasseypur is part Sergio Leone, part Sam Peckinpah on the one hand. On the other, it embraces elements from Quentin Tarantino and Johnnie To. But the manner in which Kashyap stamps his own home-grown style and sensibility on the manic mélange makes it an exhilaratingly edgy movie experience.... full review

Thumbs up, by Mansha Rastogi, Now : ...Gangs of Wasseypur works like an explosive leaving you wanting for more. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Ruchi Mehta, Roochster : ...3/5... full review

Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Manoj Bajpayee’s smooth, sharp, searing performance is worth savoring again and again. And matched perhaps by writer-director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s acting debut as Singh... full review

Thumbs up, by K N Gupta, : ...The gory scenes and embarrassing expletives could have been avoided.... full review

Thumbs up, STARDUST : ...Yet another win-win in the hands of Anurag Kashyap comes in the name of music composer Sneha Khanwalkar, probably the fifth female composer in the history of music industry.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anuj Kumar, The Hindu : ...However, after a point the snapshots refuse to lead into something wholesome as our trained eye starts looking for solutions... full review

Thumbs up, by Madhurita Mukherjee, Times of India : ...The real find in this mine-of-a-cast, boy gang film, is Richa Chaddha. She appears like a mini-handmade bomb, but is quite explosive. Reemma Sen, with few dialogues shows her curves and contempt with ease.... full review

Thumbs up, by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall : ...that you feel like smacking Kashyap and co. for ending the first part abruptly, and promptly teasing us with one of the most seductive trailers (of Part 2) ever made, is a victory of sorts. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, yahoo! India : ...what you see and hear will surely make you a happy hostage, willing to surrender to Wasseypur... full review

Thumbs up, by Bikas Bhagat, Zee News : ...And, despite the film being dark, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ has an inherent sense of humour that comes quite naturally as the film unfolds.... full review

So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...Piyush Mishra, who once again reminds the industry the power house of talent within himself of being an actor, writer, lyricist, singer and composer. ... full review

So-So, by Anjum Shabbir, Bolly Spice : ...For Anurag fans I would say that this is radically different from all of his earlier films and is his most commercial film yet. You can clearly witness the craft that has gone into making GOW and whether reviews are great or not, you should definitely watch it as a piece of cinema.... full review

So-So, by Khalid Mohamed, Deccan Chronicle : ...Jaideep Ahlawat strikes a super-strong screen presence. Piyush Mishra is believable. Nawazuddin Siddiqui smoulders expertly. Richa Chadda is first-rate, using her eyes and voice as sharp lethal weapons. Manoj Bajpayee is bankably life-like and controlled... full review

So-So, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...while the filmmaker further cements a rather individualistic storytelling style, you wonder if story itself takes a backseat... full review

So-So, by Nupur Barua, : ...One would be completely lost if there was no voice-over explaining family histories and characters, but even then, the movie goes over your head if you are not paying complete attention. ... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, Hindustan Times : ...At one point, I was so confused that I longed for a master key booklet to the film that outlined the various factions, relationships and rivalries... full review

So-So, by Roshni Devi, koimoi : ...Each and every character fits their bill perfectly.... full review

So-So, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ...The performances across the board are brilliant, but Bajpayee and Pankaj Tripathi as Sultan the butcher stand head and shoulders above the rest of the ensemble cast.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Richa Chaddha and Jameel Khan are the pick of a very talented bunch, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (who, Part One's plot promises, will dominate the sequel) burns through the frames he's in. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sudhish Kamath, The Hindu : ...While every frame here is so passionately put together, supremely performed with brilliantly conceived moments of quirk, the whole just doesn’t come together as a cohesive story. ... full review

53 tweeters(?) - 42 yays 2 so-so 9 nays

yashchhatwani: A perfect blend of blood,abuse,dialect et all. GoW has it everything a dacoits story has. Depiction of a ...

V1PL0VE: Assal dehati romance dekhna ho to @BajpayeeManoj aur Reemma ko kapde dhote huye dekho GoW. Dhoti geeli na ho jaye to kehna.

TanveerTaj7: Saw Gangs of wasseypur. A slow movie, but brilliant actors and hilarious dialogues. #mustwatch

tanuj29: “Humare yahan kabootar bhi ek pankh se udta hai aur doosre se apni izzat bachata hai” #GoW #mustwatch

sushil_kr_hans: GOW sud b a land mark movie in bollywood.less known but potent theater artist except @BajpayeeManoj made it sucsfl.Congrts @ankash1009

SudhirU: Still in hangover of #GoW

soniasingh_ss: Chotu.well put :) RT @harsh16dec: Film Directors r like Gods. Gangs of Wasseypur is a gift frm heaven. Thank you ...

SmilePleez: GoW was a thrilling experience. I would love to watch it again and again. Anurag Kashyap, take a bow!

shubham_dkiller: Gangs Of Wasseypur! Sheer brilliance. Anurag Kashyap... Thank You for this fantastic experience.

SATISHAKABOY: gangs of wasseypur ,,,,,,,,have to be crazy enough to handle this one,,,superb movie

rosie_merv: Watched Gangs of Wasseypur twice in two days ! :P and as everyone did, simply loved it !

rohitnigam04: Gangs of Wasseypur : That Legendary NSFW movie which every normal boy would love to watch ;-) ... Every character is justified, AK :bows ...

ramzkaur: GoW is a wonderful movie wid a story... unfortunately - we (the viewers) only seek the entertainment factors now (item numbrs/khans&kapoors)

phand00: #GOW was brilliant. Much expected. Great direction, great acting. Except if only I knew that there is a 2nd part. Took me a day to figure.

OldM0nk: Gangs of wasseypur. What awesomeness!

nkit_kv: #GOW . A terrifically cast. Another aspect to Bihar. ManojBajpai , simply clever and merit. Anxiety awaits a sequel.


MrTippler: #RememberTheTime when self-proclaimed critics panned DevD like they are slamming #GOW now. And remember how we gave zero fucks !!

moibole: Dhanbad ! Gangs Of Wasseypur .. engages you so beautifully with every scene .. whoa what a film !

manoj_maddela: O oo! Womeniya.......Gangs of Wasseypur is more like Gangs of Awesomepur

maneeshphatak: Gangs of Wasseypur will be a cult movie. Provided the second half lives up to the standards of the first.

MahiKhakh: Big B fan of Gangs of Wasseypur film an i am also

LovaiiNavlakhi: Saw the raw, rugged cinematic wonder Gangs of Wasseypur last nt. The interval seemed far away, but didn't want the film to end. Brilliant!

KrupalN: Gangs of Wasseypur...Every character in the movie eye-catching...Kashyap's material is strong..

komalkhiani: Gangs Of Wasseypur -Good movie, nice fun music as well as background score, amazin dialogues n humour..Must watch!!

kaju02: couldn't resist.Watched #GOW again...

jhandubaba: so what film to look unto next. now that #gow is all watched and marveled at ? #plissRemind

iChai_T: Gangs of Wasseypur #Awesome

iamamyth: Must watch #GoW again. Soon.

hukam12: paisa wasool gangs of wasseypur ,......teri keh ke lunga....todd movie ...

dkaddy: After Gulaal & Black Friday, another masterpiece from Anurag Kashyap.. Gangs of Wasseypur a must watch..

diptakirti: Khalnayak. Trishul. Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki. Gangs of Wasseypur pays quirky tributes to cinema I grew up with. #win

Diggy_SinghDeo: Anurag Kashyap delivers and how....cnt wait for part 2 of Gangs of Wasseypur

bhanuahuja9: Gangs of wasseypur ..... Superb!!!

Bhagat_Rahul: #GOW ,well narrated story by anurag kashyap ,to me the movies stands wd SLUMDOG MILLIONEAR.Great job done,wants to see GOW 2,3 ,4 & so on

ankurkashyap89: Gangs of wasseypur is a nice movie but 1 time watch only, good job Mr. Kashyap

ankur_sengupta: One simply doesn't watch Gangs of Wasseypur at the theatres once.

AmritaThavrani: #GOW has been watched. Mind half blown. Realistic to the core. Bloody creepy at time, thrill rest of the time. Engaging Always.

AmeyNatu: A full-on Bollywood film without quite being one.plot & the treatment given both are unique of a kind!!!! Take a #GOW @ankash1009

akssit: I rated Gangs of Wasseypur 10/10 #IMDb

AJandial: #GoW: An epic with some of the best music in recent times.. Hats off to Manoj, Anurag and cast of Gow. Nothing hits harder than GoW

AditiKhairnar: The music is lecheroulsy attractive!The cinematography impeccable!Casting could not have been better!Script is flawless!Hail Anurag!#GOW

Slowbum: Anurag Kashyap's vision of an Indian 'Godfather'? Visceral in spurts, rambling in others. Reserving my judgment till concluding part #GOW

ryecatching: "..Wasseypur" Is Not "Shanghai". Period. - I rated Gangs of Wasseypur ★★★☆☆.

WhorribleWriter: Gangs of Wasseypur is so predictable you can easily imagine what is coming to you. A lot of characters hastily mixed in a hot potpourri.

taruche: Saw/suffered a "movie"called Gangs of Wasseypur. Why did they make it? Shldv taken @madversity 's suggestion abt Vicky Donor seriously.

SurajitDasgupta: #GOW Expletives do not a film make. There is more to Bihar/Jharkhand than gaand, laand, aand, madar/beti-chod and bhonsdi ke.

snehachauhan12: #GOW post interval was a drag.

sir_s_r: A movie can't be good just because of foul language, cuss words and a learing character.. Disappointing GOW :-(

SagarMundhra: Just like Gangs Of Wasseypur RT @ChalHuttt Judge me if u like but I think Starbucks coffee is highly overrated.

phoenix2701: Tip: do not watch 2nd half of 'gangs of wasseypur'...

KamathGurudutt: A brilliant review of a dumb film Gangs of Wasseypur by @SudhishKamath in The Hindu. Mostly agree with him.

gnuger: Gangs of Wasseypur was a disappointment, ok the portrayal of hooliganism was good but again far too less than reality

16 readers - 11 yays 4 so-so 1 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by dindibiowency

Want to Watch, by Rachit Gupta : Havent watched it yet... Waiting for Meetu's review!!!

Want to Watch, by Rahul

Want to Watch, by Sunny : Seems Funny and Realistic at times.

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Amol Dasani

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Arvind@reviewsonmovies

Yay! Thumbs Up, by hotel in delhi : the movie was osam blosam i like the way of this movie actually movie base on reality of wassepur

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Jitesh Chhaparwal : As for the movie, in a word, it was awesome.

Yay! Thumbs Up, by mariogomez_hotmailcom : Very nice video

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Murtaza Ali : A desi rendition of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather Trilogy

Yay! Thumbs Up, by prashant : MUST WATCH

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Sanya : Amazing!

Yay! Thumbs Up, by shweta dhamija

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Sunil : I liked it.. especially powerpack performances of Manoj Bajpayee and Richa Chaddha.

Yay! Thumbs Up, by @nkit : so good that i abhorred leaving cineplex unsatisfied...waiting eagerly for the sequel

So-So, by DOLLIEJensen24

So-So, by guddu : Gangs of aisey - waiseypur

So-So, by Indiaviolet : Watchable and thrilling

So-So, by raaj : GOW 1 may not be the film for aam junta, but is a definite watch for serious and coming-of-age film

Nay! Thumbs Down, by abhinav

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and loads. Brutal, especially that going on off-screen, just the sound-effects can make you cringe at the brutality
  • Language: Lots of abusive language
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Intercourse implied and a strong sexual undercurrent
  • Concept: Revenge saga
  • General Look and Feel: Grim, dark, grainy, classy.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Comments (10)

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@Sunny yep! that dark humor, it does draw your attention!

On an unrelated note, Bollywood Hungama should get a new music reviewer.

@Rahul ha ha ha ha!

Glad to see the movie work out great!

Meetu i have to laud your observation . "Women are proud of how brutaly the man of their lives use power against other except for them" . I believe this is the reality of all mafia lord wives around d world , no wonder it was detected by a woman ( you ) . I think u really sensed the movie's environment aptly. :D

Nicely written! While I am almost certain about movie's great show in the global arena, I too am skeptical about movie's show at the Box office.

Also, I recently wrote a review of Gangs of Wasseypur for my movie blog that can be read at:

@Amol possible, very possible that I miss out on the context being a woman. More often than not though, I can't help but feel that the laughter, LOLs, giggles, snickers are all out of seeing someone do/say the forbidden. You are right, it doesn't amuse me because to me they are just words, like any other words, and I guess it's my loss that I don't see the joke. What I have a problem with though is the constant loudness of laughter because of which you miss out on dialogue that follows. Oh well, I take it as a part of the atmosphere the film has created.

@Harsh I thought the abusive language was used very, very matter-of-factly which was why it worked so well. I think the audience creating a joke out of it, made it look juvenile - which it certainly wasn't.

@Amol @Harsh @Jitesh Obviously, I don't think people should stop laughing when they feel like it. I just wonder what it about profanity that makes them behave so immaturely - laugh out so loud, retort to the profanity, etc.

@Abhinav ouch!

@raaj you write about story and screenplay for what was shown. It was intentionally broken into two parts, so there had to be some logic behind it. I commented on what I saw thus far.

Sorry, that was a mistake. Thanks for pointing it out, Sunil! Fixed.

Good movie I liked it...

Ehinome Okojie

An over-rated film, despite wanna be good performances, i wold score it 2.3/5
If viwers can criticise masla, why cant viewers criticise non-masala.

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