wogma rating: Owner's Pride! (?)
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.Read more
NOT A REVIEW - Just wondering what is up Anurag's sleeve this time...
Anurag Kashyap must be one of the few directors in recent times whose movies are known by his name and not by the cast. Even my mom is aware that she's going into a Kashyap movie. You can’t say this about many directors.
And Gulaal is his dream project. So I'm extremely curious about what it has in store for me. It's not abstract and it looks like it has a directly comprehensible plot. It's not a simple love story either. This time it looks like we are getting into political nitty-gritty and complexity. Political discontent and angst against established systems can be very engaging if the right atmosphere is created and there are enough plot points coming together. And this is exactly what the promos imply.
Elsewhere an article gives the plot a superlative adjective -
Similar to a Shakespearean fable of desire, lost identities, love, greed, violence, murder, deceit, power and innocence, it is a film inspired by poetry; the forgotten male, macho world of power, corruption and greed, where women are just means to an end while nobody can be trusted.
While I wouldn't go to that extent (well at least not before having seen the movie) the songs too have depth, smartness and political references in them. Sample this -
Anyway, if not for anything else, one ought to look forward to music from Anurag Kashyap movies. They certainly have something novel each time. This time it's Piyush Mishra who has composed and written 8 songs, out of which two are 7.5 minutes each. Since the songs are a tribute to Sahir Ludhianvi, the songs have that oldish, melancholic, melodious feel to them.
We have tried to create the music era of 60s and 70s and as the film is the tribute the great poet, people can expect some great compositions this time," the music director says.
Some detailed music reviews - here, here, and here. After Dev D, seeing Mahi Gill on screen is another attraction too. Though this time it's only a short role. In general, I think like anyone who has liked Dev D, I'll have to realign my expectations and not let them take away from the next experience.
- meeta, a part of the audience
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
Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...nurag scripts every character cleverly providing an identity to even the smallest characters and also a contrast in form of another character... full review
Thumbs up, by Udita Jhunjhunwala, DNA : ...Gulaal might be one of many metaphors in the film, but it clearly says it's time to stop living in a fantasy world. Here's a reality check - and it isn't pretty.... full review
Thumbs up, by Shashi Baliga, Hindustan Times : ...Gulaal has been a long time in the making — seven difficult years — but the delay has, if anything, added depth to this tale, told with great passion, craft and daring by Kashyap.... full review
Thumbs up, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Phew! What a movie. The complicated script with many sub-plots required a highly capable director to pull it off and who better than Anurag Kashyap..!... full review
Thumbs up, by Shweta Bhatnagar, Passion for Cinema : ...Anurag Kashyap is clearly one who’s trying to marry art, theatre and movies… the whole movie looks like an Andy Warhol painting coming to life.... full review
So-So, by Banno, Upper Stall : ...Camera work, mise-en-scene, editing, performances, dialogue, credible minor and major characters and music, all create a world that is complete in itself.... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Three groups of students are contesting a college election and this gives rise to inevitable political drama. This situation is only symbolic of the power-play that is prevalent in society today.