Road to Perdition

When was the last time you wanted to hold ABCD from XYZ movie by his collars and shake him up till he saw sense? When was the last time you couldn’t hate a character in a film...

Written by PiyasreeDasgupta | Published: March 14, 2009 2:22:08 am

Film: Gulal
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Deepak Dobriyal,Kay Kay Menon,Aditya Srivastava,Piyush Mishra,Ayesha Mohan,Jesse Randhawa,Mahi Gill,Pankaj Jha,Mukesh Bhatt,Raj Singh Chaudhary,Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh,Seema Rahmani
Rating: *******
Running at: Inox (Forum,City Centre,Swabhumi)
When was the last time you wanted to hold ABCD from XYZ movie by his collars and shake him up till he saw sense? When was the last time you couldn’t hate a character in a film without feeling a little guilty? When was the last time you felt the latent emotional violence of a narrative on your fingertips almost? Possibilities are,not any time in the recent past before Gulal.
Anurag Kashyap’s film doesn’t try flirting around with your reason,doesn’t let you deliberate on its premise in its roughly two-hour run time —instead,it draws you in it’s dark,unnerving innards with such determination that you forget wishing there was some kind of relief.
Calling it dark,would be sugarcoating Kashyap’s relentless pursuit of aborted desires,anger,hatred,and misled dreams. Gulal,set in a Rajpur,in Rajasthan is almost a study in the human character,in the way Shakesperean tragedies are. Kashyap’s women are vulnerable and manipulative at the same time,his men passionate and scheming simultaneously — there seems to be no place for blacks and whites in Kashyap’s blurry red and inky frames.
Dileep Singh (Raj Singh Chaudhury),a bumbling,shy and timid postgraduate comes down to Rajpur in Rajasthan to study law. The city welcomes him with a robust,spirited,hot headed Rajput,Ransa,as a roommate and a gang of unhesitant goons in the college who strip him,beat him up and leave him to find his bearings in a roadside. In course of the incidents that follow,Dileep meets Duki Banna (Kay Kay Menon) a political leader stripped off his royalty by the democratic government’s policies. Caught between Banna’s dreams for an independent Rajasthan regulated by the Rajputs alone,Ransa’s illegitimate half-sister’s desperate bid at finding herself self-respect and recognition,love and duties as the unwilling general secretary of the college,Dileep’s struggle with trust,power and emotions after his anchor in the madness,Ransa,is killed,forms the kernel of Gulal.
Though after the movie is over,you do tend to question the credibility of the ‘Rajputana movement’ that the film revolves around,the performances and high-strung narrative of the film doesn’t let you think on those lines any time in between. Kashyap doesn’t sell you ‘heroes’ who finally tide over antagonism — he gifts you real men,flawed,defeated,guilty,yet obstinately territorial about their own dreams. His women are beautiful,not in the pin-up girl way. There’s song and dance yes,but to compliment and intensify the film’s whirlpool of sinister sentiments.
Kay Kay Menon burns every frame he is in. Raj Singh Chaudhury,Ayesha Mohan,Jesse Rahndhawa and Deepak Dobriyal shine through the brilliant performances of the motley cast.

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