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Gangs Of Wasseypur,Part 2

GOW2 should have been the post-interval section of Gangs Of Wasseypur,carrying over,instantly,the charge of the first half.

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui,Tigmanshu Dhulia,Vineet Singh,Huma Qureshi,Zeishan Quadri,Aditya Kumar,Richa Chaddha,Piyush Mishra

Indian Express Rating: ***

There shouldn’t have been a Part 2. This should have been the post-interval section of Gangs Of Wasseypur,carrying over,instantly,the charge of the first half. Yes,one continuous flow would have made Gangs Inc. a very long film,closing at nearly six hours. It would have challenged our notions of how long we can fill seats,without squirming or fidgeting,or thinking of escape. But it would have given us the story’s arc from beginning to end,smoothly maintaining the integrity of the plot,action and thought. For me,GOW2 is a follow-through that is shot through with flashes of brilliance,and some wonderful comic verve,but that doesn’t have the enthralling power and spread of the first film.

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GOW1 ends with the slaying of Sardar Khan,played with such virtuosity by Manoj Bajpai that it’s hard to have forgotten him in the month and more it’s taken for part 2 to come out. His sons,primarily Danish (Singh) and Faizal (Siddiqui) take up where Sardar left off: chief culprit Ramadhir Singh (Dhulia) is still at large,and still clinging to ill-gotten gains and snatched power,despite changing times. The rampant coal bazaari,which had brought untold riches and suffering to the people of Wasseypur and Dhanbad and the rest of the coal belt,depending upon which side of the divide they were,has lost its hold: there are other fish to be caught and fried in this place,where men and women and children live and breathe the air tainted by violence and corruption and rank need.

Gangs Of Wasseypur 2 is kept busy stitching up the loose ends of the first part,leading to the expected bloody end. It gets right down to it,without any preamble,and what we get for the next two-and-a-half hours is spurts of ultra-violent activity,Bollywood-influenced hoods chasing each other in tiny lanes and crowded streets most entertainingly (no one can do chases like Anurag Kashyap),three to a scooter,and as the generations fast forward,to a motorbike. As well as a gore-spattered climax that feels completely right. But where GOW2 suffers is in the in-between parts where the grand design of the first part disappears from view,the thing that kept us aware of the connections between the characters and where they came from. Too often,in this one,everything becomes a bloody blur,without the heft that Manoj Bajpai brought to the first part. I missed him here.

It isn’t as if the director hasn’t worked at maintaining the curves: to keep us with it for its length,a great deal of inventiveness has gone into creating a bunch of characters whose quirks stand out in deft little touches. So we get,apart from those who’ve been brought forward from the first film,restless new guns: Perpendicular (Kumar),whose dexterity with a razor blade is frightening,his friend Tangent,and his step-brother Definite (Quadri),whose sly treachery serves him and his mother (Durga,Sardar’s ‘other’ wife) well. What Kashyap has managed,equally well,is to join these characters and their names in a manner which sends them up and makes us take them seriously,both at the same time: in one place,there’s terrific word play on ‘Dephinite’ and its meaning,in a jokey-underlying-with-menace manner that’s a hat-tip to Tarantino,and Kashyap’s own exploration of the kind of serio-comic violence Hindi cinema hasn’t exhibited too often,and certainly hasn’t revelled in to this degree before. And in this one,I enjoyed the melding of the songs-and-scenes much more than in the first part.

What elevates GOW2 from settling into a left-over vendetta tale is Nawazuddin Siddiqui,whose Phaijal (‘Faizal’ only for those convent-educated types who do not know how to say it right) Khan is by far the most compelling act of the film. Siddiqui pushes his reed-thin body and dope-reddened eyes not into improbable six packs,but into a coiled intensity: watching Nawaz is as addictive as the ‘ganja’ he smokes. And his ‘DDLJ’-fuelled,small-town romance with his womaniya,the perky Mohsina (Qureshi) is a GOW2 high point.


I liked GOW2,but not as much as GOW1. If you can,watch Gangs Of Wasseypur,part one and two,back to back. That would be truly epic.

First published on: 10-08-2012 at 05:58:39 pm
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