A bunch of jobless fellows shooting the breeze in a college canteen can be a gas. Especially if those guys speak in local accents ( the town is Meerut, the action spilling over into neighbouring Noida), and are easy with guns and gals and ‘gaalis’. But ‘Meeruthiya Gangsters’ is so far from being the zippy crime caper it presumably set out to be that it leaves you stranded, wondering just what is going on.
Ahlawat is the ‘leader’ of this gang, which includes Dahiya, Kamal, Bhawdwaj, Sarna and co, and which slides into kidnap-for-profit activity for reasons meant to be interesting : to get into the ‘property ka dhanda’ which will make these guys super-rich, capital is required. What better than to snatch people and demand ‘firauti’? This one-thread idea is stretched into a sketchy, tedious two hour- and- some enterprise, and proves once again, if proof were indeed required, that an idea needs to be backed by a solid story and treatment.
The Wasseypur hangover is understandable because several of these actors were in Anurag Kashyap’s double-bill of gangster-giri in coal-`abaad’ Bihar. But that was a stand-out primarily because the tale was steeped in the place’s history, and was carried by well-rounded characters, especially in the first part.
Transporting small-time ‘gundas’ to Meerut, and having them back-chat is not enough. There are competent actors in here : Sanjay Mishra has shown that he alone can be reason enough to watch a film, Brijendra Kala can be sharply wry, and Jaideep Ahlawat left a mark in ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’. A goon with dyed blond hair can be called ‘Foreigner’ ( in one of the few nice touches), a cop can strut around minus uniform, kidnapping can be turned into a profitable activity, and some of the chatter of these small-timers, who think nothing of switching big bore bullets for small, can be faintly funny.
But these elements, few and far in between, cannot be turned into a full-fledged watchable film.
Cast: Jaideep Ahlawat, Brijendra Kala, Aakash Dahiya, Sanjay Mishra, Shadab Kamal, Chandrachoor Rai, Jatin Sarna, Vansh Bhardwaj, Nushrat Bharucha, Mukul Dev
Director: Zeishan Qadri