Gangs Of Wasseypur gets mixed reviews

Anurag Kashyap's Gangs Of Wasseypur has a capricious first half. The film never recovers from the tedious first half-hour. Although, self-indulgent in parts the film manages to say a lot. Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are outstanding, say critics.
Updated on Jun 22, 2012 05:51 PM IST
Copy Link | By, New Delhi

Gangs Of Wasseypur has a capricious first half. The film never recovers from the unforgivably tedious first half-hour. Although, self-indulgent in parts the film manages to say a lot in approx 160 minutes of runtime. Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are outstanding, say critics.

"Gangs Of Wasseypur has a capricious first half, but the film advances vigorously post intermission. There's never a tedious moment in the second half of the gangster epic, the plot throws a number of disclosures at you, it dribbles with visual style, laces up with commanding, acidic and witty lines… with Rajiv Ravi's camera moving incessantly," writes Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama.

But film critic Raja Sen, Rediff differs from Adarsh. He writes, "The film never recovers from the unforgivably tedious first half-hour, and despite many laudable moments and nifty touches, never quite engages. This is partly because of every Indian filmmaker's befuddling desire to borrow plot-points from The Godfather whenever dealing with crime families, but mostly because Kashyap is defiant in his self-indulgence, piling on more and more when less could have done the job more efficiently."

"In a rarefied space where sensuality and terror co-exist, and often tenderness too, melodrama is not easily perceptible or imaginable. In Gangs of Wasseypur, it is a triumphant possibility. In characterisation, and in the immediate human story of revenge and bloodbath, the first part of Anurag Kashyap’s film is thickly textured. A ganglord is devious, comical and idiotic. A woman is servile and wily. A seemingly harmless pothead cold-kills with precision. The drama of these characters colliding is the throbbing heart of the film, and indeed the only reason to watch it," writes Sanjukta Sharma,

A still from the film Gangs of Wasseypur
A still from the film Gangs of Wasseypur

"There are times the self-indulgent ghost of That Girl in Yellow Boots wanders around Wasseypur, with seemingly pointless gore and montages eating into precious screen time. Many a time the camera wanders aimlessly, on severed heads and pretty faces. The changing history of Dhanbad at its centre, over a dozen important characters, a web of plots and subplots moving deftly to a to-be-continued finale, can leave you exhausted and confused," writes Blessy Chettiar, DNA.

"Anurag Kashyap’s ambitious gangster saga is a trippy outburst of vivid characters reeking of revenge, deep-seethed rivalries blended with an off-kilter soundtrack and clever dialogue. Although, self-indulgent in parts the film manages to say a lot in approx 160 minutes of runtime. Working on a similar template as Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972), Gangs of Wasseypur lacks the polished story-telling but in entirety makes for a decent Indianised version of the American epic," writes Vivek Bhatia, Filmfare.

Breaking grounds
"Also, you ought to have a really strong stomach to absorb a film like Gangs Of Wasseypur. The generous usage of expletives/cuss words, the gruesome violence, the repugnant visuals can prove to be disconcerting to an oblivious spectator. In fact, it's not your regular Bollywood entertainer. It's not like anything the Hindi moviegoer has ever witnessed," Adarsh says.


"Kashyap’s template is largely Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, and even Quentin Tarantino, in the way music and visuals are combined in some scenes. The Godfather parallels are unmistakable. But the impassioned language is his own. The canvas erupts with blood, hacking, maiming and sexual lust---none of it without humour. The local tongue is deliciously written. Nothing in the film—characters, situations or conflicts—are understated. Like the Bollywood films of the 1970s and 1980s that punctuate the story in the film’s second half, Gangs of Wasseypur has blistering dialogues, written by Kashyap. Its ability to entertain intelligence surpasses some of the film’s other merits," says Sharma.

"Bandit Queen, Satya, Zubeidaa, Aks, Pinjar, 1971, Swami, Raajneeti and Lanka are some of the performances of Manoj Bajpayee which are, for eternity, committed to memory. The skilled actor now adjoins Gangs Of Wasseypur to this imposing listing, wherein Bajpayee appends incredible value and weightage to the intense character he depicts. His presence illuminates every sequence that he emerges in and compels you to esteem the actor with amazement," says Adarsh.

"The other performance that takes you by surprise is that of Tigmanshu Dhulia. An accomplished director, this film makes you open your eyes to the fact that he's an incredible actor as well. So strong is his screen charisma that he is in possession of every frame he features in. Both Richa Chadda and Reemma Sen have meaty roles, but Richa is the definite discovery. She is simply brilliant from the very inception. Reemma is in terrific form, essaying a difficult part with flourish," says Adarsh.

"Nawazuddin Siddiqui is first-rate and one presumes, one would get to see more of him in the second installment of the movie. Ditto for Huma Qureshi, who's introduced much later in the film," adds the movie critic.

"The cast is mostly spot-on. 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," says Sen.

A still from the film Gangs of Wasseypur
A still from the film Gangs of Wasseypur

"Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are outstanding. In this film, Bajpayee looks fearsome, silly, debauched, lecherous, clever, cunning and timid in turns. He pushes the boundaries of his role, and delights in his interactions with the women he courts as much as with the men he fights," writes Nandini Krishnan, Sify.

"Nawazuddin Siddiqui, whose first big break came in Kashyap's Black Friday, turns in his best performance yet. It's quite incredible that a man of such diminutive stature can so thoroughly dominate a scene. But so strong is his screen presence that he owns every frame he features in," she adds.

"Although the film rests largely on Manoj Bajpai’s overconfident shoulders, the fact that he doesn’t manage to spectacularly impress isn’t a game changer. Tigmanshu Dhulia, on the other hand, manages very well with his contained and controlled expressions that say a lot more than he does in the film. Among the actresses, Richa Chadda pretty much rules and has a promising career ahead. Reemma Sen may have an extra ‘M’ but that doesn’t add much to her acting skills and most would appreciate her sexy back which has more screen space than her front. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the new ‘common man’ in Hindi films and given his choice of arty and independent films, he won’t be reduced to a Rajpal Yadav. Piyush Mishra’s narrative is comforting especially when you’re tired of keeping track of why X wants to kill Y or why Z is befriending W. A neat voiceover summarizes events and lets you sit back and pay a little less attention," says Kunal Guha, Yahoo.

"On the whole, Gangs Of Wasseypur symbolizes the fearless new Indian cinema that shatters the clichés and conventional formulas, something which Anurag Kashyap has come to be acknowledged for. 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. But, I wish to restate, one needs to have a really strong belly to soak up to a film like Gangs Of Wasseypur. Also, this striking movie-watching experience comes with a colossal length and duration. The reactions, therefore, would be in extremes. Gangs Of Wasseypur is for that segment of spectators who seek pleasure in watching forceful, hard-hitting and gritty movies," concludes Adarsh.

"Yet it is the excess that suffocates all the magic, originality dying out for lack of room to breathe. Kashyap gets flavour, setting and character right, but the lack of economy cripples the film. There is a lot of gunfire, but like the fine actors populating its sets, Wasseypur fires too many blanks," Sen concludes.

"Even though there’s so much going for GOW I, there’s something always amiss, something that leaves you underwhelmed after all those expectations. May be it’s a hope of a dashing GOW II. Let’s wait and watch," says Chettiar.

A still from the film Gangs of Wasseypur
A still from the film Gangs of Wasseypur

Celebs on Gangs of Wasseypur

@BajpayeeManoj: My best wishes to anurag kashyap viacom 18 and the entire team of gangs of wasseypur!thank you anurag for making this film!

@kenghosh: "Gangs of Wasseypur" is a kick in the b%#ls....not for the faint of heart!

@ankash1009: So when you go seen "Gangs of Wasseypur" in theatres , stay till the end credits roll and you will see a VERY LONG TRAILER of part 2

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