Yash Raj Studios are going the unconventional way, trying to steer away from making the movies they are widely known for; Romantic, melodramatic flicks that cater to couples and families. With ‘Gunday‘, they try to churn out something different. However, there are a lot of similarities with the previous movies of the same banner and despite a good hype (the lead cast promoted it on ‘Koffee with Karan‘ and many other TV shows, right?), ‘Gunday‘ begins to lose its hold on you, thanks to a faltering storyline. Here is a review of the latest flick starring Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Kapoor and Irrfan Khan.
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Producer: Aditya Chopra (the elusive guy who fears people will demand a refund for the many movies he produced which they’ve spent a lot of money on! Thus, he’s Batman, rarely seen.)
Narrated by: Irrfan Khan (his voice gives us some hope that the movie will be good. However…)
Ranveer Singh (his zeal and energy levels are retained. Almost like he walked out of his previous roles and walked into this one. No difference at all!)
Arjun Kapoor (he reminds you of Abhishek Bachchan at times. Gets overshadowed by Ranveer)
Priyanka Chopra (surprisingly good. She can look smouldering hot and pretty, though nothing much to brag about in the acting department!)
Irrfan Khan (acting level= genius. Plays the cool, hatke cop to perfection. Though not a big role, he plays an important part)
Saurabh Shukla (plays the emo uncle who cannot handle his clients.. oops, bhanjas or something!)
Composer: Sohail Sen (some good songs. Especially ‘Mun Kunto Maula’, ‘Jiya’, ‘Tune Mari Entriyaan’.)
Background Score: Julius Packiam (no idea who he is or where he has come from, but he has done a good job. Background scores for the movie are quite energetic and enjoyable.)
The movie is set in 1971, near the India-Bangladesh border and talks about the Bangladesh-Pakistan partition. We are shown some disturbing images to underline the plight of the refugees and people living on the border, with two kids being part of the frame. What they’re doing and what happened to their parents is unknown. They end up in a refugee camp, in a very harsh environment. A gun smuggler takes affection to them and uses them to smuggle army guns outside the camp, to be sold to the locals. One stray incident with the army chief, the boys, Bikram and Bala, are forced to flee to India, away from the Bangladeshi army. In Kolkata, their hardships continue until they stumble upon an idea of looting coal and selling it lower than the market price.
They grow up, their choriyan grows too and soon, Bikram and Bala are like the ‘Dons’ of Kolkata. They use their money for the poor and earn the trust of the people around, thus ensuring the loyalty of their followers, leaving the police without any proof to arrest them. To change this scene, ACP Satyajeet Sarkar is summoned (like Abhishek Bachchan is in ‘Dhoom 3‘ by the US Govt. However, Irrfan makes it seem believable, one would actually want him on the team!). Then enters Priyanka Chopra, or cabaret dancer Nandita with high values, and both Bikram (Ranveer) and Bala (Arjun) are mesmerised (so was I). How Irrfan manages to break the duo, who gets Priyanka, the friendship between the Bikram and Bala and ups and downs in their lives forms the crux of the story.
Ranveer and Arjun take maximum screen space. Their chemistry is actually better than the one they share with the heroine of the film, but is filled with a lot of melodrama and over-the-top dialogues. There are some song sequences which remind you of movies you might have watched before and have nothing new to add. Ranveer’s role is quite similar to the one’s he played in his previous movies (‘Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl‘ and ‘Goliyoon Ki Raasleela- RaamLeela‘ especially). Although he overshadows Arjun Kapoor, he’s that guy who walks the wrong path but is good at heart, who the ladies love for some reason, who dances around too much and is always high on energy (notice the similarities to his previous roles?).
Priyanka as the cabaret dancer is sexy, in-your-face and very bold. Her character is a little off-put and one has a hard time figuring out what’s going on with her! Irrfan Khan is the guy who actually gets the role of a suave, cool and ethically different cop right (his role is quite similar to Abhishek’s in ‘Dhoom‘ series, Amitabh in ‘Bunty aur Babli‘ and other portrayals of cops who for some reason never wear uniforms while their colleagues have to!). However, there are some flaws in the script that do absolutely no justice to his character.
The action scenes as well as the love triangle are close to ‘Tashan‘. The lead characters do just about anything they can think of and do not get hurt even when hit in the head with a shovel. Where they get their Superman-like strength is unknown. The story tries to portray the gundas as one created by the hardships of life and blame it all on their circumstances, yet we are left questioning why they behave the way they do. There are a few twists and turns, similar to the ones we have seen previously (quite like ‘Dhoom 2‘ without bikes or ‘Ek Tha Tiger‘ without the Indo-Pak angle). I cannot tell more, this is a spoiler already! The movie seems stretched and well, finally goes on to be quite illogical in the end.
Watch it for Ranveer’s abs, Priyanka’s thumkas and Irrfan’s cool suave.