Let me start by saying, that I am NOT an Anurag Kashyap fanboy. Sure, I was around when he was blogging on PFC, I among many others have seen the man evolve from just another anti-establishment rant machine to a messiah of the Indie-cinema movement, I have witnessed him take on the star system, especially on the alleged politics played by the Big B to promote his son’s cause and all, and while I gotta admit, the guy’s a maverick and all that jazz, I still consider him a film-maker who has the potential, but hasn’t reached that level yet. He talks the talk, oh that he sure does, and he does put his money where his mouth is, but as a film-maker, I am still not a complete fan.
GOW2 begins right where part 1 ended and thankfully does not bother to linger on the past. There is no long recap, no flashback, and very few references. Part 1 teased us with a few glimpses of the main players of this story and Part 2 gets right on with it. The story begins with Danish taking over from where Sardar Khan left off and moves to Faizal’s journey of revenge. A new generation of characters like Faizal’s brothers, new entrants to the Wasseypur mafia and of course, the new lady of the Khan household take over the rather colourful characters of Part 1 and it all builds up to a slightly predictable but extremely bloody climax.
Now, I gotta admit, Part 1 was not at all easy to sit through. Now I agree that any story must have a certain amount of depth and Part 1 had enough depth to be considered an exercise in self-indulgence. But Part 2 pretty much cuts to the chase right from the beginning and makes sure your eyes are glued to the screen throughout. It consists of a lot of set-pieces, the best of which involves a stakeout sequence in a vegetable market, which I have to admit is one of the best written sequences I have ever seen. And as always, gotta admit, that nobody shoots a foot chase sequence like Anurag Kashyap. The dialogues as always are snappy and have a high recall value. Also, like its predecessor, GOW2 comes loaded with desi pop-culture references, in the dialogues, in the cell-phone ringtones of the various characters (Somebody needs to make a compilation of those songs and make a playlist on Youtube) and is beautifully summed up by Ramadhir Singh in one of the film’s more self-aware moments. This particularly went down very well with the audience who greeted every reference with screams and whistles as did I 😉
Technically, the movie is far far ahead of most of its Bollywood contemporaries as the GOW team do a good job of mixing raw and slick. The director makes no bones of the fact that he is a fan of QT and that can be seen in the way a lot of scenes being shot, the best homage being the sequence where the Khan household is attacked where a lot of long tracking shots are used. The vegetable market stakeout sequence is another fantastic tribute and not to mention, a masterclass in editing. Any editing student needs to watch this particular sequence. And trust me when I say that this one single sequence is worth the price you pay for the ticket. For some reason, I just can’t seem to get it out of my head and when you watch it, you’ll know 😉
The performances as always are stupendous, with Nawazuddin outclassing everybody else in the movie. The man is a chameleon and his performance proves just that. Huma Qureshi is ethereal and , trust me, I wouldn’t mind watching a 3 hour movie that consists of just her walking around here and there. Zeishan Qadri reminds you of Shoaib Akhtar for some reason and the guy is so convincingly evil as Definite that you feel uneasy whenever he’s on screen. The supporting cast pretty much do their job with Richa Chadda again putting in a fantastic performance and Aditya Kumar as Perpendicular who is about as cult a character as Bob Biswas in Kahaani was. The main players of Part 1 like Piyush Mishra etc are pretty much relegated to the background, but in spite of this, Tigmanshu Dhulia makes his rather weighty presence (Literally and Figuratively) felt. I’d also like to add that I feel that Raj Kumar Yadav is a really talented bloke, but is beginning to get typecast as the street-smart slimeball and hope he gets a few different roles in the future.
Sneha Khanwalkar comes up with an even more experimental soundtrack for this movie and it works for the most except for that Moora song which is repeated way too often in the song. The rest of the songs however blend in perfectly with the background, especially Dil Chi Cha Ledar and Kaala Rey! But then, I guess we can say that about pretty much every AK movie. The audience seemed to be having a blast during the songs and Moora, Dil Chi Cha Ledar and the dubstep remix of Keh Ke Loonga got a very loud and rousing response from the audience. I personally loved the way Kaala Rey was captured in the movie as it introduces us to new facets of Faisal’s rather iceberg like personality.
The movie is not perfect, I agree. But the pace and the set-pieces make it much more enjoyable than Part 1, as does the looming presence of Nawazuddin. I personally feel that both parts could be combined into one, but all the flab must be mercilessly edited and also that the movie can easily be brought down to 4 and a half hours. Now, I get that the director and writer are basically telling a story about where they come from and the roots, But it is also important that we, the audience give a fuck, and that’s where Part 1 failed in my opinion. Part 2 that way did itself a favour by keeping the proceedings taut thus making sure that we don’t end up dying of boredom. And I personally feel that it is a damn fine piece of cinema, imperfections aside.