Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 14 February 2014


I miss Jai and Veeru, the shameless thieves of Sholay. I miss the way they lip sync Kishore Kumar’s hearty “Yeh dosti… Meri jeet, teri jeet…”; with complete gusto while riding a scooter like there is no tomorrow.

I miss them more than ever because I just saw wannabe Jai and Veeru clones, Bikram (Ranveer Singh) and Bala (Arjun Kapoor), trying to be shameless goons in Gunday. Dressed in white shirt and pant with a huge, red heart printed on the chest and the bottom, they look sillier than clowns and not one tenth as rowdy as they are supposed to be. Their mark of friendship comes in the form ‘angootha chaap’ promises that Bikram keeps making to Bala.

I miss the childhood saga of Vijay (Amitabh) and Ravi (Shashi Kapoor) in Deewar. I miss the pain they carry through their adulthood. I miss the tattoo on Vijay’s arm that said “mera baap chor hai”. Most of all, I missed the scene where Vijay makes Iftekhaar pick up some cash and says with the raw mix of anger and pride that only Amitabh Bachchan can bring to Javed Akhtar’s words, “Main aaj bhi pheke hue paise nahin uthata”.

I miss that line the most because the scene is copied in the worst possible manner when Bikram and Bala, as children, refuse to take their money unless it is given in their hands. The anger displayed is as false as a fake coin. The two are Bangladeshi refugees who want to own Kolkata so that they can get back what was rightfully theirs before the India-Bangladesh partition in 1970. The 20 minute childhood justification sequence which includes an attempted child abuse, fails to match the unfairness doled out to Vijay’s family in Deewar and the resultant angst in his adult life.

I miss Kaala Patthar, the story of a coalmine worker who is unable to forget his troublesome past. The coalmine backdrop, symbolizing the darkest of worlds, both inner and outer; has remain etched forever as a powerful cinematic tool of storytelling.

I miss Kaala Patthar because Gunday shows Bikram and Bala starting their gunda life with illegal coal business and reminding the audience all the time how dark their lives are; with lame lines that keep harping ‘kaala’ and ‘safed’. No line matches the hardships contained in Kaala Paththar’s “Koyle ki khaan ek azgar hai seth sahab, jo roz, anginath logon ko nigalkar, use peeskar, jism se khoon ka ek-ek katra choos kar, ek laash ke roop mein ugal deta hai”.

I miss Parveen Babi. When she did a cabaret dance, neither you nor the hero or the villain could take his eyes off her.

When Priyanka Chopra makes her entry with the much publicized cabaret number “asalame ishqum”, it looks like any item number. Her instant transformation into a Durga devotee dressed in a cotton tangai saree, creates just one memorable moment when she grooves to Mr. India’s “I love you” in front of the big screen showing Sridevi in her blue sareed glory.

Irrfan Khan is probably the only reason to watch the movie. As the cop who plays ‘catch me if you can’ with the two baddies, he just glides in and out of screen smoothly, not even blinking an eyelid in the name of expression. A lesson here for both Arjun and Ranveer who bend backwards and every which way to appear intense and end up looking like brats or “bachche” as Priyanka’s character calls them once.

Written and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film is too large in canvas and over-predictable in plot. As a tribute to the 70s and the 80s, Gunday only succeeds in making you miss the cabarets and the fights and the dramatic one-liners.

The only line that brought a smile was “Jis Bengali ko football pasand nahin hai, us par bharosa mat karna”. Perhaps, the only effort at maintaining the Kolkata backdrop besides the typical Durga statue.

When you watch amateurish actors with lopsided grins, wearing white shirts and pants with red hearts on the chest and bottom, jumping out of trains and coalmines think of what you miss the most. Like, I did. 

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your review..When Bollywood will stop potraying Gunday's as Rab Ke Bandaes.Be it Yrf's Dhoom Series or Gunday,Police is potrayed as mere puppet.I know its lil philosophical but just imagine the impact of movies like Gunday on the deprived section of the society.I was literally depressed in the Film's climax when these Gunday's were getting Whistles and claps for evading and killing policemen and emerging as Heroes!!What say?