Movie Review: Meeruthiya Gangsters

September 18, 2015

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

Zeishan Quadri co-wrote the script for Anurag Kashyap’s two-part “Gangs of Wasseypur”, but when it comes to directing a film, Quadri is unable to create the wit or sharpness Kashyap brought to his projects.

Quadri’s tale of six clueless gangsters who don’t seem to possess a smidgen of intelligence is just like its central characters – meandering all over the place without any focus. Given that it is a small-budget film, you might expect some scrimping on production values and locations, but “Meeruthiya Gangsters” appears amateur not just in the way that it looks, but also in the way the movie plays out.

The six protagonists, apparently college students because they loiter in the university canteen all day, moonlight as looters and kidnappers and fumble their way from one job to the next. Quadri and his three co-writers cannot string random incidents into one coherent storyline, so the overwhelming feeling you get is that of watching disjointed episodes of a mediocre crime serial rather than one film.

The six friends start off looking for jobs, and are even willing to bribe their way to coveted positions in a private firm. But when they realise they have been duped, all plans of working legitimately for a living go out the window. They embark on a random series of robbing and kidnapping, executing their plans with the finesse of a bull in a china shop. And yet, they somehow succeed every time.

There are also sub-plots involving a romance between two of the protagonists and a rather bizarre scene where one character convinces another that he must shoot him in a crowded market so that he can escape the police.

Quadri tries to paint a picture of a lawless town and how this group of youngsters benefit from it and later pay the price for it, but his focus is missing. Like an errant driver, he keeps veering off the path, never sure which direction he should be taking. There are some moments of dry humour, and actors Jaideep Ahlawat and Shadaab Kamal distinguish themselves from the rest of the cast. But these are just a couple of positives that are not enough to keep this ship from sinking.

(Editing by David Lalmalsawma; follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay, and David @davidlms25. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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