India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Gulaal: Holds up the mirror to an unpleasant reality


“The free media serve as a mirror in which the public can see itself sans mascara and styling gel. From us you learn the state of your nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to give your children a better future. Sometimes the image you see in that mirror is not a pleasant one. But while you may grumble in the privacy of your armchair, the journalists who hold the mirror up to you do so publicly and at great risk to themselves.”

When I was watching Anurag Kashyap’s “Gulaal”, my mind wandered to this passage I had read some days ago, from the last editorial of Lasantha Wickramatunga, the editor of the Sri Lankan newspaper ‘The Sunday Leader’, who was killed by unknown persons.

Not that this passage is entirely relevant to the film, but I related to the part about the image in the mirror. “Gulaal” is one of those films, that may not be very pleasing or convenient, but nevertheless it is a film that deserves to be watched and discussed later, because it holds up a mirror to a reality not many of us might be willing to face.

Director Kashyap does indeed get rid of the mascara and styling gel, and presents to us a gamut of characters that are multi-layered and well structured.