Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
After I finished watching the second and final part of Anurag Kashyap’s revenge saga “Gangs of Wasseypur“, I got into a cab and headed home. Except that, when I got in, I imagined the driver pulling out a machine gun and aiming at me.
On the way home, familiar roads seemed eerily silent and every passer-by suspicious. So ingrained and pervading is the violence in this film that you cannot help but carry a bit of it home.
And isn’t that what a good film should do?
In “Gangs of Wasseypur 2″, Kashyap gives us the ingredient that was missing in the first — some serious action. There is lots of bloodshed in this one — and all of it Bollywood style.
Kashyap has no qualms about his homage to the 1980s masala films of Bollywood, weaving in elements in almost every scene — from an orchestra belting out songs at a funeral to characters aping their favorite heroes. Even the blood is obviously fake in the film, but it’s all part of the over-the-top feel.
Anurag Kashyap’s revenge saga “Gangs of Wasseypur” starts off in the most innocuous way — a shot of actress Smriti Irani opening the door and inviting the audience in with a beaming smile. It’s a scene millions of viewers are familiar with, thanks to the popularity of the soap, but definitely not something you’d expect to see in the first frame of a revenge drama.
Such incongruous scenes and unexpected surprises pop up regularly during the 2.5-hour-long film. Kashyap uses a tongue-in-cheek approach to tell his story, pairing it with searing imagery, a couple of history lessons and the edgiest characters you will see on screen for some time.