Gangs of Wasseypur Screen 5 articles

Gangs of Wasseypur

2012

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  • A cheeky repudiation of Bollywood tradition, director-cowriter Anurag Kashyap’s gangster saga is a little bit Tarantino, a little bit Coppola, a little bit Scorsese, and ultimately all his own. The two-part, five-hour-plus Gangs of Wasseypur charts the bloody rise and fall of three generations of the gangster Khan family while providing a crash course in Indian politics from shortly before independence to the present.

  • The Indian mob saga “Gangs of Wasseypur” is a frequently spectacular achievement: five hours — and then some — of gliding camera moves, brutal action and dizzying revenge plotting, often set to a peppy pop music backbeat. The violence is graphic and the innuendo raunchy... Although the narrative contains echoes of “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II” — and perhaps “Casino” — “Gangs” lacks the poetry and character interest of those films.

  • The violence is at times so flamboyant that you gasp: when Faizal dispatches a betrayer, the killing is seen in silhouette from behind, amid sprays of gore, accompanied by a soundtrack of hacking, slicing, and a final heart-stopping thunk, before Faizal lifts a severed head aloft. This is where gangster cinema shades into the amplified register of gods-and-demons myth, or Jacobean tragedy. But there’s little psychological or emotional finesse, or narrative modulation.

  • "Every fucker's got his own movie playing inside his head," Ramidir warns during the film's final act. His wise words confirm why the greatest set pieces in Gangs of Wasseypur are so outrageous. Whether captured in long take or frenetic short cuts, characters brazenly disregard the strategy and surprise normally associated with assassination attempts in the gangster film, mostly because they feel invincible, not unlike a movie star. It's all about making a statement, efficiency be damned.

  • In some ways just another mobster foundation myth, but the length here really gives this room to stretch out in interesting ways... Similar in a lot of ways to Carlos, with the souring of the thrill of violence mirrored by the gradual de-aestheticizing of those acts, although here it’s a consequence of dulling repetition rather than the failing body and spirit of an increasingly paunchy terrorist.

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