The action thriller film offered by Yash Raj films is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar features Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan in the lead roles. The film is about the friendship between Bala and Bikram (played by Arjun and Ranveer). Here’s a short and sweet message for lovers of masala movies: Rejoice!
A couple of masala fares that released last year were spiceless, borrowing the age-old template to woo moviegoers of all ages. GUNDAY, which also falls in the same genre [masala], has an attention-grabbing premise, well-etched-out characters, high-octane drama, is generously peppered with vibrant songs and energetic action pieces, boasts of defining performances from the principal cast and of course, is an entertainer. In short, GUNDAY is for those who relish and celebrate masala cinema.
The film begins with Bikram and Bala as kids in Dhaka who come over to Calcutta in 1971. The boys have only one another and they manage, implausibly, to break into the coal mafia.
Two young boys thrown together by circumstances grow up together to become best friends and the biggest goons in the city. The entire premise of the movie is about how two young boys stepped into the world of crime and coal thievery because of the world doing wrong to them when they were children. In their own words they had to literally survive by snatching their right from others. In addition to all their woes, both of them fall in love with the same woman. Seems straight of a 80s flick, isn`t it? If that is not enough, even the setting, the style, and the colours of the entire shoot are straight out of that era.
Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor star in the latest Yash Raj Production `Gunday` and they pull it off in a typical masala style Bollywood movie. All in all it is entertaining. Both Ranveer and Arjun as Bikram and Bala respectively look really hot, with rippling muscular machoism oozing out in each of their scenes. Priyanka Chopra as Nandita is sizzling in most scenes, especially in one of the scenes where she puts up the Sridevi act from `Mr. India`s `Kaate Nahi Kat te…`. Irrfan Khan is formidable in his role as Satyajit Sarkar, but that`s stating the obvious. Irrfan has the best one liners in the movie, while Saurabh Shukla has a small but convincing role.
After attempting a light-hearted entertainer like MERE BROTHER KI DULHAN, Ali Abbas Zafar does a complete U-turn, make a good attempt at action drama taking you back in time [1970s Calcutta], narrating a dynamic story of two orphans and their bromance. Yes, of course, it is age-old formula, but Ali makes sure he reinvents it with flourish, serving the formula in a contemporary format. GUNDAY is designed as an entertainer and it serves it all unabashedly. It is great for those who love the romance, and the melodrama along with the action. The younger generation will definitely enjoy the movie. Especially the dialogues written by Ali Abbas Zafar, Sanjay Masoom like “Pistol ki goli aur laundiya ki boli jab chalti hai … toh jaan dono mein hi khatre mein hoti hai”, which are really reminiscent of old Hindi movies.
When they ran to save their lives for the first time, they were mere 12-year-old boys and the world called them refugees. The war of 1971 gave birth to a new country — Bangladesh. It also gave birth to two young orphans — Bikram [Ranveer Singh] and Bala [Arjun Kapoor]. They witnessed the war and its aftermath, where the world tried to trample over them. Fighting for survival, they clung to each other and escaped to Calcutta.
Arjun Kapoor plays the hotheaded Bala who doesn’t think before pulling the trigger. He brings a rare vulnerability to his portrayal. Even though his character is brash, uncouth and reckless, you can’t help but feel for this angst-ridden gunda.
Ranveer’s Bikram, as a character is a lot more linear unlike the layered Bala. There is ample show of their well-sculpted bodies as they indulge in slow motion fistfight sequences and it is a welcome change to see that filmmakers are increasingly aware of the female gaze as well when they are selecting their male protagonists.
Before they knew the world, they knew each other. Such was their bond, such was their friendship. In the years that passed, Bikram and Bala became Calcutta’s most loved, most celebrated, most reckless, most fearless and most powerful gunday. Nandita [Priyanka Chopra], the most beautiful cabaret dancer, walked into their lives. They fell head over heels in love with her. But that was only a blissful lull before an impending storm…¦
The humorous bits where the two heroes try to woo their ladylove in turn also makes for some genuinely funny moments in the film.
Enters ACP Satyajeet Sarkar [Irrfan Khan], the right for every wrong, a law for every outlaw and a counter force for Bikram and Bala. What happens next?
There are interesting twists in the narrative and though the viewer might feel he knows what’s going to transpire next, the writing catches you by complete surprise as a brand new twist comes to the fore. On the flip side, the film is bloated in length and could’ve had a shorter run time, especially in the second half. The penultimate portions in particular could’ve done with trimming. It’s prolonged for no reason. Also, a few twists tend to get repetitive, but the very next episode makes you forget the defect.
The four pivotal characters — Ranveer, Arjun, Priyanka and Irrfan — vie for top honours. However, the show belongs to Ranveer and Arjun. The firecracker bromance is the mainstay of the enterprise. Together, they create one of the best on-screen jodis that would make it really difficult to erase from public memory. Both are pitch perfect in their comprehensively defined characters, although Ranveer’s character has a slight edge. Those who felt that Priyanka had been elbowed out of the race will eat their words back once they watch GUNDAY. For, the actress is in top form, delivering an elegant performance and matching steps with the male leads. Watch out for the sequence when she confronts Arjun. She’s super. Irrfan, as always, is in superb form, fitting the role to the T. Saurabh Shukla and Victor Banerjee stand out in their respective parts. The child artists enacting the parts of young Bikram [Darshan Gujar] and Bala [Jayesh Kardak] are remarkable. Pankaj Tripathi and Manu Rishi appear in cameos. Anant Sharma [as Himanshu] is perfect.
The DoP bathes each and every frame in lush colors. The usage of colors during the intermission point, when the twist in the tale happens, is striking. The action sequences are lively, with the violent scenes never going overboard. The soundtrack [Sohail Sen] is wonderful. ‘Tune Maari Entriyaan’ is, without doubt, the hot favourite. ‘Jashn-e-Ishqa’ and ‘Asalaam-e-Ishqum’ are lively compositions and sync well in the scheme of things. Dialogue are striking and at places, clapworthy. As a matter of fact, each department seems to have worked really hard and in consonance to realize the director’s vision on celluloid.
First things first! GUNDAY is smartly penned, lavishly mounted and sharply edited… and it carpet bombs the spectators with every trick in the book. The bromance, the romance, the gunday versus cop clash, the burst of colors, the unpredictable screenwriting coupled with smart lines, the spray of bullets… the director, who has also penned the film, makes sure he leaves his stamp all over the film.
Again to sum up, the entire look and feel of the movie is of 80s Bollywood. It`s like traveling back in time, where there were no metro-sexual heroes and toned modern heroines. It is not a Valentine’s Day date, but the men should make a day out to celebrate their friendship with this movie. Though the film has nothing new to offer, one can watch it for nostalgia’s sake!
On the whole, GUNDAY has a credible story to tell, is packed with unexpected twists that keep you on the edge and offers entertainment in large doses. This racy, gripping masala fare is sure to hit the pot of gold at the box-office!