Gunday: Film Review

By Sayantan Dalal

Film: Gunday

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Rating: ***
What it is about:

Set against the backdrop of Bangladesh's independence, two kids – Bikram (Ranveer Singh) and Bala (Arjun Kapoor) begin their journey which will see them turn into the most feared and popular outlaws of Calcutta. And just like everything in their lives, Bikram and Bala fall for the same girl, Nandita (Priyanka Chopra) the cabaret dancer. And then starts the friction between the duo with cop Satya (Irrfan Khan) playing the catalyst.
What's Good:

The film revolves around Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor, who share a great chemistry as two loyal friends. They play Bikram and Bala, two outlaws who made a fortune stealing coal and through dealings in the black market. Ranveer is the brainy, while Arjun is the short tempered angry young man. Director Ali Abbas Zafar portrays the duo as the Robin Hoods of the poor, as they establish hospitals and schools from their black money earnings. 

Both the actors come across natural in their portrayals of Bikram and Bala, especially in the first half. But soon the script fails them and their characters come across as a tad over the top. Priyanka's character of a cabaret dancer is pivotal for the direction of the script. And PeeCee delivers a solid performance. Even though the film is all about Ranveer and Arjun, PeeCee holds her own and leaves behind an impression.

Zafar hauls the guns out of his trunk for this action packed, stylish, yet not-all-there film. His rendition is created with humour and daredevil action sequences which express the story's tense uncertainties. Zafar's lush compositions and suave camera movements may surprise you, considering his previous project was Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. After soft-peddling through a rom-com in his last movie, Zafar is back with a new maturity.

Gunday is one of those films where outlaws become existential heroes, celebrated for attaining absolute freedom from the system. For all its violence and twist and turns in the plot, the story spins on a fanciful but believable love triangle.
What's Not:

Things turn nasty when Priyanka's character chooses her love among Bikram and Bala. Not surprisingly all hell breaks loose in the film, so does in the script.

Gunday, which takes two hours and forty minutes to tell a crime drama, could have maintained a much higher level of interest at something much lesser than that.

The film is funny and stylishly violent but never reaches the overwhelming level of audiovisual assault which will satisfy you. The plot loosens in the second half and becomes predictable, even with its twists and turns. Except for the song Tune Maari Entriyaan, the music fails to add to the script.
What to do:

Gunday is what you call a mass entertainer with lots of action and drama. And going by all the hooting and cheering at the theatre, the janta will surely love it.

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