Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gulaal - Another review

Everytime I see the movie Gulaal, I am left dumb-founded. The sheer skill with which Kashyap draws us into the narrative and keeps us enthralled is a glimpse of where Indian cinema could have gone. Sadly, it has gone to the dogs. Be that as it may; I noticed certain scenes which I hitherto had not (despite watching the movie a gazillion times) and have listed them as follows. For a previously written review of this movie, click here

  • The first song is a slap in the face for Karan (Aditya Srivastava's character). All he can do is silently fume in his chair while Duki Bana (K K Menon) flaunts all the things that matter in Indian society, right in Karan's face and rubs his nose in it - Wealth (K K's bar), power (his thugs that surround Karan all through the song taunting him) and the woman who tantalizingly dances in front of him (Karan has no chance of even touching her) while Duki Bana watches from the safety of his high tower (balcony). To top that off, the lyrics are "beedo duje thaali kaa lage bada masaledar". What rage must Karan's character be feeling? Awesome scene. 

  • 35 minutes into the movie, Ransa's father (the king) comes to visit him at his dilapidated bar. Now given Ransa's rustic and rebellious character that is shown in the movie, this shot took me by surprise. When Ransa emerges from his room, you can catch a glimpse of his desk inside the room. Ransa emerges from the room wrapping a towel around his waist in careless fashion and glaring at his father in typical rebellious fashion. The next cut is a frontal view of his desk (just a one-second shot). Everything is neatly arranged and there is a definite system to it. The neatness would not be surprising if it were a fastidious person like Duki's character. The neatness becomes all the more surprising as it is Ransa's desk. Basically, never judge a book by its cover. 

  • Just that one word on the blackboard - Nihilism. Given the whole theme of the movie; I have just one word to say - Wow!

  • This one is definitely the kicker. 8 minutes and 29 seconds into the movie, there is a shot of the hoarding outside the bar where Ransa and Dilip are sharing space. The neon sign is fully lit; after which the 'o' in 'Hello' and the 'T' in 'There' go off converting 'Hello There' to 'Hell Here'. Given the fact that the word democracy is right below this gives this split-second scene SO much meaning

And this is just half-way through the movie. I am sure if I watch it one more time I shall find so many more intricate details that add meaning to the movie and to the theme. So sad that movies like these aren't commercally successful and the utter trash that Bollywood churns out in the name of entertainment earns 100 crores. A sad state of affairs. Anyways, I can go on and on about this particular grouse of mine with Bollywood. All I will say is - 

Anurag Kashyap - Hats off!!


  1. Hey...truly well written. Hadn't noticed most of these tiny details which give the movie so much meaning. Definitely need to give it movie another watch.

    1. Yeah . .

      Unfortunately, even Kashyap had to bow down to masala cinema. Look at Gangs of Wasseypur. Let's hope he reverts to his speciality - gritty and hard hitting movies that have a theme.