Direction: Nikhil Advani
Tales of espionage in Bollywood seldom manage to arouse or sustain the tension that the genre demands. Director Nikhil Advani, however, delivers splendidly on this account, weaving a taut narrative complete with unpredictable twists and turns. Not only does he spin a thrilling tale, he infuses the story with sensitivity and emotion.
Four RAW agents have been trained over the years for one specific task – capture India’s Most Wanted man and bring him back to the country alive, so that he can be punished for his crimes. Wali Khan (Irrfan Khan), one of the RAW agents who infiltrated into Pakistan, has spent the last nine years of his life there hoping to find a trail of the elusive Iqbal Seth.
Just when the Indian sleuths are about to give up pursuit, the most-wanted Iqbal Seth (Rishi Kapoor) gives them a glimmer of hope. He is adamant to make an appearance at his son’s wedding. This is their only chance to abduct him.
The team swings into action. Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal) and Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi) are key players in this covert operation. Rampal has often been criticized for being expressionless. However, in ‘D-Day’, this apparent criticism works to his advantage. As a former army officer and now an undercover agent, Arjun is intense and sharp, his body language apt and his performance precise. Huma is a pleasant surprise, especially in the action sequences.
Irrfan Khan, as usual, delivers another ace with a well-nuanced performance. In the nine years that Wali Khan has spent in Pakistan, he has acquired a new life and his identity no matter how fabricated is as true to him as his own existence. Khan has a choice to make. Will his emotions supersede his loyalty towards his country? Irrfan’s silence and his skillful portrayal convey his internal conflict and his quiet resignation with equal effect. Here is an actor who is as believable as a barber as he is as a RAW agent.
In this fast-paced action thriller, Nikhil Advani creates moments that remain etched in memory. There is a scene when Rudra exacts revenge for the ghastly scar on a beautiful prostitute’s (Shruti Haasan) face. The way water pours down his face in slow motion when he is washing off the blood is symbolic of the way gods are anointed with milk in India.
Later, when Rudra recounts the horror that must have befallen his moll, it is a particularly disturbing scene but has been shot superbly. Shruti has a cameo but are eyes speak louder than anydialoguebaazi.
Wish list: Bollywood actors who we want to see as Hollywood superheroes
Adding gastronomical delight to ‘cricketainment’, the special menu, offers a wide range of salads, typical Bengali snacks like the famous jhalmuri, singhara, chanachur, in circulation followed by live food station serving a variety of Delhi and Agra chats.
The main buffet course will include some international cuisine like Lebanese and Italian. Bengali delicacies would include Kancha lonka Murgii, Chittagong Aloo Dum, Channar Kaliya and Narkel diye moong Dal.
The course ends with a dessert section of selected Sandesh varieties, besides continental and other Indian selections.
Speciality Restaurants, the chain of fine dining restaurants like ‘Mainland China’ and ‘Oh! Calcutta’, will be providing catering services to the VIP lounges.
“Whenever Mahi is in Mumbai, we ride bikes together. I think he is a better biker than me. He is my closest friend whether it is from the cricketing world or from Bollywood,” John Abraham said on BIG CBS PRIME’s “India‘s Prime Icon”.
John Abraham says that the Indian skipper is very grounded.
“A small town boy from Ranchi, he is very respectful. He loves his parents a lot and I feel that he is the best captain in the world,” added the actor.
MS Dhoni will feature as one of the contenders on India’s Prime Icon, which shows works of popular icons from different walks of life.
Ending Mandira Wirk’s show was the very sultry Malaika Arora Khan who sashayed down the ramp in a white net/lace one-shoulder gown with a tulle trail. The whole ensemble was appliquéd with the 3D tonal flowers and shimmering embroidery.
The Expendables 2 star wishes to make a Bollywood movie, with he being the hero and Ash his heroin. The actor was floored by Ash’s looks and acting in Devdas.
In a recent interview with a popular tabloid, when asked whom he would like to pair up with in Bollywood, he said,
“It has to be Aishwarya (Rai). She is absolutely gorgeous.”
Well, it looks like Van Damme’s wish might not come true anytime soon as Aishwarya is busy with her little kid, Aaradhya and has taken a break from film.
In any case, no one in Kashyap‘s god-forsaken kingdom takes cops seriously, not even the cops themselves. There’s a typically wry Kashyap joke just before interval when the raging protagonist Faizal (or ‘Faijal’, as everyone including his sexy wife calls him), carries his kid-brother’s corpse home. Cops stop Faizal and politely ask him to accompany them to the police station.
“Don’t you see I’m taking my brother home,” Faizal bellows.
“We understand,” squeaks a khaki-clad gentleman. “Why don’t you hand over the body to us and come with us?”
This, if you are familiar with the language of commercial Hindi cinema, is in character with the image of the filmy police force.
It always arrives late. Or untimely. Kashyap crams in-house jokes into every nook and cranny of this diligently-constructed breathtaking ode to the culture of street violence. The gang wars are so real that they are unreal. Does that make sense? It better! That so-real-that-it’s-unreal tempestuous twilight zone is where Kashyap’s film belongs.
The violence of the politically corroded north Indian town (Wasseypur, or what you will) is exaggerated to a point of utter outrageousness. In Kashyap’s version of the Wild West, you could get killed on the spot for anything, for asking the time or raping your neighbour’s sister. The price for any crime, petty or grave, is the same.
The ceaseless shower of bullets gets a hand-up on the visceral soundtrack from Sneha Khanwalkar‘s excruciatingly evocative folk songs of Bihar (some of which are used in two versions, ironical or poignant, but always intensely definitive) and with excellent use of the puerile film songs of the 1980s, which used to be out on the T-Series label back then when music piracy was as rampant as political hooliganism.
Even when the epic narration moves into the 2000 millennium, the characters are stuck in the 1980s. A whole thesis can be written on the interesting caller tunes from the 1980s and 1990s used by the characters in their mobile phone. And yes, there is Yashpal Sharma, the resident stage singer of Wasseypur crooning a 1980s song for every occasion.
While the funeral of two of the key characters is on Yashpal’s earnest attempt at musical expression, soars into “Yaad teri aayegi mujhko bada sataayegi” and “Teri meherbaniyan” tracks, they seem to unintentionally mock the solemnity of the occasion. The latter was actually sung in the film at the death of a canine.
The ceaseless violence is quite often savagely funny. The series of miscommunication and misinformation among the assassins when Sultan Qureshi (Pankaj Tripathi) is to be gunned down in a crowded market, is straight out of comic-action films from the 1980s.
When Kashyap is not paying tongue-in-cheek tributes to an era from Hindi cinema that seems to repeatedly define the lives of the film’s characters, he is busy taking digs at his own brilliantly crafted homage to gangsterism.
In one sequence, an assassin asks his intended victim the address on a visiting card.
“No, this is Dhanbad. The address you want is in Varanasi,” says the helpful man before he’s gunned down in the crowded bazaar.
For the record, the ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ marathon is located in the Dhanbad belt, but had to be shot in Varanasi.
There are funny scenes of violence, tragic scenes of violence and tragi-comic scenes of violence. But violence, let us reiterate, is a constant in the lives of the characters as they stumble, fall, attack, kill or get killed in this blood-soaked bullet-ridden saga of gangsterism which makes director Francis Ford Coppola‘s Sicily look like a holiday resort.
More fast-paced, furious, frenzied and frenetic than the first part, ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur 2’ confidently occupies that semi-feverish space where dream, nightmare and reality play a savage hide and seek with your sensibilities. The performances are tactile and dramatic.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the ganja-zonked protagonist delivers the deadliest performance in Kashyap’s gang as the most swaggering mercurial gangster on this side of James Caan in ‘The Godfather’. Richa Chadda as his mother portrays the simmering intensity of a passion whose flames won’t die down with old age. During a family wedding when Chadda, while singing a wedding song breaks down and then regains her composure, she proves she’s no ordinary actress.
We are in the midst of some extraordinary talent here. Let’s not undermine Huma Qureshi’s saucy turn as the love of Nawazuddin’s constantly-endangered life, just because she’s hot and glamorous. Huma scorches up the screen with her casual vibrancy.
There are as many remarkable actors in this film as there are corpses scattered with scary casualness all across the lengthy saga. Mention must be made of young Aditya Kumar as Faizal’s kid-brother Perpendicular, who uses razor blades for everything except shaving, and Zeishan Quadri (the absolutely amazing co-writer of this saga) as Definite, Faizal’s half-brother. He looks ordinary. He is dangerous.
Interesting parallels are drawn in the relationship between the half-brothers Faizal and Definite in this film and Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor playing half-brothers in Yash Chopra’s ‘Trishul’.
These are filmy people who choose to replace the ketchup in the action films of the 1980s with real blood. But their emotional ties seem to hinge precariously on the logistics of commercial mainstream cinema.
At the end of the first ‘Wasseypur’ whammer, Manoj Bajpayee’s character was showered with bullets. At the end of the second and concluding part of the blood-fest, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is gunned down mercilessly by the people whom he depends on.
When you live by the gun, you die by the gun. Unless Anurag Kashyap decides to bring you back to life. Then you are in serious trouble
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