Saturday, 5 November 2011
Gandu (The Loser) 
Unabashedly profane, unapologetically promiscuous, and gleefully provocative, Gandu has taken Indian cinema to places it has never been before (pun intended). It is unlikely that this ‘extreme film’, directed by Bengali auteur Kaushik Mukherjee aka Q, will ever see the light of day in its own country, despite the rave it has managed to generate abroad and its semi-‘cult status’ in niche, underground film circuits. The eponymous ‘Gandu’ (which is a dirty slang in Indian languages) is a disillusioned young lad and a wannabe rapper (energetically played by Anubrata) – he hates his life and vents his frustrations through his angry, pulsating, expletive-ridden rap songs. His life comprises of doping, watching pornographic videos, buying lottery tickets using stolen money, and forming garish fantasies with an attractive, nameless woman (Rituparno Sen aka Rii in the boldest turn by an Indian actress ever) who he silently craves for. He lives in a sparse apartment with his mother (Kamalika), who is the mistress of a chain-smoking local businessman (Shilajit), and his only friend is Richsha (Joyraj), a Bruce Lee idolising rickshaw-cyclist. Most of the film has been shot in high-definition black-and-whites – the starkly beautiful photography managed to splendidly capture the hollowness of the protagonist’s lonely existence, as also the grime, grunge and edginess of the hyper-stylized film’s contents. Interestingly, the explicit fantasy sequences have been shot in blazing, resplendent colours, thus accentuating their sleazy, fetishistic, surreal and hallucinatory nature, while also contrasting Anubrata’s skinny physicality with the brazen voluptuousness of Rii. The dialogues are largely improvised, while the editing is deliberately jarring.
Director: Kaushik Mukherjee
Genre: Drama/Urban Drama/Psychological Drama/Musical/Experimental Film/Avant-Garde