The 5-hour epic based in the badlands of Wasseypur (part of the Indian mining town of Dhanbad), of which Gangs of Wasseypur is the first half, is designed to be the magnum opus of maverick filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. Though a gangster film with its principal motifs being power, revenge and lust, Kashyap endowed its scope with epic proportions by making this also a sprawling saga about the rise and evolution of gang violence on the backdrop of historical and political changes over half a century. When Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia), the nouveau riche owner of a colliery murders his principal henchman Shahid Khan, on being apprised of his gargantuan ambitions, it sets into motion a tale that would take shape years later – in the form of Sardar (Manoj Bajpayee) who has vowed vengeance to avenge for his father’s death. While on one hand this is a chronicle of how he becomes a feared gangster by taking on Ramdhir, who is now a powerful politician, along with a butcher cum local goon, it is also a tale of his unconventional family life – balancing his foul-mouthed first wife (Richa Chadda) and children, with his blind attraction towards his brazenly voluptuous mistress (Reema Sen). Piyush Mishra, with his unique vocal style, acts as the film’s narrator and moral backbone. Though highly entertaining on account of the no-holds barred language, wacky humour, over-the-top filmmaking and fine performances, its over-ambitious scope and Kashyap’s extreme self-indulgence did some damage to what this labour of love could have been. As a result, despite a nice first half, it suffered from being overlong, repetitive and distracting in the rather dull second half.
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Genre: Crime Drama/Gangster Film/Black Comedy/Epic/Ensemble Film