Anurag Kashyap’s epic, selected for Directors’ Fortnight Cannes 2012, charts the decades-long conflict between two families involved in coal mining and organised crime in Wasseypur, in the Indian state of Jharkhand. Having more in common with the films of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola than the Indian cinema we are accustomed to, Gangs of Wasseypur is an exhilarating tale of vengeance – a thrilling, beautifully shot and extremely violent journey tracing the feud between mining magnate and politician Ramadhir Singh and the Khan family, from colonial to contemporary times. Ramadhir takes on three Khan generations beginning with the industrious Shahid Khan, then his philandering son, Sardar Khan, and then Sardar’s dope-addled son Faizal Khan. (We note the passage of time through the Bollywood films the family loves to watch.) The Khans are traditional gangsters: aggressive, brutal when necessary and flashy. Ramadhir Singh is more subtle and strategic. Referring to his rivals, he says, “Every fucker’s got his own movie playing inside his head. Every fucker is trying to become the hero of his imaginary film. As long as there are fucking movies in this country people will continue to be fooled.”
Part 1 sets up the historical context, and we see the genesis of a feud that will span generations. In colonial India, Shahid Khan loots trains and is cast out of his village as a consequence. He takes a job at Ramadhir Singh’s colliery, soon moving up the ranks. As Shahid Khan becomes more powerful, Ramadhir sees the threat and sets in motion a plan that will lead to decades of violence. Shahid’s son, Sardar Khan grows up to become the most feared man in Wasseypur. Foremost amongst his ambitions is the destruction of Ramadhir Singh. —Sydney Film Festival
Anurag Singh Kashyap (born 10 September 1972) is an Indian film director and screenwriter. As a director, he is known for Black Friday (2004), a controversial and award-winning Hindi film about the 1993 Bombay bombings, followed by No Smoking (2007), Dev D (2009) and Gulaal (2009). As a screenwriter, he wrote the scripts for the Filmfare Award-winning Satya (1998) and the Academy Award-nominated Canadian film Water (2005).
In 1999, Kashyap won the Best Screenplay award for Satya at the Star Screen Awards. The next year, his short film Last Train to Mahakali won the Special Jury Award at the same awards. His feature film debut Black Friday won the Grand Jury Prize at the 3rd Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (2005), and was a nominee for the Golden Leopard (Best Film) at the 57th Locarno International Film Festival (2004). Recently, he announced his association with Tumbhi where he and his team will make 6 short films for Tumbhi and start his blog with them as well –… read more
"This is Wasseypur. Here, even a pigeon flies with one wing, and uses the other to guard his innocence."
A pulpy crime dynasty film with a dash of social commentary for good measure and plenty of humour. Despite its 3 hour runtime it was over in the blink of an eye, which is a goof thing. However, you do need to see the second film to get the full scope of the story (obviously). The whole thing has more of a mini-seres vibe to than anything else.
Graphic and funny (Manoj Bajpai is one hilariously goofy ganglord). It’s unashamedly kitch at times and formulaic throughout, but who cares, it’s got tremendous energy, it’s chaotic, it’s packed with colourful characters (all of them perfectly cast), and I love how the songs accompany the action and how the lyrics are used a storytelling tool.
Gangs of Wasseypur is a 2012 Hindi crime movie directed and co-written by Indian movie-maker Anurag Kashyap starring veteran Indian actor Manoj Bajpai in the lead role. The five hour long movie premiered… read review