Blood, Bakaiti, Bullets, Women
Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sudhir Mishra
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Anurag Kashyap’s blood and laundiyabaazi soaked epic is terrific stuff.
From here I will ramble.
Bumping off people in here is like swatting flies. It’s too easy. It would have been a sour spot. But makers go for over-the-top-violence graphic novel style. Butcher alleys and manslaughter.
Protagonist sort of represents the male species (“Tum sahi ho, wo mard hai- You are right, he is man”, tells the servant to master’s wife) by nature’s law are promiscuous. Observant sexuality strongly on display. Others shackled with bonds of loyalty.
Manoj Bajpai is in blazing performance of Sardar Khan swears to keep his head shaved until he finishes off his archenemy, Dhulia’s Ramadhir Singh. Like Chankya. But he tells wife laying in bed, he will not kill his nemesis with gun but “Keh ke lenge uski” (will make him bend over). His story alone is center of this ambitious tale.
His enemy Dhulia (director of Saheb, Biwi and Gangster) Ramadhir Singh, riding high on post colonial coal mining contracts, is looking to make it big in politics. The ultimate destination of money making haven. Manoj, Sardar Khan, avenging his baahubali father’s murder, will make it hell for him.
It’s badlands. Its milieu, is Dhanbad, Wasseypur, the title. Bullets and blood runs thick in veins of the story, expansive in its telling covers the generations, started with fist fights and knives, moving to home made bombs, tamanche, katta backfiring to smooth automatic’s muzzles and firepower. They inherit. Everything. Hatred especially.
Women, like in mythology, appears as sex objects or mothers or sometimes pissed-off lovers, make great characters. One loyal wife. Other savage sexual partner moll turned bitter mistress. Pregnant wife entering a brothel, wanting to knife his womanizer husband is original.
Sons will slowly fall into politics of the whole coal mafia extortion racket their father’s running.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, finest actor lately, plays Sardar Khan’s younger son. holds the screen with his tiny physique. I am amazed. He dreams a sequence worthy of lauding movie itself in a marriage ceremony. He is like forgive me if exaggerating, Michael Corleone of family. His elder brothers only contribution was accidentally taking bullet for his father. He is Sonny then. He disappears in his newly wed wife’s ghaagra after wedding Haw! (“We are country of Haw! people. Anurag once said in an interview). But this younger brother fellow is smart and no sap. He brilliantly plays his moves in a foul play in arms buying gig. Comes out scoring shots and a dead body of course. He likes to smoke pot and falls in love with girl catching matinee show starring 70s’ new sensation Amitabh Bacchan.The girl is some firecracker.
Soundtrack by gifted Sneha Khanwalkar is for collectors. It will make you wonder how one can conjure up such eclectic songs out of such settings!
Dialog are pungent profane witty crackling. Now I get it even more why Scorsese’s gangsters sound so fun with their f words.
Yes, film’s length I would have trimmed in first half an hour which spends time on runway establishing family trees spanning decades and name cards flashing,. I just wanted it to takeoff. Manoj Bajpai enters screen in 37th mintue. But it is like novel unfolding, so enjoy.
Sardar Khan’s revenge story will soar. His family saga will stay with you. And you just can’t wait for its next part. Rollicking.
* Bad **Average *** Good ****Very Good ***** Outstanding