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Review of

Gunday  (2014 - Hindi)

Gunday movie review, and Gunday critics rating, comments on Gunday

Gunday cumulative rating: 2.4 out of 52.4/5 (69 users)

My Rating

  • All Sound, No Fury

    Gunday rating: 0 out of 10(B.H.Harsh wrote on 14 Feb 2014)

    As the opening credits roll on, you notice Irrfan being credited as a ‘special appearance.’ So you invariably expect to see less of him. But every once in a while, there he pops up, maintaining his cool admist all the hyperbolic drama. You also notice competent actors like Manu Rishi and Pankaj Tripathi being given walk-on parts, and then you figure out the logic. Gunday has its priorities clear – there is little room for an outsider who will make sense; it would rather be a star-driven vehicle, composed of one set-piece after the other and designed especially for insiders who can flaunt their body at the first opportunity, only because the makers never cared to have enough meat at first place.
    Gunday is not mediocre just because it is campy and over-the-top, but because it attempts to be a lot more, and fails mierably at that. There is a ludicrous attempt made to attain some heft, by adding a backdrop of the 1971 Bangladesh War, from where our beefy Protagonists first emerged. (There’s even a Schindler’s List-like shot of arriving passengers required to enlist themselves.)
    By period-ifying the narrative, the film tries to take itself too seriously, forgetting conveniently that they still lack a script. So whenever there is a lack of motivation, the characters cluelessly drop phrases like system, law and related words they wouldn’t understand themselves. Its also one helluva weird plot – where a coal mafia-duo, being established as this team which gives the city of Culcutta its fame, spends more time wooing a girl rather than doing something they are known for. In their free time, they run in slo-mos ... shirtless.
    Having said that, Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh are surely having a good time here – being too busy strutting around, as if for shutterbugs, and ofcourse ... running in slo-motions. Their egos sure are being massaged like never before. (Although you do wonder – with all the beefed-up bodies and extreme slo-mos, how is this in any way a tribute to the 70s). In fact, such is the level of hero-worshipping that towards the end there is a scene where Ranveer’s arrival during a fight scene is preceded with a mini whirlpool of dust. They’ve half-turned into Salman Khan, by the end. On the other hand, Priyanka Chopra seems to be going backward in her career trajectory, choosing roles that can at best be described as ‘fillers’.
    The first half is still decent engaging, for there is a constant larger-than-life feel to it, which at least keeps things frothy and fun. The initial scenes have lot more dramatic power in its visual than the rest of the film. The kids who play the younger versions are clearly too young for the dialogue they are made to spawn, but at least they get the swagger and anger right. One good scene is when a child picks up gun against the sufi strains of ‘Mann Kunto Maula’. The scene genuinely works. Rest of it just doesn’t. Somewhere in between, they manage one decent punchline, (as a sign of trust, one bro asks the other “Angootha Laga Le”) and even that suffers an overkill.
    Similarly, when they used songs in first half, I decided to give them the benefit of doubt – its a Bollywood big budget big star cast affair afterall, and one can’t expect too much of reality. But its when the film attempts to make sense is when it really bugs to sit through it. For instance, After they have had a song like ‘Tune Maari Entriyan’ on the streets of Kolkata with at least 200 backup dancers and Ranveer-Arjun in clownish Elvis-suits, they want us to root for their love because they “genuinely” loved the girl. Invest in superficial love triangles – that we surely cannot do. (Never mind that the basic plotline reminds too much of another major misfire of the recent times – where two gangsters fight each other like kids .. for a girl.) The film even has a suspense angle, just as a backup plan – “in case the storytelling doesn’t interest them, the sudden revelation surely will”, you can almost hear them think.

    And also, Gunday is a film exceptionally laced with protagonists who make the most dubious choices. There is no consistency whatsoever in turns of characterisation.The equation between our lead characters changes as per as the script’s convenience, as they continue to do one irrational thing after the other. After a point, you simply couldn’t care even if you wanted to.
    Saurabh Shukla, who plays the manager-lawyer prototype, makes the most sense in the movie. At one point, he even chides Bala (Arjun Kapoor) for another of his stupid choices, asking if he’s gone nuts. You don’t see much of Shukla later in the movie. And You know the point has been made.
    This is a bottle making too much noise – be assured its empty.

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