Overhyped, but still managing to deliver a good, if not an emphatic, outing - That's what 'Gangs of Wasseypur' turns out to be after an exhausting two and a half hours saga. No, I am not against films that are lengthy.
In fact I am all for them and this is the reason why I still feel 70s and 80s delivered some of the most entertaining films since they had a duration good enough to accommodate all the 'masala'.
However, 'Gangs of Wasseypur' turns out to be a film which during its healthy duration doesn't sustain your interest right through it's running length.
The film starts off with a shoot out and one can sense the rawness in the way Anurag Kashyap designs and cuts his frames. The sequences thereafter are arresting as well.
The 'angrezon ke waqt ki kahaani', introduction of a dozen odd character from different streams of life and religion, the conflict that follows, the reason for a burning desire to take revenge and then the arrival of principal characters (Manoj Bajpayee, Tigmanshu Dhulia) is all brilliant.
In the middle of this all, good dose of humour (which is entirely situational) and an element of raw sexuality (Reemma Sen, Richa Chadda) keeps you glued on screen.
One has to credit Anurag for balancing it all well because instead of making it a one dimensional revenge saga, he adds tangents which give variety to this 'Wasseypur' tale.
However, in a narrative like this, the demand of the situation is to sustain the momentum. Now this is where 'Gangs of Wasseypur' starts faltering in the second half because at quite a few times you start feeling alienated from the core of the film.
The conflict is somehow left on the backseat and absence of Manoj Bajpayee (who is simply perfect in his part) is felt at numerous junctures. The plot continues to get all the more complicated and you start losing track of who is killing whom and for what reason.
Also, it is the scene setting which puts you off after a while because at times they are cut way too short that it is tough to decipher what really happened. On the other hand some of them are so long drawn that you want the film to just move on. Having said that, one of the best scenes from the film is the one which is indeed the lengthiest of the lot.
It is an absolute original setting where Nawazuddin holds hand of his lady love (Huma Qureshi).
Same is the case every time Tigmanshu catches hold of his son and ridicules him. His scene with Vipin Sharma (natural, as always) is also superb.
Even Richa is a powerhouse in each of her scenes and is simply brilliant when she instructs her hubby (Manoj) to eat well so that he can 'perform' with the 'women' outside! These are the tiny moments that come together to keep interest alive in 'Gangs of Wasseypur'. In fact so powerful is the story stream of the film that you really want to know what would happen next and whether a character or two may end up doing a volte face.
Now just to see how the story actually culminates and whether there would be more powerhouse sequences that would accentuate the revenge of the warring families and their associates, I am keenly looking forward to the second part of 'Gangs of Wasseypur'