If there's one film that's unapologetic about being soaked in the '70s flavour it is Gunday. There's formula galore in the film, so let me put it out upfront - Bromance, love triangle, betrayal, fight between two thick friends over a girl etc is all that you'll see in Gunday. But don't you consider it a spoiler because the makers themselves have made no bones about revealing this. The hook here is the execution. Despite a predictable plot, it's the screenplay, acting and drama that gives you your money's worth.
Tracing the epic bromance, Gunday starts off with rise of Bangladesh post the 1973 war and how two refugee friends Bikram (Ranveer Singh) and Bala (Arjun Kapoor) get sucked into trading illegal weapons in a bid to make a living. Post a life threatening incident, the two flee to Calcutta, turn coal mafia and build their empire there of all things wrong. The two rule Calcutta and all is well in their thick bromance till Nandini (Priyanka Chopra), a cabaret dancer walks in. Both fall for the same girl but she only loves one leaving the other heart broken. With ACP Satyajit Sarkar (Irrfan Khan) looking for one chink in the armour, he uses this against the Gunday and all hell breaks lose.
Gunday is the film you watch for the drama and not the story, the execution and not the plot, the style but not so much for the substance. The makers unabashedly make a film heavily thriving on the masala of the yesteryear; you get to see a version of Big B's celebrated dialogue, "main aaj bhi gire hue paise nahi uthata" or the same twists and turns you've grown watching. But what makes it worth your while is the near perfect characterisation and crackling performances.
Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zaffar takes bromance to another level, leaving that of Sholay behind as well. The chemistry between Bala and Bikram is more infectious than that of Priyanka Chopra with either of the two.
Both Ranveer and Arjun show tremendous screen presence and the filmmaker doesn't leave a chance to capture their offscreen bonding onscreen. The two are quite a pleasant sight too what with all their bronzed, beefy body; yet another move by the maker to nail the tall, dark and handsome phenomenon. It's surprising how they easily over shadow the presence of the original desi girl of Bollywood, Priyanka Chopra. All her tremendous beauty goes to waste in front of the boys' bromance.
The movie also scores for its setting and backdrop. Ali Abbas Zafar pulls off a commendable job of recreating Calcutta of the '70s. Even the slick action and the styling of the actors is praiseworthy.
To sum it up, Gunday is entertaining despite being a masala fair. This old wine in a saucy new bottle works!
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