Gulaal Hindi Movie Review
Anurag Kashyap, director of critically acclaimed films likes Black Friday and Dev D, is back with Gulaal starring the brilliant Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastav, Raj Singh Chaudhary, Piyush Mishra and others. Gulaal is a socio political thriller which culminates into an intense love story. It's an intelligent film targeted at the multiplex audience. Anurag Kashyap films have a sizeable fan following, those that absolutely love his style of film-making. Personally I have loved every film of his, except No Smoking. Yes, including Gulaal!
Gulaal is about an innocent student Dileep who comes to Jaipur to study, accompanied by his faithful servant Bhanwar. Here he comes in contact with Rananjay Singh "Ransa" (intelligent young man whose ideologies clash with his father's, the local raja), Jadwal (with old school of thought he is the college goon who rags Dileep); Anuja (professor ragged with Dileep; despair brings both together and a strong emotional bond develops between them) Dukey Bana (powerful local figure who leads an army of radical Rajputs struggling to get the Rajputana back from the Government of India challenging the very idea of democracy); Kiran (uses Dileep for power and personal interest).
The film begins with a Rajput conglomerate gaining strengthen as Dukey Bana and a few ex-Royals convince a reluctant Ransa to contest for the college elections on behalf of the Rajputana party; Ransa and Kiran battle it for General Secretary's post. The rivalry between the two gangs intensifies and Ransa is forced to withdraw, which he resists. Eventually this leads to his murder by Kiran. Using the sympathy wave, Dileep is compelled to contest elections in Ransa's place and made to win. After losing the elections Kiran tries winning Dileep's trust, gets close to him and pretends to fall in love. As he tries to fit into the shoes of the General Secretary an insecure Dileep gets emotionally dependent on Kiran and distance grows between him and Anuja. Dileep finds himself trapped in political maneuvers and realizes that this is not what he had wanted. It dawns to him that he is being used by Dukey. When Dileep confronts Dukey, he is faced with a horrifying truth!
Phew! What a movie. The complicated script with many sub-plots required a highly capable director to pull it off and who better than Anurag Kashyap..! This guy is truly a genius, cut above the mediocre rest. Gulaal is a film that requires your complete attention, don't for a moment take your eyes off screen as you might end up missing a key twist in the tale. The best thing about Gulaal is the film is completely unpredictable, filled with moments of unexpected twists and turns, which makes for an engaging watch. Yes, it's long and at times slow but the unpredictable nature of the script more than makes up for it.
The characters are well-etched and each of them makes an impact. Especially the character of Raj Singh Chaudhary (Dilip Kumar Singh), which grows on you as the film progresses and makes the most impact.
It's hard to pick one performance that stands out, as every actor is outstanding. Kay Kay Menon delivers his career best performance. His dialogue delivery, intensity, body language, expressions - perfect. Aditya Srivastav in a short role gets to mouth the best of dialogues and he does a splendid job. Raj Singh Chaudhary is one heck of talented actor with a face that slightly resembles Karan Johar. Piyush Mishra is brilliant. Mahi Gill is excellent and so are the rest.
To sum up, Gulaal is a must watch. It doesn't hold universal appeal nor is it a typical Bollywood entertainer. The film is different, engrossing and pure quality. Hats off to the director - Anurag Kashyap - the face of changing cinema.