Movie - Gulaal (Hindi)
Director - Anurag Kashyap
Producer - Zee Limelight
Cast - Kay Kay Menon, Raj Singh Chaudhary, Abhimanyu Singh, Jesse Randhawa, Deepak Dobriyal, Mahie Gill, Piyush Mishra, Ayesha Mohan, Aditya Srivastava.
Music & Lyrics - Piyush Mishra
Cinematography - Rajeev Ravi
Editing - Aarti Bajaj
Story - Raj Singh Chaudhary, Rahul Maharya, Anurag Kashyap
Screenplay - Anurag Kashyap
Dialogues - Anurag Kashyap, Piyush Mishra
Release Date - 13th March 2009
Writing a review of Gulaal, is very tough. The movie is one of the most complex Indian films I've seen. In short, it can be called a hard-hitting socio-political drama. But the movie has many more layers to it than what it appears to have. I'm not sure if I have fully understood all what Anurag Kashyap has tried to say through this movie. The movie is quite engrossing and gripping. Right from the brilliant opening scene, you are hooked on to the movie. It had been in the making for 8 years before Anurag could finally release it in March this year, after he had a success with Dev. D.
On the surface level, Gulaal is the story of an innocent graduate who comes to study law in a university in Rajpur, Rajasthan and how his life gets affected by politics and betrayal. It is also about a descendant of a royal family trying to start a secret movement to get a separate country for the Rajputs and get their lost respect and glory back. The film is an outburst against the so-called democratic policies, so much so that, even brands of alcohol are named as Constitution and Republic. There are many more sub-plots to this amazingly well-written movie and none of them are out of sync with the actual narrative. They all add more value to the script. I'm not getting into the details of the story as it is best to get to know the story while watching the movie.
As usual Anurag Kashyap films have, this film also has its share of absolutely shocking and daring scenes. The ragging sequence in the hostel, Kay Kay Menon's revolutionary speech, the mentalities of the characters, and many more scenes are things which no other Indian film director can even dare to portray on screen, like Anurag has done. As we saw in Anurag's earlier film, Dev.D, the characters are neither good or bad. They are all very real, unlike the characters we find in usual Hindi films. Each character is extremely well-defined. Which other director can have a protagonist who is an utter loser and still make a compelling movie? This is why I said that Anurag Kashyap is the future of Indian Cinema. He wrote Satya at the age of 22, and he has made 2 absolutely brilliant and unusual movies like Dev. D and Gulaal in the same year, not to forget the amazing Black Friday and the misinterpreted No Smoking, which he had made earlier. He has said that Gulaal is his most angriest film ever, and we can totally understand that while watching this movie. He said that he was inspired to make this movie after hearing some songs from the Guru Dutt classic Pyaasa and made this movie as a dedication to all the poets who had a vision of India. He uses the brilliant music and even more brilliant lyrics by Piyush Mishra innovatively in the narrative. At times, you cant help laughing out loud due to the sheer audacity and sarcasm in the lyrics. The climax of the movie, could have been better though. I expected a little more from Anurag. But it was good nevertheless.
The performances in this movie are superlative. Kay Kay Menon is the best of them all, as Dukey Bana, the leader of the revolutionary movement, who is both strong and weak at the same time. He steals the show right from the opening scene of the movie. Abhimanyu Singh, as Ransa, impresses in a very short role. He creates a huge impact in the very little screen time he has with his amazing screen presence. Raj Singh Chaudhary who plays Dilip Kumar Singh, the protagonist, plays the coward/loser effectively. He is also the story writer of the movie. Ayesha Mohan plays the manipulative Kavita and does a good job. Deepak Dobriyal is such a fine actor and you can see his brilliance even in a small scene where he nods to some questions by another actor in a paan shop. Aditya Shrivasatav plays the brooding and intense Karan very well. Piyush Mishra also comes up with an excellent performance as the eccentric Prithvi Bana. His songs and dialogues are really thought-provoking even though it is said in a humorous manner. Mahie Gill in a short role, looks sensuous and is responsible for bringing in some light moments as well. Her character is a fan of the actress Tabu and that has been brought through the posters in her room and the superhit song 'Ruk Ruk Ruk' playing on the stereo.
Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi is fantastic. He does an excellent job again after Dev.D. Here the prominent colour is red, like the title of the film, and Rajeev perfectly sets the mood for this dark film. Music is one of the most important aspects of this movie. I have already mentioned about the innovative use of music and lyrics in this movie. The music of this movie deserves another detailed review, so I'm leaving it for you people to enjoy yourselves. But in spite of all this, this movie was not accepted when it released. Our audience is not yet ready for such kind of cinema. While Dev.D could become Anurag's first hit because of the relativity of the theme and the aggressive marketing, many people have not even heard about this movie. This movie is not for the light-hearted (it contains loads of expletives used in all their glory) and not for people who enjoy movies with songs, fights and foreign locations. Somebody has rightly described that Anurag is anti-Yash Raj. Just compare Dil Bole Hadippa and Gulaal, and you would understand the difference. This movie is not to be missed by people who appreciate different attempts in cinema. The movie has the signature of the director all over, which is why I say that Anurag Kashyap is a genius and he is certainly the future of Indian Cinema!!
Rating - 4/5