Gangs of Wasseypur (2015)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Towards the end of colonial India, Sahid Khan loots the British trains, impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku. Now outcast, Shahid becomes a worker at Ramadhir Singh's colliery, only to spur a revenge battle that passes on to generations. At the turn of the decade, Shahid's son, the philandering Sardar Khan vows to get his father's honor back, becoming the most feared man of Wasseypur. Staying true to its real life influences, the film explores this revenge saga through the socio-political dynamic in erstwhile Bihar (North India), in the coal and scrap trade mafia of Wasseypur, through the imprudence of a place obsessed with mainstream 'Bollywood' cinema (c) Official Site … More
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as Shahid Khan
as Ramadhir Singh
as Sardar Khan
as Nasir Ahmed
as Nagma Khatoon
as Faizal Khan
as Asgar Khan
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Critic Reviews for Gangs of Wasseypur
It's a story about charismatic killers, men we love to hate, characters who are depraved, ennobled and finally doomed by their disregard for ordinary human decency and their devotion to an endless cycle of violent retribution.
Impressively, "Gangs of Wasseypur" manages its sprawling story lines deftly and maintains a brisk pace throughout its daunting length.
A frequently spectacular achievement: five hours - and then some - of gliding camera moves, brutal action and dizzying revenge plotting, often set to a peppy pop music backbeat.
Even at this running time, the film dips into decades but doesn't dig deeply into lives.
Kashyap's direction is ferocious and mesmerizing, deftly balancing hundreds of characters, story lines and bloodshed that never apologizes or slows down.
Audience Reviews for Gangs of Wasseypur
A gangster flick that failed to click. With me, that is. Hope the sequel would be better, and more worthwhile than this not-so-engaging chaos. Not being a professional critic grants me an immunity from the obligation of rating an Anurag Kashyap venture at least 3/5. (Can afford the freedom of arrogance for the time being, although arrogance has played no part in my rating of this flick.) 1.5/5 with a generous heart.
'Gangs of Wasseypur'. The vicious cycle of violence, ambition and love in this sprawling, masterfully told epic! What an end to the Sydney Film Festival.
I've sat through way too many two hour films that have been an absolute drag. Gruelling, tiring affairs that have made me weary and wary of long runtimes. This was five and a half hours of cinema, and it felt effortless to watch. That is really saying something about the pacing, storytelling, direction and characters.
The mix of ultra-violence and humour is spot on. These criminals aren't trained hit men, and their bumbling nature, at the tensest of times, breaks the mood of the film up nicely. Likewise the Bollywood tropes that are intertwined for comic value, especially the bard of Wasseypur! Oh, and there may be Singhs and Khans, but there's also Tangent, Perpendicular and Definite, each name with a most magical origin story.
What starts out as a feud between two men, turns into a saga played out over 70 years and three generations. The ways to make money and the Bollywood films and stars they idolise may change, but the motivations of these families sure don't. Not when revenge and ambition are at the forefront of everyone's mind. Their story may have ended, but the collateral damage, both physical and psychological, caused to Wasseypur and its people, will remain for a while yet.
I'd be amiss not to mention the wonderfully strong female characters that steal many a scene. There's nothing subservient about this lot, and on more than one occasion, they're the ones seeking retribution that moves the story along in an even bloodier direction.
The last Bollywood film I liked was 'Lagaan'. I may have seen one or two after, but they reverted back to the formulaic, produced-for-masses stories that I never cared for. This could be complete ignorance on my part. Regardless, I wish more Indian films took a chance like Anurag Kashyap's latest. It's a breath of fresh air not only as a film out of India, but will surely go down in the annals of classic gangster flicks.
Anurag Kashyap's sprawling epic saga on three generations of a crime family in Bihar is filled with lots of awesome, twisted set-pieces topped up with rip-roaring dialogues, splendid performances and earthy music and cinematography, but don't be insistent on a wholesome story.
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