Gulaal !


I have to say this – Bhaisaab!! Kya picture banayi hai.

It is exquisite and exceptional. Quality reeks out of every scene of this movie. Each frame is filled with brilliance except maybe one or two. Gulaal is a a story of a Rajput senapati who wants to take his own state out of Indian Union and how he uses the student politics for the creation of Rajputana. Kay Kay Menon is this said leader named Dukey Bana. Let me just pointwise mention the things that blew me away so much so that since yesterday evening when I saw it, I am just full of Gulaal in my mind and that does not happen with me that often. Last it happened was when I saw Omkara. Like Omkara depicted the true UP hinterlands, this created the true Rajasthan. But let me save that for the appropriate point. So , here goes.

1. Music, Lyrics: Ladies and Gentlemen, Piyush Mishra has arrived and what an arrival it is. Bang!! Bingo. The songs are spot on. The words are so powerful that they alone can transport you into the movie and in its world. It is top notch. It is not a Bollywood song with him, it is a piece of beautiful and extremely powerful poetry. It is a fine piece of Hindi poetry. It is something which Bollywood has been wiating for. Ironically, it is being hailed as something new when in reality what he recreates is the Veer Ras poems we used to hear and the freedom time compositions. I suppose, everyone has forgotten that. I am just overwhelmed with his music. What hooks up as best with me is “Aarambh hai Prachand” – the true and pure Hindi revolutionary song. The rendition by Mishra himself is mind numbingly impressive. It is injustice to name one song when in fact, all the songs are “ek se badhkar ek”. It is just that this one appeals most to me.Well, that and the parody of “Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna”. Other than that, the two renditions by Rekha Bharadwaj “Ranaji” and “Beedo” just floor me. I discovered Rekha and her earthy voice in Omkara and here again she strikes with the same rusticness. There is something so rooted about her voice that I just go flat. I am stopping now from gushing more about music.

2. Acting: Superlative!! Better than that. What you expect from KK Menon he gives you, he gives you that and more. He is Dukey Bana. Noone else could be. He was born to play that role. He wants the Rajputana so bad that you can feel it in his whole body. I know what we should do, we should honour him by giving him a standing ovation for a full 24 hrs. But, boy, he is not alone. He is superbly matched by almost everyone else. Piyush Mishra, the genius writer, becomes a genius actor. The role of Prithvi Bana he has portrayed will become immemorial. His breaking into poems and songs, unique style of being the sanest among the said sane, it is brilliant. The other person who has given a cracker of a performnace is Abhimanyu Singh playing Ransa or Rananjay Singh. Attitude pours out of every breath he exhales. Such style, flamboyance and power. Sad, he had to go in the way he did. But he did leave an indelible mark. Next is Deepak Dobriyal, or Bhaati, or Mamdu of Delhi 6. There is a one minute scene in the movie where he just acts with his face without speaking a word and that was one of the best acted scenes in a movie filled with 100 extraordinary frames.The protagonist Dilip Singh, has also acted very well as has Ayesha Mohan as the scheming, plotting power hungry lover. I must mention here that the power of acting of Raja Chaudhary as Dileep Singh is understated and should be appreciated as such. He is supposed to be a weak character and Raja plays it with excellence. We are convinced that he is a weak man to begin with who is caught up in political games and suffers from loss of passionate love. I compliment Raja for understanding this.

3. Camera Work, Lighting etc.- Winner all the way. Play of light for metaphorical depictions. The camera angles. Splendid. Specifically I would like to mention the first and last scenes which were breathtaking. The camera sneaks in from below making Dukey Bana in the first scene and Karan in the last scene look so big. Many other instances were there. I could be more specific when I watch the movie again.

4. Last but not the least: Anurag Kashyap. I don’t want to eulogize him because others have already done that. He has had his deserved share of praise now. I just want to thank him. Yes, thank him, more than anything, with all my heart, and in all the words that I can muster. I want to thank him because he has shown us that there can be transcending Hindi Cinema. Because he has brought together such cast and crew who have created an instance of excellence. Because he has reaffirmed my faith in the future of Bollywood, because he has introduced to us Piyush Mishra and mostly because, he has given and will give us quality cinema.

I stand and give an ovation to this piece of dedicated brilliance. I enjoyed every bit. There may have been flaws in the movie, I do not deny that but they are almost invisible. I ignored them.

There is one thing I want to say here. There are many people who object to the use of expletives and obscenities and in fact, judge the whole movie unseeable based on that. I don’t understand that at all. Plus, I think that is a sign of imbecility. When a person is trying to create a situation, and trying it to do as well as he can, he has to use every possible device. And if a scene is set in a North Indian college and among people who run the Gunda Raj, of expletives were not used aplenty, it would not make the movie as good as it is. The obejction is hypocritical as well. The very same people who object either use it or are surrounded by it. Why then this squeaky clean expectation from a movie which is a creative piece in any case. I am more angry here than I should be and am rather ferociuosly defending the obscentities which is funny but I do so because some of my friends rejected any merit in Omkara because it used many cusswords and I fear that they wil lbecome blind to the awesomeness of Gulaal because it does so too and cusswords are one part of its awesomeness.

Well, anyway, that was one long review. Well, an indication of how the movie has impressed me.

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