Gangs of Wasseypur is a great moment of cinema, as one sees little, a reflection of a lesser known, darker and more violent India than the more traditional cinema shows us and which is part of a wave of independent films, but which does not deny its roots, on the contrary. It is difficult not to think of Scorsese before the dazzling scenes of the great popular cinema, without concessions, a pleasant and refreshing punch.
Anurag Kasyuap's film traces 60 years of a bloody gang war in Wasseypur, a town in the state of Jharkhand, India. With 5 hours of film, more than 340 actors, it is an impressive and spectacular saga that the director delivers. The city faces three generations of gangsters, heirs of two clans.
That of Shahid Khan, who first launched into the plunder of British trains, against that of Ramadhir Singh, who is in unrestrained power over the region. Becoming pariah, Shahid Khan is forced to work in the mine of his worst enemy. Sardar Khan, son of Shahid and inveterate petticoat, vowed to reinstate his father's honor by becoming the most feared Wasseypur man.
Constructed both as a western epic and a romantic and violent gangster film, Gangs of Wasseypur is a raw, sincere and captivating work that blends modern cinema with Bollywood codes. The result is an energetic and enjoyable show, a mixture of colors, blood, black humor, music, dust and love. A film that moves away from Bollywood standards while keeping the essential.
It is a brutal tale where feelings kill. Here pervasive violence is regularly defused by a refreshing humor and the wonderful soundtrack of the young Sneha Khanwalkar (Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!) that fits perfectly with the frenetic atmosphere of the film.
If the staging is nervous and electric, the film is less opaque than No Smoking and less experimental than Dev.D of the same director. The story is well built, without time out, despite a rather long introduction. The film would have deserved to be slightly shortened in its first part to focus on the second and third generation.
The film was presented at the world premiere at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, where it received a formidable reception.