BY RUBY CHINGU
RATING – 6/10
It has been quite a depressing week in Malaysia. The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is still missing, the terrible haze in Shah Alam, the city where I’m staying and the general emotional helplessness continues to break our hearts as all around the world fervently hope for the missing flight to appear and the mystery to be solved. The tragedy led me to think of many things, the same way when my father passed away. Now would be the good time to tell your loved ones that you love them and try to achieve your dreams and to fulfill your wishes, as we never know when our time on earth will end. A sad morbid thought but that’s reality.
Alrighty, moving on to the more cheerful stuffs!
PLOT SUMMARY: The film I’m about to review today is Gunday, starring the ever-so-shameless-but-entertaining Ranveer Singh (or more affectionately, Ranveer Baba) and his baba friend, Arjun Kapoor. The premise of the film is about two childhood friends, Bikram and Bala, who became refugees resulted by the independence of Bangladesh. Identifying themselves as Indians, they survived their childhood by committing illegal acts of stealing coals for the older guys. As they managed to escape the depressing life in the refugee camp, they landed in the town of Kolkata, where their fearlessness in breaking the law and the bad guys resulted in the boys building a massive business empire, albeit always related to illegal dealings. Main point the film tried to convey is that though they were basically Mafia dons, they had the heart of gold. Like all the heroic Mafia dons in Hindi films, they did a lot of charity and ruled over the needy people of Kolkata with kindness and compassion. Then, entered the beautiful Nandita (Priyanka Chopra) into their lives. Both Bikram and Bala fell in love with the same woman and promised each other that they would respect whoever Nandita chooses to be with. As per usual, what Nandita did in entertaining the flirtatious behaviours of both men and ended up in choosing only one caused a drift in Bikram and Bala’s relationship. Other than that, they also faced challenges in the form of ACP Sarkar (by the amazing Irrfan Khan) who had been tracking their criminal activities for a long time.
REVIEW: Overall, the film is very very entertaining. It has all the ingredients to a great Hindi film – action, that dirty ruggedness of a masculine Indian man, some romance, some underground don-related stuffs and great item songs. However, the main ingredient that made Gunday so enjoyable is the brotherhood of Bikram and Bala. The chemistry of Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor is superb here. BROMANCE TO THE CORE, BABY! They did everything together – lived off the streets together, built a business together, committed crimes together, slept next to each other on the same bed wearing the same clothes all the time together to the point I find their relationship to be extraordinarily sweet but gay.
The minus point I’m very unhappy with is the fact that they drifted apart due to a woman, which makes the film kind of predictable. Nevertheless, Priyanka is sooo stunning in her item songs (highlights: Tune Mari Entriyaan and Asalaam-e-Ishqum). She’s stunning but that’s just it. She was not much of a presence compared to Irrfan Khan who played a cop that has been trying to put Bikram and Bala in jail for years.
Now, to the acting of Ranveer Baba and Arjun Baba. In all honesty, I am not a fan of Ranveer. He’s great and all, I know. He was amazing in Band Baaja Baarat, the film that ALMOST made me fall in love with him. I have yet to watch Ricky Bahl and Lootera, though. But in Ram Leela, Ranveer did not impress me much as an actor. I enjoy watching him more in real life than in films, which is weird because it is supposed to be the other way round. Ranveer as a person is infectiously funny, bubbly and simply crazy (note: do watch his interview in Koffee With Karan, the 4th season). Unfortunately, it seems like the character of Ram in Ram Leela and Bikram in Gunday were tailored for that side of his personality. Thus, I kept thinking that I am seeing the same Ranveer Baba over and over again – the happy, sometimes conflicted but naturally funny and confident man that he is.
But damn, Ranveer Baba can surely dance like there’s no tomorrow! And he’s super hot! I know he’s hairy and oily and all…. but still, I think he’s hot. That’s the problem, though. I find myself to be strangely attracted to this actor yet at the same time I don’t really like him that much. Hmmmm, now how did that happen?? Hahahaha
Now we go to Arjun Baba. Okay. Let me just put this out there – ARJUN KAPOOR IS AN G-R-E-A-T ACTOR! Unexpectedly, he is the one who actually brings more emotional depth and layers to Gunday. I first saw Arjun in Ishaqzaade, in which he was great as well. But in next film, Aurangzeb, he totally challenged himself by playing dual roles of a pair of twins with completely different personalities. I love how Arjun seems to be quite selective in his works and refuses to play the same character over and over again. He’s young and hot and new and he could easily choose to do that but he did not. So, yes, I am very proud of him. He did not manage to get the girl (Nandita) in Gunday, as she chose the obviously hotter and more oily Bikram (Ranveer) but that made Bala more humane and wounded. Thus, Arjun got to deliver a wider emotional range compared to Ranveer. While the latter’s character as Bikram was limited to a cheerful mischievous sweet lover, the former’s character as Bala was an embittered man of few words with a tough exterior but a soft kind heart. He displayed his disappointment over losing Nandita’s love so well – his facial expressions during the song Saaiyaan are so heartbreaking! *cries*
God, am I Arjun’s fan now? I think so. I did not really like him at first but after seeing how well he acted, I am super excited to see his next performance. Go Arjun Kapoor! I believe in you!
IN CONCLUSION, ARJUN KAPOOR’S ACTING IS THE BEST THING IN THE FILM.
Now, what don’t I like in the film? The actions scenes are overrated. But then, that’s a given for all masala films. And too many chest exposure. I mean, I do love naked guys but do they have to be oily and sweaty ALL THE TIME? There was this one fight scene where Ranveer and Arjun were running towards each other, topless and wet, and I can literally see their chest muscles bouncing up and down. I mean, I’m not sure…. is bouncy chest supposed to be sexy? I mean… this sweaty sex and all… I’m not sure… But hey, if you like it like that, you like it like that and who am I to judge? Hahahahahaha.
The slow-motion muscle running thing I was talking about
Watch the film if you like a good bromance story. Plus, the music by Sohail Sen is super great. And also, do appreciate Arjun Kapoor’s performance! Heheheehe.
P/S: Never stop praying for Flight MH370 and the people in it. Also pray to the Search and Rescue team members who are working very hard to find the plane and rescue the people inside it. I pray that everyone involved in the incident is safe and sound and I hope the loved ones can be reunited with them. Dear Allah, do give them strength to face this experience.