Release Date : Feb 14,2014
Gunday (aka) Gunday review
Review by : Kaushik L M
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Production: Aditya Chopra
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh
Direction: Ali Abbas Zafar
Screenplay: Ali Abbas Zafar
Story: Ali Abbas Zafar
Music: Sohail Sen
Background score: Julius Packiam
Cinematography: Aseem Mishra
Editing: Rameshwar S. Bhagat
Distribution: Yash Raj Films

With a title design very similar to the all-time classic Sholay, comes Gunday, a tale of two childhood friends, Bikram and Bala who grow up to become the all-conquering players of Calcutta’s black market in the 1970s. They start off early as smalltime coal thieves and soon make a firm imprint on the city. Where there are crooks plying their trade, the cops can’t be far away and Irrfan Khan plays the cop who is on their trail and also narrates their tale.

The romance angle in the movie is provided by Priyanka Chopra (as Nandita), who plays a cabaret dancer and floors both the guys in one shot. Stories where love plays the spoilsport between two close friends are dime a dozen, and Gunday also traverses a similar path.

The biggest issue with the movie is its predictability, after the entry of Priyanka Chopra in the lives of the two guys. After a great start, where Bikram and Bala are introduced as young kids with a lot of style, attitude and pride, the movie struggles to keep up to that level and goes through quite a lot of crests and troughs. Towards the end, the pace and interest again pick up and the movie ends on a fair note.

Gunday is technically brilliant what with splendid camerawork by Aseem Mishra, racy background score by Julius Packiam and peppy numbers by Sohail Sen (but not placed well). Among the songs, Jashn-E-Ishqa and Tune Mari Entriyaan are crowd pleasers.

The rugged, dusty coal mines and the steam engine trains which transport coal, are eye-catching visuals which are presented to us. The interval block shot in the midst of grand Durga Pooja revelry in Calcutta is another riveting segment where the music and visuals work well in tandem. It is a riot of colors on screen.

The action scenes atop the train early on in the movie and underneath the coal mines in the climax have been done well. The camera work enhances these scenes, no doubt. There are plenty of shots of Ranveer and Arjun running facing the camera and the crowd goes crazy seeing these ripped young men in all their macho glory. Their introduction scene would surely bring a smile on your face as it is a classic commercial cinema moment.

Both the young men have invested their heart and soul and turn in energetic performances. They are all style, swagger and seem to have enjoyed playing such extravagant characters. Ranveer Singh has it in him to go to the next level as a viable superstar. He emotes well, is agile in the stunts and dances and carries the dynamism which can attract the masses. Not to forget, his great popularity among young girls thanks to his buffed-up beefcakes and flowing mane.

Arjun Kapoor shines in the scenes when he exhibits villainy, where his wicked laughs serve him well. The work that he has done on his physique is apparent but you get the feeling that he is straining himself while running and enacting the stunts and dances. With an effortless performer like Ranveer by his side in all these scenes, the difference seems obvious.

Given the excess drama in certain scenes, both Ranveer and Arjun put on some theatrics and give the impression that they are indeed ‘acting’.

Priyanka Chopra looks ravishing as ever when she is decked in sarees. Her cabaret dancer avatar is another example of her getting into the skin of any character she plays. And she seems to be defying age! Watch out for her role towards the end.

Irrfan Khan is convincing as a cop, but only as long as he is mouthing punch lines at Bikram and Bala, in his typical baritone. In the chase scenes, he seems to be just jogging along casually with no intensity or drive.

Gunday is bound to work with the mass audiences who come expecting a good masala entertainer where there is friendship, betrayal, love, action, good songs and attractive visuals. With such a star cast, if only the story had some surprise elements in store, the experience would have been wholesome.

Verdict: Begins on a high, meanders along predictably and ends reasonably well.
( 2.75 / 5.0 )


Gunday (aka) Gunday

Gunday (aka) Gunday is a Hindi movie with production by Aditya Chopra, direction by Ali Abbas Zafar, cinematography by Aseem Mishra, editing by Rameshwar S. Bhagat. The cast of Gunday (aka) Gunday includes Arjun Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh.