– Gulaal..2009

Directed by Anurag Kashyap

Music and lyric by Piyush Mishra

soaham SAYS,

Probably the most important character in this movie is that of Piyush Mishra who happens to be the music director and lyricist of this movie. The movie opens with the fact that it is a tribute to the various poets who have deeply inspired the freedom movement of India. There could not have been a better person than Mishra to give this tribute. His songs will be remembered for the feat of carrying the theme of this movie amazingly. The depth of the words he has used makes you a victim of several emotions. You may cry, you may smile, your blood may boil and you may just stay silent admiring the talent of this genius.

Gulaal’ deals with a very delicate issue that revolution today is misunderstood and malpractices are occurring in the name of revolution. No one wants to bring a true change; revolution is a heavy word which serves the purpose of bringing momentum and energy to overthrow a power and to gain….power!

It is the lust of power which is driving the world now. Kashyap brings his world in Rajasthan. Kay Kay Menon plays a mass leader of an association which wants “revolution” and is as usual a brilliant performer. Abhimanyu Singh plays a brief but a powerful role of Ranasa who is the legitimate son of ‘His Highness’. He is contesting for the General Secratary post in a university. Fighting for the same post is a young and beautiful girl, Kiran. She too is the daughter of His Highness, but she is the illegitimate one. A ragged student of the college is our protagonist Dileep Singh, fantastically portrayed by Raj Singh Chaudhary.

Gulaal has its strength in the poetry and the dialogues and the brilliant Kashyap direction has made it a masterpiece eye opener. I often feel bad using the word eye opener. The irony with our society has always been that our eyes have been opened, yet we are blind when we actually have to do something to change it. This movie targets almost everything bad in the society and pretty decently carries it too. Depth is the word which is inseparable from Gulaal. The filthy dynamics of politics, the inhumanism of humans, the thirst for power and the power to get power, the paradox that power begets power and only power gets power have been strongly portrayed.

The happenings of the movie might be thoroughly depressing and saddening and maddening to a major section but what comes as a gift is the amazing cinematic treatment of Kashyap. He seems tgulaalo have the fancy for red, blue, green lighting and unicolour filters and we see its extensive use in his movies. There was too much of yellow in No Smoking, too much of blue in Dev D and here we see too much of red in Gulaal. These colors are not just for funk; they again as I said, are deep. The red here stands as a symbol to Love, Betrayal, Power and its misuse, Murder and Revolution. Even if you miss out on this movie, don’t miss out on the music. The serio comic fast paced number called ‘Ranaji’ and the meaningful ‘Aarambh’ are two brilliant tracks from the album. But surely the best and concluding one is the defining one, Duniya. If you can withstand depression and appreciate hindi heartland slangs then that would be a great additional qualities to watch Gulaal . The question this movie deeply leaves on your mind and the answer for which may not exist is, “What the hell is this circus called democracy?”

Rating – √√√1/2 – Kashyap, the new face of Indian cinema


About daskino

trying to use films and lines as an outlet to my disastrous sense of expression.
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21 Responses to – Gulaal..2009

  1. soaham says:

    My first review for daskino!! feels great!

  2. Tanay says:

    who is this soaham?

    Dude, 1st review on daskino so its ok.. but gulaal was a really bad movie.

    It was of bad taste and a bad attempt at political genre. Anurag kashyap should stick to whatever little he is good at( which is a few scenes from no smoking).

  3. daskino says:

    mate may be Gulaal is not tht great, i havent seen it…

    but saying Anurag knows little is a bad, unintelligent statement…if a guy can convey so much just thru the visual and montage, the dude has to be awesome and he is.

  4. daskino says:

    not only tht , the man’s also got a great sense of music and his visuals are spectacular…he’s worked on diverse scripts and is also a superb screen writer

  5. Tanay says:

    Hey, nice to have started a discussion.
    Thought Dev D was over rated. No smoking was a good attempt at serious cinema. You are right about his visual capability. But cinema requires more then that. 10 years back I would have been happy to find a director who is good at visuals in bollywood. But things are better now. We have a Vishal Bharadwaj, Nandita Das and even Madhur Bhandarkar.

    Watch his Gulaal and you will realise how unintelligible the whole movie is. He has talent but he cant be allowed to get away with it. He has to work on his scripts and build his ideas.

    And music? Well, lets just say I beg to differ.

  6. daskino says:

    the music thing, ya its better we leave it there..if somebody believes tht Kashyap cant judge good music, i dont even want to bother myself arguing abt it.

    the interesting thing about Dev D is that its path breaking in almost every department of film making – a dark re make of an Indian cult movie, seriously diverse music, i dont have to comment on the visual, the only thing that bothers me abt Dev D is the acting…acting could have been much better.

  7. daskino says:

    of all the Kashyap movies ‘No Smoking’ is the only one with a really confused script and screenplay…otherwise Black Friday and 90 percent of Dev D are very well bound scripts..

    come on, ur talking about the screen writer of ‘Sathya’, ‘Water’ and ‘Kaun’.

    Vishal and Nandita made one movie each and Madhur lost the visual thing with Fashion..but Kashyap on the other hand had been trying out a lot of different lukin and interesting visuals.

  8. Tanay says:

    My point is that there is space in bollywood to do serious cinema and still be commercially viable. So there is no excuse for getting away with loose scripts or insufficient research on issues. Gulaal is one movie where the director has nothing different to say because he has not really thought it through. He ends up taking a superfluous story and tries to get away with it by having skillful camera shots.

    We know he has skill. But its time he got down to working on depth of his scripts.

    And the idea of Dev d by the way was not his. It was abhay deol’s. Anurag kashyap wrote the script which could have been more tight.

    Just watch gulaal and try to see it along with other films of the political genre.

    Who is soaham anyway? πŸ™‚

  9. daskino says:

    Gautham Says

    Waddup everyone nice to see a discussion….!
    Soaham is a new reviewer who has just joined the daskino family..!!

    Will get back after watching gulaal

  10. daskino says:

    Soaham is a friend of mine who also writes for a blog, he’ll be writing for daskino also from now on

    i’ve already said tht Dev D could have been better, i knew Abhay came up with the initial idea. His idea was tht of a guy who falls in love with a Los Angeles stripper, Kashyap had to Indianise it and put it into Dev Das….

    u seriously think Bollywood is the place to make gud and yet commercially viable cinema…lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
    NO NO NO mate.

    wht happened to Johnny Gaddaar, wht happened to Oye Lucky and a million other awesome movies. Buddy Mani Ratnam had to make seriously stupid movies like ‘Guru’ casting some of the seriously stupid actors like Abhishek to make money in this stupid industry..

    as far as Gulaal goes, i cant comment until i watch the movie.

  11. daskino says:

    i havent seen a script with more depth than Sathya or Black Friday…so we cant really complain abt tht i believe, he can surely go for much better scripts as far as his new movies are concerned, but lets give the guy some time…atleast he’s not making total commercial non sense

  12. Tanay says:

    Dude. I love the discussion thing too. You should have a forum for discussions on your website. It would make it more interactive and lots of fun. There is no better way of fleshing out each aspect of a movie!

    I dont get your point about ‘ no no no mate’. sounded like sarcasm though.

    I think the differnce between your reaction to anurag kashyap and mine is just one movie. That is gulaal. Watch the movie and you will realise how sathya, iruvar, or even rang de basanti were of (same genre)much more depth. more insightful. As i said gulaal is a more skillfully made ‘deshdrohi’. Unintelligent.

    Watch the movie.

    .. oh and Hi Soaham. Nice to meet you.

  13. daskino says:

    na tht was no sarcasm, tht was my hatred for bollywood..

    ya i’ll luk up whether i can open a discussion forum on the blog…i’ll check whether i hve tht option or we can always abuse each other in the comments section …

    n u need to get ur thing right abt exploring the visual medium…good camera shots is not exploring…the camera should have the capability to tell a story all by itself even without the dialogue if necessary…of the VERY few makers of India capable of tht, Kashyap is definitely one

  14. Tanay says:

    Hey, no mistaking here. This is no personal matter(‘abusing each other’). Its a different understanding or takes on cinema that need to be discussed to be best expressed. No two people can ever agree on every aspect of cinema. But they can bring out it in ways that make cinema more then it is.

    My claim is not about cinema and cameras. Its about the movie gulaal. As I said watch it and you will know what I am talking about. Its plain boring.

  15. daskino says:

    after all this, i HAVE to watch the film..

    i’ve used the word abuse as a synonym for argument, with the number of dumb movie apprehensions people have, my explanations have turned rather abusive

    n thanx for keepin the blog so active with ur comments

  16. soaham says:

    i guess a lot of discussions have taken place…..and i have been missing from the scene…lol..

    well tanay, gulaal is a fantastic take on the happenings of rajasthan. trust me, i know how things are out there, i got loads of friends out there….

    though basically a work of fiction, gulaal beautifully tells us abt the cocktail of politics and power….and how misunderstood revolution is..

    the music if you are good at hindi, will be a wonder to u! it beautifully carries the theme of the movie….

    i think u r giving it a harsh one on kashyap. gulaal is a very deep movie and i reckon if u just think once more abt the dynamics portrayed here, you will know wat i m speaking abt…

  17. Tanay says:

    Hey soaham. good to hear from you.

    I agree about rajasthan. In fact its true to many other places in the country not just rajasthan; Delhi university politics or Hyderabad even.

    Thinking once more, the movie has appealed to more people than I have imagined(another friend of mine disagreed with me). I think it came down to the fact that I expected more from the director then just a critique of bad politics. There was a time in bollywood(80s) when this form of critique was just mainstream. In fact not just in bollywood but also in telugu cinema.I expected a ram gopal varma’s ‘shiva'(telugu). And so I really didnt find the movie to be different.
    It is in that light that I am being harsh on the director.

    Lets hope he only becomes better from here on.

    Now looking back I regret having such a discussion on gulaal out of all the other brilliant movies up on the blog. = )

  18. daskino says:

    ya i get Tanay’s point about the mainstream of the 80s…
    guys plz stop talking abt this, i havent seen the film n i’m feeling terrible

  19. Tanay says:

    Hey. really sorry rohit. Just when I thought I should stop. I read an article today in Chennai Times(out of all the papers) where Sudhir Mishra said today’s political movies are ‘naive’. They lack the kind of political out look that people had in the 70s. This he found to be disappointing. I share his views completely.

    Ok now I will stop. I really liked this. πŸ™‚

  20. daskino says:

    i loved the whole discussion…

    keep it coming about other posts also guys

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