Gangs of Wasseypur ended at a point where anything could have happened. The beauty of its sequel is thus in the way in which it resolves things. It provides a befitting end to the two-part movie and it can even work on a standalone level. It is just that it works better with the first part.
As seen in the first part, Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) is dead. Faizal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) goes from being a ganja-smoking slacker to a ganja-smoking gang boss. Wasseypur is shown in a different way than it was shown before; everybody wants a piece of the cake. Ramadheer Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) continues to push people against the Khan family like a masterful puppeteer. Definite Khan (Zeishan Qadri) is the new pawn as Faizal’s stepbrother. He thinks that he has everything under control but well, he just thinks.
Violence, gore and debauchery is embedded in the setting of a film but the real beauty is how the script weaves in bursts of dark humour into all of it. And for a change, I like the seemingly slow-paced nature of the film. Midway, it might seem like everything is going to end but in reality, the only constant of this film is how power shifts hand constantly.
I think that this is when any movie made in the gangster genre involving mafia families get compared to Coppola’s work. Having said that, Kashyap gives tribute to movies like Inglourious Basterds and City of God along with Coppola’s masterpiece, The Godfather.
Gangs of Wasseypur II is big, commercial but freakishly real. And that’s what’s great. Nawazuddin Siddiqui maintains a straight, calm demeanour throughout the film, unlike the brutish Manoj Bajpai who I must admit, was slightly missed. Zeishan Qadri is impeccable as Definite. Huma Quereshi is good looking and for a change, she is an actor with acting capabilities and screen presence – thank god for that. It goes without saying that everybody in the movie is good. Yes, all 928923640 of them.
The movie has well-written characters like Perpendicular, Tangent, Guddu and at some point you feel there are too many people in the film. However, Kashyap’s master stroke is when he uses a character to satisfy a certain plot element, though he is very indulgent while doing so.
The film has a dauntingly detailed cinematic universe and no one goes out of character. Everything in the frame looks like it was meant to be there. The overall appeal of the film relies a lot on the manner in which it has been shot – arty yet real enough to sustain your immersion into it. The setting is so perfect that you live the film as it is screened. Yes, though you have never been to Wasseypur, the place becomes hauntingly familiar. The music and the background score are seamless; yes they are weirdly patchy and repetitive but it’s excellent because it accentuates the mood the movie attains through its visuals.
All in all, Gangs of Wasseypur II is a must watch. Even if you haven’t watched the first one, watch it anyway. Yes, even though it has lot of blood and gore, this movie gives hope to mainstream Indian cinema.