Gangs of Wasseypur II (2012): Part - II of Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s epic crime saga based on Indian Coal Mafia

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews 

gangs of wasseypur II,  directed by Anurag Kashyap, nawazuddin siddiqui
Gangs of Wasseypur II (2012) - By Anurag Kashyap

Our Rating: 8.0
IMDb Ratings: 8.6
Genre: Crime Drama | Drama
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Huma Qureshi
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Runtime: 158 minutes
Color: Color

                            Note: For review of Gangs of Wasseypur I, please click here

Gangs of Wasseypur II is the second and final installment in Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s Epic crime saga revolving around on a multi-generation power struggle between two disputing Muslim clans: the ‘Khans’ and the ‘Qureshis’. The movie’s original five hour cut was premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 65th Cannes Film Festival. But, the makers decided to release it commercially in two parts of roughly 150 minutes each. While Gangs of Wasseypur I was released in India on June 22, 2012 the movie’s second part hit the theatres on August 8, 2012. Gangs of Wasseypur II stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Piyush Mishra, Richa Chadda, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Huma Qureshi, and Zeishan Quadri in major roles. The story picks up from where it was left in the first part with Sardar Khan’s elder son Danish Khan leading the brigade against the family’s arch enemies: Ramadhir Singh and Sultan Qureshi. Unfortunately, Danish’s reign is short-lived as he too is made to meet his father’s fate. The next in queue is Sardar Khan’s younger son, the anorexic-looking marijuana addict, Faisal Khan, who seems to have found solace in his drug-induced oblivion amidst the all-pervasive bloodbath. Now, the onus lies with Faisal to avenge the death of his grand father, father and his brother. But, the enemies are stronger than ever and a perpetually stoned Faisal just doesn’t seem capable of exacting revenge against them. Gangs of Wasseypur II follows Faisal’s tumultuous journey from being an effeminate doper to becoming the undisputed mafia kingpin of Wasseypur.    
    
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Faisal Khan, Huma Qureshi as Mohsina, Gangs of Wasseypur II, Marriage Scene, Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Gangs of Wasseypur II: Faisal Khan marries Mohsina
They say blood runs thicker than water, but watching Gangs of Wasseypur II makes one question the veracity of the proverb. In the decrepit land of unscrupulous outlaws, power is not only the ultimate elixir but the only thing that matters. A man is willing to part with his life but not with his hard earned power, for the absence of power would make him appear effete in the eyes of his kin. If Gangs of Wasseypur I was about vengeance then Wasseypur II is surely about conquest: one’s naked ambition to conquer absolutely everything that’s there to be conquered. Survival is no longer the hottest commodity around… Supremacy definitely is! In the ghettos of Kashyap’s dystopia, triumph is a necessity for survival. And, while there is a perpetual struggle for existence, survival is no longer the right of the fittest, but the prerogative of the “Smartest”. You may be big, mean, strong, and powerful, but complacency is a folly that you can ill afford, for death can come in different forms and you better not get caught off guard when that happens. 

Zeishan Quadri as Definite Khan, Gangs of Wasseypur II, Directd by Anurag Kashyap
Zeishan Quadri as Definite in Gangs of Wasseypur II
The characters in Gangs of Wasseypur II, driven by malice, ambition, hatred, and theatrics, are meaner, pettier, and filthier than ever, and perhaps that’s what gives them a comic book feel. In fact, almost every character in the movie seems to have a fixation for Bollywood actors which also happens to be their greatest weakness as quipped by Tigmanshu Dhulia’s character (Ramadhir Singh), “The reason that I have been alive for so long is that I don’t watch cinema while my rivals continue to visualize an image of their favorite actors in their minds aspiring to be heroes in their real lives, thus overestimating their odds of survival.” One of the characters is named “Perpendicular”, because he shoots gun-barrel straight. “Perpendicular” is greatly inspired by Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. Then there is another character that’s referred to as “Tangent”, for his shots are not meant to go straight, but instead are meant to shave off his human targets tangentially, perhaps to frighten them rather than actually killing them. To complete the trio, there’s third peculiar character named “Definite”, who happens to be a diehard fan of Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan,  portrayed by none other than Zeishan Quadri—the movie’s co-writer. The characters’ Bollywood fixation provides for occasional bursts of humor, which Kashyap adeptly uses to punctuate the plot’s ever brewing tension. 

Pankaj Tripathi as Sultan Qureshi, Raj Kumar Yadav as Shamshad Alam, Gangs of Wasseypur ii, directed by anurag kashyap
A Still from Gangs of Wasseypur II (2012)
The success of Gangs of Wasseypur I—a relatively low budget movie with a very unique flavor—has already paved the way for a new crop of filmmakers in Indian Cinema that will go a long way in breaking the prototype associated with commercial Hindi Cinema. And while Wasseypur II might not be as effective as the first part, it will surely succeed in strengthening the grounds for this new kind of cinema that Kashyap has derived from different existing streams in global cinema. Also, Gangs of Wasseypur II must not be scrutinized as a sequel as it doesn’t qualify to be one; it’s just the second part of a 320 minute long movie that’s been split into two parts for commercial viewing. 
 
Nawazuddin Siddiquii as Faisal Khan, Smoking Marijuana, Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Nawazuddin Siddiquii as serial doper Faisal Khan
Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur has given rise to a new star in Nawazuddin Siddiqui who has given a breathtaking performance in a career defining role of a reluctant heir to a powerful crime syndicate. Siddiqui, who was widely appreciated for his cameo in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani (2012), doesn't seem to leave a single stone unturned in his portrayal of Faisal Khan. As Faisal Khan, he comes across an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Siddiqui has taken great care of the subtleties and nuances needed to play a part as convoluted as Faisal’s. Siddiqui is well supported by a great ensemble caste led by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Piyush Mishra. And while Manoj Bajpai’s stellar presence is greatly missed throughout the movie, Siddiqui and company do a great job in carrying the movie on their shoulders. Huma Qureshi delivers a memorable performance as Faisal Khan’s melodramatic wife, Mohsina. 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Faisal Khan, mourning the death of his 14-year-old brother Perpendicular Khan, Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur
Faisal Khan mourns the death of his 14-year-old brother Perpendicular
Overall, Kashyap and his team have succeeded in pulling off the movie with great fervor. The element of abundance that Gangs of Wasseypur I seemed to have gained from is still there and that too in a bit more exaggerated form. The dialogues continue to be expletive-driven while the action is more grotesque than ever. And it wouldn’t be a hyperbole to term the acting in the movie (with the exception of Siddiqui, Dhulia and Mishra) as hamming. Gangs of Wasseypur II, like Wasseypur I, has its flaws and seems overdramatic at times, but despite its shortcomings it succeeds in packing a powerful punch. The movie is ridiculously high on entertainment value and seems to have something for almost everyone. And to top it off, there's a breathtaking finale à la Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006) with Kashyap continuing to pay homage to the legendary American filmmaker who seems to be Kashyap's greatest inspiration behind Gangs of Wasseypur.  A necessary watch!        

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

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14 comments:

  1. Excellent post buddy and I wish to see few filmmakers rise to the occasion and break free from the commercial cinema genre and make us experience quality cinema :) Do check out my review of the film and let me know what you think :)

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  2. This was the one of the best movies that i've seen, couldn't find a single flaw. As usual thats a great review.

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  3. I am really glad that you liked... thanks a ton!!! :-)

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  4. Thanks Hari... I am sure that, courtesy GOW, we will surely see some changes in Indian Cinema in times to come!!! Btw, let me read your review and get back to you :-)

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  5. definite-ly very eloquent review .. although don think that 'departed' scene was related .. .

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  6. Thanks Mithil! I was basically referring to the elevator sequence in The Departed featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon where nothing seemed certain and "any thing can happen and will happen" feeling prevailed. Now, I cannot be more elaborate as I don't want to spoil the movie's ending. I hope you will understand :-)

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  7. good review!
    enjoyed watching GOW Part 1, now gotta go finish the series.

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  8. Thanks Medha... I am glad you liked!!! I would love to hear from you once you have watched GOW II :-)

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  9. I’m putting together a new blogathon. It’s called “Winning Streak” and the idea is that you write about what you consider to be the most impressive unbroken run of great movies from a chosen film-maker. So for example mine would be Robert Altman’s run from Brewster McCloud (1970) to Nashville (1975) where in my opinion he made seven fantastic movies.
    Let me know if you fancy taking part..

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  10. Both 1 & 2 were awesome but I have to say I liked 1 better.
    Nice review.

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  11. Thanks Vinay! GOW I undoubtedly carried more weight because of the stellar presence of Manoj Bajpai but since GOW II cannot be termed as a proper sequel, I guess it would be really unjust to compare the two! :)

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  12. Nice review, however, I feel it's unfair to Review the two Theatrical releases as two separate movies, considering it's all part of one cohesive story meant to be experienced at once. Although, I guess it's more the commercial nature of the Industry that's at fault.

    I do disagree with you about the finale being similar to THE DEPARTED. The context and sequence of events leading up to it is completely different, even if the shock factor may be similar.

    Check out my review of both the cuts: http://blankpagebeatdown.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/movembers-moustache-movie-madness-gangs-of-wasseypur-1-2-2012-bollywood/



    FYI: Please don't see me linking to my Articles in your comments as a way to boost my readership. It's just that I can only comment on movies I've already seen, and if I've seen, I've reviewed. So easier to share thoughts on the same movie that way. Don't want you thinking I'm being tacky.

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  13. Well, I think a 5-hour-film would have been a disastrous idea. Also, I don't see any issues in analyzing the two parts as two different films as they both are good enough to stand on their own.

    PS. I don't really mind (the linking) as long as you leave comments that are meaningful and engaging :-)

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