Film review: 'Gunday' should be watched for being a two-hero film which is a rarity these days

Friday, 14 February 2014 - 8:48pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Film: Gunday
Rating: **
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Starring: Ranveer Singh Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan

What it's about: It's about two orphans Bala (Arjun Kapoor) and Bikram (Ranveer Singh) who find themselves becoming refugees after the formation of Bangladesh. They soon realize that if they have to survive, they have to grow up fast and soon find themselves on the path of crime. The boys as petty thieves who are forced to run away to Calcutta, where they grow up and become kingpins of the city. People swear by their friendship. And then they both fall in love with the same girl. 

What's good: The entire childhood portion of Bala and Bikram is powerfully captured by Abbas, both in terms of the screenplay and execution. It almost sets the tone for the film - almost saga-like. There are some poignant moments in the friendship between the two heroes - and that's the crux of the film. This is what you call in movie terminology a guy's film - loads of action, attitude and masala. Abbas is superb when it comes to projecting heroism of his lead protagonists. 

The scale is grand; production values are great. In terms of screenplay, there is one really good twist in the film that you don't see coming, but by the time it comes, you have pretty much thrown up your hands. Priyanka Chopra looks pretty, and that is what the directors seem to expect from her and emphasize on. She is a director's actress and can deliver. 

That she proves in the one scene she gets the chance to perform (the confrontation with Bala). She bites into the role with vengeance and shows that she has it in her. When two actors have equal roles, everyone is watching them to see who is better. In Gunday, both Ranveer and Arjun have been given contrasting characteristics so both stand apart. 

Ranveer's restraint is ably matched by Arjun's hyper intensity. Irrfan Khan as the cop is a delight. The dialogues deserve a special mention. 

What's not: There was a reason why there was so much curiosity surrounding Gunday. After a long time, the industry was witnessing a two-hero film. One only wishes that after getting such a golden opportunity, director Ali Abbas had focused more on the substance. 

After a stupendous start, the film keeps going downhill with every reel. All the critical conflicts in the story and screenplay are flaky - be it the friendship between the two guys (after a point), the romantic angle and the adversities they face. You know right from the onset that the boys will become enemies over the girl they love. 

That misunderstanding, split and ugly fight scene will follow post which, both will swear to destroy each other. You keep hoping there's something clever coming your way but alas! Gunday was meant to be this generation's Ram Lakhan but it comes nowhere close to it. Overall speaking, Arjun and Ranveer's camaraderie was better on Koffee With Karan. 

The kind of bromance that entertained us in Ram Lakhan, Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Sholay and Karan Arjun was needed but the film just doesn't deliver on that. And that is what the film is hinged on, so it's a big let down.

What's that: I was really worried in the fight scene where Arjun and Ranveer rip each others' shirts off. Thankfully the fight master didn't have any imaginative way to strip them of their pants. 

What to do: A two-hero film is a rarity these days. Watch it only for that reason. 

Watch the trailer:

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