Producers: Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Guneet Monga, Sunil Bohra, Anurag Kashyap
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Richa Chadda, Piyush Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Huma Qureshi, Jameel Khan, Pankaj Tripathi, Vineet Kumar, Raj Kumar Yadav, Zeishan Quadri, Anurita Jha, Satya Anand
Music: Sneha Khanwalkar
This is a spellbinding sequel that overwhelms you with power-packed performances and ace direction. Coming close on the heels of the first part – another piece of excellent direction – there is a sense of excitement as you wait for Part II to roll. Gangs Of Wasseypur (GOW) II lives up to expectations and takes the story forward with an honesty not often seen in sequels. Better still; the sequel is a step ahead of Part I in almost every department, from the way it has been conceived to its presentation to the performances. Only, its music is nowhere near the soundtrack of the first part.
Credit for making GOW II so watchable goes to Anurag Kashyap, whose reputation now precedes him, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s fan following, not only among multiplex-goers but the single-screen audience too. These two names are the sequel’s biggest USP.
Wasseypur is no longer a town consumed by a raging war for power. It has spawned a new generation and is eclipsed by vengeance. With illegal profiteering through scrap trade auctions over the Internet, corrupt government officials, election-rigging and hooliganism, Wasseypur is murkier than ever. Everyone wants an alliance with the most powerful man of Wasseypur, Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who is no longer the underdog in his family. After murdering his brother’s killer, Khan is the head of his gang and family. His sole ambition is to annihilate Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia). The sequel is the final showdown, where only the shrewd will survive.
In this magnum opus, director Kashyap seamlessly merges narration with the screenplay. Kudos to him for drawing awesome performances out of every actor. He keeps the story crisp with engrossing screenplay and snappy dialogue.
Kashyap’s direction impresses throughout. The scene where Dhulia expresses his objection towards cinema is worth mentioning. The emotional transition in the song Tar bijli se is touching, where Chadda goes into a trance. The climax, Dhulia’s death sequence, is among the highlights of the film. Revenge never looked this vengeful on Indian celluloid, thanks to the way it was conceived and delivered by Siddiqui. In fact, he’s so brilliant in the climax that he can walk away with an award for just those few minutes.
The first half of the film moves very quickly and includes some major highlights. These include the scene where Siddiqui kills his brother’s killer and the scene post-interval. However, the story starts to lose its grip in the beginning of the second half. The pace drops but is soon regained. The scene where Definite (Zeishan Quadri) is on the phone and co-ordinating with his henchmen to kill has been stretched.
The feel of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, brought to life through films and songs of Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, is splendidly integrated. The changing trends of that decade with changing hairstyles and fashion are depicted well.
Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi is a definite plus. Music and background score compliment the film. Every song (though not as effective as in the first part) is perfectly placed and strengthens the narrative and helps to establish substance. Editing is crisp.
Writer Zeishan Quadri pens the perfect blend of gusto and passion. The screenplay and dialogue lift the film to a different level. Quadri places each character in a tight spot with reasoning and rationality. The violence is gritty and ruthless and the film has the right amount of gore. The use of coarse language is thankfully less than in part one and only where necessary.
Performance-wise, Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays his part flawlessly. Definitely an award-winning performance. Tigmanshu Dhulia is brilliant. Richa Chadda plays her part with panache. She is a vengeful wife and mother with substance. But her make-up leaves a lot to be desired. Piyush Mishra has nothing much to do, yet, he’s spectacular. Huma Qureshi is good. Vineet Kumar plays his part with flamboyance. Raj Kumar Yadav portrays his character aggressively. Zeishan Quadri gets into the skin of his character. Satya Anand is good. Reemma Sen has a small but essential role and plays her part exquisitely. Pankaj Tripathi is apt. Yashpal Sharma’s cameo is marvelous. The selection of songs he sings in the film makes his character lovable. The rest of the cast fits the bill.
Verdict: There were huge expectations from this sequel – and it delivers. Since the content lives up to expectations and is a treat for the audience, the film should have a safe ride at the ticket counter.