(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) Gunday packs so many Bollywood clich?s and this ode to friendship makes for a tedious watch, Deepa Gauri writes
SO WHO IS Bikram? The kid who is always angry? Who is Bala? The kid who says revenge must be served cold and executed using brain cells?
By the time the two ‘refugees’ (caution: you should never call either of them so or you might end up with a lump of coal stuffed into your mouth) grow up, both are so full of muscle and anger, it doesn’t matter who is Bikram or who is Bala.
What we get instead are Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor, who are now ruling Kolkata, having overcome their childhood of trauma after trudging into India following the formation of Bangladesh.
The politics of partition doesn’t really matter in Gunday because it must be the most apolitical film ever made in Bollywood.
For a change, you won’t find even one politician in this movie of how Bikram and Bala became Kolkata’s ruling dons with shared interests in coal, timber, fisheries and a cabaret dancer called Nandita.
Not surprisingly, Gunday runs out of steam in its first 30 minutes. From then on, it is a rehash of every cliché in Bollywood, the worst being the characterization of Nandita, made even insufferable by Priyanka Chopra’s terrible acting chops.
Everything that happens when two trigger-happy outlaws fall in love with the same girl reels out with clinical precision in Gunday.
There are no surprises, and whatever the film’s makers thought would have popped the eyes out of the viewers in the name of twists make you laugh at the sheer nonsense of it all.
Gunday is a wasted opportunity, a film that is caught in a time warp. Director Ali Abbas Zafar, who made the imminently forgettable Meri Brother KDulhan with the same one-girl-two-men theme, should have given Mani Ratnam’s Guru a watch. While not a classic by any means, the film captures the progression of time elegantly.
In Gunday, time stands frozen after those customary shots of the two kids running into the screen, the small legs giving way to bigger-size shoes and rippling muscles. Cliché? Even cliché would cry out loud.
To add to the weariness of watching this badly cooked up tale are some terribly shallow dialogues, such as ‘Sita belongs to Ram,’ told unflinchingly by a vacant-looking Priyanka.
With an abundance of plot holes, Gunday shines for its cinematography by Assem Mishra; the Durga Puja sequences are gorgeously shot, and backed with equal flourish by editor Rameshwar S Bhagat. The film also has some soulful music by the hugely under-rated Sohail Sen.
Ultimately, Gunday is a showcase for Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor to scream, shout, giggle, swagger, emote and fight. They do all that way too loudly but with effortless ease. Their chemistry is also good and convincing. Irrfan Khan lends gravitas rising above a mean script and shallow situations.
Gunday had everything going for it, but for a good script and a genuinely talented actress. Sizzling as Priyanka Chopra is in her skimpy outfits, her take on Nandita is hardly heavenly, angelic or innocent as to sway two animal-like men.
Gunday concludes with the voice-over of Bikram and Bala that a day will come when the system will change.
We wish the same for Bollywood. May big production houses realize the value of good scripts!
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Priyanka Chopra
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar