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Overall Rating
3

Awesome: 14.29%
Worth A Look: 14.29%
Just Average50%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 21.43%

1 review, 8 user ratings



Gangster
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by Abhishek Bandekar

"When the Bhatts Cried Wolf!"
3 stars

'Gangster' is a misnomer of a title. This new movie from the stable of the Bhatts, those erstwhile makers of films which looked into the lives of fallen souls, is a deeply tragic study of love in its myriad dimensions. The Bhatt camp has of late become synonymous with soft-core adult drama usually lifted from trashy Hollywood flicks. You have to give credit to the Bhatts however for being nonchalantly blatant about their conscious decision to make cheap products that aim to satisfy the basic needs of the average movie-goer who is no less eager to analyze a film for its artistic merits than Karan Johar is to make a movie without Shahrukh Khan! 'Gangster' is a surprise, for it displays the qualities that made the Bhatt’s films, until the last millenium, the most bold and daringly incisive human stories. Either the Bhatts have had a change of heart or they’ve been lucky enough to find an original source of inspiration that is not only rich but also obscure enough for us to not know it!

Simran(Kangna Ranaut) is a depressed alcoholic hoping that her drunken stupor will enable her to get through a life that she is not very enthusiastic to live. So afraid is she of being sober, lest her troubling presentiment stare her in the face, that she desperately rummages dustbins for a mere drop of her elixir. Her state of plight has to do with her past, one that involves an intense romance with Daya(Shiney Ahuja)- a gangster. Daya, an otherwise ruthless criminal devoid of even an iota of emotion, instantly finds himself falling in love with Simran, a bar dancer. Both creatures of society’s underbelly, Simran and Daya complete each other. A beautiful dialogue(Girish Dhamija) captures the essence of their relationship when Simran, upon choosing to lead a life with Daya, says, “Mujhe pata nahin ki main uske saath gayee thi…ya apni zarooraton ke”(I know not if I’d chosen him or chosen my needs). A nomadic existence is the price of a life of crime, and shortly after they move in, Simran and Daya are forced to leave Mumbai and find temporary shelter in Dubai and ultimately South Korea(captured brilliantly in the lenses of Bobby Singh). Cops chase Daya down to South Korea, and he runs off to Mauritius leaving behind a distraught Simran who befriends the green liquid. It is here that Simran meets Akash(Emraan Hashmi), an Indian singer who finds in Simran’s pain an image of beauty. A wonderful line describes Simran as a beautiful tale of sorrow, “Tu hai udaasi bhari koi haseen dastaan”! Surprisingly Simran finds herself gradually falling for Akash’s simple charms, when Daya suddenly returns into her life.

As mentioned earlier, the film is a study of love in its various dimensions. Like all good love stories, this one too is aware of the fact that love hurts…and is never simple. Why does Simran waste her life over a man who obviously would never always be there when she needs? Why does Akash find himself getting attracted to a troubled soul? Why does Daya, a feared man, risk everything that he’s created for Simran? These are questions that are not only particular to the characters in this film but true to anyone who’s been in love? Haven’t you ever wondered what procreative genes in women make them fall for the bad guy types? Haven’t you ever wondered why we alter our lives as we know it to satisfy the one we love? Haven’t you ever wondered why we love someone who we know would never love us back? The brilliance of Gangster is that it not only addresses these questions but eventually underlines the most important fact of love…it is understood only by those who are in it. Just like the love between Simran and Daya is understood only by them and is theirs alone to understand frankly! Precisely why the first words that Daya tells Simran is not I Love You or any such hokey line, but “Ghar Chalo”(Let’s go home).

The story(Mahesh Bhatt) is essentially about love; the thrill and crime aspects are thrown in for entertainment purposes. The criminal setup allows the screenplay(Anurag Basu) to avoid getting bogged down as most love stories tend to do. Admirably, director Anurag Basu inserts songs into the story with such ease that they blend with the narrative. And yes, the songs are melodious too.

Nineteen year old debutante Kangna gives a performance that is amazing for its sheer grasp of the character. Sounding very much like the late Meena Kumari, who herself was a pro at playing an alcoholic, Kangna is remarkably comfortable in front of the camera and is only aided by her unconventional looks and voice. Emraan Hashmi’s acting skills have always been overshadowed by his numerous onscreen lip-locks. He has one here too, but thankfully his role gets some meat too. Gulshan Grover is impressive as a Svengali of sorts to Shiney’s Daya. Shiney, who surprised everybody in last year’s Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi , is an actor who is gifted with such an electrifying presence that he grabs attention even when he’s doing nothing which is a tragedy because he’s simply superb when posed with a challenging role. Sadly, Shiney is used here more as a prop- the movie has him mouthing only a few lines and at other times has him sashaying in and out of scenes, running in slo-mo or walking like a model on a ramp through alleys. But he’s damn good doing just that too! And his personal touch of making his character, one who hasn’t experienced love in his life other than the one he has for Simran, similar to the primitive Cro-Magnon is heartbreaking. Every time he is faced with a situation that tugs at his heart, he resorts to fuming and growling…because he cannot elucidate feelings that he’s never felt before.

One would like to believe that the Bhatts have actually made an effort to make a genuinely good movie. But they’ve copied so many times before; it’d seem more just to know that they’ve copied a film that no one’s heard of. Hell, they’re next, 'Killer', is a copy of Michael Mann’s 'Collateral'! Until we know the truth, 'Gangster' is a love that won’t hurry away.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14499&reviewer=398
originally posted: 05/05/06 11:02:15
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User Comments

8/29/11 Stacy The Hero of the film Shiney Ahuja is very sexy. 5 stars
11/02/07 ZAHRA FATIMA IT IS A SICK FILM 1 stars
12/31/06 mary lau Well written, well directed, and well acted 5 stars
11/01/06 bombayfilmbureau lots of scenes are shamelessly ripped from Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express 1 stars
7/27/06 mr pepper i think it's original for bollywood 4 stars
5/05/06 Heather Runyan this movie really sucked! 1 stars
5/05/06 Badshah Khan It was pretty good movie although its a copy of an English film?????? 4 stars
5/04/06 N Shah A decent twisted love story,but lacks pace and action and eventual plot. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Apr-2006
  DVD: 19-May-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
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Directed by
  Anurag Basu

Written by
  Anurag Basu
  Mahesh Bhatt
  Girish Dhamija

Cast
  Emraan Hashmi
  Kangna Ranaut
  Gulshan Grover
  Shiny Ahuja



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