Interested in pitch-perfect drama, fantastic action and exceptional cinematography? Did you like The Godfather? Prepare yourself for one of the most intense cinematic experiences ever. One of the highest rated films of recent history, called by Danny Bowes of rogerebert.com “one of the most ambitious gangster films ever made, and quite possibly one of the best,” Gangs of Wasseypur, the 2012 film by Anurag Kashyap, will turn any preconception of Indian cinema on its head.
Gangs of Wasseypur has made Kashyap a filmmaking legend, with the intensity and scale necessary for any epic. Kashyap’s brilliance can be seen throughout the film in its unique texture, composition and dialogue, and in its rich character and focus. Gangs of Wasseypur spans 70 years and three generations of violence, commerce and revenge and never fails to command attention. You would be hard-pressed to find a film with as many unforgettable sequences as Kashyap’s masterpiece. Each scene is weighted with extreme precision, each shot given significance and the entire film measured and timed to perfection.
Gangs of Wasseypur has been critically considered as a near perfect gangster film. It draws comparison to the Shakespearean depth and devotion of Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo’s Godfather. Kashyap’s film follows the contours of the classic mob movie but avoids tropes by making every aspect of the mob world tangible, shocking and often vulgar. It rises to the height of the best epics because it does not attempt to be them, or to beat them. Gangs of Wasseypur knows exactly what it is: a streamlined, corporeal, visionary story of revenge.
Sahid, Sardar and Faizal Khan are complex, often difficult antagonists, with whom we become obsessed thanks to three generations of vengeance and determination. The bulk of the first half is dedicated to Sardar Khan gaining power in Wasseypur, always with the intention of avenging his father, Sahid Kahn. Sardar Khan is a determined man, and Wasseypur is a dangerous place.
Anurag Kashyap’s direction produced incredible performances, iconic sequences and unparalleled depth. Gangs of Wasseypur is an unforgettable movie and cinematic experience. This is Wasseypur, where, as a character says at one point, “even a pigeon flies with one wing, and uses the other to guard its innocence.”