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Gulaal Movie review-A Breakthrough Conventional and Stereotypical Indian Cinema

Megha is an Agriculture Graduate and an entrepreneur. She runs a home bakery called WE BAKE.

GULAAL Love.. Power.. Revolution..- A Fragrant Mask of Blood

a-breakthrough-conventional-and-stereotypical-indian-cinema

Synopsis:

This movie is a crime/thriller movie directed by Anurag Kashyap and is said to be one of the angriest movies he has directed. The movie deals with the ideas of today’s India and its youth who have their own pre-set ideologies and how their unflinching attitude causes a turn of events in their lives. Gulaal, the title of the movie, symbolizes unity and is used figuratively as mask on faces or blood of Rajputs revolting against injustice, contrary to its symbolization of happiness and forgiveness when it is used in Holi festival in India.

a-breakthrough-conventional-and-stereotypical-indian-cinema

Storyline:

Gulaal is a socio-political drama which is set in a fictional city called Rajpur, Rajasthan. Here, the leader of the Rajputana community wants to unite his people against the injustice, which he thinks was done to them by democracy, the very democracy their ancestors fought to gain. The story also deals with changing concentration of power and mental reframing of an individual when he/she transitions from an obsessive and ambitious Endeavour into one who breeds malice and violence.

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Characters:


  1. Dukey Banna (Kay Kay Menon): He has been portrayed as a powerful and bold character that plays the role of Rajputana community’s President. He is a firm believer of his ideologies and wants others to follow the same. His ideologies, though orthodox, but play a huge role in pursuing his vision of Rajasthan for Rajputs (That Rajasthan belongs only to Rajputs). He also strives to lay his hands in college politics so that the politics is controlled by Rajputs only. This also attracts students toward his cause.

Kay Kay Menon is one of the finest method actors of bollywood and has done justice to the character of Dukey Banna. The vigor on his face while addressing the troupe, with a reserved intensity, is a marvelous depiction of his character.

His expressions while addressing his troupe “ Veer Bhogya Vasundhara”(Hail the Land Of brave)

His expressions while addressing his troupe “ Veer Bhogya Vasundhara”(Hail the Land Of brave)

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2. Dileep Singh (Raj Singh Chaudhary): This character is innocent and vulnerable, whose life is molded by people surrounding him. He comes to Rajpur to study law and wants to stay away from any kind of violence. Dileep is portrayed as a sensitive, tolerant and righteous person who steps into the world of autocratic cruelty where his very existence is challenged. He does not share the vision of Dukey Banna and whenever tries to be rebellious, is brought down by the powerful to vanquish every uprising against them.


3.Prithvi Banna ( Piyush Mishra): He is my favorite character of the film who does not share much time on the screen but whenever he enters he always uses his poetic narratives to convey some really hidden messages in his songs. In the movie he is portrayed as a person who is an ardent follower of John Lennon (a famous singer) and one who dissents his brother’s (Dukey banna’s) vision using his satires or costume he wears. Some of his notable dialogues in the movie not only add humor but also convey a sense of nihilism he follows. He does not care about the political powers and is deeply immersed in his own world of materialism. His inclination toward art and eccentric views is coped by the presence of Ardh-nareshwar (Half Male-female figure) all the time. He is also the music director and singer of many songs of the movie.

Prithvi Banna's dress code and photo of John Lennon around his neck.

Prithvi Banna's dress code and photo of John Lennon around his neck.

A scene in the movie when he waves at his brother putting this moustache on his lips to portray that his brother has the ideologies of that of a Hitler.

A scene in the movie when he waves at his brother putting this moustache on his lips to portray that his brother has the ideologies of that of a Hitler.

Piyush Mishra posing as Hitler to convey a message to the entourage

Piyush Mishra posing as Hitler to convey a message to the entourage

4.Ransa (Abhimanyu Singh): He is one of the students of Deshraj College, son of His Highness of Rajpur. He is chosen to fight the upcoming elections of his college by Dukey banna and become the General Secretary of the college. The essence of the story is very much connected to this character and flips with the events happening in this character’s life.

Ransa and Dileep during the campaigning for elections.

Ransa and Dileep during the campaigning for elections.

5.Bhati(Deepak Dobriyal): He is in the supporting role in the film and is portrayed as a protective ally of Dukey Banna.

6.Karan Singh (Aditya Shrivastava): This character is one who portrays jealousy, hatred, and ambition to take his father’s role post his death. Karan is half-brother (out-of wedlock) of Ransa, who along with his sister Kiran play important roles in the events taking place at Rajpur.

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7.Kiran Singh (Ayesha Mohan): She plays the role of sister of Karan and half-sister of Ransa. She stands in the college elections against Ransa and is pretty perseverant regarding the same.

8.Ardh-nareshwar(Teddy Maurya): His role is just as an ally to Prathvi Banna who is painted half blue and half red. Indirectly, he is used to depict the difference between Dukey Banna and Prathvi banna. Former is the Blue side or the masculine one and latter is the feminine one.

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Basically, the whole cast is so proficient in their acting skills that they bring the film’s plot of love, betrayal, hypocrisy, politics, malice, deception and the ultimate gain of power so smoothly into execution that viewers can connect themselves to the very idea of the movie.


Film’s content:

Here I would like to bring into notice some of the marvelous pieces of work that added to the essence of the movie:-

1. Music and Background Scores- The music is par excellence as the songs are deeply soulful and rich in language.

Beedo” is a classic folklore.

“Aarambh hai Prachand” (Well begun is Half the Battle Won) denotes a strong initiation of elections in college and the whole process of election campaigning is executed while the song plays in background adding to the insight of battle and victory.

          Scene before the campaigning for elections starts.

Scene before the campaigning for elections starts.

“Sheher- Jis Raat Gagan Se Khoon Ki Baarish Ayi Re” (That night the skies let loose a shower of blood)

Sheher is one of the excellent songs which is perfectly timed with the screenplay of the movie, narrating the evil happening in the city. A major twist in the story is covered by this song.

“Duniya- Ye duniya agr mil bhi jae to kya hai” (what’s the big deal if we get this world?)

As per the director of the movie, this film is a dedication to Sudhir Ludhianvi who is the lyricist of this song "Duniya" which is origignally from the movie "Pyasa".This song is sung by Piyush Mishra which is placed at the end of the movie and shall give you chills. Its lyrics work out the emotional turmoil of the protagonist, without any use of dialogues or monologues.

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Also, the poetic narrations of Prithvi banna include “Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil me hai” to call upon Bismil(An Indian Revolutionary),to look at the present state of affairs. Another narration is when he tries to denounce the plan of Secessionist Movement of his brother and narrates it as “Sale hai- Punjab lelo, Assam lelo, Kashmir lelo kyuki sale hai”(It’s a sale- take Punjab, take Assam, take Kashmir because it’s a sale).

Following this, to further prove his point he sings one of the famous proses from Rashmirathi- Tritiya sarg i.e

"Yah dekh jagat ka aadi- srajan,

Yah dekh Mahabharat ka Rann

Mritako se pati hui bhoo hai,

Pehchan isme kaha tu hai"

(Here each day of Mahabharat was spent. Here’s where the world begun, will end, Lined with corpses, yes its true)

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2.Use of natural light- This movie was made in a span of 6 years when every year the whole team travelled to Jaipur for 10 days during Dusshera and Diwali festival to use the natural lighting that was done during the festival. Since this movie was made in a shoe string budget, it saved producers a lot of money for lighting and extras.

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Streets of Rajpur during Dusshera

Streets of Rajpur during Dusshera

3.Reference to the story was given in the backgrounds- Many times the background was used to convey the socio-political ideas of the movie. For example: Democracy beer.

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a-breakthrough-conventional-and-stereotypical-indian-cinema
Liberty and colonial alcohol

Liberty and colonial alcohol

a-breakthrough-conventional-and-stereotypical-indian-cinema

Because of these elements that were present along with the screenplay in the movie, it becomes even more interesting to watch and get into the core of such excellent piece of work.

Conclusion:

Gulaal is a masterpiece in the world of Indian cinema but due to lack of salability it did not reach many audiences. Film has an unconventional way of storytelling; it is dark and evil tale of India. It is successful in exhibiting the bitter truths about orthodoxy and history that obstruct our thoughts and our zeal toward achieving a goal. Gulaal brings out a shockingly real confrontation of all these. Also, this movie has a relentless pursuit of vision, rich script, lyrics, dialogues, monologues and screenplay. Keeping into notice the fact that such an excellent movie was unreleased for two long years and for the extra-ordinary direction skills of Anurag Kashyap, the way the whole movie was molded I would like to say just one thing,

“For all your days prepare and meet them ever alike,

When you are the anvil; bear;

When you are the hammer- strike”

— EDWIN MARKHAM

© 2020 Megha Ginnare

Comments

Megha Ginnare (author) from BHOPAL on August 31, 2020:

Thank you @Nabanita Kundu

Please do have a look at the other article too.

Nabanita Kundu on August 31, 2020:

Great Insight

Megha Ginnare (author) from BHOPAL on August 28, 2020:

Sanjana Thank you so much

Sanjana on August 28, 2020:

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Megha Ginnare (author) from BHOPAL on August 27, 2020:

Mamta Ahirwar Thank you

MAMTA AHIRWAR on August 27, 2020:

✌️✌️✌️✌️