Gulaal : Movie Review

"...and Kings are left to serve coffee to the foreigners" a dialogue from the movie, made me instantly related to it. Cause recently I had been there, before 10 days, in Rajasthan, where this thing has happened. I have seen angst on their faces, how they must be feeling, people are roaming in their palaces, houses which are now museums or Hotels. And this is the storyline of Gulaal. Another installment of dark movie by the master of the genre: Anurag Kashyap. I absolutely have started loving his work, that now I can easily put him on top list of my fav directors.

Gulaal is a story about politics in Rajasthan. Politics between the Rajputs-community which had their own states before India got free. Everyone had their own share of land back then. Kay Kay who plays Dukke Bana, a leader who is dreaming of fighting against democracy and recreate history by putting up his own Rajputana. He starts this from backing Dilip [Raja Singh Chaudhari - The writer himself] who lives with Rananjay Singh [awesome played by Abhimanyu Singh]. Dilip who just has become victim of Ragging and college mafia, alongwith Anuja-a young teacher of his college [Jesse Randhawa] joins him under circumstances. Rananjay Singh stands for election of General secretory of the University, while things go on different way and Dilip becomes GS instead of him. Then comes in limelight are Kiran and Karan [Ayesha Mohan & Aditya Shrivastav], who has angst about being illegal children of King, and Kiran whom Dilip has defeated, goes on to play her game. And then starts cat-rat fight of politics,revenge,angst, sex and love. This is what Gulaal is all about.

Gulaal, is so much difficult movie. Difficult to understand, difficult to instantly accept or to relate even. And that's the way Anurag is tend to make his movie. And that's why I always liked his movies. He carries such a brilliant star cast in this, all little known faces but all Fabulous acts are being put together here. Kay Kay Menon, in the opening scene itself, gets us stuck like hell. He has just so powerful screen presence, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. The way he speaks is just superb. He has the authority in his voice. Raja Singh Chaudhary, who plays a law student, turning into a monster [not really, but that's the word I want to use] is also well executed, casted character. Why not? He is the writer of the film itself, and only he can do such justice.

Deepak Dobriyal [Mamdoo of Delhi 6] is one to watch out for. He gets very less lines, but he plays with his expressions and does fantastic job. While Aditya Shrivastav does a commendable one, his sister played by Ayesha Mohan, is powerful one. Jesse Randhawa also portrayed her role nicely, but I wish her role could have been longer enough. To show us what she has got. Mahie Gill, as Madhuri is in special appearance. As a modern day Tavayaf, who used to be with Dukkey Bana. [kay kay]. And surprisingly consider herself a Tabu lookalike. You can see Tabu's posters all over her beauty parlour. And absolutely delightful moment was whenever she played songs on her music system or watch TV, it was about Tabu only. Loved that part. Also loved how Tabu's song 'Pani pani re...' has been used.

While Piyush Mishra, gets into multi faceted role here as brother of Dukkey Bana - Music, Lyrics and Acting. His act is fabulous. He sings short songs and recites best dialogues to push the movie forward. And I loved that. Pankaj Jha as Jadhwal, a hostel warden, was also good. The winner to me, is Abhimanyu Singh who plays Rananjay Singh. A son of erstwhile King of a Princely State. He is a modern day Rajput, more a kind of Rajasthani cowboy. I sincerely wish his role could be much longer.

Technically, always Anurag's movies are winner. He uses such less budget but creates awesome picture on screen. Here whole movies feel is pink-royal. To show Gulaal's colour. The moments at Rananjay's place, a Retro Beer Bar are captured so interestingly. The place is designed so well, I would love to stay there for my life. Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi uses the cities of Bikaner and Jaipur so seamlessly that one can hardly identify them. Only one glitch is there, where we can see a board where Jaipur is written.

Music-the part always to look out for me. I feel sorry that I could not review this on my blog. I loved its music when I heard it only today morning. I wished I should have heard it early so that I could have enjoyed this movie much more.As I said earlier, Piyush Mishra's songs push the story forward. And are so much integrated. Lyrics that has meaning to the story.And brilliant vocals. Both Mujras are delightful too. And the climax with the song 'Duniya...' is also well integrated.

Climax, now this is the territory most difficult for every filmmaker. Recently Rakeysh Mehra faced so much criticism about his climax in Delhi 6. I felt very similar about this one. [shocking??!!] By far I have read a few review about this movie, none are highlighting it though. But I felt, Anurag had got distracted while travelling through this territory. I felt, climax has been written in quite hurry that it wraps up in sudden point. Which I felt senseless. When you are giving a movie, which such heavy and hard hitting, this kind of mild twist and a great effect generated by such twist is quite unacceptable. And somewhat indigestible. I was much disappinted by that. In recent past, we have seen similar genre of a movie, Sarkar Raj, which was again a political drama, but it had the feeling that I loved its twist.

But don't go by my words. You just decide by watching yourself. It is a movie to be watched out for beautiful Rajasthan, powerhouse performances by Kay Kay, Abhimanyu and Piyush Mishra. And brilliant score by Piyush Mishra.

I would rate this 3.5 out of 5. This movie is a sign that Anurag is now here to stay. Bollywood, you need him.

[P.S.: Heard that Paanch is set to get released in April, yay..........!!!]


  1. OMG, thanks for the review. I'm dying to watch this film, knew it was be a dark movie. Plus, I looove Kay Kay.

  2. Me too, though he disappointed a little in Drona, I think it was director' fault there. Kay Kay here, reminds me of 'Shaurya'. I enjoyed his every bit of performance.

  3. Gulaal sounds amazing! Will watch it by Monday.

    By the way, the music is review it here.

  4. It sounds really awesome! I don't know if I can handle it, though--I don't do very well with intensity, I run out of the room till my husband calls me back. LOL

  5. Bhargav Waiting for your review on this. As far as music review concern, I totally missed it out. I got soundtrack two days back and have listened to it just once. And its purely connected to the movie. After watching the movie, I like it more.

    AjnabiOh yeah, this is much intense movie. What else you can expect from Kay Kay? He is best at this. But I hope this will keep you glued :-D

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Nice unbiased review once again Darshit. And I agree with you on the climax thing, seemed a bit forced.

    Deepak Dobriyal first caught the eye as Rajju in Omakara. He is improving with each movie. He was good in Shaurya too.

    PS: Could not help mentioning Kay Kay Menon's act in Shaurya. He blazes the screen in the final 15 minutes.

    I watched a bootlegged version of Paanch 3 years ago :)

  8. Hey, SujoyThanks. Many people found Delhi 6 climax weird. But no one finds this one weird.

    Oh yes, Deepak Dobriyal was fab in Omkara. Loved each character in whatever movies he has done. Damn good he was in Shaurya too. And the scene you mentioned of Kay Kay, was his career best performance undoubtedly. In first scene of Gulaal, I instantly felt this is extension of those 15 minutes.

    OMG !! How was Paanch??

  9. Anonymous01:17

    I don't think was a masterpiece. But its a good example of his exemplary writing skills not cinematic.

  10. Hi Debojit, welcome to my blog.
    That's well said. But to me it was rather cinematic. I felt awesome ensemble cast and performances made it worth.

  11. Paanch as you may remember is one of Kashyap's first films. So there is a certain edgy,rawness about it, which makes it even better. Heard that it has been re-edited, but the version I saw was really,really dark almost nihilistic. And it is not the in-your-face kind of violence, but a subdued violence, something which makes you think.
    One word for it--vintage Anurag Kashyap.

  12. missed this too! will watch it now that i have seen you write so well about it. thanks for the review.

  13. SujoyThanks for the writeup. I definitely looking fwd to Paanch now.

    Welcome Anuradhaji to my blog. Watch this before it goes off the screens. But with a warning, of bad words and much intense moments.

    I see you have a big lineup of blogs written by you. Which one do you recommend for me? Like, most suitable for me?

    Thanks for stopping by. Hoping to see you again.

  14. Anonymous02:38

    Thanks Darshit for visiting my blog. I wanted to know which software do you use to merge your screenshots. Would appreciate your help.


  15. Anonymous22:21

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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