During the colonial times, Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) was working in the coal mine owned by Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia). Ramadhir kills Shahid and Shahid’s son Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) vows to take revenge. Sardar Khan’s intention is not to kill Ramadhir, but to slowly humiliate him and there by killing his pride and self respect. Sardar becomes the most dreaded and influential man in that region. He has two wives and four children. kids grow up and start working for their father. One son gets married and another son goes to jail. Suddenly something happens.
Manoj Bajpayee essayed his role so well that you will not differentiate between the character and the actor. Only few actors can make us feel that way. He becomes the character Sardar and the Sardar character becomes Manoj Bajpayee. Richa Chadda plays her character with a firebrand energy. Reema Sen played her role to perfection with limited dialogues. She has put on a bit of weight for the role of a Bengali damsel in distress. Nawazuddin Siddiqui who did the role of son of Sardar is promising in the role of a youngster who models himself in the lines of Amitab Bachchan. Yashpal Sharma did the cameo of a funny-looking singer (like the Emosanal Athyachar stage singers). Tigmanshu Dhulia acted like a senior pro in the villain’s role. Debutant actress Huma Qureshi is introduced towards the end of the movie. She looks good and is likely to play a major role in the part 2.
Story - screenplay - direction: How can one write about story and screenplay if half of the film is shown? One can’t really comment on story and screenplay at this point of time because the dots will be connected and the links will be established in the part 2. We have new characters being introduced during the last minutes of part 1. Direction of the film is brilliant. Each character has lot of depth and is carefully designed. Each and every scene in the film is connected to the main story. There is rawness in the movie. You don’t love any character and you don’t hate any character.
The following scenes/sequences are extremely good
1. Sardar giving warning in a mike to villain when a girl is kidnapped (the entire set up of a jeep, pelvic thrusting Mithun look-alike and cool warning words)
2. The entire romance thread between Sardar and Durga. (liked the way Durga hides her face when she realises that Sardar is mimicking her)
3. The complete thread involving gun-trader. There are three appearances of the gun-trader and interesting things happen each time.
4. Faizal’s love episode (the goggles episode as well as the one involving him touching girl’s hand)
5. The episodes involving first wife of Sardar where she goes to whorehouse in search of her husband and squabbling that happens over there.
6. The scene of Sardar escaping from the prison.
Influences: One can see clear influence of Godfather film in this movie. Here are a couple of scenes I observed -
1. Faisal hiding the guns in the lavatory of train. (Godfather)
2. An important character being shot at a petrol bunk. (Godfather)
3. Scene involving slaughterhouses (Gangs of New York)
4. Chopped finger and bloodshed (Quentin Tarantino films)
Other technical departments: Background music by GV Prakash is terrific and goes well with the different decades the story is representing. Songs scored by Sneha Khanwalker are good and are inserted into narration without disturbing the flow. Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi is of top-notch quality. There is a color theme to the film and its well executed. The locations and rustiness adds to the cinematography. Dialogues are terrific though there are ample cuss-words. Editing is perfect.
Analysis: I still remember the days when I watched Kill Bill in a theater. I was pretty much disappointed that the story is not over and we have to wait for a few months before watching the second half. It’s been 8/9 years Kill Bill was released. And we got used to such formats over a period of time. The recent one being our own Rakta Charitra. The first half of any film is generally devoted for establishing the characters and setting up the plot. Since GOW 1 is about establishing characters and setting up the plot, we can’t complain. The plus points of the films are perfect casting, dialogues, cinematography, music, earthly set-up and direction. On the flip side, the run-time of the movie, bloodshed, excessive cuss words and detailed description of unlimited characters might make audiences restless. I personally liked the movie. GOW 1 may not be the film for aam junta, but is a definite watch for serious and coming-of-age film lovers.
reviews of previous films
My Name is Khan
De Dana Dan
Wake Up Sid
Quick Gun Murugan
Love Aaj Kal
8 x 10 Tasveer
Siddharth The Prisoner
The Stone Man Murders
Luck by Chance
Chandni Chowk to China
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Oh, My God!
Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!!
Welcome to Sajjanpur
Mumbai Meri Jaan
God Tussi Great Ho
Bachna Ae Haseeno
Singh is Kinng
Jaane Tu ya na jaane
Buddha Mar Gaya
Chak De India
Gandhi My Father
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Tara Rum Pum
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