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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

The Gunda Movie Review

The art of movie making is an inherent dichotomy. Film makers as a rule have to tread a very fine line between the aesthetic and the downright blasphemous, when trying to accurately profile the darker sides of human nature. Every once in a while, there comes a defining moment in cinematic history, which challenges all the established norms of what is allowable, and what is not. Which spits society right in the eye, and is not afraid to do its own thing. This moment then goes on to shock, sway and browbeat people into total submission, and cultivate nothing short of a cult. To which you can proudly belong to, and which confirms that you’ve seen the darkest kind of cinema vérité/film noir hybrid that is capable of being captured on celluloid.

A morbid, searing epic poem called Gunda. (Why poem? For starters, every couple of lines of dialogue rhyme with each other. Every couple.)

This movie is like having a ‘hard’ drink neat for the first time. You know…you tend to rush in, eager to gulp it down, only to find that it chars your senses mercilessly. Everything swims before your dilated eyes, and you find yourself adrift, time and space blurring, till you are one with a universal rhyming continuum. It’s best to watch it 15 minutes at a time, with sufficient time in between to allow your neurons and auditory nerves to recover.

The movie opens with a slew of baddies who introduce themselves one by one, with a lot of ominous panache, so that you know who is who (strong characterization – that integral aspect of story telling).

The villains in this movie (definitely will) make you flinch on more than one occasion, least of all when they introduce themselves thus…

Lambu Atta – “Deta hoon maut ka chaanta”
Bulla – “Sab karta hoon khullam khulla”
Chutiya – (just so that you know… chutiya as in tuft of hair; also, this character is probably the most evil hermaphrodite portrayed in Bollywood. Ever.) – “Acche acchon ki khadi karta hoon khatiya”
Pote – “Jo ap
ne baap ke bhi nahi hote”
Ibu Hatela – “Maa meri chudail ki beti, Baap shaitan ka chela, Kyon? Khaayega Kela?”

The story line revolves around how one man fights against the system where “gundagiri and netagiri ek hi baap ke do haraami aulaad hai”, and emerges triumphant in the end. But first up, you are shown that there are no limits to what depths evil can sink (that goes for the celluloid portrayal too).

Lambu Atta starts a bloody gang war by murdering one of Bulla’s henchmen. This triggers a wave of fraternal and sisterly retaliation by either party, which culminates in Lambu’s tragic demise. In his final moment, Lambu pleads for his life, offering to take care of Bulla’s carnal pleasures for life by supplying him whatever he wants, to the extent of promising to act like a prophylactic to save him from AIDS. When death is starkly imminent, he boldly declares that he would rather be castrated than dead. Bulla immediately kills him, shocked at his perversity. I was too.

Next, Bulla’s Brother, Kala Shetty kills a minister, and it’s time for God to make his entry. Prabhuji plays a coolie, and is seen in an airport in the movie, which is a revelation in itself. Weird as this may seem, this scene makes a very powerful case for class empowerment, and is a prophetic indication of how cheap airfares would be in 21st century India. It takes amazing vision, and a deep understanding of aviation economics to be able to portray something that would have been totally ridiculous back then (really… what’s a coolie doing at an airport? This movie came out in the late 90s.) and makes perfect sense now.

Anyways, Prabhuji bitchslaps your senses with
“Main hoon jurm se nafrat karne waala, gareebon ke liye chiraag, goondon ke liye jwaala” and helps the cops make

their arrest.

Bulla then sets about making Prabhuji’s life hell. He has his father(a constable) beaten up, his sister entrapped by deceitfully getting her married off to a provider of carnal services and then getting her advantage taken by Chutiya in his quest to become a red blooded male, and ultimately gets them both killed.

Prabhuji snaps and declares that he will kill them all in 10 days
“Ek, do, chaar, chhe, dus. Bus.”

On his way back, he finds Bulla’s bastard kid in a dustbin which had been discarded as “Haseena ka paseena” a couple of frames earlier, when Haseena, his love, had told Bulla some ‘good news’. True to form, Bulla kills her, and jettisons the kid. (He probably didn’t want an impressionable young mind to be party to all his evil.)

Prabhuji heart-rendingly laments
“Har kadam par khoon hai, har kadam par paap, paap karne mein yeh insaan, shaitaa
n ke bhi baap”, and adopts the kid.

Then Prabhuji goes about killing all of Bulla’s men in places as diverse as a graveyard, a surreal brothel with cots hanging from the ceiling, a public urinal, a ministerial cavalcade, to a bedroom.

The final showdown is strongly reminiscent of the big battle scenes in the the Lord Of the Rings epics, with Bulla looking really malevolent as he gets his army to the arena in auto rickshaws. It reminded me of the charge of the dark forces of Sauron, it is every bit as chilling.

Prabhuji restores some semblance of sanity to this world (and thereby to you), by killing Bulla. His parting shot?

“Tera naam hai Bulla. Maut ke baad bhi reh jaayega tera mooh khulla. Yaaeeeessh.”

True. True.

This movie is definitely not for you if all you like are strait laced, gory, bloody action movies and revenge dramas. It really, really pushes the envelope and like I said before, the baser aspects of the human psyche are not easy to capture without being mercilessly brutal. And this movie shines when it does that. It would be a very safe statement to say that you can watch Loha with your mother, when contrasted with this. And that people, is REALLY an understatement.

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10:37 PM, September 17, 2006
Blogger Supremus said...

omfg - this is awesomest review on umm an awesome movie which I must admit I have had the privilege of watctching - and nobody could have pulled of this review better than you!

Jeez - the introduction to characters had me in splits - well - u are right, this movie needs to be taken in 15 mins dosage ONLY - otherwise its impossible to digest and understand this movie of such cosmic nature!


I must get the DVD and rewatch this tour-de-force of Prabhuji!


Please see such more movies man - please!

Suyog    



8:28 AM, September 18, 2006
Blogger SEV said...

Apparently the person above does not realise that movies of the Prabhu are an economy in themselves :)

I have luckily watched this only in parts, of 15 minutes :) I am watching the Last Samurai now, and the final charge is strangely remniscient..    



11:43 AM, September 18, 2006
Blogger GuNs said...

ROTFLMAO !!
Really !!

You should be on Zee TV instead of Taran Adarsh (a.k.a. S.O.B.) and Gunda should be in the theatres instead of KANK now.

But still, I do think Mithun had (and still has) a lot more acting skill that some actors of today.

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs    



1:44 PM, September 18, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha auto rickshaws and forces of sauron... :D its tru u have ta watch it in 15 min bursts... i was laughin for 20 min after watching the first 5 min!!! :D

anyways gr8 review dude!!    



6:40 PM, September 18, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did u watch this movie , in bursts? What kind of writers write this scripts with such an amazing rhyme scheme?
doesnt a single actor squirm while mouthing these dialogues during shooting?did u understand this movie?
dint Mithuns sister get raped?

was mentally derailed by the para on Lambu Atta.
Am sorry am missing out on the ' ominious panache' due to lack of ur kind of bravery to see Gunda.
Spectacular poetry..ur post!
may u always be on the high provided by Mithun movies.    



10:37 PM, September 18, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

Supremus,
BUY the DVD man... don't rent it.

Satish,
The Last Samurai... yes. It is :)

Guns,
Seriously man... to say that the guy is a good actor, is really an understatement. I really think the man can act.

anon 1,
Thanks.

anon 2,
I really wonder about that actors squirming thing too. I'm not complaining though. You should see this movie, you really should. I haven't covered all the dialogues here, there's a gem hitting you every 30 seconds.    



9:49 AM, September 19, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really do have great regard for Mithun movies ,the next best being Clerk [manoj kumar ] , so actually tried to see Chingari on "world wide premier" on TV , but cud not get beyond 35 seconds .Sush beat everybody with herma looks plus acting -the heavenly crying scenes atleast.but am going to try and try - 35 secs ,35 minutes, and one day i will sit thro even 3 and half hours of this kind of ecstasy!    



12:20 PM, September 19, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

loved ur Kannadiga article. went thro waardat review and almost died laughing!All gems !    



11:42 AM, September 20, 2006
Blogger Anand said...

*Speechless!* :) Spectacular. Special :))    



9:48 PM, September 20, 2006
Blogger Lakshmi said...

http://bishwanathghosh.blogspot.com/2006/06/amitabh-is-lucky-superstar.html - for your reading pleaseure!    



10:34 PM, September 21, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

anon 3,
Clerk freaking rocks. It's one of my favs...
I'm gonna pray that you see that day soon :)

anon 4,
Thou art most kind, thanks.

andy,
as usual eh? :P

lakshmi,
Thanks a ton for that link. :)    



10:01 AM, September 22, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 2 3 4 r the same person.btw i saw whole of clerk as a exercise in self restraint at a time when i wasnt aware of oblique views towards these kind of films plus Mithun was in the tolerable phase of the 'kasam paida karnewale ki' types.there did not exist a Mithun Bhakt cult and u cud actually not need to squirm at anything he mouthed .But today the scene is altogether different and adding to the tragedy is the advent of Mithun's son.Hope he gives dad tough competition!    



1:56 PM, October 06, 2006
Anonymous Jai said...

For anyone dying to watch this movie, some kind soul has uploaded the complete movie for the benefit of mankind on google videos. Just search for 'Gunda'

Jai    



9:24 PM, October 13, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

anon,
Mimoh will rock. Period.

Jai,
Thanx man... this movie is REALLY hard to find.    



11:34 PM, October 13, 2006
Anonymous Jai said...

Tapan, the same guy has uploaded Loha also onto google videos. Just search for the talented 'Kanti Shah' on google.    



1:47 AM, October 27, 2006
Blogger DivSu said...

Hi Tapan

i chanced on your blog from Vinod's. I must say, I was trying really hard to stifle my laughter on reading this review. Great great job here! I always like writing that makes you laugh your breath out and yours was one:)

PS: Where can I get this movie to watch?;)    



12:06 AM, October 28, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

Jai,
that's a real big service to humanity. :)

Divsu,
Thank you for your extremely kind words...
As for viewing these movies, do check out Google Videos, Gunda has been uploaded at
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3923767355169636477&q=gunda
and Loha is at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4505130037311693350&q=kanti+shah
(Warning - VERY crude content)    



4:08 PM, June 20, 2007
Anonymous Avijit Goel said...

Mr.Stranger, must say, just came across this review..and must i say..I am bloody impressed and at my seat's edge with laughter..Keep up your writing skills man..you shall make a great humor columnist someday..A true Dave Barry in the making..cheers.    



7:03 PM, June 22, 2007
Blogger Tapan said...

Avijit,
Thanx man, and amen to that... :)    



4:42 PM, March 11, 2008
Anonymous rahul said...

awesome review. the movie is a cult. i have uploaded the movie for everyone's benefit. it is a movie we should revise regularly.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/lj81h4    



11:52 AM, March 17, 2009
Blogger Navish Wadhwa said...

Awesome review !!    



11:02 AM, May 01, 2009
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where can i find this movie???    



3:47 AM, September 09, 2014
Blogger Bollywood Tadka said...

Nice movie... Nice Movie Review...nice article you wrote.. If u want to see the latest movie reviews... check out the latest movie of Deepika Padukone Finding fanny review    



10:27 PM, June 18, 2017
Blogger Pramod Ganu said...

Terribly good review    



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