“Kehke loonga” was the caveat by Sardar Khan essayed by the ever-dependable Manoj Bajpai in Gangs Of Wasseypur-1 to Ramadheer Singh played by the restrained Tigmanshu Dhulia. Eventually, it was Ramadheer Singh, who actually did the ‘loonga’ part albeit he didn’t do it ‘kehke’ and kills Sardar Khan. The next to take the mantle further was Danish Khan (Vineet Kumar) is killed in the first ten minutes of the film and the onus lies on the other son, Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui).
Ramadheer Singh’s character is said to have modelled around Surajdeo Singh, MLA and the first Coal Mafia of Dhanbad. Allegedly, Surajdeo Singh got his mentor, BP Sinha murdered to become the undisputed Mafia King. The character of Ramadheer Singh is so well-written that he actually towers over the rest and almost becomes the protagonist of the film, hadn’t it been for Faizal Khan.
Well, just like Amzad Khan became Gabbar Singh with Sholay, Amrish Puri became Mogambo with Mr. India, Amitabh Bachchan became Vijay with ‘don’t know how many films’, and Shah Rukh Khan became Raj with ‘Yash Chopra and Karan Johar films’, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has surely become Faizal Khan with Gangs Of Wasseypur-2.
Be it the ‘you drive while I snort my gaanja’ scene, ‘I want to have sex with you’ scene, ‘Don’t you ever bitch about your boss’ scene, ‘I have got a pager’ scene, ‘kaun maara re…? M****d’ scene, or ‘I need more arms and ammunition for my revenge’ scene, Nawazuddin scorches the screen in every scene and commands his presence just like he did in his previous film, Kahaani.
Needless to say, the credit also goes to the writers Zeishan Quadri, Akhilesh, Sachin Ladia, and Anurag Kashyap to create an author-backed role of Faizal Khan – the guy who takes permission before holding hands or having sex with his to-be-wife, but shoots at point blank range without batting an eyelid, who cries alone over the futility of violence and needs his wife to croon the lilting ‘Frustiyaaon nahin moora’, but doesn’t think twice before beheading his childhood friend and hanging his severed head in a plastic bag.
In fact, Gangs of Wasseypur series is a textbook of writing characters. Now before you write this review off as a fan mail, check out the characters like ‘Definite’ (played by Zeishan Quadri who is also the writer of the film), the stepson of Sardar Khan who snatches a cobra from a snake charmer just because he finds it ‘cool’ to make a fashion statement, ‘Perpendicular’, the lisping son of Sardar Khan who chews a razor blade as if it were a chewing gum, ‘Tangent’, a friend of Perpendicular (there’s a geometrical logic behind naming these characters this way).
Interestingly, the traits of each character are used as a tool by not only Ramadheer Singh, but also the film’s screenplay. For instance, ‘Tangent’ has this trait of being the first to elope whenever ‘Perpendicular’ is in trouble and this very trait eventually proves to be helpful for another character. The film is replete with such examples of meticulous writing and in-depth research (the way railway auctions are controlled, elections are rigged, guns are traded, scrap business conducted, coal mafia operated and so on).
Richa Chaddha takes her role of Sardar Khan’s wife to a completely different level, especially in the song, ‘Taar bijli se patle hamaare piya’ where a teardrop manages to escape her restrained eyes. Huma Qureshi lights up the screen every time she watches Nawazuddin from her balcony. Reemma Sen reprises her role of Sardar Khan’s second wife to perfection. The performance by actor Pankaj Tripathi as Sultan is indeed commendable.
Despite its dark and edgy theme (a trademark of Anurag Kashyap Films which even reflects in its logo of a black cat’s silhouette on a full moon), Gangs Of Wasseypur-2 retains its unique humour quotient. Seriously, when was the last time you watched a chase sequence of a guy on bike and a guy on scooter ending up in a petrol pump, where they are queuing up to get their tanks filled? Well, prudence lies in shying away from divulging any further, lest one ends up writing a screenplay instead of movie review and better let you discover those nuggets of scenes in the film.
The music by Sneha Khanwalkar and background score by GV Prakash Kumar are no less than important characters of the film. Yashpal Sharma’s ‘Asha Brass Band’ caters to every occasion, be it the mourning of Sardar Khan with a ‘yaad teri aayegi’ or Danish Khan with a ‘teri meherbaaniyaan’ or the jubilant election song ‘My name is Lakhan’.
The songs, ‘Joota’ and ‘Kaala re’ blend in the narrative so seamlessly that you can’t imagine watching them otherwise. The song, ‘Frustiyaaon nahin moora’ leaves you craving for more, especially for the guitar-based version sung by Sneha Khanwalkar in the music album, which is missing in the film. The encore of ‘Ek bagal mein chand’ makes you want to watch ‘Gangs of Wasseypur-1’ again. Better still, let’s hope to have a single length five and half hour version of both film in the DVD release of Gangs of Wasseypur saga – an uninterrupted narration of modern-day Mahabharata narrated by the ‘Bheeshma pitamah’ Piyush Mishra.
On a parting note, no matter how cool it may sound, but honestly, the line, ‘Kehke loonga’ has much less relevance in the Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2, as the characters attack each other at the drop of a gun magazine, sans the loud warning like Sunny Deol’s “Judge order order karta reh jaayega aur tu piit ta rahega” in the film Damini. Now that’s what we mean when we say ‘Kehke loonga’, isn’t it?
In a way, Gangs of Wassepur-1 and 2 are also chroniclers of our film industry and the impact it has on our society. It reflects the same industry that churns out 100 crore films every year but also offers gems like Gangs of Wasseypur. It’s aperfect end that marks the beginning of a new era in Indian film industry.