I am one of those unfortunate movie buffs who got fooled by an extremely well-edited trailer promising the moon, only to return with blackened hands after burning my hard-earned money to watch Gunday- a film about two kiddos, Bikram and Bala insisting on calling themselves ‘Gunday’ and refuse to grow up even after a Bachchan-like growing up scene.
To begin with, why was the film called ‘Gunday’ when the lead characters are thieves and smugglers? Furthermore, the ‘ay’ instead of ‘e’ in the word ‘Gunde’ reminds of ‘Sholay’ but the film is nothing more than Mithun Da’s classic ‘Gunda’. It seems Ranveer Singh was shooting for ‘Gunday’ during the shooting breaks of Ramleela, while Arjun Kapoor took time off from convincing people that his ‘Aurangzeb’ was actually made and released.
Misdirected by Ali Abbas Zafar, ‘Gunday’ is set in Kolkata of 70s, Gunday is about two coal thieves who become coal smugglers. Think of it as Bong version of Once upon a time in Mumbai. Ranveer reprises his role of Ram Rajaadi sans the Gujju lingo and Arjun Kapoor is no different from Parma Chauhan. He grins sheepishly whenever not being able to emote – exactly the way he did in Ishaqzaade and Aurangzeb (yes, it did get released and I watched it too).
Enter Irrfan Khan, the super cop who sends the bait of Priyanka Chopra to catch these two Bengali Hilsa fishes. You don’t need to be an Einstein to figure out that she falls in love with one of them and causes a dent in their friendship. The script sounds like a vocational guidance project submission of a tenth grader.
For instance, Priyanka mouths lines like ‘Sita Ram ki ho chuki’ and Arjun Kapoor retorts with a line on Sita Haran. And the duo get shot in the chest twenty minutes before the climax (exactly on the same spot of their body, mind you) and they still get to indulge in one-liners and running in slo-mo like Milkha Singh!
I wonder how Irrfan agreed to do this harebrained film. Perhaps he might have hoped to steal the show just like he did in ‘Life of Pi’, where that kid (Suraj Sharma) did all the acting and this guy walked away with all the accolades just for narrating his story to a firangi!
Well, it later occurred to me that just like Priyanka is bait for Bikram and Bala, Irrfan is bait for the audience. If this wasn’t enough, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor resorted to acting like kids on television shows and made big hoopla of their newfound friendship and off-screen chemistry, insinuating that ‘Gunday’ is a gay movie. All said and done, you’d end up sighing: ‘Yeh Gunday hain thanday!