Yash Raj Films’ Gunday (UA) is about two friends, Bikram (master Darshan Gujar)  and Bala (master Jayesh Kardak), who are refugees in Bangladesh in 1971, with no one to care for them, except Lateef (Pankaj Tripathi), who initiates them into the world of crime even when they are kids. But being a man with a heart of gold, Lateef also ensures that they escape to India after they murder a lecherous army officer, Usmaanullah (Manu Rishi Chadha). The two little boys reach Calcutta and, in a bid to survive there, begin to steal coal from railway wagons. Soon, they indulge in other illegal activities also and flourish as they grow up.

Even after they grow up, Bikram (Ranveer Singh) and Bala (Arjun Kapoor) continue to be extremely fond of each other and are now into several businesses, legal and illegal, having earned a lot of money. One day, a cabaret dancer, Nandita (Priyanka Chopra), enters their lives. Both fall head over heels in love with her. Even as ACP Satyajit Sarkar (Irrfan Khan) is baying for their blood, the two are smitten by Nandita and confess their love to her. Before Nandita can decide whom she loves, Bala has to go in hiding as the police is after him for murdering someone in a cinema hall. While separating from Bikram, Bala takes a vow from him that nothing would change between them and Nandita till he joined them again. But, as luck would have it, Nandita professes her love for Bikram to him soon after Bala leaves, and a reluctant Bikram accepts her. All hell breaks loose in Bala’s life when he learns of this and he interprets this as Bikram cheating him.

Cracks now develop in Bikram and Bala’s friendship. As Bala is more impulsive since childhood, he refuses to see reason. He wants to kill Bikram but can’t. Bala, nevertheless, manages to have their business divided as he decides that they can no longer be friends or partners. Meanwhile, Bala is still being tracked by the police but they are unable to arrest him. On his part, Bala’s love for Nandita gets the better of him and he even kidnaps her one day. Here, Bikram realises that Bala’s involvement in the cinema hall murder is nothing but a frame-up.

Will Bikram and Bala ever come together again? Does Nandita escape from Bala’s clutches? Does she play a proactive part in ensuring that the two friends unite again or does she try to create a further rift between them? Do the police succeed in nabbing Bala? Are the police also successful in arresting Bikram for all his illegal businesses?

Ali Abbas Zafar has set his film in the ’70s and ’80s. His story offers little novelty as it follows the tried and tested path of two bosom pals falling in love with the same girl, falling out with each other because of that, etc. His screenplay is replete with scenes one has seen in the films of the 1970s and 1980s. However, Ali Abbas Zafar is unable to bring to the fore, the emotions of the strong bond of friendship between Bikram and Bala. Had his script been well-written, it could have made the audience cry at several points, but, unfortunately, the emotions in the screenplay leave the viewers unaffected most of the times because the drama unfolds in the most predictable fashion. If emotions are conspicuous by their absence, the light moments are also few and far between. It would not be wrong to say that the film moves without too many highs and without really involving the audience, at least before interval. What is also irritating is that the inherent pace of the drama is very slow and since everything is so predictable, the slow pace gets on the audience’s nerves.

Yes, there are some scenes which have the desired impact but in a film in which every scene could have touched the heart and moved the viewers, only a few actually manage to do that. Frankly, the pace picks up only in the latter part of the second half, after Bala kidnaps Nandita. It is also only after this point that several revelations are made due to which the audience feels a bit more involved in the drama. Having said this, it must be added that in spite of the ordinary screenplay, the audience will still enjoy the drama because they love films about two bosom pals whose friendship is disturbed by an outsider (in this case, Nandita). Also, there may be drawbacks in the script and the subject may lack novelty but the film’s grammar is not wrong.

Dialogue writers Ali Abbas Zafar and Sanjay Masoom employ too much of flowery language which would not appeal to the modern-day audience. Also, the pace at which some characters deliver their dialogues is terribly slow, adding to the boredom of the viewers.

Ranveer Singh is sincere in the role of Bikram. He essays his part with conviction. He is very good in the action scenes. Arjun Kapoor also breathes fire in the action sequences but his acting is ordinary. He needs to improve on his expressions and his voice modulation. Priyanka Chopra acts ably and looks sexy. Irrfan Khan is not his usual self. Although only in a special appearance, his presence does not add too much to the character of ACP Satyajit Sarkar because he neither has weighty scenes to perform, nor memorable dialogues to mouth. In short, he has not been intelligently used. Saurabh Shukla is earnest but that’s about it. Even he does not get much scope to prove his mettle. Pankaj Tripathi leaves a mark in a tiny role. Manu Rishi Chadha is alright as Usmaanullah. Master Darshan Gujar (as young Bikram) and master Jayesh Kardak (as young Bala) are natural. Anant Sharma (as Himanshu) makes his presence felt. Deepraj Rana (as Dibakar), Victor Banerjee (as the police commissioner), Jameel Khan (as Satyajit Sarkar’s colleague), Abhay Bhargava (as Bose Babu), Amrit Pal Singh (as the undercover cop) and Gautam Siddharth (as the shopkeeper in Calcutta) do as required.

Ali Abbas Zafar’s direction is fair. Although his handling of the scenes between Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor could have been better, he creates an impact in the scenes between Priyanka and Ranveer and between Priyanka and Arjun. He has given the film a big canvas. Sohail Sen’s music is a major plus point of the film. ‘Tune maari entriyaan’ is already a hit song. ‘Jashn-e-ishqa’, ‘Jiya’, ‘Assalaam-e-ishqum’ and ‘Saaiyaan’ are also appealing numbers. ‘Mann kunto maula’ has melody. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are mass-appealing. Bosco-Caesar’s choreography is of a good standard. Julius Packiam’s background score is okay. Action scenes (Sham Kaushal) will appeal to the masses. Aseem Mishra’s camerawork is good. Rajat Poddar’s sets are appropriate. Although Rameshwar S. Bhagat’s editing is reasonably sharp, the slow pace of the film (due to the screenplay, and dialogue delivery) is a problem area.

On the whole, Gunday is an ordinary fare with two aspects going hugely in its favour – very good music and the flying start it has taken. It will, therefore, prove to be a comfortably paying proposal for all concerned.

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11 Responses to

  1. Mohit says:

    This is like watching the whole damn movie. Mr. Nahta, you are a reviewer…not someone who is supposed to re write the whole film. 50% of ur so called reviews are about the story of the film and contains every spoiler from the film. Then why should someone go watch a film in the theatre if you’ve literally spoilt everything for them and penned down the entire film in a ‘review’

  2. I like the promos of the movie but couldn’t resist the title of the movie. If they kept title to something else it would definitely gets bigger opening.

  3. Pingback: Gunday Movie Review - Critics

  4. Abdul sayeed says:

    Just watched it n came.. it’s too gud.. tells what’s frdship and love really is.. watch it guys ur weekend wud not b spoilt..😉

  5. sameer says:

    Loved the movie..It is a blockbuster…Ranveer, Arjun, Priyanka and Irfan are all in top form. Movie rocks…

  6. blockbuster movie . iconic movie . ranveer and arjun has taken movie to a new level . peecee is awesome as usual . irafan khan was stunning and m going to watch it again . love the movie yar !

  7. santosh says:

    dont you guys think komal nahata doesnt know to review the films at all…..he just write the spoilers…. and just do chamchagiri of some producers…… please make hi shut up or cut his tongue…i m fade up with his reviews….but taran sir is good

  8. parvez says:

    ‘Mother don’t worry for me. I am well in my camp. I will come after we get our independence. I can’t tolerate the negligence of Pakistan. I will come back soon’. It was a letter of freedom fighter of Bangladesh. It is not hard to guess that he didn’t returned. His deadbody is proudly sleeping in Bangladesh’s land. He was just one. There was uncountable fighters who sacrificed their lives for achieving independence.After nine month war, we have gained our motherland.When the war was running, an international newspaper published that ‘If blood is counted as price of independence then Bangladesh has paid highest’. This independence is so costly.

    People of all ages participated in the liberation war Bangladesh. To honour the martyrs, our duty is to keep the history unchanged & clean.But alas! some.bad & dishonest person are opposing it.
    The liberation war started between West Pakistan & East Pakistan. In the war east Pakistan won the war. At the end of the war Pakistan started to attack Indian army which lead this war to be international war. But the whole credit goes to Bangladesh’s people. Yet Indian force helped us but that doesn’t mean the war belongs to them.
    A film’s crew should know the whole original history before making the film. Not based on their ‘own hand-made’ history. Insulting one nation’s history isn’t good nation’s work.A film is not just for entertainment rather for having nice moral story. When this thing is missing the film is nothing but a lost project. Film director,producer should keep in knowledge that a film shouldn’t have anything that hurts others.
    Now come to the point, very recently Yash Raj Films released their film ‘Gundey’.In that film they said that The independence of Bangladesh, is just their credit. They even didn’t included the sacrifice of Bangladeshi martyrs. The war was started in Bangladesh and India helped us. But in ‘Gunday’ film they erased the matter, they took the history in favour of them.This thing should be corrected. The history link:–71)
    I hope the entire team of ‘Gundey’ will be able to the read out the history which was changed in their film. But in other Indian film like ’16 December’ didn’t changed yhe history.
    At the end I want to say ‘Give respect, get respect’. Our people will boycott your film if you don’t correct the matter. Our new generation will be in puzzle if history are being changed.

  9. u……..R……………The………….GREAT//////////////////////////////////////////// INDIANS.

  10. Pingback: Gunday Movie Review |

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