Mustached Nihilism: Gulaal Movie review

Moview review of Anurag Kashyap’s Gulal. Released 13 March 2009.

Warning: Long review ( But spoilers protected) .


I can’t claim I have seen many serious movies made on political background by contemporary Indian Directors.  Or may be I have seen, but they are not worth remembering because they were not serious or engrossing enough. (I am not counting Gangajaal or Pratighat in that category) Gulal, directed by Anurag Kashyap is a regional political drama film set on Rajasthan of our times.

Sudhir Mishra’s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, a story of love triangle intermingled during the trying times of post-Independence emergency, had a deep impact on me. Gulaal is the definite next. After I returned carrying the movie from the Saturday night show at 12:30 am, I discovered I couldn’t sleep, unless

(a) I write a review on it or

(b) Do something distracting.

So, I saw another movie (Brian De Palma’s Cartilo’s Way to be precise) and downed couple of large OMs before retiring around 3 am. But to my shock, I woke up with the same feeling; Gulaal was still on my head.

I had to let it out here.


Background, Plot and Characterization

Gulaal is reportedly inspired by the song from Piyasa ” Yeh Duniya Agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai” written by Sahir Ludhianvi and the film is dedicated to him and other visionary poets of the Independence era, as expressed by Anurag Kashyap. That particular line is captured in the song Duniya in the movie as well. The movie was conceptualized while release of Paanch and took long time to complete and it was painful seven years for Anurag Kashyap..

A bland human salad Dileep Singh (Raja Chowdhury), a Rajput comes to study law at a college in Rajasthan. In absence of immediate availability of hostel rooms, his brother arranges his stay in a redundant bar named ’69’, owned by his highness, the Maharaja. Salad finds his room mate Rajput Rananjay Singh aka Ransa (Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh) to be an upfront, arrogant, powerful tiger like personality and it doesn’t take much time for him to get under his influence. Ransa sports a handlebar moustache, various head gears ranging from cowboy hats to soldier helmet and a sarcastic smile on his kohled eyes. He defies all rules and traditions and has the mettle everyone wishes to possess.

The other inhabitants of the makeshift guest house are Bhanwar Singh (Mukesh Bhatt), the caretaker & cook and the octogenarian white bearded Sardarji bansuriwala.

Tiger Rajput takes salad Rajput to the local mujra joint Laka, where most of the characters in the movie are introduced (by the camerawork).

The magnificent six
The magnificent six

Dukey Bana (Kay Kay Menon) – The local hereditary rich stalwart who has a vision to free Rajputana from the deceit in the name of Indian democracy. He is a cold and ruthless leader who is ready to obliterate any obstacle, which comes in his way. He has a wife and kid, sports a moustache and has relationships with other women.

Madhuri- chakmak haye chakmak
Madhuri- chakmak haye chakmak

Madhuri (Mahie Gill– debuted in Dev D) the seductive, nachnewali and local beauty parlour owner. Also, the kept of Dukey Bana. Once acted on a TV serial to become a heroine, but serial gets dumped so she now plays the DVD. Though she is credited as special appearance, she has an impressive screen presence with two song-dance numbers and plays a pivotal role in the screenplay.

Bhatti (Deepak Dobriyal– Omkara, Maqbool, 13B) – impassive sidekick of Dukey Bana, he is an extraordinarily omnipresent guy. He sports a kurta, baseball cap, beard & moustache.

Karan (Aditya Srivastava– Satya, Black Friday, Ek Hasina Thi)- Stone-faced stern illegitimate son of the his highness, game for power play at any cost. Obviously, mustached.

Prithvi Bana (Piyush Mishra– Dil Se, the famous kaka in Maqbool)- The disillusioned poet and lyricist, the symbol of contemporary pain & frustration who vents out through his songs. Noticeably, the only clean shaven guy in the movie (not counting another symbolic ardha-narishwar with the dhol).

Jadhwal (Pankaj Jha) – A student gang leader and a toxic political pawn. Cruel, filthy and devoid of any moralities. He is made of mustache, arrogance and a team of motley followers.

The plot starts with the conflict between Jadhwal & Ransa, on the context of Jadhwal conducting a nude ragging on Dileep and the lady professor Anuja (Jesse Randhawa) and eventually humiliating Ransa. The tale of revenge starts with hocky-stick and Enfeild Bullet, which is exploited as political agenda by Dukey Bana, by making Ransa stand in the student election. On the opposite front Kiran (Ayesha Mohan), sister of Karan contests with support from Jadhwal and gang. The plot thickens as the characters open up layer by layer, dark and pungent fumes from the suppressed anger scorches the minds of the characters. Sanity and morality gets distorted as personal vendetta dominates the pretext to justify a nebulous political agenda. The tale continues with cold blooded murders, lust, exploitation, fear, greed, anger, deceit and blind love resulting excruciating agony and frustration to the characters. As the protagonists try to achieve their individual aspirations, the age old idiom of ‘Matsya Nyay’ prevails; the fire of hatred annihilates the faces smeared with Gulaal to a bloody end.



Anurag Kashyap has already created his own genre of ‘arrogant cinema’ with candid depiction of emotions- anger, arrogance, frustration, love and agony on which his characters delve in. His characters walk the dark side, speaks language that challenges convention and brutally revolts against the system. Usage of unconventional music, profanity, power packed screenplay, cryptic symbolism (in this case Prithvi and the painted ardha-narishwar) performance actors, intricate detailing, meticulous and meaningful camerawork, rustic locations, use of colours and lights, sharp dialogues with sarcasm and twisted humour gives an unusual blend which hitherto Indian audience were yet to savor from Hindi movies. Gulaal is AK’s most angry film, as he claims and I agree without doubt..

Ransa- Cowboy Rajput
Ransa- Cowboy Rajput

What tops is definitely Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh‘s outstanding performance as Ransa. In my view his is the best character performance in the movie. As a lesser known actor, sharing screen presence with heavyweights like Kay Kay Menon and Aditya Srivastava, he puts life into Ransa. If Amjad Khan is remembered as Gabbar, Abhimanyu makes Ransa immortal. His sarcasm, dialogue delivery, attire (shorts & cowboy hat, leather jacket, Enfield & soldier helmet) and attitude is top class character play.

Kay Kay Menon expectedly delivers an explosive performance as an obsessed ruthless leader. The superiority of his character in the film is portrayed with his piercing stares, frail rigid frame and astute body language. One of the outstanding shots was his scream, out of frustration at his house.

Deepak Dobriyal became my favourite after Omkara. Bhatti is probably the longest role he has ever played on cinema. Another outstanding performance, at places he doesn’t even needed dialogue to convey his expressions. You must not miss his expressions at the pan shop where Jadhwal comes to buy a cigarette. Priceless. Though he comes from a theatre background, his subtle hints to build one of the strongest characters in the movie, is superbly captured in cinematic medium.


The female roles played by Jessie Randhawa and Ayesha Mohan substitute each other as love, lust and exploitation in Dileep’s life. Jessie, a pot smoking modern woman ends up being a morbid leftover, dumped by Dileep under the evil influence of Kiran. Mahi Gill uncannily resembles Taboo (Chandni bar) and even mentions the same.

Piyush Mishra had played multiple roles: as Music Director, Lyricist (with Swanand Kirkire) and as Prithvi. His songs are primarily poetry and captures contemporary events juxtaposed with traditional tune. One of the most meaningful lyrics I have heard in recent movies.

Singers at 'Laka'
Singers at ‘Laka’

Example the contemporary sarcasm in Ranaji

Jaise Harek Baat Pe Democracy Me Lagane Lag Gayo Ban// Jaise Door Des Ke Tower Me Ghus Jaaye Re Aeroplane//Jaise Sareaam Iraaq Me Jaake Jam Gaye Uncle Sam//Jaise Bina Baat Ke Afgaanistaan Ka Baj Gaya Band

Much darker and deeper verses in Arambh as a war song –

Jeet ki hawas nahi// Kisi pe koi vash nahi//Kya zindagi hai thokaron pe maar do// Maut ant hai nahi//To maut se bhi kyun darein// Ye jaake aasmaano mein dahaad do

Softer, poetic and sad wordings of Duniya

Wo kahein hain ki duniya ye itni nahi hai// Sitaaron se aage jahaan aur bhi hain//Ye hum hi nahi hain wahaan aur bhi hain// Hamaari har ek baat hoti wahin hai

Rusticly seductive Beedo

Beedo duji thaali ka lage bada masaledaar//Mann bole chakmak haye chakmak haye chakmak chakmak chakmak….(damn good, I tell you)

  • There’s an awesome spoof of the famous ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna’, watch the video above and listen to the lyrics.
  • Like Dev D, the music of the movie is mostly played in background except for the two dance numbers Beedo & Ranaji.


  • Gulaal at places reminded me strongly of Wong Kar Wai’s way of using lights & colours. I remember AK mentioning his admiration of Chunking Express. The shots inside the 69 bar, neon signs, dimly lit streets are all superb composition with light and sound.
  • The language includes profanity to a large extent which might remind men’s of their hostel days. The Hindi C*utiya word appears at least thrice. Soon we may need our own profanity counters like Hollywood. The humour is boy’s hostel type and the dialogues raunchy (minus two- ghate do to bache kya?)
  • The movie has few disturbing scenes including a bunch of adult males only in their underwear sporting different hairstyles sharing a bed (for women audience) and too much clothing on Madhuri as dancer (for men).

Drawback or Intention?

  • Though the narrative is based on students, not a single book or studying scene is shown on the movie. Similarly the college was grossly ignored and except for a blackboard/ canteen scene there is no mention whatsoever.
  • The time-span of the narrative is unclear, though it can be guessed that the events occur within few months.
  • Law and order is shown to be practically absent. Even a police inspector’s murder doesn’t create any ripple. Too much too digest.

  • Raja Chowdhury seems a bit artificial at places, notably when he confronts Kiran with the gun in his hand. Similarly Kiran, shown just as a pawn to move at her brother’s signal, contradicts her otherwise strong character.
  • Style and characterization overshadows the story.
  • Overdose of masculinity (mustache).

To summarize Gulaal is a dark, stark and deep work of serious cinema which reminds the sensitive viewer’s that a feature film is also a work of art and a Director’s medium of expression, not just mere entertainment on the silver screen. A must watch for those who are fond of dark-violent genre like Omkara, Maqbool, Shool, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and Ek Haseena Thi.

Trivia- out of the numerous detailing, I could capture few on the first viewing.

  1. ‘Nihilism’- is the word written on the classroom board before Anuja wipes it off. (Hence, the word in the review title)
  2. The tune played by Kiran on guitar in the meeting room is Goodbye Blue Sky from Pink Floyd’s legendery album ‘The Wall’.
  3. The black and white still to show as Prithvi Bana’s childhood, shows a poster of Jim Morrison, though he carried John Lenon’s picture on his locket.
  4. Ransa pours whisky on his glass during his first meeting with Dileep on the bar, but when he enters his bedroom, glass of beer with beer bottles are shown to be kept on the table.
  5. There’s a close-up of an Old Monk bottle on the bar of 69.
  6. Drinks named as Democracy and Republic Beer is shown, to suit thepolitical  theme of the movie.
  7. ‘Hello There’ neon signage on the bar blinks erratically to read ‘ Hell* *here’ beside Democracy Beer.
  8. The song ‘ Ruk ruk ruk are baba ruk’ from Vijaypath is played by Madhu on stereo to tease Dukey Bana at the beauty parlour. The song is sung by Alisha Chinoy in her signature seductive voice. The song was picturized on Tabu, whom incidentally Mahi Gill resembles a lot 🙂

Author: ~uh~™

Born on early 70's, brought up in Kolkata. Graduated from Kolkata as an Architect. Then came to Delhi to obtain a Master's Degree in Building Engineering & Management. There after lived and worked in Delhi, Faridabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai, in that order. Staying in Mumbai Western suburbs with my family- wife, 2 kids and a Shih Tzu.

29 thoughts on “Mustached Nihilism: Gulaal Movie review”

  1. Could I book this spot and come back later with a decent comment? Kidding 🙂

    Will read it in a bit though I don’t know if I’m gonna see this flick!


    ~uh~: well……..tick…..tock…….tick……tock…..
    (Hope you will have something more meaningful to say, next time. It surely looks odd otherwise)

  2. Can totally understand. i am under the same trauma – the movie is just getting stronger after i saw it yesterday. never happened before I’d say.

    ~uh~: I think Gulaal works because it is one of the harshest movie ever made in Hindi. It blows hard & makes one numb to react.

  3. I watched it FDFS and then again over weekend and I am yet to pour out my thoughts in writing. I have already discussed it to the core on Sat night with fellow enthusiasts though. I guess I need more viewing.

    Awesome title, but could not fathom the 5th Trivia. I mean it wasn’t trivia in true sense. That gets easily registered unlike beer glasses and bottles.

    Nihilism too gets easily registered.

    ~uh~: I was just not able to concentrate, so had to purge whatever i felt. Thanks for the feedback, it’s more like an observation on detailing, less a trivia. Will edit accordingly. Will wait for your review 🙂
    Btw, do you agree with me on Abhimanyu’s performance ? I need to know if I’m the only one who thinks he was the BEST.

  4. Hmm… excellent detailing… sometimes I felt distracted may be because I am yet to see the movie and can’t relate to many things. You pick very good pictures to go with you review. Would you suggest me to watch this movie coz from your review I gather it is a movie full of violence and profanity?

    ~uh~: I tried to retain most of the spoilers, if not all. Gulaal is a movie which has so many elements, mere 1800 words can’t do any justice to it. Thanks for mentioning the pictures, it took me some time to make the couple of collages.
    If you like difficult dark-violent-symbolic genre then watch it (Maqbool, Omkara etc).

  5. Good job on the review!! Totally agree with your views. Deepak Dobriyal and Kaykay Menon are my picks from the movie. From his performances in each movie, Deepak is really here to stay I should say. Good that you mentioned the paan shop scene. That was really one gem of a scene!! Btw you missed out his Mamdu in Dilli 6 in the list of movies.
    And nice set of trivia, the first 3 esply. Good observation. Was the cameo of Anurag Kashyap deliberately ignored in the trivia list, considering that it is kind of becoming a regular feature nowadays?? 🙂

    ~uh~: I somehow missed Dobriyal to mention on Delhi -6, may be because of a rather subdued role, compared to Omkara and 13 B. I should have mentioned his role in Shaurya too !
    Trivias- they were more like observations after first watch. Am sure there are more to be discovered after repeat watch.
    Thanks for the compliments 🙂

  6. Guess am missing out on so many good ones pers your earlier revus. Me at wrong place at the wrong time. But hopefully over one long weekend, i should be able to watch all your recos written with so much “passion” (3am tak jaag ke) LOL.
    Hockey Stick and Enfield Bullet. 🙂

    Nice Nice..

    ~uh~: Good to see you. Hope you will be seeing Gulaal ?

  7. Frankly, I feel inadequate to comment. I mean since I have not seen the movie, I cannot add anything to what you have written. I can only understand that the movie has moved you a lot, in caps and bold!
    Interesting trivias there. But tell me something, why would overdose of moustache bother you so much? 😛
    And why do you think salads are bland? I mean salads ARE interesting too! Try them with nice curd dressing. Try Russian salads! And ok if this hero was salad, what would you call yourself? 😛

    ~uh~: Why inadequate ? Tell me if this review helps you make a decision to see or avoid this movie. If it does, then the purpose of this review is fulfilled.
    Salad doesn’t make sense to me. I especially dislike Russian salad unless it had sausage, salami, fish and egg.
    Ever seen sizzling brownie ?

  8. The John Lennon reference should give us an idea of the timeline. Definitely not now. Not showing books, libraries etc doesn’t surprise me. We had a ‘Banna’ in our college whose sole worldly possession was an open jeep. Incidentally, we called him BKD. Bina Kitaab Degree. He was shot dead by his political opponents during an election campaign eleven years back.

    Awesome review.

    ~uh~: So, you have’nt seen it yet ! See it before it gets banned in Rajasthan ( you never know, the law students there may file an objection like the barbarism of Billu) !
    The setting is surely contemporary because there’s mention of Iraq, Afghanistan and 9/11 attacks in the song Ranaji and Najibullah in a different context.
    The BKD Banna coincidence is probably covered by the standard disclaimer. There are few open jeeps in Gulaal too.
    Btw, I forgot to mention in the review, there’s a awesome dig to Yashraj school of dialogue “Mere paas maa hai” says Jadhwal with wry sentiment, flashing his country made revolver! Too good a scene.

  9. Inadequate because i cant add anything of value to this review 😦 and ofcourse the review has more than convince me to go for the movie but dont know when 😦
    Salads are good for health! PERIOD! and whats your problem with mush?

    ~uh~: If mush= masculinity, what femininity = ?
    The way women characters are written in this movie, it probably can easily be termed as a sexist viewpoint. Are women either about smoking, screwing around and then getting an abortion or comparing herself with husband’s mistress ?

    Goat Liver is good for heath too.

  10. Sanjoy, Thanks for the email. Unfortunately I haven’t seen Gulaal and Dev D and being a great fan of Anurag’s work, you can see how much frustrated I can be.. Unfortuantely both movies didn’t get released in US otherwise I was ready to spend my hard-earned money on them.. 🙂

    It’s good to see your critical review on this. I haven’t ready any other than TA’s review and you know Taran Aadarsh never acknowleged the fillm proper ways..

    Anyways, will come back later once I see this movie and will let out my views..

    And, as you said in your first paragraph, if you are still thinking about the movie while you in bed or next day like blood in your body then its a great movie for you.. it had happened to me many times and hope this movie will leave same feelings for me..


    ~uh~:Nik : Gulaal is a must see for you. Beleive me it no way comparable to Dev D. It is O-U-T-S-T-A-N-D-I-N-G in terms of characterization, performance, music, cinematic brilliance. Only drawback is the story, but that gets subdued by the positives. I don’t remember what was the last movie had this compelling urge on me for repeat viewing.
    AK had made history with Gulaal. Do read the discussion on Piyush Mishra on PFC and details. There are few more good articles there. Gulaal clearly has created waves among intelligent cinema viewers.
    Great to see you here and would love to discuss more.

  11. have been wanting to watch it since M got back. Hope it survives till next week which is when we will be able to watch it!

    a very powerful and detailed review uh. i remember how M HAD to read your Sarkar Raj review at 2am after suffering through the movie! hehe!

    should forward him the link to your blog unless you are cross posting at ms! are you?!


    ~uh~: I am craving to discuss this movie with others, unfortunate most of the caring people have not seen it yet.
    I am not cross posting it anywhere. Will be happy to see M’s views, and i think he knows this blog (thru WTAWTAO).

  12. Great work brother, just stumbled upon on your blog and it is a really good review. By the way what symbolisms do you think the ardha-narishwar portrays?

    ~uh~: I am not exactly sure about the ardh-nari metaphor, but it must be interpreted alongwith Prithvi’s character. May be it portrayed the gender equality, feminine love vs masculine power (shakti- the reason Dukey did’nt like it) or very broadly the existence of everything opposite as ‘oneness’ (which Prithvi was soaked in with his music) . Whatever it was, its death conveyed a very dark truth – when ‘oneness’ is gone, all it remains is a void.
    Thanks for your comment.

  13. Abhimanyu was the best. indeed. And I know at least 3 other people who think so. I do not remember whether I have explicitly mentioned that in my review or not, but I tell you here. Yes, he was the best.

    ~uh~: Aah so your review is out at last 🙂 Will be there.
    I have posted Barah Aana review on PFC.

  14. Yes, at last. 🙂

    I did check that. 🙂 Way to go.

    Btw, did I tell ya I met Oz yesterday. It was hell lot of an experience. And tomorrow he is screening ‘Urf Professor’.. (hope you read his post on that). My timings are not matching with the screening, but I am usually hopeful in life…:)

    ~uh~: Lucky you! I wish i could take part too. I wrote a mail on your gmail on the subject.

  15. “you kiss by the book” says Juliet to Romeo. So I say to you “You write by the book”

    I wouldnt call this a perfect film, I liked DevD better. But then DevD was basically written by a great man called Sarat Chandra.

    There are too many characters that makes the narrative go awry. The end is too bloody which seems to be cleaned up too quickly.

    But inspite of these shortcomings – the movie is so powerful that it blows your mind. Despite me not liking the movie 100% I could not get it out of my head – hence my flawed review.

    The reason for that are – the characters are very well etched, Ransa is the best, I agree, a guy’s guy. The story, despite the shortcomings, is powerful. The music and lyrics just blow you away. The performances all around are very good.

    The best part of the movie – Anurag Kashyap. He does not stay his hand anywhere, never tries to soften the blow. He dares the audience to grow up and accept what he is dishing out.

    ~uh~: I beg to differ regarding the comparison. The cinematic parlance of DevD and Gulaal is completely different, so comparing two movies, just because it’s created the same Director, won’t seem fair to me.
    ‘No film is prefect.’ I agree. Some film, like all art forms works for some, others don’t.
    I also agree, I may be biased towards other aspects of a cinema than the script itself, which is why it is difficult for me to participate when people starts criticizing only the script.

    The moot point is how a film moves a viewer and why. I don’t think other than Rang De Basanti did that to audience ion recent times.
    Gulaal, like any complex creation, has a growing after effect. I am sure when i see it for the second time, I will discover more facets to ponder.

    Do read Qalandar’s review for a superior analytical viewpoint, not mentioned by other reviewers.

    Thanks for the compliment, O’ Juliet 🙂

  16. Some quick observations on the movie:

    Gulaal smeared faces of so called revolutionaries are shown in abundance…..with dukkey banna urging them to understand that real revolution comes with blood and not gulaal. So what does gulal represent? the impotency of revolution or something else?

    the scenes between kk and mahi in the parlour when ransa barges in are quite interesting.

    who is the art director? visually I will remember the movie for the “69” bar set and the army helmet worn by ransa and later dileep in the climax

    Dukki banna’s death scene is kind of anti climatic. Bhatti also deserve a better death. Bottomline the movie deserve a better climax.

    Your Review as usual was extremely readable and forces the readers (both who have watched and those who have not) to get soaked in the passion with which the movie was conceptualised and executed

    ~uh~: Gulaal itself was used as the biggest metaphor. Remember when Prithvi commented ‘ phir Gulaal laganeka faida hi kya hua’. In my view Gulaal represented an ‘obsession to express a fake rebellion’ which you termed as ‘impotency of revolution’.

    Gulaal’s art director Wasiq Khan and cinematographer Rajeev Ravi did an excellent job. That soldier helmet added a different persona to the protagonists. It also portrays Ransa’s ‘reach’. he posess a soldier helmet. Btw, did you notice how the styling of ’69’ resembled a bicycle ?

    I agree on the ending. The blood was cleaned up too quickly. After Ransa’s shocking death, the ending was kinda bland, mostly because of Dileep i think.

    Thanks for your views. It is painful to see such movies and then look for people (whom i know would like it) and then not able to discuss with them. It’s a kind of Emosanal Attyachar to self. Glad to discuss more on the trivia, i mentioned.

  17. Hi

    Loved the review and absolutelyagree with you on all the points.The climax was awesome – it left one numb.Kashyap is definitely the best thing to have happened to hindi cinema. am waiting t oget the cd – like you said the lyrics are so original and engrossing. the line – ye duniya mil bhi jaayetoh kya hai stayed on in my mind when it got over – so its interesting to see that it is what inspired the film. after hazaaron…………..this is the definitely the best political film i have come across too – actually i think this is a better film.
    Monica (from MS) 🙂

    ~uh~: laikar ? What a pleasant surprise !
    Your comment says it all. Except that i think differently about the climax. However, I fail to understand why someone sensible can remain unmoved after watching Gulaal and miss the point? It’s NOT an easy cinema and not meant for mere entertainment.

    I am eagerly waiting for Paanch to get the censor certificate, what ever I have read, it surely will be another pathbreaker !

  18. paanch is releasing kya? thats great news. there isthis fab songfrom it called main khuda- v rock types – that used be shown on the promos for paanch around 2 to 3 years back.
    i dint get u about the being sensible and not being moved by gulaal bit. i did get affected by it but i also evaluated it as a movie.

    ~uh~: As far as my knowledge it’s not yet cleared by censors. You can read about it here.
    Many bloggers are compatring Gulaal with Dev D and justifying their dislike of Gulaal, which i find odd. My statement was addressed in general, not to you.
    I think Gulaal was is a very strong movie to be ignored.

  19. Hi,
    I saw this movie and could not get it off my head too. It was all numb – the surroundings, my wife, the happenings. I agree with you abt Ransa’s (Abhimanyu) performance was beyond extraordinary. I guess you’ve to be way more than passionate to give birth to characters like this. Lastly, a good review by you too…am in love with the word, NIHILISTIC.

    ~uh~: After seeing do many blog post and discussion i can safely gather, Gulaal for one, is not a movie to be ignored. Either you like it or dislike it, but you can’t shrug it off. Unfortunately I have watched it once and am sure to have missed many details. Good to see you had similar feelings.
    Thanks for the nice comment, Amit.

  20. Awesome review, what exhaustive description!!!

    Its been 10 days but the movie hasn’t moved away a bit. And even if the movie moves a bit, the songs ‘o re duniya’ and ‘shehar’ hits me again and again.

    Undoubtedly a movie that leaves an impact (I will totally ignore those inconsistencies the world is talking about) and I am pretty eager to know what is the ‘real’ and ‘uncut’ version of this film. Because after so much effort this has come to the screen there must be a lot that they have taken away from it. Waiting for the DVD now.

    I wrote a lil compressed version of gulaal review, would love to hear somebody’s comment who has sinked in gulaal like nobody else 🙂


    ~uh~: There are some threadbare discussions on PFC, where you can learn about the censored cuts of Gulaal. There was this comment about round chasma of Ghandhiji and Ambedkar which was bipped out. Another scene was deleted where Ransa sarcastically comments about ‘Jana Gana Mana’ which, as per some controversy, was written by Tagore as a welcome song to prasie George V for his visit ti India. After much discussion and referenced AK accepted his fault and thanked censor for deleting it !

    Your review was superior. I have left a comment. Would love to discuss on other movies too.

  21. gr8 job man…
    just 2 more questions- what exactly GULAAL meant in the context, and what does killing of ardhnaari actually means there?

    Another non-gulaal question- checked in ur responses above that u have inserted hyperlinks to texts. i know we can do that in ms-word, but how do we link a word to an url in the browser?
    wud b glad if u cud answer all 3 🙂

    Ans1- Gulaal represents the superficial violence or aggression that’s more prominent in a revolution, than self less dedication. If you notice all the characters had their selfish interests including Dukey.

    Ans2- I replied to in my comments section above, Ardhnari represents the ‘system’ comprising of ‘love-power’ or ‘hope-deceit’. But It seems Anurag meant to represent sur & taal by Ardhnari who played the dhol. So it’s killing means loss of ‘sur & taal’…..

    Ans-3-WP has a button to do that. But you can use the html syntax
    Happy to answer more 🙂

  22. story of film is good but the characters are not well only ransa is looking like and act like a rajput and we dont understand the meaning of this film the langauge and acting is totally wrong its all in up style the rajpoot is royal cast and there should be royality in the language of the characters it not meet to the rajput culture of rajasthan

    ~uh~: Everyone has their own views. Thanks for expressing yours, here.

  23. I saw the song – beedo duji thaali ka – at 12:30 night while browsing. I just couldn’t stop. I kept on playing beedo and ranaji till 2:30. Everytime I see those songs, I see something new – the simile with tower-aeroplane. The simile of dil dhak dhak in ranaji is democracy mein ban (stops and beats) and in beedo is chambal ghoda (beats very fast)

    The item song – beedo – the looks mahi gives in beedo – she knows what looks please men. The face is shown more than any other body part. Even line “angiya …mann ka bhar”, any directory would have shown more of breasts; this guy doesn’t. And this makes it sexier. I don’t remember any item song after “Udja o panchii” (CID, Wahida) which matched this song. I just can’t stop praising this. Aren’t actresses over 30 better in item songs. There are already enough of hips and breasts all over the place. We need the eyes, those looks, that slow-jump walk, that body movement which matches the lyrics – look at how she does “bada masaledar…”. Is it mahi, is it anurag, is it piyush or is it manasi (the choreo). This was awesome.
    ~uh~: Excellent analysis. Both the song has a rustic charm to them and exploits the sex appeal of Mahi Gill beautifully without using Rakhi Sawantish vulgarity.
    Also, that ‘Man gayo rey, man gayo rey…….Pura Rajasthan’ chorus in Beedo adds great zing too.
    One of the immortal item song is ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu’ which showcased Helen, the queen of seduction.

  24. Incredibly powerful movie. Keeps going on inside your head for days. There is a disturbing dark layer underneath the obvious coarseness. Deepak Dobriyal was simply fantastic – his performance is haunting.

    I thought Ayesha Mohan was the best – seemingly innocent and childlike, she bares her fang in brutal honesty in the last scene when Dilip is seeking a reassuring lie. Kiran just stabs him deeper, wrenching into him with devilish glee.
    ~uh~™: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You have just echoed my viewpoint. However, when I discussed Gulaal with AK, he admitted that his personal favourite was Dev D.
    It’s really depriving us cine lover by not releasing ‘Paanch’, which i believe is no less with a superb cast and thrilling storyline.

  25. After reading your review, I couldn’t wait to see the movie. So rented it and was not disappointed. The movie is as intense as you describe. I liked Piyush Mishra’s character and his reverence to John Lenon.

    I now make it a point to see any Bollywood movie only after checking your review.

    I will skip Blue. Any idea about Amitabh’s new movies ‘Aladin’ and ‘Teen Patti’ ?
    ~uh~™: Thanks for the complimenting comments.
    Not seen Aladin, heard it’s a waste.
    No idea about Teen Patti too. Eager for ‘Paa’ ……

  26. uh,

    Gulaal is rapidly on its way to becoming one of my all time favourites. The first time I saw and liked it it was largely because I couldn’t understand much of what happened but still liked the rampant symbolism. Have watched it several times since then to find new things in it to like. Mainly what appeals is the beautifully etched characters. Very believable. You might want to read this review on Paa. Its halarious even iif I say so myself.


    Both of them. As my gf said, what do you expect from a movie named Paa.

  27. I’m just addicted to this movie. I have watched it more than 10 times already and I still cannot get it out of my head.

    Mahie Gill in Beedo.. What can I say? She depicts the full voluptuous beauty and seduction of a true Indian woman without being slutty in the slightest. I don’t even want to call it an item song. If you are a red blooded man, it will make you look at women in a sense I cannot describe in words. The song actually makes you feel like you are the king and she is dancing just for you.

    The whole movie, and in particular the characters of Ranasa and Dukey Banah show you the masculinity in truly Indian sense, not just the mustache but the whole attitude.

    And in the last scene, you actually feel the impulse to shoot Kiran.

    To me, this movie is like whiskey. The older it gets, more potent it becomes.

    It’s a treat which satisfies all your masculine senses.. Violence, Revenge, Arrogance, Sex, Lust and Love..

    The story itself is a little fuzzy.. But you barely notice it as the movie takes you on a roller coaster of masculine senses..

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