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Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 2) (3 stars)

Highly entertaining second part of the vibrant Bollywood gangster drama

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Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 2)

The second half of Anurag Kashyap’s Hindi gangster epic picks up immediately where its predecessor ended; with the marketplace murder of Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) by a gang of masked motorcyclists. Despite his initial reluctance, Sardar’s son Faizal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) steps up to the plate, firstly to dispatch his father’s killers, but also to take control of his father’s empire, from mining operations to controlling the local broadband.

Until his father’s death, Faizal had been a dissolute figure, but after a long period of procrastination, fuelled by his heavy use of hashish, he unleashes his family’s killer instinct with a fireside stabbing that soaks the screen in blood. The killing of his brother Danish (Vineet Singh) only emboldens Faizal further, leading him to recruit a new team of street-toughs, including Perpendicular (Aditya Kumar) and his even more deadly sidekick Definite (Zeishan Quadri). Driven to paranoia by pot-smoking, but with a roster of enemies keen to remove him from power, Faizal turns his attention to his old enemy Ramadhidar Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia), leading to a violent hospital shoot-out.

If The Godfather is the model for the plotting in Kashaps’ epic story, then Brian De Palma’s Scarface seems to be the inspiration for the second bout of action, with part two of Gangs of Wasseypur upping the ante in terms of drug-abuse and semi-automatic weaponry to exciting and occasionally ridiculous effect.

A key speech sees Singh wearily complain that each one of his enemies imagines he’s ‘the hero of his own imaginary film’. It’s a sentiment that reveals both the strength and weakness of the highly entertaining Gangs of Wasseypur movies; by attempting to emulate the best crime sagas of the past, they lower themselves to the same self-mythologising aspirations of the violent men the film depicts. Kashap captures the cycle of violence, but ultimately doesn’t deliver a message more complex than ‘crime doesn’t pay’ in the end.

Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 2) screened at Glasgow Film Festival. Limited release from Fri 1 Mar.

Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2

  • 3 stars
  • 2012
  • India
  • 158 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
  • Written by: Akhilesh Jaiswal, Anurag Kashyap, Sachin K. Ladia, Zeishan Quadri
  • Cast: Richa Chadda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Zeishan Quadri
  • UK release: 1 March 2013

Part 2 of Kashyap's gangster epic starts with dissolute Faizal (Siddiqui) reluctantly avenging the death of his father, but he soon gets a taste for blood. The drug-taking and weapon-toting are upped to occasionally ridiculous effect, and although the film captures the cycle of violence, ultimately its point is no more…

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