Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Phuchchak! A stab in the eye. Krreeeech! A human head severed from the rest. Swish! Swoosh! Perpendicular and tangent blades inserted into flesh. And then, a semi-automatic is used to poke intestines swinging from a carcass that has been polka-dotted with gun fire. Now you know, when director Anurag Kashyap says dark, he means 99% cocoa.
Following the chain of events in the first part, this was meant to be a revenge account. And in its 159-minute runtime, only a few bullets are dodged and the rest find shelter in their targets to ensure that the ‘badla’ is avenged proportionately. Many will complain that they have limited tolerance for graphic violence, while those who have an appetite for it would demand an utmost number of people to be wasted cleverly. So instead of analyzing this film, let’s review these distinct sets of film goers and what this offers (or doesn’t) to each.
Hum thrill de chuke sanam
Typical rom-com junkies shouldn’t be too keen on this one. Check the picture above and be a realist, the film’s lead Faisal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is never going to romance anyone salsa-ing on the Swiss Alps or even play the hero’s elder brother who sacrifices his love for his sibling. But the romance here is embarrassingly real. For example, on his wedding night, there’s enough thumping to keep the entire household on alert. And it intensifies to a point where his mother has to yell out, “So jao nahin toh gadda zameen par laga do!” Crunch, crunch. Don’t bother, your popcorn can’t buffer this sound either.
Ugly Betty fans will find a new idol in Faisal Khan who manages to go from the lowest common denominator to the sum of all evil. In the first part, he was a mere smudge while his father Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) hogged all the personality, power and screen space. Here, following Sardar’s demise and a series of unfortunate events, Faisal is pushed to the throne. He is an unassuming and unlikely lead, won’t maaro smashing dialogues and is physically blessed only to press down an army of ants. With so little to go by, how will he avenge the multiple deaths in his family and dodge the powers who want to spell his doom? This is answered as we witness his gradual yet remarkable transformation into a ruthless monster.
Those who love a good political mud-slinger, this one could seduce your grey cells too. Every bullet that leaves the barrel has a consequence that has been measured and anticipated. No one can be trusted, everyone has an ulterior motive and the larger picture cannot be painted without joining all the dots. Makes no sense? Well, this means that you cannot let your mind wander in the screen and need to take in everything with one squint eye (like ACP Pradhyuman from CID).
Ishtyle maara toh…
This is not a whodunit , this is a ‘how-it-is-done’. So if you believe that the lord is in the detail and the passion with which any action or emotion is expressed, this is your film. When Faisal Khan has to send out a message to his adversaries, he sends a severed head. When he wants to reach out to his own men, he shoots one of them down in the middle of a dialogue with no intimation. A long puff from his chillum and he’s confident of claiming his targets without aiming and getting his scattered mind to see better sense. While he may be in the ‘Satya’ space, his actions and demeanour could be compared to someone from ‘Snatch’.
If you’re a soundtrack junkie…
This movie celebrates a background score’s ability in establishing a mood or complementing a scene. ‘Moora’ and ‘Kaala Rey’ are hauntingly purposeful in calming the audience who is braving an intense and horrific scene. But it’s not just the music, every sound counts. Right from the trucks honking away to the tune of Dhoom's title track to the orchestra bleating away at the many funeral processions, each leaves you with pickled feelings. A good example of how well the music blends with the visuals would be the breakdown part of the song ‘Chhi Chha Ledar’ where this chase sequence slows down to gel with the score. Here’s an inside look into how one of the numbers was crafted:
Want more than action?
For those who relish ‘a little more conversation’, there’s a lot here. Great action thrillers always include scenes and dialogues which have nothing to do with the focal point of the film. They just beautifully and temporarily drift you away from the story to serve as a mood changer. So when an assailant is tailing his victim and reporting about his every move in real time, he offers assumptions like, ‘Kela khareed raha hai. Pet kharab hai shayad?” This is followed by a detailed discussion on the various preparations of jackfruit (the victim’s next purchase). While these scenes cannot be truly appreciated enough, their absence would’ve amplified their desperate need. If not to cut the tension, then to provide a breather from such a complicated plot. And if you’re worried about losing track, worry not, there is a neat voice-over to summarize everything like the minutes of a meeting.
Kill Bill/ Rambo fans, book your seats now. Almost every third scene has someone being slashed or gunned down by the trigger-happy cast. And if you’re one for first person shooters, this could really inspire you to hit the console right after the movie. But something that Kashyap specifically excels in, are chase sequences and the few here are 24 carat. May not be as elaborate as the one in ‘Black Friday’ but involves you enough to want to leap forward and go for a grab.
Those who haven’t seen part 1
While it would be nice to inherit the right amount of angst for this revenge sequel, this one intermittently recaps what led whom to get where and why. Infact, the first part wasted a lot of time in flagging historical landmarks, in introducing characters and was much scattered with the number of elements and periods to be covered. This one has characters ready to dive into action with a quick backgrounder for new additions, leaving much time to weave a tighter and telling story.
Chhi Chha Leather, definitely one that weathers.
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