Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

August 10, 2012

Sons of Sardar

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 8:40 pm

August 10, 2012

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Richa Chadha, Huma Qureishi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Zeishan Quadri, Aditya Kumar, Reema Sen

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Showered with bullets in an elaborately staged coup at a highway gas station, Sardar Khan (a mercurial Manoj Bajpai) succumbs to his wounds. At his funeral, grief-stricken wails are comically drowned out by a singer belting out Yaad teri aayegi on a microphone, his fingers maintaining tempo to the beats. Almost immediately, Gangs of Wasseypur II transports us back to that whimsically violent world that Anurag Kashyap first introduced us to roughly seven weeks ago.

This is a universe where men model themselves after film heroes, cradling vendetta in their hearts while cold-bloodedly carving out a crime empire. In the midst of a deluge of bullets and bloodied bodies, Kashyap and his gang of writers continue that curious pastiche of violence, humor, and zabardast music in a saga spanning generations of rivalry.

And yet, it’s hard to deny that Wasseypur II is lacking. In plot for one… Despite the cinematic flair, this film weighs down on you, seeming like an endless series of killings without a narrative to string it all together. Where is the method to this madness? Unlike the earlier film that took its time (too much time, to be fair) to set up the chapters, this sequel hits the ground running with relentless gun battles and daylight murders. Yet it feels curiously empty, as if the characters are just moving around in impressive set pieces.

There’s a nicely done sequence in which a gangster fumbles to tie the naada on his pyjama even as he’s switching clumsily between two mobile phones, an impatient assassin on one line; on the other, a henchman assigned to trail a target in a vegetable market. It’s a cleverly written scene that delivers laughs, but it plays out too long for its own good.

Chase sequences are the mainstay in Wasseypur II, but here too, they outstay their welcome. It feels as if Kashyap, so enamored by that brilliant, breathless foot-chase scene in his earlier film Black Friday, is determined to outdo himself here with at least four chases that start out interestingly but seem to go on forever.

Where Kashyap scores is with the characters that he brings in, most of whom have an obsession with Hindi movies and their heroes. As the feud between Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) and Sardar’s hash-smoking heir Faisal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) deepens, we are introduced to Faisal’s younger brother Perpendicular, a devil-may-care ruffian who wields a razor blade in his mouth, flicking it around with his tongue like he would a kamikaze sword. If Faisal is the Amitabh Bachchan worshipper, then his half-brother Definite prays at the altar of Salman Khan. Faisal keeps his emotions cloaked, his vulnerabilities bared only to his movie-mad wife Mohsina, who sings quirky ditties to lift his spirits. Faisal is the Wasseypur version of the reluctant Michael Corleone – sucked into the mafia, despite his intentions. In contrast, Definite wears his feelings recklessly on his sleeve, and together they work at avenging the barbaric murders of the family.

As with the earlier film, this sequel too is richer from the shining performances of its terrific ensemble – be it Richa Chadha as the steely matriarch, Aditya Kumar as the lisping Perpendicular, or Huma Qureishi as the feisty Mohsina. Co-writer Zeishan Quadri offers an outstanding turn as the hilarious yet feral Definite, while Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as the fearless Faisal, is the film’s standout artiste, a ticking time bomb of violence and emotion.

If Wasseypur II has one fatal flaw, it’s the indulgence of its director, so in love with his baby that he doesn’t stop introducing pointless subplots and characters until the very end. Where the earlier film benefitted from the delicious machinations of its players and an overall sense of intrigue, the sequel never goes beyond a typical vendetta story.

I’m going with a generous three out of five for Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur II. Overlong and tiring, this film is saved by memorable characters and the fine actors who bring them to life.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. it least deserve 4.5 , better than first part. i mean both were great

    Comment by salman khan — August 10, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  2. Watched it yesterday,, i kind of almost agree to your review. Been checking the website from the day of release of the movie. Well still everyone knows that the final motive of the movie was death of Ramadhir ,, so u cant say that there was no plot. You should have said something about the editing , i think the editor got lazy . The characters the best thing in the movie, not to forget that despite the simple plot the movie has some turns/twists. Well me being a fan of the first part and as this was actually made with that movie ,, this deserved 4 atleast!

    Comment by Nawazish Khan — August 10, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

  3. If everything is so good about the movie . why 3 stars ?

    Comment by mikhil — August 10, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  4. 3/5! ha ha ha ha… u made my day Rajeev..
    If this was Tarantino’s work you would have given it 4 stars!
    Thanx for being generous. Otherwise you would have given it what? 2.5? LOL!
    Get ready to face the heat for this ‘self-indulgent’ review of a not so ‘self-indulgent’ movie.

    Comment by Rahul — August 10, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

  5. No doubt Rajeev, anuraag is most passionate and rebellious story teller of our times, only flaw I found is that he is scared of main stream cinema unlike his contemporaries like Dibakar banerjee. Due to his this fear, he gets over indulgent and the result is GOW, you give 3 star or more or less, it doesn’t matter. GOW will remain just an over indulgent product of a cynical film maker who is rebellious just out of fear of getting unaccepted by main stream cinema of India.

    Comment by Vikram Gandhi — August 10, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

  6. Out of huge respect for you sir, I would like to disagree with review. The movie deserves 4. It was a memorable film and a fitting conclusion. I believe you didn’t go for the movie. You must have sent someone.

    All the best.

    Comment by Dhruv Razdan — August 10, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

  7. Yarr GoW 1AND2 phehali hindi film hai jo public ko chutiya nahi banati..This movie is the perfect and realistic reflection of society.Ye film ko critics karana mana hai…

    Comment by Sparrow — August 11, 2012 @ 12:08 am

  8. Rajeev,
    I would totally agree with you. I saw the movie on the first day itself and felt the movie lacked the creative brilliance of the first part. I was surprised to see most of the critics rating this part as better thanthe first part of Wasseypur. I was actually waiting for your review. I could not agree more with your rating of a “generous 3 out of 5”.

    Comment by Abhishek Kumar — August 11, 2012 @ 12:11 am

  9. I think it deserve one more star for sheer inovation(that sometimes downgrade it too) and novelity….though i completely agree with u on its flaws but overall it was at least equvivalent to first one..

    Comment by amit — August 11, 2012 @ 12:18 am

  10. You are very biased when it comes to review Anurag Kashyap movies, except for black friday you have always given all his movies average ……….This is the first rate masterpiece crime drama, may be the best after company …..Frankly you have lost the charm which is why there was a time i use to eagerly watch your show, now i just read your reviews on internet.

    Comment by Pranay — August 11, 2012 @ 12:21 am

  11. Rating is just less than perfect .It deserves 3.5!! I think the plot is already known to audience that ramadhir will be killed.So, It was all about how and when will be he killed!!It was shown perfectly in the movie!! so it deserves 3.5/5.

    Comment by sridhar — August 11, 2012 @ 12:48 am

  12. Dissapointing review

    This part deserves atleast 4

    Comment by ST — August 11, 2012 @ 2:08 am


    Comment by purshottam — August 11, 2012 @ 3:21 am

  14. Agree with everything you said,but 3 is deserving not generous 🙁

    Comment by Shankar Agarwal (@shankaragrawal) — August 11, 2012 @ 3:52 am

  15. seriously 3/5…. hahahahahaha…. aren’t u the same critic who awarded the dirty picture and rockstar 3 stars each….and now u come out with 3.5 for gow1 and dark knight rises apiece and 3 for gow2…. previously i remember u were comparing joker and bane… it is like comparing sushil kumar, the olympian with vishwanathan anand… strength vs evil brain… simply amazing right… and tell u what u even made an error by saying that bane was rescued by merceneries but that was not the case as bane was kidnapping the scientist… to boil it down to its essence u are thinking yourself to be some really super talented critic who cannot award high rating to good films… gow1 and gow2 will surely acquire cult status and u have think they are just average or above average movies…. hahahahahaha… u made a joke out of yourself rajeev…. u r not the same critic anymore…. truly its a shame…

    Comment by Shashank — August 11, 2012 @ 4:30 am

  16. Why is this guy so biased when it comes to Anurag Kashyap man! DevD was a gem.. he gave it 2.5. and now this..
    He says pointless subplots and characters are introduced and if this same thing happens in a Tarantino movie he praises it saying “the director has added fun into the proceedings”..
    and i still thought the characters weren’t pointless but were there for moving the story ahead.
    bus kya sirji… sirf Hollywood me banni chahiye kya aisi pictureen?

    Comment by Parag — August 11, 2012 @ 8:21 am

  17. i think it’s good movie…still u can give..3.5……………..i am hoping that one day..u will make movie…and will understand..what it takes to make movie like GOW 1 and 2….

    Comment by jaydeep — August 11, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

  18. 3!!??…. ohkay ur take… but what about the music …, its really something that diverts ur mind..

    Comment by LOKESH — August 11, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

  19. GOW series belongs to a class, which Indian audience hasn’t witnessed in last few decades. Be it a scene of showing violence, anger, revenge or romance everything seems so natural. Kashyap didn’t require Switzerland to showcase romance & neither did he require men clad in black jackets/long coats, shoulder length hair to create an aura of criminal conspiracy. Characteristics such as face expression & style of dialogue delivery; which are absent from recent blockbusters has been revived & immaculately harnessed in GOW series. Cheers to league of directors, who can make movies like GOW.

    Comment by Rahul — August 11, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

  20. http://rrachna.com/2012/08/09/movie-review-gangs-of-wasseypur-part-2/

    Comment by Ashwath — August 11, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  21. Seriously 3…. this is the first time.. i wont second u.. Movie has characters, we wont forget after years.. n best of all they are not just there for the sake of being there.. every single character is beautifully weaved into the story… what was lacking? i ddnt understand.. at least u shud hv gone for 4.. this is one of the best movie of this decade.. n come on better than “The Avengers”.. I liked TA though n loved that u gave 4… but TGOW is a lot better in story, characters, comic timing and dont forget music! this movie showed that not only english one liners are cheesy… I dont doubt u that u r one of the best (in fact I consider u best) critic of India.. but yes! u flawed sometimes.. very few times.. but yes u do… n this is the time.. Thanx.. :'(

    Comment by Mukund Narayan — August 11, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

  22. I have seen both the parts and find the second one better. Part 1 disappointed me despite having a good director’s touch.There were certain scenes and dialogs the movie would not have incomplete without. I really dont believe that to be realistic the film maker needs to take scenes and dialogs to the level of embarrassment.

    Comment by Sandeep Srivastava — August 11, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  23. Have u ever made a 2 mins movie in your life rajeev? Come on,this wasn’t expected from u,this is the worst review done by u Ever.This movie deserve 4.5 stars for sure.

    Comment by Ative — August 12, 2012 @ 6:19 am

  24. Hi Rajiv,

    How do you take to such criticism as is seen on this rating of yours? I wonder do you get angry, you take it in your stride or you don’t care. 🙂
    BTW my take on this Movie… Your ratings are right rantings are wrong. The movie deserve 3 as there are far more brilliant ones who deserve 3.5, 4, 4.5, and the perfect 5.
    The movie is indeed better then part 1 for its engaging quality whereas 2 lacks in story part which incidentally took too long in part 1.

    Coming back to my first question. I am still interested to have a conversation into a Critics Mind on Critics take on criticism when he is on the line.

    Hoping to see your mail in my inbox. 🙂


    Prashant Mathur

    Comment by Prashant Mathur — August 12, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  25. It is briliant movie…hats off to anurag khasayap

    Comment by sunil — August 13, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  26. Here’s a review by us, agree with many points of yours.


    Comment by Anuj Poddar — August 13, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  27. I disagree with the review. Personally, I felt that the movie never intended to have a solid story line as the movie makers were dealing with true incidents which are a cause of hindrance to any huge story modifications. The plot was always simple, VENGEANCE or REVENGE to put it in a filmy way. But it isn’t that simple because the characters along with the set up, are extremely real. Urban audience might be a bit over whelmed but that is what mainly the movie has to offer. Now if the question is about the basic plot, the characters are far more important. Because the movie is a reflection of the people and their actions which may be or may not be logical for everyone. But, it is what it is. One cannot expect someone like Faisal khan to revolt against the killings because he suddenly develops a conscience. The movie is intelligent because of it’s narrative and the choice of music which is intriguing and not a burden instead. Poetic justice like they say, is the moral. One has to bear the consequences. i think it’s time that we appreciate the effort. You gave 4 stars for Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and 3 for Dhoom-2!

    Comment by Swaroop Kodur — August 15, 2012 @ 1:51 am

  28. Well deserve 3.5 but not more than that..lacking in few areas.

    Comment by Gyanesh — August 15, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  29. An year back I wouldnt step in for a hindi movie without reading your review…. coz ur reviews always said in words what i couldnt narrate gramatically….. u were always right there 2 the point….. But with due respect to your initial work…. i would like 2 remind u.. that that are 5 stars out of which u can use all… not jus 4…. are you keeping that one star for the tax cut…… u say ur being generous by giving GOW II 3 stars…. that means u say KSKHH has half its potential… u need a break man.. go on a holiday… it will refresh your mind…!! we expect more from u…. ur in Bollywood.. not Haalllywudd… i might remind u..!! be generous… at least to a movie Like GOW…

    Comment by Omkar — August 16, 2012 @ 3:14 am

  30. The movie deserves 4…..Rajeev,
    I would not totally agree with you

    Comment by shashank vardhan — August 16, 2012 @ 7:18 am

  31. I disagree here, but more with the rating than your review. Sounds confusing? Let me explain:

    Not just this review in particular, what I find questionable in your reviews in general these days is the ever increasing divergence between what your words spell out, and the final rating of the movie. The bulk of your reviews hint at a rating that is at variance with the final rating, so much so that one is left with an eternal dilemma after reading your reviews: whether to trust the actual “movie review” or the final rating.

    I think this movie deserves a 4/5 at the very least. And as someone before me has rightly pointed out, your reviews tend to be biased against Anurag Kashyap. Wouldn’t waste my time wondering why, because I have another show of this brilliant movie to catch.

    Comment by Akhil Kashyap — August 16, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  32. Hey guys.. I don hv anythn to say abt GoW2 bt for those critisizing on rajeev’s point of view.. He is perfect as far as rating a movie is concern.. N thr is no need to critisize on wht he reviewed just don read if u r nt agreed wid him.. He rates d movie vry correctly and he don give a rat’s a**, remember u r commenting on his page, he is not commenting on urs saying wht rating he is giving to wht movie.. Peace peace peace…. 😉

    Comment by Ashish — August 17, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  33. sir, i had great respect for you..but since long time i am not happy with your reviews, you seemed to be biased..GOW2 just 3, it deserved atleast 4.. you gave ra.one 2 and a half..the movie has lots of memorable moments..the chase sequence were brilliantly shot..the scene where faisal cries..sultan’s assasination..perpendicular’s introduction..ramadhir’s view on indian cinema and above all the climax it was sheer art and love for movie…many critics were comparing anurag sir with quentin tarantino but gow2 proved he is far much more better than him..who in india have guts to make a 5 hour long movie..it was his baby and anurag sir nurtured it very well..the best part was even tough a strong actor like manoj was missing nawazuddin and zeishan carried the movie so well..really disappointed

    Comment by saurabh patel — August 17, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

  34. you all should understand this not actual sequel its a whole film just released into two parts actually it is a movie of 5 hrs so its a great movie all together

    Comment by harsh patel — August 17, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

  35. Shit BRO! u gave Ek tha tiger 2 and a half … do u really think tht this epic is only half a star better than salman khan no brainers? this movie wz nt perfect .. i myself feel so … bt 3 and a half was a must … “a generous 3” is really nt expected of the best critic in india

    Comment by Monal — August 23, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

  36. this one of the best indian films ever made i am only halfway through the 2nd part and i find it almost perfect by the standards of indian cinema . your “generous 3 stars” rating is not going to make any difference to the people who really know movies . you really gave 2.5 to ek tha tiger ???????? is that movie that good ????? agree with a comment above that if tarantino had made that movie you would have given it a higher rating . its plain stupid to rate that movie 3 stars . it at least deserves 4 star rating

    Comment by sharjeel — December 19, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

  37. if u r free in the home and u watn learn some new cuss words and watch some blood and lust ………..and u loved the movi of anurag kasyap jusy like me so dont wait for a second bring orignal dvds of both of parts full the volume of your home theayer and bluuuuuudy enjoy it.

    Comment by rahul — February 21, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

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