The storytelling is brisk, though the wealth of events and characters means you have to let yourself go with the flow. But Gangs of Wasseypur is always compelling, and Bajpai’s charisma means there’s always a colorful presence at the heart of the drama long after the endless hail of bullets has grown tiresome.
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The killing is bloody, the power struggles involving, the history-class examinations of the relations between mines and unions and gangsters fascinating, and the tough-guy routines, while sometimes tiresome, never less than credible.
As a rich and exuberant character-driven crime saga in an idiom you absolutely have not encountered before, and a dense, unsentimental portrayal of the collision between democracy, capitalism and gangsterism on the frayed margins of the post-colonial world, Gangs of Wasseypur is a signal achievement in 21st-century cinema.
Although the narrative contains echoes of “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II” — and perhaps “Casino,” in that much of it is structured as a flashback from an assassination attempt — “Gangs” lacks the poetry and character interest of those films.
There’s no doubt that Gangs of Wasseypur is an exhilarating creation, a not-to-be-missed cinematic event, and a work as sprawling, messy, and open-ended as real life.
An extraordinary ride through Bollywood’s spectacular, over-the-top filmmaking, Gangs of Wasseypur puts Tarantino in a corner with its cool command of cinematically-inspired and referenced violence, ironic characters and breathless pace.
This insane masterpiece shows the self-destructive properties of myth making and how they overlap with the downfall of a community damned from the beginning of time.
The love child of Bollywood and Hollywood, Gangs of Wasseypur is a brilliant collage of genres, by turns pulverizing and poetic in its depiction of violence.
Impressively, Gangs of Wasseypur manages its sprawling story lines deftly and maintains a brisk pace throughout its daunting length. The performances are uniformly excellent, even if no character in Part 1 is at all likable.