Gangs of Wasseypur Part II
aka Gangs of वासेपुर II
Written by Akhilesh Jaiswal, Anurag Kashyap, Sachin K. Ladia, Rutvik Oza, and Zeishan Quadri
Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Gangs of Wasseypur continues with Part II, thanks to the split the 320 minute film experience just so theaters would take a chance and play it. Part I was an amazing experience, and Part II almost lives up, creating a uniquely awesome long story. It took five writers – Akhilesh Jaiswal, Anurag Kashyap, Sachin K. Ladia, Rutvik Oza, and Zeishan Quadri – to bring Gangs of Wasseypur to life. Anurag Kashyap directs this ambitious project, which is one of many quality and critically successful films. Black Friday(2004), Dev D(2009), and That Girl in Yellow Boots(2011) are among his other well-known works.
When last we left our warring families, Sardar Khan has just gotten Sonny Corleoned (or was it Sonny Corle-OWNED!) and his son Danish Khan is now the defacto leader of the family, and he vows to kill the men who gunned down his father. Sultan Qureshi realizes Danish is trouble and kills him, and the Khan family now is lead by the marijuana smoking Faizal Khan, who neither seeked out nor wanted the leadership role. No one thinks that he can handle being a ruthless leader, but he proves them wrong by beheading a longtime friend who betrayed the location of his father to the assassins.
Faizal now leads the Khans as time continues and other sons of Sardar make waves. Sardar’s fourth son Perpendicular is a maniacal spoiled child who keeps a razor blade in his mouth and spends his time robbing local stores, who let him because he’s Sardar Khan’s son. His actions start to get out of control, and Faizal begins spending more time cleaning up his messes than he would like.
Sardar’s son by his second wife has grown up into an angry teen named Definite Khan (so named because he had a definite mission in life – to kill Sardar Khan – which has already happened!) He starts hanging out with the Khans and Faizal begins using him as a trusted aide, though Definite isn’t above making fun of Perpendicular’s recklessness with stunts. The local merchants hire Sultan Qureshi to kill Perpendicular, but Definite exposes the scheme to Faizal.
Ramadhir Singh sees the partnership between Faizal and Definite and begins a long ranged plan to drive them apart, using men who want revenge on Sardar Khan’s family for their own reasons. This is started when Sultan kills Perpendicular at the same time Faizal is arrested for other crimes, and Definite escapes Sultan only to be thrown in jail as well. After Faizal’s release, Singh’s men keep Faizal busy with new lucrative schemes that keeps him from spending time with or helping Definite as he’s still in jail, driving a wedge between them. Singh then bails out Definite while Faizal has entered politics in Singh’s district, leading to a mess of voting fraud schemes and violence.
A cycle of plans crumbling and being betrayed continues until a final showdown at a hospital, which is when Gangs of Wasseypur Part II loses a bit of the realistic edge to try to deliver a satisfying conclusion. While I enjoyed the whole spectacle, it veers more into the fantasy action world than the realistic violence that comprise the majority of the two films.
But beyond that, Gangs II ups the intensity of Part II with more memorable characters, more violence, and more of everything.
Faizal Khan grows from burnt out stoner to ruthless head of a family, while still giving off the aura of someone who just lies around huffing and puffing mary jane all day. The persona makes his killings more shocking, establishing his hold on the family and town while still allowing him a release. While he impresses his family and business partners/rivals with his ruthlessness, he impresses Mohsina with his successful and movie star imagery. She seems the only one he enjoys impressing, his rare moments of showing joy are when he’s spending time with her and showing off to her. The killings he does for the family just seem like business. Mohsina lives in a movie world, transposing the coolness of Indian stars to her husband’s power over Wasseypur, and getting hooked. Faizal adopts the appearance and speaking styles of popular stars, just as addicted to the fantasy world as his wife.
Nagma Khatoon (Richa Chadda) continues to be awesome, here pushing her sons to avenge their father’s murder, even pushing Faizal towards action by her doubt in his ability. Nagma continues to be the biggest driving force keeping the family together and organized, her character suffering death after death but still pushing boldly forward. Sardar Khan’s other wife Durga (Reemma Sen) continues to be a force against the main Khan family. Sardar may be out of the way, but there is still is a whole family out there to remind her of the man she once loved and turned to hate.
The stakes becoming more violent and bloody culminates with a huge finale that both ends much of the strands begun way in the beginning of Part I, but also shows the cycle is far from over and just starting on a new turn. The music choices continue to be stellar, characters struggle and work both sides, and Gangs of Wasseypur keeps things just busy enough to be interesting but not confusing or dull. It is a masterpiece and a perfect tool to bring out for introducing people to Indian cinema.
Rated 8/10 (adults, Shama Parveen, pager, book, tongue razor, cop, traitor, narrator)
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