The film opens with Smriti Irani letting you in her house as the title video song of "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" plays. The camera zooms out to show that it is being played on a TV placed on top of a cupboard in a shop filled with people who are watching it in absolute silence when suddenly a few rounds of a Kalashnikov shatter the screen. The message is clear, you’re being let in to see all that is happening but you're wrong if you came here expecting a family drama or any colourful stories. It is a no non-sense, raw, realistic (though a bit fictionalised, obviously) film and it is all about revenge.
Written by Zeishan Quadri and co-written by Akhilesh, Sachin Ladia and Anurag Kashyap and directed by Anurag Kashyap, the five hour-long-film has been shown at the film festivals of Cannes and Sydney as a single feature and, will be released in two parts for its Indian audience. The first part was released on June 22, 2012.
The film is a representation of the actual gang war between gangster Faheem Khan and businessman Sabir Alam. The rivalry is shown to have started in the 1940s and the first film ends in 1990s. It would be a waste of time and space to describe the plot of the film for it surely does not require any motivation to be watched.
The film, unlike most of the films of our era, has a motive and every scene corresponds significantly to the next one such that the ‘cause and its effect’ theory operates throughout the film. In a case where the director has chosen to make a five hour long film (when even Hindi films are being edited to Hollywood films’ length), the role of an editor becomes all the more important. ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ has been edited in two parts, not primarily for making money out of two films but, for the fact that its plot requires to be told this way. It is a common feature of Anurag Kashyap’s films that they start off with at an amazing pace and tend to get slow while the audience dissolve in the storyline such that it forgets that the speed of the plot has been reduced severely. The story might transit from the era of 60s to 90s but what you see on-screen isn’t as fast anymore as it was in the beginning of the film. By now, you yourself feel aged while watching the film but before an Anurag Kashyap film starts making you feel bored, the plot of the film prepares its audience for something big that they know is about to happen. At this point, the scenes change quickly evoking the excitement and ultimately (and almost suddenly), the viewer realises that he/she is watching the execution of a brilliant climax. And, roars the song “Bihar ke lala” as the protagonist walks the path of vengeance defying death as he recalls the oath he took as a child while getting his head shaved. The final scene of the first film declares that a much larger climax is about to be built and the audience is left glued to the seats till any signs of the release of the next film is shown. The mere fact that such keenness develops in the consciousness of the audience describes the success of all the aspects of film-making.
- Jaideep Ahlawat as Shahid Khan
- Piyush Mishra as Farhan
- Manoj Bajpai as Sardar Khan
- Richa Chadda as Nagma Khatoon
- Reemma Sen as Durga
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Faizal Khan
- Tigmanshu Dhulia as Ramadhir Singh
- Huma Qureshi as Mohsina
- Vipin Sharma as Ehsaan Qureshi
- Shankar as Shankar
- Zeishan Quadri as Definit Khan
- Tilak Raj Mishra as Sanjeev
- Syed Khan as Iqbal Khan
- Naman Tiwari as Ajay Singh
- Aniket Raj as Vijay Singh
- Jaikumar Solanki as Jatin
- Sanjay Varma as Inspector Aman Khan
- Sandeep Arora as ACP Jadhav