Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 1

Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 1 ★★★

Letterboxd has this movie split into two separate entries (1 and 2). It's actually a single movie that ended up getting multiple releases in theaters because even in India five and a half hours is a long time to sit and watch a movie. IMDB has it correctly as a single entry.

So, gangster movies aren't exactly my favorite genre. If they are well made I like them, but I'd pick several other genres to watch first. And while I've watched more than my fair share of long films, if a movie is long simply for the sake of being long then it can really suck. (I'm looking at you Satantango).

Combine those things together and a 5 1/2 hour long gangster film from India was going to have to earn a decent rating from me. And you know what? It did.

This film appeared on the latest IMDB year end Top 250 list. I've been tracking them since 1998 and have seen every film to have ever been on it at a year end since then. (You can see all 564 films in this weighted list that eliminates a lot of the bias new films get in their rankings): )

There are obvious parallels to The Godfather and The Godfather Part II with the multi-generational family caught up in crime in a region of India. This is based on real events that occurred over the decades there. You will also find more than a little Tarantino in the presentation of the movie, as well as a touch of City of God in it.

I felt there could have been some trims, especially the umpteenth music video-like scene where the protagonist is moving in slow motion while a song is playing. For people allergic to big Bollywood musicals, this does not have any song and dance scenes. It does have the aforementioned song over a scene several times, and there are a few times where someone is singing live, but it is an actual performance in the movie, not someone from the cast breaking out into song to express their feelings.

And in regards to content, either the subtitles were very excessive or this is easily the most expletive laden film I have ever seen from India. Even the lyrics to some of the songs surprised me. And this also has the first sex scene I can ever remember seeing in a film from India. It's probably less than 10 seconds long, but for an industry that rarely even shows kissing that must have caused quite a stir when audiences saw it.

Block or Report