Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Gangs of Gotham

Aside from the obvious asininity of the title, what might strike you is the rather cunning portmanteau of the two movies that have been solely responsible for the Indian public's remarkable attention deficit disorder being elevated to almost Promethean proportions. Not to critique Prometheus, a movie that was directed to smithereens by one of the most talented, and hence most obdurate directors in Hollywood. Nope, we as a civilization have now moved on to bigger and better things. Let's see now, these two genre bending, mind blasting, and all round snazzy movies are about a small mining town in the hinterland of Bihar, in the far out country of India, and about a considerably larger, albeit vague town in the hinterland of God Knows Where, in a country that can only be assumed to be America by the amount of dubiously bad English, and weird accents spoken throughout.

Language, probably, is one of the last reasons why you would go to watch either movie, but Gangs of wasseypur is more than just a delightful romp through a land of sex, drugs and guns, it is in fact quite educational. Linguistically, it does for the national language(I'm assuming it's Hindi) what the Boston strangler did for door to door salesmen.Judging by the staggeringly large number of families present in the theatre with me when I watched it, they considered it to be quite educational too, and would have little trouble homeschooling their kids in the subtleties of transcendental profanity.

In short, akin to this blog post, Gangs of Wasseypur is an unapologetic, untrammeled, unbridled, no holds barred epic of nonsense. The story is useless, the lyrics of the songs are strange to say the least, the invective is catchy, but unnecessary. It is the longest film about absolute bloody nonsense that you would ever dare to watch. And it is probably the longest film about absolute bloody nonsense that you would pay some more money, and go and watch again. It is probably the longest movie that you would have on infinite loop over a lazy Sunday afternoon, over a couple of months. It's that brilliant. In terms of nonsense, there is qualitative, there is epicurean, and then there is pretentious. In no place would you find this movie aiming to over reach, to present iteslf as something other than plain old self-styled nonsense.

Now, the Dark Knight Rises(and this is the basis for this strangely titled comparative post) is something completely different(I would have written kettle of fish, but that really doesn't seem to do it justice). It is a movie so wrapped up in itself it barely seems to be able to wake up and smell the snow. I have no idea what Bane does in his spare time, but I think most of it would revolve around adjusting his face mask and pumping some iron while preening in front of a mirror. In trying to create an intelligent villain and a flawed hero, Nolan has managed to create convoluted nonsense. Most of the plans, the twists, the deviously cunning schemes of the inordinately nefarious villains are nothing more than qualitative legerdemain at best, and confusing at worst. But it pretends to be so much more. Like the title, it aims to rise beyond its limited plot and average performances to become the successful conclusion of a brilliant trilogy.

It used to be, at one point of time, the greatest putative compliment payable to Bollywood to compare its movies to those of its western cousin. That point of time, seemingly, is long past. While more people were queuing up to watch TDKR(as it is affectionately known) versus GOW, it is a completely different story for the return show.

So many people consider TDKR money well spent, its almost laughable to consider that GOW2 would be available at half the price, and twice the fun.

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