Brawling with the System!
Anurag Kashyap surely knows how to pull off a rags-to-riches story, and this film is an evidence- or may I say, yet another evidence? If looked at a close, the story of 'Gangs of Wasseypur' to comes off as such a genuine and strong underdog film, of an insignificant auto driver and his revenge plot turning into an intense thriller. But this time, the filmmaker has turned the tables the other way down to deliver a strong, captivating film with the right punch and inspirational genre.
The film starts off with the shots of two house help workers talking about topics hot in the town. And then, after a couple of genuine, seen-there-in-the-day-to-day-life sequences and a bunch of romantic moments, the film turns tense: one of the workers, Shravan Kumar (who is not someone who figuratively comes off as an obedient son, how clever, Anurag!) has got into a fight with his own master, Bhagwan Das Mishra, a rich affluent man in the town, the head of the state's boxing federation. This will be very hard for Shravan now. No, not only a stable life in the town, but also for fulfilling his dream of becoming a boxer, more specifically, a brawler.
The story is designed as an attention-capturing drama with a full-blown sports story, and that comes really naturally. How can a director as good as AK not be able to design an amazing sports drama in the land of 'Dangal' or 'Chak De! India'. Just that the sports drama should not get formulaic, or else all the fun is sucked out ultimately and you feel nothing except in the climax. Anurag satisfyingly makes the sports drama work with the ingenuity. But he also makes sure that the emotional romantics, the love story between the 'mukkabaaz' and his love interest, a mute girl Sunaina also works. That sequence in which Sunaina insists Shravan on learning the sign language comes off as a realistic one.
Anurag has also managed to look that the script is all settled, all fundamental, but with a strong backbone. Kashyap has pulled off a good script, along with the UP-based screenwriters Ranjan Chandel, Mukti Singh Srinet, Prasoon Mishra and also the lead, Vineet Kumar Singh who hails himself from Benaras. The writing in the first half is strong and consistent.
And the performances are essentially amazing. Not an actor could pull off the performance of this underdog brawler as smoothly as Vineet Kumar Singh. It is his first in a leading role, but easily comes off as his strongest one. He plays it like a true-blue, natural actor. It needs an applause, a thundering applause on how the actor Zoya Hussain, terrific as Sunaina, plays her part gracefully and with utmost conviction in what can be called the most impressive debut performance essayed by an actress this year. Ravi Kishan, although in Bollywood for years now, is strong in his best performance as Sharvan's trainer.
But the film has its share of problems. At roughly three hours, the film is too inconsistent in the second half to be so long. But you'll love rest of it.
Nice and taught storyline
Excellent dialogue writing
Excellent dialogue delivery by lead actors and other supporting actors
Selection of cast
Some nice songs
Last 20 minutes could have been made more taught. Welcome a new actor and actress to the big screen. Hats off to Anurag Kashyap n team.