Let’s take a look at everything the film’s slick promotion promised – a big, bad, Bollywood action flick, a tribute to the hindi films of the 70s, an out-and-out buddy flick, and one helluva entertainer. It fails to deliver on most counts, and it fails abysmally. Ali Abbas Zafar seems out of depth in making a basic screenplay hold together, and the end result is a superfluous film, one that tries to be all of the above on surface, but lacks vision, skill, and flair to even come close.
One of the first 101s of Bollywood film makers should be: if you don’t know how to do period films, don’t. Gunday is embarrassingly bad in it’s complete lack of effort to look the part of being set in Calcutta in the 70s. Visually, that’s such an easy setting to create because the look and the city are so well defined. It’s down to horrendous production design (barring the first 15 minutes and the Durga pujo sequence), costume, and music that we never get a feel of the era. That a YRF film could look so bad is a shocker; all they had to do was spend one hour watching the first half of Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera to know where they went wrong.
Just as poor is the writing. It’s the kind of ridiculous film which breaks into a randomly set song sequence, and you think “right, that’s how we roll in Bollywood. The film can take a break for 5 minutes and come back after the song is over”. Which would still be ok, except that the film doesn’t come back after 5 minutes. Apparently, totally random song sequence continues into an incredibly critical scene that affects the rest of the story. Or how the two best friends split because of the girl and then are re-united. The logic is mind numbingly contrived, and unless the director thought the film was to be watched by 5 year olds, there’s no reasonable explanation of how this kind of story could have made it to screen. Then there’s the dialogue. It’s not even unintentionally funny, and Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh struggle to infuse it with any real bravado or emotion, completely failing to raise the insipidly written material to any level. It’s not possible that someone at YRF vetted this script. If they did, they’re probably looking for a new job.
The only times the film doesn’t look like an amateur effort are the action sequences, where the director seems to have some level of comfort and control. That and the “Entriyaan…” song are the only times Gunday is tolerable. It’s an epic waste of resources, and given the scope and canvas it had, is a massive disappointment.
For people hoping to bank on the Ranveer-Arjun camaraderie, don’t. As people they’re clearly comfortable in each other’s company, but as actors the chemistry is limited to Baywatch style running behind coal filled trains. Jai and Veeru they ain’t. Priyanka looks good, which was probably what her script looked like. But what can you do when the male lead pair prefer each other over you?
When repeateds jokes about football and Bengalis run dry and Irrfan’s baritone goes mute, the makers of the film will look around to find that much like the audience, this is a film that’s gone missing.
Hindi, Action, Drama, Romance, Color