There was a lot of hype surrounding ‘Gunday’, partly because of the pairing of Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh as the leads alongside the equally dynamic Priyanka Chopra. The trailers promised an action filled ride with both the heroes of the film, jumping from trains and buildings or energetically pursuing the heroine. For all three actors, this is the first time they are being seen such gritty roles and it would be interesting to see how the three would interact and play off each other�۪s qualities. Singh and Chopra are at the height of their Bollywood careers, while Kapoor is still finding his feet in the industry. The film, which is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, promises to be one that would be remembered for years to come with its stunning use of imagery and songs which were becoming favourites of the audience.
When India starts sectioning off its land, two Bangladeshi children Bikram (Ranveer Singh) and Bala (Arjun Kapoor) end up in a refugee camp fighting to survive their harsh conditions. Both boys become steadfast friends as they are inducted into a life of crime to try and earn their next meal. Due to their circumstances, Bikram and Bala are forced to leave and seek their destinies in Kolkatta. Here they stumble across an idea to steal coal from trains which are passing through and sell them on in the market place at a cheaper price than their competitors. As they grow up, both boys manipulate the market for their own and become rich enough to keep control of all the industries in the city using underhand ways. The police crack onto it and are desperate to get control of the situation, here begins the typical criminal versus police chase with the addition of Nandita (Priyanka Chopra), a cabaret dancer who steals away both Bikram and Bala�۪s hearts.
It has to be said that this film is a tribute to the 1970s, with the punchy dialogues and constant background music to keep the audience engaged at every action scene. Amitabh Bachchan is referenced throughout the film with the angry young man persona which both Kapoor and Singh adopt at some point in the film. ‘Gunday’ definitely holds appeal with the unapologetic swagger it has throughout the first half but by the second, you do feel as though the story lacks substance. This is a story about friendship and what happens when two young children are left for themselves when the system is the biggest criminal. However the addition of the love story makes the film weak and succumb to clich̩s.
The only thing that holds this film together is the sheer attitude and energy Kapoor and Singh bring to every scene when they share screen space. Both actors have embraced their roles fully and it is fantastic to watch them interact, whether they are being the gunday that they are meant to be or hopeless lovers. Chopra earns her keep playing the beautiful femme fatale and she does brilliantly in every scene, delivering each dialogue with the conviction and passion. Irfaan Khan plays his role of the police inspector well and definitely holds gravitas in the scenes when needed.
The music score for this film deserves a special mention as each song is well written and embraced for a film of this kind. The songs brighten up interludes in the film with Tune Maari Entriyaan and Asaalam-e-Ishqum being firm favourites for the audience with some really well choreographed dances.
‘Gunday’ is a film which is definitely an action filled watch, if you doesn�۪t scratch much beneath the surface. The audience gets an education in the formation of India and simply from that point of view, the first half does hold appeal. Watch this for Kapoor and Singh; they are brilliant in each scene. and they have plenty of topless scenes. A good film but just makes you wish that the storyline was more memorable.
BizAsia Showbiz Rating ��� 3/5