The ApunKaChoice movie review of Gunday. Had the Jai and Veeru of 'Sholay' been refugees and fallen for the same girl (let’s say, Basanti) and even fallen out over her, and if Thakur had his hands intact and chased the two rogues down in the bylanes of Calcutta instead of the dusty trails of Ramgarh, the 1975 Ramesh Sippy cult movie might have ended up looking like what Gunday wanted to be.
Yes, wanted to be. For it isn’t even a run-down version of Sholay, Kala Patthar, Deewar, and a host of other Amitabh Bachchan films it doffs its featherless hat to.
Mind you, Gunday is many things. It’s a brawnfest and vanity parade of its two leading men who can’t have enough of flaunting their bare (and neatly waxed) chests, abs, long hair, and toothy smiles. It’s an opera of lofty dialogue-baazi, with even the otherwise sensible Irrfan Khan entering the fray with dialogues like, “Tumhari hi Lanka se tumhein kutton ki tarah kheech ke launga”. It has lots of music, songs, heavy background score to keep us from nodding off. Further, it has action and even explosions to that end.
Alas, what Gunday doesn’t have is a story that offers us something we haven’t seen or slept over watching before.
It’s 1971. Bikram and Bala are two refugee kids from Bangladesh. They land in Bengal and eke out a living as gun couriers and coal smugglers. Time flies and the two grow up to be thick buddies (Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor) whose friendship Calcutta swears by and their rivals begrudge. They even fall for the same girl: Nandita (Priyanka Chopra), the most beautiful cabaret dancer in the city. They flip a coin (a la Jai and Veeru) to decide who’ll try his luck on the girl.
Predictably, their love for this girl becomes a thorn in their friendship. On the sidelines, ACP Satyajeet Sarkar (Irrfan Khan) waits in the wings to swoop down on the two gunday, and drag them out of their Lanka, “kutton ki tarah”.
There’s drama, romance, bromance, fights, songs, and a lot more. But there’s hardly anything new in this YRF film by director Ali Abbas Zafar to make you wanna spend the Valentine weekend at the movies with your significant half.
The performances are strictly passable. Ranveer Singh bubbles with his usual excitement -- be it in dances, fights, or girl-wooing. Arjun Kapoor leans slightly on the brooding side, particularly in the second half. Priyanka Chopra is reduced to a few scenes and songs.
Predictable, generic and overlong, 'Gunday' doesn’t give you bang for the buck. There’s hardly a silver lining in this coalmine.