Guddu Rangeela helmed by Subhash Kapoor is a quirky, fun laden film which not only paybacks your ticket's money worth in form of entertainment unlimited but also ably sheds light on prevalent social issues of social diktat & honor killing. Recently released movie NH10 also revolved around the subject of honor killing but in a thriller format where as Guddu Rangeela brings up the same issue albeit in an entertaining & amusing manner. As a director, Subhash Kapoor's last two flicks were satires based on prevalent social issues. First being, Phas Gaye Re Obama that talked about Global recession and the second was Jolly LLB which took a dig at the anomalies inherent in India's Judicial system. And, this time through Guddu Rangeela he takes pot-shots at the issue of honor killing by cleverly infusing it in the movie. Subhash Kapoor is one of those rare directors who has this amazing knack of crafting entertainers that speak about social issues but without sounding preachy & Guddu Rangeela is a step forward in the same direction. Guddu Rangeela talks about a serious social issue in a comic way via the shenanigans of two bumbling petty criminals. Though, the film projects itself to be a work of fiction but it seems to be inspired from the famous Manoj-Babli case who were victims of honor killing. The film ably touches upon the deep fault lines & savagery that run through the hinterland of Haryana where both life and love hang by a precarious thread. Making a jovial film on such a serious issue is not a mean task with chances of it going horribly wrong always lurking, but Guddu Rangeela ably succeeds on that front. The fun quotient of the film begins from its first frame where a celebration is going on by calling an orchestra party because the son of a village landlord has got Visa approval for Kenya. This scene sets the tempo of the movie enabling you to judge about the rest of the proceedings that are to follow. As the film proceeds, it sheds light on various issues prevalent in society ; how still Khap Panchayats are ruling in the hinterland, how honor killings are still taking place making a mockery of law & order including court judgements, how cops cough up money to grab plum postings & than recover them from gullible citizens and female foeticide. These all issues might be sounding heavy to you making you think whether its a serious piece of cinema but the director has cleverly infused these issues into the movie in an entertaining manner. This is the first typical masala entertainer from Subhash Kapoor having all the ingredients that a commercial potboiler needs be it quirk, drama, action, bromance, emotional turbulence and revenge driven vendetta.
STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD) :: The story as well as screenplay of the movie that has been penned down by Subhash Kapoor is laden with all the ingredients that are required to make an entertaining film. Moreover, when the script of a movie has been penned down by the director itself, it becomes all the more elementary for him to portray his vision on celluloid in the most apt way. The highlight of this movie apart from the brilliant performances by its starcast is its perceptive writing which leaves no stone unturned to take digs at the current socio-political scenario. On top of it, script has been laden with boisterously funny dialogues and one-liners. The best part is that the script breezes past without any major breakdowns primarily because it sticks to its chosen line and to top it all, it delivers some quirky detours that are made all the more engaging due to consistent quality of acting by most of its artistes. The film begins with cousin brothers Guddu (Amit Sadh) & Rangeela (Arshad Warsi) performing at the house of a village landlord. Though, they own an orchestra party but in actual they are informants for local gangs to whom they supply information about the wealth of parties in whose houses they perform. A corrupt Police Inspector catches up with them and threatens to implicate them in cases of dacoity until they pay him 10 lakhs. As they are grappling with this problem, a self confessed PRO of underworld namely Bengali (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) approaches them with a deal. They have to kidnap a speech & hearing impaired girl, Baby (Aditi Rao Hydari), bring her to Delhi and for this they will be paid 10 lakh. They both agree & kidnap the girl but things turn out otherwise. Neither is Baby deaf & mute nor she was to be kidnapped, instead it's all a plan of Baby with a hidden agenda. On probing, Baby reveals that she is sister in law of ganglord turned politician Billoo (Ronit Roy). Her sister was killed by Billoo & she wants to seek revenge. Now, Rangeela understands why they were chosen for this job by Bengali as both Guddu & Rangeela have a past equation with Billoo as being a Khap Panchayat leader he had wrecked their past. They are also dying to settle scores with Billoo. Meanwhile, Baby is in possession of a C.D. that contains footage of Billoo in uncompromising position with several women which if revealed to media can destroy the political career of Billoo. They hatch a plan to extract 10 crores from Billoo in lieu of that C.D. Will they be able to extract money from Billoo, What is the past connection between Billoo and Guddu-Rangeela, Will they be able to seek revenge from him is what forms the rest of the story.
STARCAST :: Undoubtedly, Starcast of Guddu Rangeela is one of its main strengths as all the actors including ensemble starcast have been perfectly cast as per their characterizations & they have left no tables upturned to showcase their skills. Arshad Warsi as Rangeela is simply first rate. Arshad Warsi is a powerhouse of talent who is one of the underrated and underutilized actors of today's times. He is such a natural actor who fits unto the shoes of the character that he portrays on-screen effortlessly and with remarkable ease. As Rangeela who shares a love hate relationship with his cousin Guddu, Arshad ably portrays various shades of his character which include quirk, nervousness, confidence as well as frustration over his troubled past with aplomb. But, the surprise package of this movie has turned out to be Amit Sadh as Guddu by imbibing and portraying the finer nuances of his character. Amit has evolved as an actor with every subsequent movie of his. It's but natural to expect hearty banter from Arshad Warsi because of his impeccable comic timing but matching him step by step is Amit Sadh. His sincerity & hard work towards portraying this character can be gauged from his performance in the movie. As a flirtatious guy having penchant for easy money, Amit Sadh wins you over with his fine performance in the movie. Ronit Roy is particularly masterful as Billoo, the gang lord turned politician. He looks every inch; the ruthless, dreaded, mean & menacing displaying all the shades of grey that his character of being antagonist of the movie required him to portray. He looks so convincing as Billoo that it hard to imagine any other actor who could have pulled off this character in such masterful manner. Aditi Rao Hydari plays Baby with shrill theatricality which speaks volumes about her acting finesse. Another actor who manages to entertain you is Rajiv Gupta who essays the role of a cop (Gulaab Singh) in the movie. His innocent face expressions coupled with his dialogue delivery invoke aplenty of laughter. Rajiv Gupta with his funny antics has been able to uplift each n every scene that he has appeared in especially the Antakshari scene. Rajiv is one of those fine, natural actor who needs to be seen more frequently on-screen in more meatier roles. Not to forget, Brijendra Kala who with his own finesse of comic timing & distinctive dialogue delivery manages to bring a smile to your faces. His styling in the climax of the movie is awesome. Dibyendu Bhattacharya shines as Bengali and has given an earnest performance. Amongst ensemble starcast noticeable performances have been given by Shriswara, Amit Sial and Achint Kaur.
TECHNICAL FINESSE :: The musical soundtrack of the movie has been composed by Amit Trivedi & the quirkiest number of the album i.e. Mata Ka E-mail has been composed by Subhash Kapoor himself. Cinematography by James Fowlds is at its best and he has been able to capture some stunning visuals that too in country-land. James has astoundingly captured a sense of purity in the frames, luscious with light, undaunted by grain in the dark which is remarkable. The use of color palettes be it in frames, background, outdoors or even inside premises is so audacious that it enhances the visual appeal of the movie. A special mention of Suman Roy Mahapatra (Production designer) & Pradyuman Kumar ( Action coordinator) for their effective contribution in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Arindam Ghatak who has kept the run-time of the movie to 124 minutes. His has done excellent job at the editing table with his editing being pacy, breezy giving you no chance to out for a loo break. As a director, Subhash Kapoor has hit bulls eye again. It can be said that Subhash Kapoor with his immense talent & precision has handled such a major upsurge social issue in a quirky satire form and that too so deftly. He has packaged the movie very cleverly with lot of insights, quirk, laughs, hard hitting words along with outstanding performances from the cast. I'll say that he is a fine example of a master storyteller who not only deftly handles the narrative but also concentrates on each & every character of his movie without bothering whether his movie will be able to enter that 100 crore club. Presently, I can think of only two directors who have been able to make good meaningful entertainers infused with prevalent social issues ; One is RajKumar Hirani and the other being Subhash Kapoor.
CONCLUSION :: Guddu Rangeela takes you on a fun ride comprising of grit, quirk, drama, action, intricacy backed up by commendable performances from its cast. It is a descent one time watch not only for its entertainment quotient but also for the messages infused in the film.
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