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Gurgaon Movie Review: It Is A Blood-Soaked Shakespearean Parable On Crime & Redemption!



Starring: Pankaj Tripathy, Akshay Oberoi, Ragini Khanna,Aamir Bashir

Directed by: Shankar Raman

Rating: ****(4 Stars)

The gleaming glittering surfaces of Gurgaon which stands between the violent hinterland of  Haryana  and  the Capital politics of Delhi , renders itself with ironic radiance  to the themes of entrepreneurial greed and violence in cinema . Atul Sabharwal’s Aurangzeb was an underrated attempt at understanding the strife that controls the monstrous affluence of the constantly-evolving region.

Director Shankar Raman’s Gurgaon  gets it right immediately and ineradicably. This  aland of opportunity, and opportunism.There is a sense of  immediacy and doom in  the storytelling which coil themselves around the viewer from the first frame in  such a persuasive  manner that we are sucked into the tale although some of what happens here is done more for effect than out of an inner conviction.

But the absence of credibility never  comes in the way of the storytelling that achieves an  unconditional littoral of pounding impact even when we see the bullet coming. Gurgaon reaches into the darkest interiors of its character’s yearnings and is not afraid to come up with unsavoury home-truths.

Pankaj Tripathy, playing a  Brando-esque business tycoon whose legitimate professional activities barely conceals his inner world of simmering  murkiness, sets the pace for other actors to  follow.

Tripathy who has so far played only economically challenged desperados with a touch of humour and irony , plunges into  his first truly dark role(from the Dhoti to  the Dressing Gown, so to speak)  with a vengeful intensity bringing to the patriarch’s part a Hamletian ambition guilt and destruction that never overwhelm  the narrative.Tripathy’s Kehri Singh is a study in unscrupulous self-advancement. He doesn’t hesitate to brutally kill his brother. But is  a doting fussing father to  his foreign-returned daughter Preet(played with relative effeteness by Ragini Khanna).

But it’s Akshay oberoi playing the outcast son who steals the thunder lighting and what-not. It’s a big-bang performance , implosive and bursting at the seams with unspoken bitterness. Oberoi plays  the truant son(a cliché in the crime genre) with much empathy and little compassion. In one sequence we see  him brutally violate  a prostitute in  a bath tub.We know what levels  of violence Nikki is cabable of.

Nikki doesn’t disappoint.

While Tripathy and Oberoi tower above the rest of the cast in the skyscraping crime drama,  there is no dearth of engrossing performances throughout  the simmering stunning span  of the tense storytelling. In fact one  of  this remarkably tactile thriller’s USPs is its progressive tumble  of interesting characters. About 35-40 minutes into the film we meet a young mild-mannered South Indian  rock musician Anand Murthy(Srinivas Sunderrajan).

We don’t know at that point of  time how intimately Anand will get connected to the awful crimes that mankind often commits against his own  blood.A little later we meet a small-time hired killer Jonty(played with brilliant brio by YogiSingha).Jonty joins  the jamboree  of violence  like  a stranger thumbing a ride to Hell.  Midway in the heaving overtures to create an organic heft in the narrative, a close relative of the family Bhupi(played with grit and  rigour by Aamir Bashmir)  shows up in what is known among commercial filmmakers as  ‘interval-point dhamaka.’

Do your  business and come back quickly.

Where do these desperate specimens of crime-committing renegades  come from?  Gurgaon trails the bloodied path with diligent persuasiveness. It doesn’t flinch from uncomfortable  family  secrets .And when these secrets tumble out in anunstoppered flow,  the narrative sighs in deep languor while the characters make  a mess that they can never hope to clean up.

Till the very end of this violent saga of internecine devastation,we are given clues and glimpses into minds and hearts that are governed by greed and felled by opportunism. The editing(Shan Mohamed)  gives the narrative the appearance of a wound-up clenched crisis . The cinematographer Vivek Shah captures  the city of ambition, greed and destruction with a flamboyance that secretes a deep hurt and wound.

These are characters born to doom. God bless them.


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