MUMBAI: Gunday is a story based in 1970s and 80s. And, in keeping with the era, the story is also what was called mass masala in those days. What is new about it? Well, after seeing a lineup of films with Delhi background, this has Kolkata as the backdrop.
Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor are two orphaned refugee kids from Bangladesh who join the tide of other refuges and enter a refugee camp in Bengal. Wanting to cash in on their innocence, an officer and a tout decide to use them as conduits to transport guns outside the camp. When the officer gets the urge for a woman and finds none in the camp, he decides to use one of the two boys. This leads to the boys committing their first crime as the officer is shot dead. They make their escape on a goods train carrying coal and come to Kolkata.
While doing odd jobs, they dream big, which of course, is not easy to achieve unless one gets into illegal dealings. They see the use of coal all around and think of the wagon train they travelled in and decide to steal from wagons and sell coal at half the market price. It is the 1980s now and the lads have grown up and graduated to stealing entire trainloads of coal instead of just a few kilos, in the process killing the earlier don and his whole gang. With that materialises the car and the home they dreamt of all along. The boys are more than blood brothers, so inseparable that they even share the same bed!
Producer: Aditya Chopra.
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar.
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor,
The two soon start other businesses and even have a logo designed for their ventures: BB (for Bala and Bikram, the screen names). While they have been busy building an empire and establishing themselves as the most feared dons of Kolkata, the police chief is busy collecting a horde of files on their crimes. As the duo looks unstoppable, the chief hands over the case to one cop who can stop them – Irrfan Khan. But they remain unperturbed as even with so many files, the police had no proof or witnesses so far. Irrfan takes on the onus to collect proof against them. He starts his job by planting a mole around them.
The duo has financed a night club and gets the privilege of inaugurating the club. There they set their eyes on Priyanka Chopra, the club’s star performer. Both fall in love with her instantly. Two men in love with same woman, just the situation that is enough to put their friendship to the test. Circumstances are created whereby not only the friendship is broken but now the friends for life are ready to kill each other. The enmity starts with a no-holds-barred fistfight and later leads to the use of guns.
As the film gets into the latter parts post interval, things become predictable. The surprises don’t surprise the viewer.
With few characters to carry it, the film is too lengthy at 153 minutes. It could have been shorter. With a loose script, the direction is copybook, offering no sparks of genius. Kolkata locations are exploited well. The film’s music works to its advantage with three songs having popular appeal in Asalaam- e-ishqum…, Jashn- e- ishq…… and Tune maari entriyaan and has helped the film get a better opening. The lead actors, Ranveer and Arjun are not really known for histrionics but having nothing negative against their names so far, they draw the young crowd. However, they needed a younger girl to fall in love with rather than Priyanka whom one would consider in the senior league. Irrfan and Saurabh Shukla are good as usual.
Gunday has had a good opening all over (Delhi, NCR and UP affected a bit earlier in the day due to rains). With solo release as an advantage and its two young heroes, the film has everything working for it at the box office.