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DIRECTOR: Subhash Kapoor
STARRING: Arshad Warsi, Amit Sadh, Ronit Roy and Aditi Rao Hydari
RATING: 2.5 stars
‘Crime when gets personal becomes passionate,” observes a policeman in Guddu Rangeela. Short of a halo, I felt like Buddha, like totally enlightened with such gems. The problem is that the film lacks both: personal touch and passion.
Guddu Rangeela is not like Vicky Donor or Mickey Virus. It’s different. Guddu Rangeela is not one person, but two people. See how different. Guddu and Rangeela are crafty make shifters, trying to cough up dough for a legal case against Billu Pahalwan who supports honour killings!!
And who better than Ronit Roy to play this barbaric, pensive, regressive misogynist? Don’t get me wrong. Ronit Roy is a fine actor. But he was grimacing in Udaan and in Boss and in 2 States; it seems he has mastered that expression so well that he sleepwalks from one set to the other with those tense brows and that frown!!
And then he opened his mouth. And spoke in Haryanvi. It begins with tanne ends with manne and has a Ghana bawra in between for the effect. It wasn’t bad. That’s how Haryanvi people in Hindi films speak. Kangana Ranaut has such a business opportunity here. She could easily conduct some tutorials for the entire star cast. Remember her recent number toh main du kona act in Tanu Weds Manu Returns?
It’s a good thing filmmakers are at least addressing the grave issue of honour killings in their films (NH 10, Tanu Weds Manu Returns and now Guddu Rangeela). But it’s dealt so halfheartedly in this movie that it makes other issues like #15YearsOfAbhishekBachchansPaunch look far more important!!
The issue is lost in characters’ personal problems. They want to kill Billu Pahalwan because he killed their fiancé/sister/papa!! It’s understandable the film has a certain story that they want to tell through these characters but it is far from engaging. I felt no pain when someone’s fiancé is shot dead or someone’s father’s is burnt alive. I was so disinterested that I read (and even enjoyed) all good-morning-good-night-life-is-beautiful-be-grateful WhatsApp forwards that my aunt bombarded me with on our family group.
In the film’s defense, it does have some funny lines and moments. There is a visa celebration night in the heart of Haryana where everyone is so happy because a young rich boy has got his visa to Kenya! It’s done with such a straight face that evokes humour.
The supporting cast is pitch perfect. The inspectors speak convincingly in Haryanvi. Their body language is just as good.
Arshad Warsi is a fine actor. He has come a long way ever since his Munnabhai days. For example, in Munnabhai he was on the passenger’s seat on the side car Munna drove. In Guddu Rangeela, he rides the bike leaving the passenger’s seat to Amit Sadh, the kind of progression no actor has even seen in Hindi films. Amit Sadh and Aditi Rao Hydari try to save badly written characters!!
The film doesn’t underestimate your IQ as most Hindi films do. Watch it if you have got nothing to do on the weekend.
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?