Every week, the very awesome Kiva Ashby gives us her expert take on Bollywood movies.
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan
Length: 2hr 32min
I wanted to do it a little different this time. This week’s film is the action film Gunday, which actually translates into outlaw and is not just Gun-day as this silly American first thought. Either way it was an action packed movie that delivers on the over the top unrealistic action that I have come to love from the Hindi film industry.
There are a few areas of the film that I want to address directly.
- Overuse of shirtless men
- Lack of songs/one crappy one
- Arjun Kapoor has the perfect face for a villain.
Shirtless men in action films are a pre-requisite. I get it. We all get it. And trust me I’m all for buff shirtless men. But this movie takes it to a whole new level. The two main characters Bala (Arjun Kapoor) and Bikram (Ranveer Singh) spend almost the entire movie shirtless or with their shirts barely hanging on.
Running in slow motion with open shirts:
Sleeping without shirts:
There’s even a fight sequence where they deliberately rip their shirts off before they fight each other. It’s quite interesting. You’d think that the shirts were somehow holding them back from their full fighting potential.
The lack of music scenes in this film was upsetting to me. I especially like the songs that are written for Bollywood action films. I’ll list just a few for reference:
The Dhoom trilogy has amazing songs;
Bang Bang another film that I previously reviewed had really catchy songs.
And 2008’s Race had that “Zara Zara touch me” song that played on the radio for almost a year.
My point is that in order for you to make a successful Bollywood action film you need GOOD songs.
Gunday had 2 subpar songs. And no offense to Priyanka Chopra but I didn’t like her performance in the dance scene where she was a burlesque dancer. It was lacking something. I’m not sure what it was but she didn’t really sell that scene very well.
The other song was a slow ballad between her and Ranveer Singh. The choreography between the two of them was awkward and dry and the song itself held no emotion for me whatsoever. I guess I was looking for something as good as Kajol and Shahrukh Khan in the song “suraj hua maddham”. Something that was romantic and graceful like a ballet:
Instead we were bombarded with painfully staged poses like this one. It looks like she’s got a cramp in her leg and he’s helping her stretch it out:
The point is I was very disappointed in the music and the dance scenes overall.
I will end it on a positive side because that’s the outlook that I generally like to have in life. The one really great thing that I can say about this movie is that they cast the perfect actor to play the hotheaded, cold hearted outlaw Bala. Arjun Kapoor has a face made to play the bad guy. I haven’t figured out if it’s in his eyes or in his smile. Hell, it might be a combination of the two. But either way that’s one character that he can sell me on any day. His performance was top notch in this film. He was 100% believable. But I don’t know if he has to try that hard. In Ishaqzaade and Aurangzeb he did an equally amazing job getting the audience to dislike him. So in Arjun Kapoor's case it’s good to be bad.