Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 1

Shahid Khan is exiled after impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku in order to rob British trains. Now outcast, Shahid becomes a worker at Ramadhir Singh's colliery, only to spur a revenge battle that passes on to generations. At the turn of the decade, Shahid's son, the philandering Sardar Khan vows to get his father's honor back, becoming the most feared man of Wasseypur.


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  • ★★★★★ review by Naughty aka Juli Norwood on Letterboxd


    Film #3 of 10 of the "10 Indian Films that you probably haven’t heard of and you probably won’t regret watching – Part 1" Challenge!


    Gangster epic based on a true story that covers 50 years of blood soaked vengeance and enthralling human drama! Director Anurag Kashyap wields his craft like a weapon and takes us all out with cold steely eyes, steady hands and calculated precision!

    Characters so real, so animated they practically leap off the big screen! Graphic violence runs rampant, lives taken without blinking an eye! Me thinks the roosters may be preening and crowing now but in part 2 their actions will come home to roost in a really big way!

    Indian gangster film grounded in realism and grit equals or rivals Hollywood's most touted pedigree gangster masterpieces!

    Available at Google Play! Do NOT use the search function go to genres and scroll down til you see the Indian Films category and browse thru the films!

  • ★★★★ review by Vichu ViVek on Letterboxd

    Part of Peaceful Stoner’s 10 Indian Films that you probably haven’t heard of and you probably won’t regret watching - Part I

    From the poster, the title and from the very little information that I’d read up about the movie, I’d expected Gangs of Wasseypur to be a full-fledged action film, complete with violence and blood. But what I got was something completely unexpected and surprisingly deep. The film narrates the feud between two families in Wasseypur and the lives affected by it, constantly changing perspectives and tone while managing to keep the audience hooked with scenes of action as well as humour. But Gangs of Wasseypur more than anything else, is a drama. I was quite taken aback by how realistic the characters and the situations felt. And although I did feel my interest slipping somewhere along the first half, the film managed to win over my complete, undivided attention as it progressed to the second half. Before I can write anything more about the experience I really feel I should watch the second part, maybe even give this one a rewatch, so that I can form a coherent opinion. Also that climax was one of the best I’ve ever seen, and for some reason it refuses to leave my mind!

  • ★★★★★ review by Milez Das on Letterboxd

    Bollywood was stuck in a loop for a decade with formulae movies, it is till doing it but nowadays they are not getting that much response. Some do when they have big stars.

    So, when you almost give hope on Indian Cinema. A man named Anurag Kashyap comes up with Gangs of Wasseypur. Screened at Cannes, getting praised all over. All unknown star cast. Bad words flying around like a Scorsese movie, blood like Tarantino and the rawness of Cinema the way it should be.

    This review is for Part 1 of this feature.

    Gangs of Wasseypur starts with history of Wasseypur and Dhanbad located in bengal during British India. After India got Independence they were located in Bihar and again relocated in Jharkhand.

    So, what we have here is Shahid Khan who is robbing trains in the name of infamous dacoit Sultana a Qureshi. Now this irks the Qureshi's and they banish Shahid from Wasseypur and he locates in Dhanbad working in a coal mine. After Independence the coal mines were distributed by the government to private companies and local authorities. But running these mines was not an easy job. In comes Ramadhir Singh who now owns some mines in Dhanbad region and hires Shahid Khan as his bouncer and soon a power takes place.

    But Shahid dreams of taking the mine to his own by stepping over Ramadhir, but this news gets to Ramadhir and has Shahid killed. And this first murder starts a vicious cycle of revenge which does not stop till it has reached it's destination.

    Now, Shahid's son Sardar wants his revenge on Ramadhir who has now grown into a Godfather of the region, making into politics etc. Shahid who is still nothing starts to rob Ramadhir's Coal trucks with his kin and soon starts to establish his position.

    This game gets even interesting when Sardar returns to Wasseypur by steeping his feet into Qureshi clan and this effort of his makes him famous. And soon he becomes more bigger in power.

    The revenge part is taken slowly killing knife, Sardar wants to see Ramadhir on his knees before killing him. But Ramadhir makes a deal with enemy enemy.

    On the subplot section, Kashyap show an innocent yet horny love story of Sardar. Who marries Nagma and has three children with her and a second wife with whom he has one child.

    The story is about guns, bombs, a land where there is no law, killing is a regular thing. There is a scene in a butcher shop, even though it is short but still looking at the scene made me puke.

    'An Eye for an Eye makes the whole world go Blind' is the perfect tagline that can be said for this series. A revenge that passes down, power that becomes more than the term itself, love that can betray. Loyalty is there but at arms length.

    But this movie changed Bollywood to some extend. Indie movies started to make their way in. Movies with hollow plot where dismissed bu the audience. Filmmakers started to make effort in making a film. Real actors started getting big breaks. Many of the actors of this film are now on everybody's mouth. Dialogues of this movie were trend setter.

    Everything in this movie is well placed. Nothing seems out of the way. You want to root for the characters but the way they are arched you just want them to stop and move on. But the mind is not at rest. Silence comes before the chaos.

    It also shows the real activity of the mafia, coal and sand mining. It uses a realistic approach, real shots of these activities and this makes it one of the best movies you will ever see.

    Manoj Bajpayee as Sardar Khan just shines throughout the movie. He just gets under the skin of the character and watching his on the big screen was just extraordinary. The movie also takes it's time to development of the characters. Nobody seems fake or useless.

  • ★★★★ review by ani on Letterboxd

    There's a throwaway moment here where Sardar Khan tries to kick open a door that opens just by gently pulling it; it's one of the film's several great comic moments, but it also represents the fundamental tragedy fascinating Kashyap here. Indian men constantly exerting force not because they necessarily need to, but because it makes them feel powerful and sexy and in charge of their own destiny. Everyone's vulgar power fantasy is undercut at some turn as a consequence of sociopolitical fact, or their own brutish masculinity, or the sudden realization that not everyone can be Amitabh Bachchan, or simply because the door doesn't open that way. So much more here than the now rote "violence begets violence" of American cable prestige dramas (its split into an 8 episode "season" on Netflix is further indicative of the thematic overlap this shares with them).

  • ★★★★★ review by Jayce Fryman on Letterboxd

    Seeing both parts of this as one 5 hour movie, I was just blown away by the epic proportions of this film. Following one family in the Indian town on Wasseypur for over 50 years, this film was amazing. And amazingly, this film felt nowhere near 5 hours. The length here doesn't hinder the movie, but help it explain numerous things, almost as if The Godfather and City of God had a child. This was also my first Indian film, and I did not know what to expect, but was completely blown away by this film, not only does it have great acting, and a great story, but the music throughout this film is great as well. Overall, this is definitely a film that I would go and watch again, 5 hours and all.

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