Holy crap. You guys. There is a movie you have to see, called Gangs of Wasseypur. It’s a two-part mafia film that spans three generations, chronicling the struggle between two families as both strive for dominance and revenge. This movie is like a more stylized version of The Godfather, except that it also includes a blood feud between two crime families (like the Hatfields and McCoys, but a lot more bloody). If Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino had a monstrous little baby, and then moved to India to raise it away from the paparazzi, that baby would grow up to make this movie. Seriously, this film will blow you away.
So the first movie begins in the 1940s with a man named Shahid Khan, a small-time gangster with big plans to take over his boss’s business at the earliest opportunity. His boss, Ramadhir Singh, gets wind of this, and takes the necessary precautions to prevent Khan from ever betraying him. And thus begins a bloody feud between the Singhs and the Khans that lasts over 70 years.
The first movie focuses primarily on Sardar Khan, the son of Shahid Khan, a man fueled by the desire for vengeance. We follow his life as he gets married, has children, has strife and happiness, sees his children begin to grow and get married… the entire time, slowly working toward his revenge, as the Singh family continues to loom. As time goes on though, and Sardar Khan gets older, he begins to lose focus on vengeance, preferring to spend time with his growing family. This portion of the story takes us up through the 1990s.
The second film’s main focuses is on Sardar’s son, Faizal Khan, the most ruthless and calculating member of the family, whom everyone underestimates (eh, eh? sound like Michael Corleone, anyone?). We’re taken on a ride as Faizal brutalizes the Singh family (taking some casualties along the way, of course) over the next several years, bringing the story finally into the 2000s. I won’t tell you the conclusion of the story, of course, but the whole second movie is a classic bloodbath.
The feud that unfolds over the course of these two films is epic in scope, but the characters are also presented in such rich and personal detail that by the end of the story you feel as though you’re a part of it in some way. The tale is narrated by a man named Nasir, the family servant from the very beginning, and you watch his character on-screen, as he ages, and the sadness in his eyes as he watches each new generation grow up, only to become involved in the same bloodshed that has consumed their family for years.
There’s one other thing about this movie that I should mention: it’s incredibly fun to watch! Remember how I mentioned Tarantino up in the first paragraph? That’s because this movie is crazy fast-paced, stylized, and completely entertaining. It’s got a great original soundtrack that really makes the scenes come to life. In fact the soundtrack is so good, I actually purchased some of the songs, and have been listening to them on my way to and from work lately. As you watch this film, you’ll find yourself laughing, gasping, cringing, and tapping your fingers to the background music.
So, quick summary: Gangs of Wasseypur; epic bloodbath; stylized action; great soundtrack. All good things, right? But here’s the most important thing about Gangs of Wasseypur: it’s ON NETFLIX RIGHT NOW. Instead of having it as two long movies, they’ve divided it into an eight-episode miniseries, making it even easier to watch. There’s nothing stopping you from watching it right now! What are you still doing here?!
Seriously though, this is one of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year. Please watch it, either as a two-part movie or as an eight-part miniseries, or you can watch it all at once if you want, I don’t care; just watch it.