Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 (2012)

NEW RELEASE FILM REVIEW || Director Anurag Kashyap | Writers Akhilesh Jaiswal, Anurag Kashyap, Sachin K. Ladia and Zeishan Quadri | Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi | Starring Manoj Bajpai, Tigmanshu Dhulia | Length 160 minutes | Seen at Cineworld Wood Green, London, Sunday 24 February 2013 || My Rating 3 stars good

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India has a huge cinema industry, as everyone knows, but my exposure to it has been almost nil (aside from one or two films over the years). So I come to this film (actually the first part of a two-part epic) with very few expectations. I’m aware that the mainstream of “Bollywood” may involve romance and dancing, but I’ve only picked that up in passing from such ersatz hommages as Bride and Prejudice (2004). In fact there is a little bit of dancing here, but mostly this is a gritty, generational, historical epic focusing on the entanglements of a number of families. It has the scope of The Godfather trilogy or one of Sergio Leone’s latter-day epics, with a name presumably referencing Gangs of New York (2002), and at times it feels like all of those films, or like Olivier Assayas’ great multi-part film of Carlos (2010), though without quite the same budget.

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