Go and watch Gangster. After all, it's not all bad.
Gangster Guru (Yash) decides to walk away from his criminal past after he falls for Ria (Mimi), but his ex-boss (Bratya) and a few others have a different plan for him.
Imagine Daniel Radcliffe as the Hulk or Leonardo DiCaprio as the Wolverine. The images don't quite fit, right? Well, that's the exact feeling you get when you watch Yash Dasgupta playing a killer with a heart in Gangster. His chocolate boy looks don't quite go with his blood-smeared resume. Of course, had his screen personality been that of a playboy or a fun-loving guy with a killer streak, it would have been bang on. But, somehow, the mental torment he is shown to feel in the film doesn't quite go with his full cheeks, whichever way his muscles ripple. That, of course, doesn't mean that Yash hasn't performed well. He has done complete justice to his role. Or at least tried to. He can't be blamed for Birsa's mistake, right? After all, the director has repeated the folly most filmmakers in the industry tend to make -- goof up while casting the characters.
Yes, the film has swag. The picturesque locales of Turkey add to it. And so do quite a few good frames and shots. But despite the swanky cars and beautiful murder scenes, Gangster pushes you to ask a question. Has Kolkata just become Turkey instead of London? The whole narrative is crawling with Bong characters -- right down to the priest at a Turkish mosque! And no one speaks anything except Bengali or Hindi. I mean, come on! You can a whole film in that country, get your hero chased around by local goons and everything, and not one word in the local lingo, even with a subtitle? Moreover, the beauty of the country hardly shows anywhere else except the song sequences. There are riverfronts and wide highways even in India.
Moreover, the film fails to establish the backstory about how Turkey's underworld managed to contract such acute Bengalitis. Every third gangster seems to be a Bengali. Even the cop (Shantilal Mukherjee), who never even touches his gun, is a true blue Bong.
In the performance department, Bratya Basu takes top honours. His act of the ruthless ganglord is bang on, right from the kohl-lined eyes and sinister goatee to his flawless expressions. Mimi, too, shines as the effervescent do-gooder who always carries a bottle of antiseptic lotion and cotton swabs in her purse. It's when she turns a new leaf does her actions start contradicting her character. There's worry on her face where there should be smug smiles. Another directorial miss? Guess so. Other characters, including Guru's partner in crime (Saurav Das) and his scheming gang mate Chotu (Soumyajit Majumdar) have done justice to their roles.
The storyline, however, scores better than average. Of course, the usual anomaly appears everywhere -- the hero is always attacked with daggers and batons by goons who always kill with guns. They always seem to conveniently forget their guns at home. And our hero, even after a thorough thrashing and body search, manages to shoot everyone dead. Oh yes, he never gets caught. But the spoiler is the twist, or rather, the way it hits you. No warning, cool, but a massive jerk in the story flow? Not cool. It could have been presented in a smoother way.
The best part about the film is by far it's music. All tracks are great to listen to and thankfully, appear at the right points along the narrative. Arindam Chatterjee, great job.
Go and watch Gangster. After all, it's not all bad. But yes, do leave your bag of expectations at home to spare yourself the disappointment.