I first read about this movie in a feature on Q published in the Sunday Graphiti of The Telegraph. The title alone was enough to get me interested. How often do we come across a title like “Gandu” which in reality means moron to be the tile of a film. I believe this was a first for the Bengali Film industry atleast. Gandu cronicles the journey of a youth, Gandu(Anubroto) who hates his life to the core and yet doesnt die. He stays with his mother and practically does nothing. He steals from the persons who is banging his mother and doesnt feel a tingle down his spine seeing the two in the act. He spends the money either on buying lottery tickets or intoxicates. A chance encounter with Rickshaw(Joyraj) gets him a friend with whome he is able to share his true feelings. Gandu has one passion and one passion only RAP.
The movie is shot completely in black and white with just one scene appearing in color. The surreal mood of the protagonist is beautifully brough out in this presentation. The sudden injection of Bengali rap in between the scenes accentute the overall feel of the movie. If one considers the story it cannot be divided into a begining, middle and an end. The reason for that is Gandu doesnt speak of a lifetime instead it takes us through the daily routine of this vagabond and the developments in his life for a period of time alone. we don’t know how did he come to this neither do we dwell into his future. We are just here in some of his life’s piogant moments. The movie has a rugged look and feel to it and it is unlike anything that Indian audiences have experienced so far. Wheather it is the “on your face” dialogs or the some of the dream sequences or even the RAP bits put in between. Gandu will shock you, tease you, amaze you, frustrate you and ultimately make you think about what you experienced and dwell on the fact that are there really people like Gandu and wheather they are part of the same society we live in.
coming to the performences Anubroto is Gandu and Gandu is Anubroto. I dont think anyone else could have fit the bill, the way he has and if there is anyone else to fit the bill I dont want to know about that person. anubroto showcases the duality of nature, the frustration, the anxiety and above all the nothingness of Gandu to perfection. His performence is so life like that people will take him for the charecter and he will appeal to their finer senses. He may not be the hero that we fantasize about but he sure is a slice of real life. Joyraj as Rickshaw is up to the task. His obsession with Bruce Lee and his dialogs with Gandu are a treat to watch. He speaks, walks and even eats like a rickshaw puller. if heard properly, every word out of his mouth has a distinct intonation as heard from the rickshaw pullers of Kolkata. RII lights up the proceedings as Angel and the amount of sexulality she shows has never been done before on Indian cinema.
Kaushik Mukherjee (Q) has indeed succeded in bringing a slice of real to the fore and he does so in great style. Indian audiences are warming up to cinema of the modern age and Gandu is another step in the forward direction. It doesnt use the sex and awe factor to woo in audiences instead It can be said that whatever was depicted here was the need of the hour and the demand of the story. Not a single scene feels out of place and for those who have a panache for technicalities will be bowled over by he high production values even though it was made out of a shoe string budget. gandu has everything going for it, what is left to be seen is that after recieving so much of kudos world over, how the indian audience reacts to it…!!