At one point in the trailer for Raj & DK’s gangster comedy Guns & Gulaabs, a character asks, “Is the story ka point kya hai?” I think it’s a reasonable question to ask the people who produce series like Family Man and Farzi. I totally support Raj & DK getting trillions of dollars in budget, hours and dynamic cast like this, but their mix of all of the above is never always fun. and eccentric.
(Also read: Rajkummar Rao jokes that he used to do ‘cable connection theft’ when he was young)
Empty 90s nostalgia
Raj & DK manages to transport us back to the 90s via a fictional hill station called Gulaabgang (e.g. Dehradun or Mussoorie of the 90s). In addition to motifs like Campa Cola and a rose water for girls called Pink Mamba, the director duo really brought back the nostalgia of the 90s through a song involving students.
The show begins with the two boys arguing over whose love is deeper, by carving their girlfriend’s name onto their arm with a compass. Later, a girl and a boy fell in love while riding bicycles side by side instead of driving them home. And the petty but emotional classroom politics, about the class rep stripping the new leader of his class of his badge, and about the class rep writing the names of troublemakers on the blackboard. These kids get as much screen time as the rest of the prolific cast, but their integration with the main plot seems forced rather than organic.
There’s a lovely detail when the top student is hired by his resourceful friend to write love letters in English to a mechanic with average reading comprehension in Hindi. The child has a process for writing love letters: he must listen to English music on his Walkman and make the final touches by spraying his mother’s Pink Mamba on the letter. In one hilarious scene, he writes as a Bryan Adams song plays in the background, confusing the mechanic and his sidekick.
But aside from these cute elements, there doesn’t seem to be a bigger reason to set the story in the ’90s. Raj & DK is trying to bring out something in us, something beyond porn. nostalgic sex? Sadly, there’s just a deafening silence no matter how hard you try to shake it, like a month-end gull.
Raj & DK resides Guns & Gulaabs with a group of quirky criminals. They create a parallel between Chhota Ganchi (Adarsh Gourav), the son of the town’s most feared gangster boss Ganchi (Satish Kaushik), and Tipu (Rajkummar Rao), a mechanic and son of loyal but indispensable gang member of Ganchi. Both carry the burden of their father’s deeds. While Chhota feels tremendous pressure to step into his father’s giant shoes, but repeatedly fails miserably, it is clear to Tipu that he doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps, but ends up killing the men. with just a spanner like regular blows.
Again, however, this father’s legacy song wraps around the plot, but never comes across as strong as it gets bogged down by the rest of the movie filled with random side plots. , petty chase scenes and downright boring scenes. All of these elements continue to drift apart as the story progresses and never become a coherent whole, just as the seasoned cast performs their roles in isolation, but without never unite for the explosive moment of cinema.
Rajkummar Rao is the funniest of them all. He has the longest arc and the fairest execution possible. Watch out for his early moments, especially when he forgets his father has passed away, while flirting with a lover (Read: “Han, pitaji theek hain…arey, pitaji toh mar gaye” ). Adarsh Gourav also has an interesting part with smart touches and an epic climax, but the simmering intensity in the young actor is squandered by the series’ split focus. -plot To be honest, Shreya Dhanwanthary showed up for randomly blackmailing Dulquer and ended up dropping a truth bomb on him like an arc of revenge after what he did to her in R Balki’s Chup last year.
Gulshan Devaiah’s character is the weirdest and he’s guaranteed to have fun with it. That’s it. We’re not even discussing female characters. Or maybe, do it because someone should be paying them, if co-writers Raj & DK and Suman Kumar aren’t. The only one notable among them is Chandralekha (TJ Bhanu), a school teacher. She seems to be stimulated by fearless confessions and common crimes. It’s an intriguing shadow touch for a school teacher, but Guns & Gulaabs is clearly not interested in further mining.
The series offers a good farewell to the late Satish Kaushik. He gets some cracker lines, a sinister personality, and even a tribute when his name appears on the calendar during the first episode’s ending credits. But his most memorable scene is the one when the wooden floor beneath him begins to creak and crack. I will not say anything.
Raj & DK could have picked such a cast and turned a performance with them into gold. But they become too indulgent to give it any kind of depth, coherence or even color beyond a point. I recommend when they write their next script, they should use a little Pink Mamba and a song by Bryan Adams to get back into their rhythm. If that helps, at all.
Guns & Gulaabs is streaming on Netflix India.