Gulal by Anurag Kashyap

Whether you agree with him or not, Anurag kashyap is one of the most compelling Directors in India. His innate rebellious natures transforms itself onto the screen so effectively that he is constantly challenging any preconceptions that you may have. Don’t expect easy plots or ‘armchair’ cinema from him. His characters and nature of his scenes are so compelling that you cannot help but accept his argument for the moment, only to think long and hard about it when you get home. Gulal is such a film and coming so soon after his path breaking Dev D, presents a completely different side of Anurag, a political one, not seen since his terrific ‘Black Friday’, Argue amongst yourselves later, but on screen his scenes and characters are explosive.

34 thoughts on “Gulal by Anurag Kashyap

  1. Shekhar,
    It was a visual and literary delight to watch Gulaal. You need to really watch this movie with full attention in order to get the best bang for your buck.

  2. Just watched Gulaal and it blew me away. Great storyline and some kick ass charachterisations.I remember a movie called Haasil that had a similar storyline, but Kashyap takes this to another level. Along with Vishal Bharadwaj, he is the best filmmaker in the country and as Anupama Chopra said- anti Yash Chopra. Dev D was awesome as well.

  3. Rahul
    is it fair to say Anti-yash chopra… i dont know yash chopra as a person… but most of his films are profound unlike karan johar…so anti-karan would be right thing to say is what i feel…
    anurag is still TRYING TO be…you will never see this EFFORT in yash chopra’s films…you can see it in karan’s films…he is trying to be yash chopra…
    so comparison if at all necessary can happen between karan and anurag…yash chopra is out of league…
    isnt it so? this is personal opinion… they made films, they having a ball…its useless to discuss but if we have to then this is what i feel… 🙂

  4. I think that once the shock on account of Dev D’s ‘boldness’ wears off, the film seems to have little to offer that could do justice to Sharat Chandra’s classic.

  5. Hobo- Good observation. Maybe anti Rajashri who made such digressive movies like Vivah and Main Prem Ki..whatever. AK is on cue in Gulaal and takes a step further from his tryst in Dev D. Maybe he is “trying to be hard hitting” in a way and set the standards of what to expect in his next work like Yash Chopra did with his fluffy romantic Switzerland flicks.

  6. Gulal was a awesome experience. I watched the movie on the recommendation of a pal and was one of the 6 people sittin in for a late night show on monday. But believe me, I was riveted from the opening shot. The soundtrack was kickass and I never paid so much attention to the lyrics as much as I did to this. The moral ambiguity of every character, how stemming from collage politics, the scenes play itself out, and individual stories overlap…..way to go…after dev d, I can’t wait to get more….anybody know how one can get hands on a dvd/ vcd copy of paanch???

  7. Dear shekhar,
    Do you really think ‘the Coca-colonialisation campaign’ by bollywood biggies can help india in anyway ? In my opinion, No….A big no….A lot of films released recently in hindi film industry is just aimed at inecting american values and lifestyle, to be frank invading a nation’s natural culture and runing it in every sense by using a very powerful medium called ‘cinema’. This is completely political. But indian audience don’t have the brains to understand that because they are the most self-humiliating and self destructive society histroy have ever seen. Started from Rang de basanti, cheeni kum, KAnK, it’s now Delhi 6, Gulaal and dostana…etc. I don’t want to put gulaal in this pack but it just represent the same old cliche propaganda which Foreign cultural imperialism labs prepare for india….I just think that one scene in cheeni kum is very dangerous that in that scene,one little girl who is going to die with a serious illness tells the protagonist to get her Adult CDS because she want to see that before she dies…I am afraid of this kind of value systems and culture…I expect a reply or an elaborated blog post on this
    With love…vaishak

  8. Vaishak:
    Can you clarify clearly what values were practiced in our home Kerala..that we should return too..
    Was it the values that Namboodris did not have to marry nair women and can have responsibility free sex..Or the sambandam way of living together were multiple men shared a women..or the fact that lower caste women were not allowed to cover their breasts..The values you talk in Kerala have changed a lot in last 200 years..When Haider came to kerala, one of his first grudges was he ordered marriageless sharing of women as abhorable..Or the fact that portugese abused the free sex right given to them similar to the namboodris because of their fair color..
    Have you ever wondered where all the dark people mentioned in ancient tamil literature(there are not much malayalam literature over 1000 yrs isn’t it) and visitor’s literature abt Kerala disappear..
    Some recommendations-Please read articles on caste systems in kerala in 18th century or notes of arabic/Portugese travellers in Kerala..
    So now tell me should we return back to our Kerala culture..Or should we return to Bihar’s culture or Kashmir’s culture or Rajasthan’s culture..

  9. @ Ronin,
    History is written by people who had power and their aim was that to manipulate people for a future in the way they wanted to. You have just exposed to caste system history and influenced or motivated by Portugese travellers writings about kerala. I recommend you to read more about our history from both points. Did you read about what happened in Goa after Portugese imperialists invaded the place. Please read with the same anger you have against the caste systems. Yes, namboodiris practised ‘sambhandam” but sambhandam was not ‘free sex”. If you want me to explain it, there is a lot to say about it. I too hate the system of ‘sambhandam’ but please understand the it’s over and brahmin community in kerala is the most poor community in india now. You should consider them as human beings because the younger generatiom has nothing to do with the crimes their great grandfathers had commited. I believe that cultural imperialism to a certain extend is good because it connects two cultures and we can follow beautiful thoughts from both culture, But invading a nation’s original culture and injecting a new pop culture is surely of political reason .You can read a few points about ‘coca colonialization” from wikipedia and you can read ‘cultural imperialism an american tradition’ essay which has written by 16 yr old american girl,who won the first prize in the human rights essay of that year.It’s available on net. I should say you that brutal imitating is not a solution for anything. There is a lot of good things in indian culture including yoga, classical karnatic music, hindustani music, our rich traditional designs, architectures,Vedic mathematics, spiritual teachings. Why can’t you drop the dead history and hatred and accept the good practises of indian culture. It will make you more healthy and happy. Robin sharma who teaches himalayan yogi’s life style to world is the mental coach of organisations like NASA,IBM,MICROSFT and YOUNG PRESIDENT’S ASSOCIATION.

  10. Anurag Kshayp is definitely THE MOST original voice in Hindi cinema right now. His Dev D just blew me away. And now Gulal is not far behind. His script detailing, his capturing of small town nuances, his witty lines, his innovative use of all makes for truly exciting cinema. These two films taken together with Black Friday and No Smoking defines an explosive talent from whom we can expect much more. After AR Rahman, at last I have found another voice in Hindi films whose every outing I am waiting for with bated breath and feverish expectation.

  11. ‘His characters and nature of his scenes are so compelling that you cannot help but accept his argument for the moment, only to think long and hard about it when you get home.’

  12. Vaishak:
    When did I say some castes are not humans..When did I say only one caste is responsible for it..
    Am against the ignorance that persisted, and not even against the abuses as the oppressor/oppressed were both ignorant. Not just that, the oppressors tormented themselves. Co-habiting was not a despicable system either, as possibly the men fatality count was high in chola-chera wars, and it kept the warriors less attached.
    The portugese are not the only ones who talked abt social ills and more open sex in kerala of olden days..It is an open knowledge and most aware malayalis will accept it and few courageous ones will talk abt it. Please read Zakharia talk abt it.
    How come the outside influence in women’s clothing and living as man-woman families not cultural imperialism, but the rest is imperialism..Isn’t Hindustani music outside influence for Kerala few hundred years ago..Isn’t carnatic music outside influence few hundred years ago. Hasn’t the old Kerala kingdom completely transformed by chola kingdoms, immigrants from karnataka, portugese, mughals, British and Delhi Kingdom. Should we go back to our old roots and kick out all this external influences..
    That brings up my point. We felt it was proper to take some external influence and leave the rest.
    Similarly let us choose what is best for us, from the current cultural influences..
    The people are intelligent. You can practice what you want and let others practice what they want…
    We have to be more afraid of our fears than this outside influences..This national imperialism is a fear that borders on regional imperialism, language imperialism, communal imperialism and caste imperialism..

  13. I so totally agree!
    In some other post of yours I had written a comment which alluded to Anurags Dev D, but for some reason that comment was never reproduced- so I assumed either the online space had gobbled it up or you had monitored it ( tho according to me thr was nothing objectionable in it)

  14. @ Ronin, hi ronin
    This is not any word’s game.You are talking about the ill practices which existed centuries ago, not now. Now ,thats not happening in kerala. I don’t have to read zacharia for knowing about kerala. Zacharia is a sweet person who says such foolish things that “vidheyan’ film have an hindutva agenda and he even spoke against Adoor gopalakrishnan in that matter .It’s just that he is mentally upset and have to take rest to go back to a relaxed condition. There is people who have confirmed hatred towards nair, namboodiri communities in kerala [ many say the reason is inferiority complex, well i don’t know exactly]but hatred was never a solution for problems. It makes more problems. People might have problems when some caste says that they are superior than everybody and they get distubed by the ‘supreme attitude’ of the people who belong to certain race. Its a common human emotion. I can understand that.
    Back to the actual problem….You are talking about things which died centuries ago. In fact, this is the same thing [historical propaganda] religional propagandists exploit to convert people from one religion to other. They talk about all the bad things happened in history but will not mention anything good happened in history. Do you think adaptation of a consumerist culture which based on just money is a solution for india’s problems. I should write a few problems of that pop culture.
    1. Youth below 20 years have liver zerosis in a high percentage in western countries [both boys and girls] because of the drinking culture. Now the culture is spreading here and people named it as ‘liberalisation’ and means of ‘individualism’.
    2. Boys run out of schools and malls , with a machine gun in hand and killing so many people including their own parents and when get questioned they say “its because of an impulse”.[ this impulse is created by the self destructive pop culture]
    3. Drug use is a fashion in west and a big percentage of people are school drop out just because of this culture. Thats why they need indians to work in their companies. Its not charity but its need.
    4. Junk food-another metophor of pop culture- which causes people die of unknown diseases.I could name a few diseases here but i think i shouldn’t.
    5. Girls hate their parents and running away from home with somebody they knew for days and finally will be coming back to house with thousand confession stories. Young moms have no responsibiliity towards their children. Please read British PM’s opinion of what happened recently in britain.
    This list is so big. This is not a case of centuries old. This is happening now and your kind of freinds think this culture is the only way to heaven….ALL the BEst…..

  15. @ ronin,
    I should say one more thing. You should think about india as a united nation and should take every indian citizen as your own .Then you will be out of your fears of regional imperialism and caste imperialism. Welcoming a fascist country to rule our nation is not a soultion for escaping your own fears about regional imperialism. We are one Man….MEra Bharath mahaan……..

  16. Vaishak:
    You have not understood my point at all..I say your imperialism fear is similar to that of Thackerays that muslims, southerners and North Indians are hurting Bombay..
    And that if you think our grandparents were intelligent enough to make intelligent choices out of foreign influence, we are also capable enough to do intelligent choices. (We can disown Zacharia and do we disown our ancestors too..Nice cultural pride..dont understand your point abt nairs and others as it seems a oxymoron here)
    Thanks for your advices on hatred and national unity. I will take them positively. That’s exactly what am saying ‘Mera Bhara mahan’. But it is a bad phrase to hide when you want to do cultural policing..
    There are enough positives in Indian culture and negatives in western culture. And vice versa.. Let parents make their choice for the children..

  17. I found the mivie very illogical … maybe i am a person with lower understanding of art but story did’nt have any commercial logic…u know..raising a war against a country and funding it through the collections of a college cultural program…does’nt make sense…. apart from this some songs were really good … and actors were great…movie also had a good flavour…

  18. @ Ronin, hi freind
    If you think you want to be westernised for your good fututre, you can do that. But you can’t be fascist who order people to belive what you believe. You did a nasty thing for the first time. By what rational thinking, you compared my stand on cultural imperialism to some other people’s twisted ideologies..? It’s the foreign campaign’s cliche formula that if anybody didn’t agree with them, they will tag you with all controversial names in the history.Did i say anything about any community within india. It’s you said many bad things about brahmin and nair community and you are talking some nonsense. when i was talking about indian culture and foreign invasion of our country, you are doing some community bashing.It’s you who have some thackeray kind of fears about nairs and namboodiris hurting you and your western philosophy. You have no rational thinking at all. . Your arguement is full of mistakes, inaccuracy and illogical thinking. After a lot of struggle, india have got freedom. If people were of your thinking, india would never hav been got freedom from british. I was talking in favour of my country, that means the whole united india and some westerniser’s propaganda against my country. WHy did you talk about thackeray and all. Why you are consciously forget the issue here and talk non sense which have no foundation of rational thinking. How you can compare a man’s opinion on a foreign fascist nation with regional imperialism stuff and all. First you say anything with a rational mind. All of your points were of a moron who didn’t understand the whole concept.
    Use your rational mind to argue on topics like this.
    From the beginning you were talking regionalism while i was talking about ‘indian culture’ not about kerala culture.But every time you answered with history of ‘kerala’ .It clearly proves that you are that regional fundamentalist, the one who says illogical, foolish, dumb comments exactly like The young tackeray kid. When i was talking about indian culture, you were spewing your ‘opinion’ on the cultural history of kerala which is absolutely out of context. The only weapon you have is your illogical, irrational thinking but it can’t help you in the long run. I have told you with clear evidence that you can refer an essay “Cultural Imperialism- An american tradition” in US human rights asscociation essay competition. You didn’t even read it. In that essay, the person who wrote it has clearly proven the facts with proper evidence. If you don’t want to talk about that and you want to do a dumb argument, i am not interested. Intelligent men can’t be interested in the ‘irrational arguement’ which you are doin now. When i talk about elephant , you are talking something about crows and aunts. what’s the point in it. I know things like ‘cultural invasion’ will be a bit tough for average brains for you to understand.

  19. @ ronin,
    Anybody who read your comments can understand that you are dividing people’s mind by dividing them as Bihaari,kashmiri,keralite. You own previous post shows that. When i wrote to concentrated on indian culture, you replied by saying that which culture i am telling people to adapt, bihaari,kashmiri or rajashtani..? It shows that you can’t see india as a whole.Why can’t you see india and it’s people as one entity..? your mind is the stuff which have regional thinking which divides the whole indian culture by saying them bihaari,kashmiri, keralite. It shows the ultimate regionalism in your sub conscious mind. The brutal regional fundamentalist is none other than your own sub conscious. I never have seen such brutally foolish arguements. When a war comes, the leader of nation should speak against the enemy, it is the moral code but what to do with morons who says fighting against the enemy is bad and it is same as fighting the some communities within the nation. I should tell you that you have a very poor psycholgical understanding. You are the one who spewed hatred opinion against particual communities and your own post shows that…..I suspect that you are a religious fundamentalist….

  20. @ ronin,
    I don’t want to continue this discussion because what s happening here is turning very irrational and illogic. People never trying to understand the concept of ‘coca colonialisation’. I will not reply to any hatred comments anymore, no matter how provoking the other’s party s comments…

  21. Dude:
    I chose Kerala as I assume both of us might be knowledgeable abt it..Anyways this is true for most regions of the world.
    The connection is this:
    Chera country got influenced by Eastern countries(Chola), Northern countries(Vijayanagar and Muslim countries) and western countries(Arabs, Portugese and British)..It is obvious that all this were different countries a while ago. Although some of this are regions now..Countries and flow of information between them is unavoidable..
    It’s up to us to choose what culture we want for our children..Branding only one influence as imperialism, is a fear and a direct way to dictate values to others..
    Sincere apologies if I had sounded harsh, but the facts are sometimes rough..I assumed you were used to such arguments coming from highly educated Kerala..

  22. I enjoyed ‘black friday’ thoroughly because finally someone spoke the truth about people’s thinking. I read Anurag’s blog very often ( in one article he said that ‘I don’t take side of any one’ which implys about religion ..although I take side of truth so that statement does not satisfy me. Anurag’s films are more real because the otherside we have SRK film which are a really low witted crap.

  23. Thx Shikhar for the link. Watched Dev D and loved it…..Couldnt watch Gulal as it didnt release in my city….From what I understood from the site Gulal is a must watch for every Indian. Just sometime ago we were bitching about Slumdog that it is not a true picture of India. If you want to see a true picture of India, in its ugliness, I would recommend Delhi-6.

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  26. Hi Shekar:
    I personally believe that you have a lot more to give back to society , blogging is just a tool , not a means to an end.
    You seem to have very good organisation capabilities , and we need you to continue producing movies that talk concrete stuff in your personal style.
    I was reading an article by Dilip Chabbria ( renowed car designer for geeks such as yourself) that success comes when ” you have no other choice but to succeed” .
    Q Could it be that choices too many in fact , are diluting your ability to channel your energies in film making?

  27. i saw gulal and dev-d…….
    both are mindblowing……
    i m eagerly waiting for kaminey…

  28. @ Vaishak and Ronin:
    It will be too immature to get down with you on serious discussion, ‘coz there is no scope of logic in your discussion. You speak of what of believe… Anyway, let me share with some facts about you which you are surely unaware of..
    1. I’m not surprised by your comments, ‘coz both of you represent two equally dangerous sides of “modern” India.
    2. Vaishak is, as he says, MERA BHARAT MAHAN man. But he is totally confused. He sticks to his false Identity and is too proud of his f***ing traditions and f***ing spirituality. Thought, he does not reveals it completely, I am sure he is Hindu Nationalist who, among other things, believes that the honour of this society rests on the solders of his mothers and sisters. It sounds highly inappropriate when he denounces fascism. It sufficient to prove that he is confused.
    3. To confirm the above point, let me make a point here: hindus are the world’s most barbarous tyrants.. religion is synonymous to tyranny.. if god exists, he must be a bastard. Now, if vaishak disagrees with this point, then whatever I’ve said of him is true and certified.
    4. Coming to Ronin. He will disagree, but if he contemplates deeply, he’ll come to know that he hates his roots. No problem with that. Further, he will celebrate India’s second independence, with millions of others, the day Govt. of India will be run by the Coca Cola Company with is capital at New York.
    5. Ronin wants India to be known as a country of malls and multiplexes and huge glass buildings. He’ll be too proud of that.
    6. Now, both of you. Please don’t fume. The words may be too direct or over simplified. but they are true. And, you should be happy.. you are not alone. You divide the youth of India in 50-50.

  29. anurag kashyap brings maturity to hindi cinema.. too underrated, ignored, extremely creative director who should be really given credit for his works for hindi cinema..
    started with last train to mahakali, the kk menon and anurag kashyap combo was excellent. black friday,gulaal, no smoking, dev d are truly masterpices.. hope we see hundreds of films like these.. and hopefully no more anurag kashyap movies get banned..

  30. I would watch Gulaal again, simply for Piyush Mishra’s exceptional work in the movie. It was refreshing to see the use of Hindi poetry in such a glorious way. Kudos to Anurag Kashyap for his sheer courage!

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