The Gulaal review.

Piyush Mishra in Gulaal
Piyush Mishra in Gulaal

From the Gulaal review:

What is fun — as is always the case with Kashyap — is the detailing. The characters are a constantly quirky, perfectly cast bunch, and each has moments actors would kill for. Mahi Gill, for example, plays a beauty parlour owner called Madhuri who dances the odd mujra in a low-cut blouse. One look around her parlour shows us posters of young Tabu even as the song she chooses to play on her stereo is Vijaypath‘s Ruk ruk ruk. Gill’s resemblance to the senior actress is evident, and Kashyap exaggerates it further till she eventually cries out in anguish, wondering if it isn’t enough for her to look like Tabu.

The film is, however, a marked departure for Kashyap in terms of treatment. Sure, he still has an utter loser for a hero, but this is a film where the director understates his style and goes for severely gritty filmmaking. Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi goes earthen very well, and all the film’s brightness comes from the red gulaal of the title. The rest of the film’s palette is muddy, filthy, sweat-stained and pockmark’d. This is a narrative you follow with morbid curiousity, and Kashyap’s made sure you can’t take your eyes off the proceedings — even if you may want to.

Here’s the full review. Rediff, March 13, 2008.


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  1. Rahul

    sigh! The cost of being able to see movies like Milk, Slumdog, Let the Right One In months before they release back in India is that we have to forget about watching Gulaal, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Dev D etc on big screens and patiently wait for DVDs to release here in US. :(

  2. rajasen

    God bless the pirate bay. It equalises everything.

  3. Rahul

    naah. Anyone who does that can’t feel mad at Aamirs of this world for shamelessly stealing from Mementos and then adding a disclaimer saying that ‘many other movies are based on the same medical condition’.

    so… the only solution is to wait for original DVDs and pray for the day when every movie will be legally released online wherever it isn’t scheduled to have a theatrical release. I tell you, movie distribution can do with a lot of innovation. There are a lot of people who are willing to pay to watch a movie but have no way to do so.. :(

    1. rajasen

      “There are a lot of people who are willing to pay to watch a movie but have no way to do so.. :(”
      100% in agreement, Rahul.

  4. Indraneel

    also, Raja..don’t you think the better cinema followers are all now scattered around the globe and not seeing these movies leaving the few cities in India to attend to the fate of such gems! Darbhanga only responds to Nagma, Tuticorin to Shriya/ Nayanthara, Vijaywada to Chiru..and Punjab to Sunny paaji even now??!!

  5. Muktikant Garimella

    Hey, the link you have provided is no longer available. Could you please repost it here. I really want to read your review of the film. I have watched it umpteen times, just curious about your perception of the film. Thanks.

    1. rajasen
  6. muktikantag

    Hey, the link you have provided in the end isn’t available anymore. Could you please repost the review here? Not that I haven’t seen the movie; I have watched it umpteen times, but I was curious to know about what exactly you thought of it. Thanks.

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