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Movie Review: Guddu Rangeela entertaining look at dark reality of khap panchayats

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Updated: July 3, 2015 3:22:31 PM

Guddu Rangeela movie review: But Guddu Rangeela goes into the heart of that dark reality of our times and emerges with a trenchant tale that is both engaging and entertaining.

guddu rangeela movieGuddu Rangeela movie review: Guddu Rangeela is an action-comedy bolstered appreciably by an array of skilled actors adept at etching out believable characters, a vibrant musical score (Amit Trivedi), and a witty screenplay that throws up many a delightful surprise. (Bollywood Hungama)

Movie Review: Guddu Rangeela; Director: Subhash Kapoor; Cast: Arshad Warsi, Amit Sadh, Ronit Roy, Aditi Rao; Hydari, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Shriswara, Rajeev Gupta

Honour killings ordered by Haryana’s repressive khap panchayats are obviously no laughing matter. But Guddu Rangeela goes into the heart of that dark reality of our times and emerges with a trenchant tale that is both engaging and entertaining.

Written and directed by Subhash Kapoor, the humour-laced film pulls off the tightrope walk between thematic severity and diverting drama without encountering too many bumps.

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Guddu Rangeela is an action-comedy bolstered appreciably by an array of skilled actors adept at etching out believable characters, a vibrant musical score (Amit Trivedi), and a witty screenplay that throws up many a delightful surprise.

But that is not to say that this is a perfect film. Especially patchy is its over-the-top climax, which turns so farcical that it simply isn’t in synch with the rest of the well-modulated vengeance drama about unlikely combatants.

Guddu Rangeela is about two rustic entertainers who supplement their income by tipping off local gangs about the wealth stored in the households that they perform in.

But life isn’t all song and dance for Guddu (Amit Sadh) and Rangeela (Arshad Warsi). They have painful pasts that place them in direct confrontation with a local goon, Billu Pahalwan (Ronit Roy), who is as politically ambitious as he is brutal.

The two protagonists do their very best to keep themselves out of hot waters, but are sucked into an abduction plot hatched by a petty criminal (Dibyendu Bhattacharya).

The duo needs the money that is promised to them because they have a hefty bribe to pay a police inspector (Amit Sial) and his bumbling assistant (Rajeev Gupta) so that they aren’t slapped with a slew of dacoity cases.

The kidnapping victim, Baby (Aditi Rao Hydari), it turns out, isn’t a babe in the woods. She has a daring plan of her own. So, this lady and her captors find themselves on the same side in a bloody battle against Billu Pahalwan.

Amid the clutch of great performances that define Guddu Rangeela – Arshad Warsi, Amit Sadh and Ronit Roy are all pitch perfect in their respective roles – a trio of supporting actors stand out.

Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Bangali, the underworld informant who is forever in trouble; Rajeev Gupta as the awkward but earnest sub-inspector Gulaab Singh (who has some of the film’s funniest lines); and Shriswara in the role of Babli (the name of the real-life honour killing victim that this film is indirectly inspired by) are actors of exceptional quality. They make the most of the limited scope that the script gives them.

It is not often that a Hindi film as entertaining as this also ends up saying as much about the society we live in, and without getting on to a moral high horse at that. Guddu Rangeela has both soul and sinew.

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