Gangs of Wasseypur


The history of the human species stinks of blood and sperm.  There has been a lot of killing.  In the name of religion, communities, languages, groups, gangs… That list is endless.  There has been a lot of screwing too.  Too many godmen have been arrested for that, let alone the ordinary folk (and politicians who are sentenced to undergo the DNA test to prove/disprove their paternity).  If we look at the western history we’ll be shocked by the number of “bastards” sired by priests, bishops, cardinals and the Popes.  The soldiers of most countries have made the rare contribution to the history of our species by doing both acts simultaneously: spilling blood and sperm.

Our ancient books, called epics or myths or scriptures, have given us an ancestral history of gods who were blood-suckers and sperm-spillers.  They demanded sacrifices of animals and even human beings.  They had (and have refused to let go up to now) bloody hands and bloodier tongues.  They were (are) multi-limbed. They continue to be worshipped by men and women who hold a mobile phone in one hand and an electronic notebook in the other.  They may have an elephant’s trunk or a lion’s body.  They may confer PhDs on rishis who will char to death people toward whom they develop hatred for some reason that is politically motivated.  Even our gods and rishis play politics. The very same gods may send their apsaras to be screwed by a rishi whose tapas should be broken lest the tapas be a threat to the gods.

I like the god from whose unbarbered hair stands up a snake. Did some god mate with a snake to reproduce the animal called man? 

The nearest I have come across to that conjecture in the scriptures is the Bible.  The devil takes the shape of the snake in order to tempt Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge.  Did that snake spill its seeds in the womb of Eve to create one of her two sons who killed the other?  There are other myths about gods and snakes.  Even a British King was supposed to have been begotten by one such coital misdeed. But such a myth confers divinity on the king, you see.  The king, the god, and the snake(the politician): they make their own connections.  The priest lays the foundation with a myth.

In Anurag Kashyap’s movie, Gangs of Wasseypur, there are no priests.  But there are politicians, gangsters, religion, blood and sperm.  It was Bihar (We-haar?).  Today it is Jharkhand.  The viewer would think it is jar-cunt. Women have no much place there except to be a child-creating machine (in the words of Reema Sen, a character in the movie).  But women were just that in the history of our species.  Is Mr Kashyap trying to preach something by making Ms Sen mouth those words?  Doesn’t matter.  Aren’t I trying to preach something by writing this?

I wonder why Mr Kashyap named Ms Sen’s character Durga.  Durga is more of a Bengali goddess.  Ms Sen is Bengali too.  No, there can’t be such connections in a movie made by Mr Kashyap.

But Durga kills the monster in the end.  The only difference is that the modern Durga does it for money.  And the alleys of the Muslim asura reeks of bovine blood.  Yes, you will be scandalised by the carcass of bulls and cows hung in the alleys in Wasseypur. Hats off to Mr Kashyap.  His political leader, Ramadhir Singh, wins in the end.  With the help of Durga.  Wins against cow-slaughterers?

Does the movie have a political agenda?  If it does, it is subtle.  The language used in Wasseypur is crude and vulgar.  I must admit that my knowledge of Hindi has been advanced with the addition of quite substantial vocabulary.  Does that vocabulary belong to a particular religious community in the erstwhile Bihar?  That’s one of the many questions that arose in my little mind as I watched the movie.

The movie has a narrator who says somewhere in the beginning that the story is not about a Shia-Sunni conflict.  Why should that be mentioned?  Shouldn’t that be clear to the audience by watching the movie?  Are we Indians so stupid that we can’t even distinguish a gang war from a communal fight?  Does Mr Kashyap want us to understand that this is the realm of the Muslims and only the Muslims?  And that only a Durga and Rama(dhir) can save India?

There is not one character in the movie whom you will carry with you unless you are bigoted.  That’s the pity.  That’s the pity of a movie that has been given star ratings by every reviewer that I read before I went to watch it in a multiplex paying quite an amount from my hard-earned money.  Is the entire We-haar/jar-cunt as bad as Mr Kashyap has portrayed it?  Or is Mr Kashyap telling us the history of mankind?

Yes, I’m most willing to accept it as the history of mankind.  The politician wins in the end.  Let him be named Rama(dhir) and let his stooge be named Durga. 

Is the history of mankind so degraded?

Even if Charles Darwin has given us the ancestry of an ape?

PS. There’s a scene in the movie where the people of Wasseypur (reeking of butchers’ blood) pack off the police saying that even the pigeons in Wasseypur fly only with one wing because the other wing should be kept for self-defence.  My own life has taught me that lesson.  Whether it be Shillong (a Christian state) or Delhi (whose state?), one wing should be kept aside for self-defence.  That’s India.  Thank’s Kashyap.  And I’m quite sure that that’s human species.  Maybe, you wanted to say that that. 


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15 Responses to Gangs of Wasseypur

  1. I have been wanting to see the movie but somehow thought it be better unseen… After reading your review I might not even go and watch it 😛
    Very valid points raised 🙂


    • matheikal says:

      I’m rather excited to know that you are still there – in touch.

      Well, the movie was a bit of disappointment – too dark… I agree that there’s a lot of darkness in our world. But focusing only on that in a movie!

  2. Debopam says:

    Thanks for such a well crafted review…. Must see this movie….

  3. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    I am glad I didn’t get tempted to buy ticket … I just walked off from the box office! I would not have understood the movie. Indeed, even after your effort at educating (me and others too, I suppose) I am completely in the dark. Thanks for enlightening me – don’t see a “dark” movie to get enlightened!


    • matheikal says:

      Raghuram, you would have learnt a lot abusive Hindi which might stand in good stead in Delhi!

      Well, thank your stars you didn’t watch it. It has nothing to say. History can teach us much better lessons!

  4. Britul says:

    Haven’t watched yet. All prepared to watch but heard that it is too long … about 4 hour or something. Then changed my mind. After going through your post i think its better not to watch. I don’t entirely say that your post had given a negative impression of the picture. Its is because, I like light minded movies only.

  5. Raghav says:

    A great write-up, but I would advice a Spoiler warning up top. I am yet to see the film and after reading it I unfortunately know certain plot points I would have not liked to know. Nevertheless, an interesting approach to the entire review.

  6. Raja says:

    I haven’t watched the movie yet but it seems that I will like it (Please read a tiny post by me made seven years ago:!!

    I don’t know if I agree or not with all your views here, but this is a very well-written piece on the movie. One note here: the name Durga is fairly common in Bihar, Jharkhand and Eastern UP.

    If you watched the 2009 movie Gulaal (directed by Anurag Kashyap, again), you’d find a lot of ideological similarity with this one.

    • matheikal says:

      Thanks, Raja, for the additional info on Kashyap. I’m certainly interested in the roots.

      I must say that you don’t have to agree with me at all to be a friend. Most of my friends (and they are very few) don’t agree with me.

  7. Anil says:

    lol This is one of the weirdest blog posts I ever read. All i understood was that you were talking something about made made gods, cow-slaughterers, darwins theory of evolution, a christian state and the possibility of humans reproducing with animals and reptiles.

    Damn it boy its just a movie, stop taking it personally. Idiots like you go around blowing themselves up in a busy market. f’n chill find a women and spread the love so that planet earth is always populated with people like us, all direct descendants of a species that has gods permission to eat all other species into extinction. Dman it that’s awesome.

    • matheikal says:

      Hi Babe, I understand what you say. That’s because what you say is as much a discourse as the movie is. Anything you put out for public consumption is a public discourse and may be amenable to multiple interpretations. The discourse may have both overt and covert implications, motives, etc. I’m free to criticise them just as you are free to disregard my views.

      Thanks for expressing your discourse so overtly though one would think it is covert!

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