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GANGS OF WASSEYPUR : The Making of a Modern Classic - Jigna Kothari and Supriya Madangarli. (Book Review By Bobby Sing)
23 Apr, 2014 | Articles on Cinema / NOSTALGIA, BOOK REVIEWS, VINTAGE MAGAZINES & MORE

Gangs of Wasseypur - Book Review By Bobby Sing

Anurag Kashyap’s exceptional two part classic GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, with a massive five hours & thirty minutes long duration, received two kinds of extreme responses from the critics as well as the masses when it was released in the year 2013. Where a particular section simply rejected the film and called it nothing, there for many it was an epic creation by all standards giving them a new high in Hindi cinema as witnessed in many westerns classics made on the similar theme of gang-wars. Incidentally I belong to the second group mentioned above and really loved watching the movie in its entirety, especially its second part with Nawazuddin taking over the reign in style.
Now coming to this recently published material on the making of the film, obviously it is going to be of no use whatsoever for the ones who simply hated the final product and considered it crude. But for friends who really liked it, the book does have many valuable, worth reading chapters talking about the various troubles the crew had to face while shooting in all those unexplored remote areas, among the local people. Assuming that the reader has already seen the movie, the book comprises of much detailed information on its behind the scene activities, beginning right from the day Anurag started finalizing the basic idea. Hence in short, writer duo Jigna Kothari and Supriya Madangarli have really done a good job documenting it all for the passionate fans of Anurag Kashyap & his distinctive kind of cinema now being recognized as a reputed brand.
Having said that, the book still cannot be appreciated whole heartedly since it simply goes off-track in its second half, which features the detailed screenplay of the complete 2 part movie, along with the dialogues. To give you the details, its first half has seven interesting chapters (related to its conceptualization, writing, shooting, music-composing, song recordings and the post production process) which are surely a treat to read. Plus there is a lot to be learned by the emotional experiences shared by the key members and Anurag Kashyap himself in the seventh chapter titled ‘In First Person’. Especially the director simply wins over the reader, when he emotionally remembers the dear member who unfortunately lost his life in an accident while shooting a scene and how he found it extremely difficult to continue after that sudden, tragic incident affecting him severely. Further, Anurag talking about his own journey in the industry and the transformation phases he had gone through since his first unreleased movie, turns the book into a truly inspiring read offering a friendly warmth.
But surprisingly, the second half of the book fails to generate any similar impact and in fact is not worth reading too, except for those friends who do not understand Hindi, and wish to read the whole screenplay of the film in English only.
Actually the problem is that in this second section, the complete screenplay of the two part GOW is entirely presented in English along with the dialogues translated too, making them lose their actual charm and pull as enjoyed in the film. So in case you wish to read many of those impressive lines as delivered by the characters in their various sequences (in the local accent), then you are not going to find any of them in the book, since they all have been translated and now miles away from their original feel in the film.
Frankly, this wasn’t there in the earlier published scripts like 3 IDIOTS and more, which included the dialogues both in Hindi as well as in English simultaneously. Therefore I was really shocked and couldn’t find any reasons that why Jigna Kothari and Supriya Madangari opted for this translated screenplay instead of the original, ignoring the fact that it was the language in the film only which successfully added a lot to its overall ecstatic impact on the viewers unarguably. On second thoughts if printing in Hindi was a problem then they at least could have given the exact dialogues in Roman English form too in order to keep their immensely likable feel intact.
Anyway as a conclusion, it is no doubt a well-researched and intelligently written book on the making of this new age classic of the present era. But with the screenplay not having the dialogues in their exact form (i.e. in Hindi) it loses half the value for the money paid as I see it, particularly for those friends who are actually more interested in the screenplay itself.
GANGS OF WASSEYPUR : The Making of a Modern Classic – Jigna Kothari and Supriya Madangarli
Published by Harper Collins (2013) – Pages 458 (Paperback – Small Size)

Tags : GANGS OF WASSEYPUR The Making of a Modern Classic by Jigna Kothari and Supriya Madangarli. Book Review By Bobby Sing, Books on Hindi Cinema, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Books on Hindi Classics, GOW Making, GOW Book Review by Bobby Sing
23 Apr 2014 / Comment ( 0 )
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