Movie review: Gunday

If you grew up on a diet of Amitabh Bachchan's films, you're going to have more fun identifying all the references the movie is stuffed with.

Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor in Gunday. Courtesy Yash Raj Films
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Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Starring: Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan


This is an in-your-face mash-up of the 1970s blockbusters – Don, Deewar, Kaala Patthar and Sholay – all starring Amitabh Bachchan as the Angry Young Man raging against the establishment. Ranvir Singh and Arjun Kapoor channel his spirit as Bikram and Bala, Bangladeshi refugees who’ve fled the war in their land to make it big in Calcutta (now Kolkata), finally gaining control of the city’s scarce coal supplies. Enter Nandita (Priyanka Chopra), a dancer who distracts them from their dishonest pursuits, weakening their friendship and pushing them right into the hands of Satya (Irrfan Khan), a hard-as-nails cop. Singh and Kapoor roar and fight their way through the film, but fall short of Bachchan’s gold standard. Chopra is beautiful in her blink-and-miss role. And Khan shines as the larger-than-life police officer with a penchant for dialogue baazi (overconfident talk). In the end, Gunday is well made, slickly edited and stays true in its rendering of Kolkata during that turbulent era. But Bachchan fans will have more fun identifying all the references and tropes the movie is stuffed with.