There are enough reasons to detect why Zeishan Quadri’s Meeruthiya Gangsters doesn’t work and a handful of few that make it work. As much as I’d want to go in details of what pushes this townie ride of ‘guns and gaalis’ ahead, the lackluster treatment and faulty script hiccups block the way. However, there is no reason why we as audience should be comparing it to Gangs of Wasseypur, just because Quadri (An Anurag Kashyap devotee) wrote it. The bottom line here is that it still is the debut movie of the filmmaker, who with all his limited assets has done just about an okay job.
As we are introduced to a bunch of college goers hoodlums who are planning to break into the big league of ‘gangism’, we are subtly made to realize how the small town goons are misleadingly taking the short road less travelled. Actors like Jaideep Ahlawat, Aakash Dahiya, Vansh Bharadwaj, Chandrachoor Rai, Shadab Kamal come together to form this group, who have identified that the shortcut to money is kidnapping. What follows is a sequence of their terminal execution of plan followed by the same and followed by the same! Needless to comment, the police and the gangsters play a game of hide and seek with the former having the last laugh but only after delivering a few laughs for us. If you have ever been a fan of those underworld gangster movies of RGV and later the Anurag Kashyap’s brand, odds are you’re going to find Meeruthiya Gangsters different. On the downhill side, it is nothing path breaking.
I’ll tell you what worked for me in Meeruthiya Gangsters. It was the tangible connect of the real life gangsters and their style that Zeishan flawlessly brought out on screen. Haven’t we had enough of gangsters sensationalizing and glamourizing crime in the name of style? This one’s different. The only accent these guys speak in is their local ‘meeruthiya’ dialect and behave in a hugely believable manner.
The low cost and no recognition of the film made it possible for the makers to shoot in real locations, shedding out a more genuine appeal. The film is laced with a series of events making and breaking for the guys, but what stands out is the humor that has been wrapped around the drama. Of course, there’s hardly an existing story to the premise but continuous witty one liners and quirky characterization keep the fun along.
Along with this bunch of newbies, there are also actors like Sanjay Mishra (who I felt was wasted) and Mukul Dev (who I felt was great), but there’s nothing else going for them but themselves. Nushrat Bharucha also has a part to play and she’s okay. The music doesn’t really make much of a contribution and is forgettable.
Meeruthiya Gangsters may not be a Gangs of Wasseypur, but there’s no reason to overlook its plusses. It may not be enough to give you the best of entertainment, but at about two hours, you won’t be too disappointed either.