After watching Gulaal, among the unfortunate things that happen are that you can no longer claim Black Friday or Dev D. were masterpieces. They were good .. maybe really good movies.

Gulaal is Anurag Kashyap’s first movie that comes close to being called a masterpiece. I cannot say for sure if it is one, only speculate that it might be one.

The movie rests on the shoulders of two absolute geniuses.

The first of whom is the Anurag Kashyap of 2001. I say 2001 because after watching this and Dev D., I cannot say that we have finally found a genius, because we might just have lost one. Gulaal took shape when Anurag Kashyap was battling it out with the censor board over his first movie Paanch and was inspired by the song Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye from Pyaasa (check out its video and the lyrics/translation here).

The second is Piyush Mishra. He has written the songs for this movie. I wouldn’t call them lyrics, it is poetry at its best. He has composed the songs. They are not just songs, they are an *inseparable* asset to the movie. At each listen, they will remind you of the movie. He also plays a central character (Prithvi Bana) of almost a sutradhar, but not quite one.

Now about the movie.

Everyone starts their life with innocence and assumes the world is all innocent. But everyone has that one trigger when the rosy picture of the world is shattered forever. Gulaal is about that trigger.

Everyone is after that one thing in their life that they think will make them happiest when attained. Gulaal is about that chase.

Of course, Gulaal is this and more. Depending on how much you think later.

Set in Rajasthan, Dukki Bana (Kay Kay Menon) heads a secret society of the Rajputs who want the Rajputana back for themselves from India. Bhati (Deepak Dobriyal) is his right hand man. Dileep (Raj Singh Chaudhary) is a sincere fresher in Rajpur who has for a roommate the maverick Rajput prince Ransa (Abhimanyu Singh) who wants nothing of his heritage. Then there is the brother sister duo of Karan and Kiran (Aditya Srivastava and Ayesha Mohan), the illegitimate siblings of Ransa craving for legitimacy from their father and society.

This is the setting. It then kicks off a high voltage drama moving from scene to scene packed with action and aggression aided by powerhouse performances from each character without giving you any respite to introspect or judge any character till the end when the stage comes crashing down. That is Gulaal for you.

Each character is grey; and there is atleast one moment in the movie where you sympathize with each one of the characters, irrespective of which side of the protagonist they are on, even the ones that are outright negative. Watch out for the character of Ransa as well as the actor enacting the part. Both are one of the best in recent times.

Acting. I would be making a complete fool of myself if I sat down and judged the performances. 

Music. Ditto.

Screenplay/cinematography/art/colors/dialogues. Ditto.

To end, it is a rare movie which you must not miss. Be warned, it will get you thinking. It has been over 24 hours since I saw it and I still cannot get it out of my head. 

Yeh Duniya lyrics/translation courtesy theBollywoodFan.