Expectations are bound to let you down at times; and this is exactly what GUDDU RANGEELA does to me. I expected a hard-hitting tale on the Manoj-Babli honour killing case of Haryana, as was being projected in the media. But alas, although it does have that buried in its plot, it's not.
Having said that, looking at it another way, Subhash Kapoor, who won accolades for his JOLLY LLB, does address a very pertinent issue, but without coming hard on the subject. He does not get preachy, gets in a few scenes to highlight the 'Khap Panchayat' verdicts over the years and leaves it at that.
Kapoor uses the tale smartly to weave his plot to unravel a masala film that has action, emotion, humor, drama and suspense. To that end, Kapoor has kept his promise of telling real stories about real people and real spaces with a tinge of humor and satire.
GUDDU RANGEELA has all of the above-mentioned ingredients, but yet lacks that killer punch. This is cinema of the 80s when Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra ruled the roost. I particularly like the background score. The use of trumpets and guitar, give it that wild-west feel.
Guddu (Amit Sadh) and Rangeela (Arshad Warsi) are brothers who perform at village functions, be it when a rich villager gets a visa to Kenya for his son or a birthday. They scan the homes at these parties and give off information to gangs of organized robbers about a possible booty. This information comes at a price. The money they collect goes to the lawyer for a 10-year old case they are fighting in court.
An 'underworld PR', who was earlier a 'police pigeon' ropes them in for a kidnapping, promising Rs 10 lakh. All this while they were conning the robbers; this time, they are conned. But there is a reason as to why Guddu and Rangeela have been selected for this particular kidnapping. That is the twist in the tale. CHECK OUT - Guddu Rangeela : Songs Lyrics
There are a few preposterous moments like when Gora Bengali (Dibyendu Battacharya) is being brutally assaulted by Billu (Ronit Roy) and his henchman. Soon he is free of his scars and is as good as new. Another scene is at the end, when the two girls suddenly disappear from besides Guddu and Rangeela to take the film to its climax. Ceeti
moments alright, but still, 'Kapoor-type of-cinema' defying moments!
Arshad Warsi and Ronit Roy are the live wires who ignite passion at both ends of the spectrum. And while both give off superb performances, they are getting typecast. Arshad needs to break free from his comfort zone to play diverse roles. Ditto Ronit and Brijendra Kala.
Amit Sadh who was last seen in KAI PO CHE as Omi Shastri is the type of diverse performance I'm talking about. This is a brand new character presented in a brand new manner. The actor remains the same. You will not find a single shade of Omi in Guddu and that is a huge high for any actor.
Aditi Rao Hydari has a limited scope in which she excels while Shreeswara packs a punch in her cameo.
GUDDU RANGEELA is entertaining no doubt, but lacks that special Kapoor touch!