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Go-laal: The colour of revolution
The potpourri of mainstream Bollywood - garnished with escapist fare, finds few film that look into the dubious link of student politics and mafia - Gulaal is one such film. Does it provide a solution to curb the menace of this sinister-alliance?
AS THE writer stepped into the audi, he thought to himself, why is the film titled Gulaal - very soon he found the answer.
Any revolution requires blood - red - red ’gulaal’ is the color smeared on the faces of the people fighting for a cause - here Rajputana.
The film opens with the antagonist (Kay Kay Menon) addressing a revolutionary meeting, very soon the protagonist (Raj Singh Chaudhary) is introduced and the narrative goes into a flashback, 11 months ago.
The plot so unfolds that (Raj Singh Chaudhary) a studious guy has come to pursue a course in law. Since, finding hostel is difficult, he shares a room with another fellow student, an uncouth (Abhimanyu Singh).
His search for a hostel-room turns awry as he is ragged by (Pankaj Jha) and his cronies (students); who have even locked-up the pretty college-teacher (Jesse Randhawa) as a sex-slave. (Pankaj Jha) enjoys the support of a political wannabe (Aditya Srivastava).
(Abhimanyu Singh) eggs Raj Singh Chaudhary to seek revenge; but in turn is humiliated by (Pankaj Jha).
(Kay Kay) backs (Abhimanyu Singh) and (Raj Singh Chaudhary) in their fight against (Aditya Srivastava) faction to serve his own ulterior motives.
The conflict arises when (Raj Singh Chaudhary) falls in love with (Ayesha Menon). Sister of (Aditya Srivastava), she is as wily as her brother, using men to serve her ends.
The climax forms, when a major power struggle ensues between (Kay Kay) and (Aditya Srivastava), taking a heavy toll in the lives of the characters involved in this murky tale.

Like his earlier film Dev D, Gulaal too is unconventional. Dev D, still struck a chord with the urbane audience; but the writer doubts Gulaal will strike such a chord, because urbane audience doesn’t know about the ’gutter’ politics (student politics) of the Indian hinterland, my friend particularly asked me about the sequence where Raj Singh Chaudhary is thrown into a dark room and finds Jesse Randhawa over there stripped off dignity or any clothes - this is illogical - well such things do happen in colleges or hostels, just 90 or may be 100 kms off New Delhi.
On the other hand, for the audiences of B or C centre, there is hardly any entertainment or escapism.
The film will be liked, only by film-makers or audience with an eye for quality cinema (though they too are going to crib about the second half that gets a bit patchy).
What rocks the movie?
Be it Kay Kay, Aditya Srivastava, Piyush Mishra, Deepak Dobriyaal or Pankaj Jha or even Mahie Gill in a special appearance; everyone is top-notch. Even the debutants Raj Singh Chaudhary and Ayesha Menon are splendid. Ayesha gets into the role of an innocent maiden with a conniving mind with such ease that the audience just love to hate her character.
Piyush Mishra has come up with some amazing lyrics, being a theatre-person, the stamp of Nautanki is there but it actually works!
What chucks the movie?
It’s one particular scene where Kay Kay asks Raj that he had asked him to come and meet him in morning. The point is between the two scenes there is actually a scene where Raj and Kay Kay meet.
Jesse Randhawa’s character could have been better integrated, also with media so active today, why didn’t she approach the media or the police for justice.
Gulaal is only and strictly only for those interested in the aesthetics of cinema and those who understand the language of cinema.
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