Gali Guleiyan Movie Review: An Unsettling Fare
After being lauded at various film festivals abroad, debut director Dipesh Jain’s Gali Guleiyan starring Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey and Om Singh, releases in India this week. However, will the film achieve the same success here too?
Set in Old Delhi, Gali Guleiyan revolves around Khuddoos (Bajpayee), a slightly unhinged electrician, who spends his time spying on the people in his locality with the help of some strategically placed security cameras. Needless to say, whatever he sees around him, disgusts him and makes him feel bitter about his fellow man. Once, while going through his dead mother’s belongings, he hears the cries of a young boy (Om Singh) being thrashed by his father (Neeraj Kabi) and realising that the cries are coming from somewhere around him, he embarks on a mission to rescue the boy from his abusive father. Does he manage to do that? Watch the film to find out...
Bajpayee, who was last seen playing a stereotypical role in Satyameva Jayate, is back in form with Gali Guleiyan and the man nails the part with admirable intensity and sensitivity. As Khuddoos, Bajpayee makes your heart go out to him even as you wince at his shabbiness and his behaviour, which hints at an unbalanced mind. Undoubtedly, this is one of Bajpayee’s best performances and fans of the Satya actor are in for a treat with this film. Neeraj Kabi is admirable in his role as Liakat, a butcher and an abusive father. What is unique about the way Kabi plays the role is that though Liakat is an abusive parent, he doesn’t come across as a typical baddie, but rather a flawed human being. Shahana Goswami as his timid wife is also quite impressive in her role while child artiste Om Singh is a natural and doesn’t seem like he made his debut with this film. Ranvir Shorey, who is an underrated actor, makes his presence felt even in a small role.
As for the film itself, Gali Guleiyan is haunting, heart-wrenching and dark and the cinematography complements the narrative. The Old Delhi featured in this film is dark, dusty, sweaty and rusty, which intensifies the feeling of claustrophobia as you follow Khuddoos through the narrow lanes of Delhi. The minimal background score too helps in setting the stage for a sordid world that is not all rainbows and sunshine. The technical aspects of the film are quite admirable and help the film achieve the desired result.
However, having said that, the climax came across as something of a disappointment for me as my colleague and I had managed to predict it in the first half of the film itself. But nevertheless, Dipesh Jain has made an admirable debut and it is tough to believe that this is Jain’s first feature film.
Gali Guleiyan is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you crave a dark psychological thriller (not a whodunit, mind you), this film should work for you...