Movie Of The Day: Gangster – A Love Story (2006)

I apologize for the delay between the last “Movie Of The Day” and this one, but you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to get a trailer for this film…so basically the one you see here is an Internet exclusive folks!

Set primarily in South Korea and told mostly through flashbacks (and flashbacks within flashbacks), Gangster: A Love Story centers on Simran, a young girl prone to drowning her sorrows in alcohol who’s caught in a love triangle with two men: a singer she’s been dating for a while and a notorious gangster hunted by the police who’s the reason for her troubles and who reappears in her life just as she’s starting to get better.

Gangster: A Love Story (sometimes referred to as simply Gangster) was directed by Anurag Basu (Life In A…Metro) who co-wrote the film with Girish Dhamija (Zakhm) and producer Mahesh Bhatt (Body). It stars Emraan Hashmi (Jannat), Shiney Ahuja (Fanaa) and Kangana Ranaut (Life In A…Metro) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

This film’s title is pretty deceptive as it’s actually a lot more Love Story than it is Gangster, which means that most of the film is overdramatic romantic entanglements with occasional short bursts or incredibly intense violence. Which would be fine if the execution just wasn’t so sloppy. Indeed Gangster‘s story has a lot of promise. Its concept is interesting and the story has some clever stuff in it which may or may not come as a big shock depending on the viewer. But the faults are numerous and unfortunately overshadow the positive aspects.

Some have pointed out the film has a slow pace, which is true but I don’t think that’s a problem. Pacing can be badly executed whether a film is fast or slow paced and it’s the fact that Gangster has poor pacing, which also happens to be slow, that makes for some very boring passages. Also, a lot of the film’s emotional scenes are unfortunately handled in a laughable, very overmelodramatic manner.

Gangster: A Love Story isn’t all bad. After all, you might find it thoroughly entertaining if you set yourself up to watch a bad drama/unintentional comedy. And there’s the matter of the music, clearly the film’s high point. I wouldn’t recommend Gangster to anybody but I fell in love with the soundtrack. Sad and powerful, the songs are beautiful, and fit the movie’s tone perfectly, while Anurag Basu has the nerve to do some of his best directing during these songs (why didn’t it carry through to the rest of the movie?).

The film was a decent success in cinemas and is deemed a “Semi Hit” by Box Office India. It also inexplicably raked in quite a few awards, including no less than eight “Best Actress” trophies for Kangana Ranaut in her first role (come on she wasn’t that good). Perhaps a better handled remake would be a worthwhile watch, but Gangster: A Love Story is unfortunately quite a disappointment.  However, you should definitely give the soundtrack a listen.

Verdict: Interesting concept, but ultimately disappointing. Gangster: A Love Story currently holds a 7.2/10 on IMDB and isn’t listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

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