Khuddoos (Manoj Bajpayee) is a middle-aged man living in an unknown slum-like area in the heart of Delhi. He often hears the wailing of a child being beaten up by his father and gets desperate to help him out, but no one believes him, not even his best friend Ganesh (Ranvir Shorey).
What’s with the child that troubles Khuddoos so much? Is it really happening or is it a fragment of his imagination?
Positive Points: –
- Though the entire cast, including the kids, has performed excellently, it’s Bajpayee’s performance which stands out of all.
- Within the tale of a broken man and his futile pursuit of truth, lie many relevant questions about life and relationships which are portrayed with extreme finesse and sincerity in the film.
- The approach of director and writer Dipesh Jain to explore the old and obsolete ‘going in the mind’ technique is somewhat novel and natural, which is something I highly appreciate of.
Negative Points: –
- Gali Guleiyan is a movie focused on a handful of the audience who can be considered as seasoned moviegoers. Even for them, it requires a lot of patience to get through its uneasy premise.
- Even if the movie never tries to prevaricate its audience from the reality of the events, in my opinion, it should have done so. Had it been crafted in the aforesaid manner, it could have been a terrific mystery film.
Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –
Movies with the similar basis as that of this psychological drama are more embellished with loads of sentimentality supported by corny background scores which are aimed to ignite the emotional beings in their respective viewers. But Gali Guleiyan stays miles away from that and imparts an unavoidable discomposure owing to its brutally natural portrayal of a man so distraught that he doesn’t even have the faintest idea as to which day of the year he’s living in. Clearly, without the melodrama, it’s not someone’s five-finger exercise to stomach the film for a whopping 114 minutes. Honestly speaking, it’s not a movie for everyone and only a few selected people can fathom its philosophical depths. But once you do it, there is no denying that this unnerving piece of work transfigures into a strange but beautiful piece of art mirroring the virtues and vices of the human society. It’s only fair if you start questioning your perception of the world after seeing the film and one has to commend Dipesh Jain for directing it so naturally.
However, I believe that the mystery element in this flick was an utter failure, either because it wasn’t induced well into the storyline or it wasn’t designed to be a mystery. This not only compromised the cinematic grandeur of the film but also slashed its appeal to the universal audiences who could have enjoyed the suspense if not the metaphysics of human emotions and relationships that it depicts.
It’s been over two decades and we aren’t yet sure as to what can be the limits of Manoj Bajpayee as an actor. His subtle and simplistic portrayal of his character hardly makes you feel its arguable difficulties and complexities. He not only carries the weight of the film but also gives it the direction and depth required to narrate a cumbersome story with such great effect. He deserves an award for this performance!
The rest of the actors play along with Bajpayee pretty well especially Neeraj Kabi who performs the character of a strict parent superbly. Om Singh also gives a compulsive performance as the adolescent boy Idris.
Final Verdict: –
All movie lovers out there who swank about their knowledge and love of cinema, this Indian psychological drama will be the test of how much you really adore and understand movies as well as human emotions. Notwithstanding its lacking mystery, Gali Guleiyan is a sublime piece of cinema which will make you question your own understanding of the society as well as your present notions regarding various people around you. Lastly, bows to Manoj Bajpayee for bringing his character as well the movie to life.