Gangs of Wasseypur, presented by Adi Shankar, is Anurag Kashyap’s extraordinary blood-and-bullets-fueled five-hour crime saga spanning 70 years in the lives—and spectacular deaths—of two mafia-like families fighting for control of the slums of Wasseypur in coal-rich eastern India, inspired by the real-life exploits of local gangs. The producer of The Lunchbox and the director dubbed “the godfather of modern Indian independent cinema,” Kashyap (who also co-wrote and produced) offers his own Godfather of sorts. A selection of the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes.
Manoj Bajpayee (of the Kashyap-scripted gangster epic Satya) throws himself into the role of Sardar Khan, the revenge-driven patriarch wronged by Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia, the renowned director in a rare acting role), a mine owner turned corrupt politician. Shot with the flair of Tarantino and the scope of Scorsese, the digressive but enthralling Gangs of Wasseypur doubles as a chronicle of social and historical tides in 20th-century India. Called “a sprawling, giddy, hyperviolent ride” by Sight & Sound, Kashyap’s opus features plenty of sly humor, including Dhulia’s hilarious anti-Bollywood tirades.