Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 26th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: India, 2010
Cast: Anubrata Basu, Joyraj Bhattacharya, Rii, Kamalika Banerjee, Shilajit Majumdar
DVD released: December 18th, 2012
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Bengali
Subtitles: English (Burnt-in)
DVD Release: Artsploitation Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.99
The plot can be best summed up as a few days in the life of a troubled young man with dreams of making it big one day as a rapper.
Along the way he stumbles into a large sum of money and from there he gets high and hooks up with a prostitute.
To say that the plot is simplistic would be a great understatement. Since the plot or what semblance of a plot that there is, it serves as nothing more than the basic foundation to keep things going. Character development is nonexistent and the events that unfold on screen often come off in a haphazard way. What occurs onscreen can be best summed up as free form filmmaking that has little if any regard for traditional cinema language.
With that out of the way, it is safe to say that anyone who is only interested in mainstream or easy to digest cinema are sure to dislike this film.
Vibe wise the film has a punk rock feel to that reinforces what it occurring onscreen and this also extends to the films pacing which is always has an immediacy to it. Visually the film’s stark black and white cinematography lets the performances breathe by keeping the focus on the characters which populate this film.
Speaking of performances, the entire cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s stand out performance coming from Anubrata Basu, in the role of this film’s protagonist Gandu. The whole weight of this film sinks or swims of his performance and he more than proves to be up to the challenge.
When it comes to cinema from India, the majority of cinema goers from the west only know about Bollywood cinema. And yet there is a vast ocean of cinema yet to be explored from India. Hopefully with the release of film’s like Gandu, more films outside of the Bollywood film industry will finally find their way to western shores.
Artsploitation Films presents Gandu in its intended 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio. There are no problems with compression, contrast levels look consistently good throughout and the image always looks crisp. In all this is a well authored disc that does a superb job considering the limitations of the source materials.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Bengali and non removable English subtitles have been included with this release. Dialog comes through clearly and is always easy to follow. There are no problems with distortion or background noise.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 35 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Bengali with English subtitles), a promotional trailer for a live musical performance titled ‘Escape Trailer’ (1 minute 34 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Bengali with English subtitles), a music video (3 minutes 23 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Bengali with English subtitles), three brief promo segments, the first one titled ‘Berlin’ (6 minutes 42 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Bengali / English with English subtitles), the second one titled ‘WTFRV’ (10 minute 44 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and the third one titled ‘Circus Promo’ (1 minute 20 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette (33 minutes 51 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in English). Though there is a wealth of extra content included with this release. The only essential extra is the ‘ Behind the Scenes’ featurette which gives a well rounded and at times frank look into the ‘Making of’ this film.
Also included with this release is a twelve page collectable booklet that includes a text introduction to the film that was written by Q the director of the film and a text interview with the director and a essay about the film written by Travis Crawford. Overall Gandu gets a first rate release from Artsploitation Films.