At one level within the trailer of Raj & DK’s gangster comedy Weapons & Gulaabs, a personality calls for, “Iss story ka level kya hai?” I feel it is a truthful query to ask the makers of collection like The Household Man and Farzi. I am all for Raj & DK getting crores as funds, hours of screentime, and a solid as dynamic as this, however their concoction of the entire above by no means stays constantly enjoyable and wacky.
(Additionally Learn: Rajkummar Rao jokes he used to do ‘ job of stealing cable connection’ in his youthful days)
Empty ’90s nostalgia
Raj & DK handle to move us again into the ‘90s by way of a fictional hill station referred to as Gulaabgang (say, a Dehradun or Mussoorie of the ’90s). Moreover motifs like Campa Cola and a pink girls fragrance referred to as Pink Mamba, the director duo actually carry out ’90s nostalgia by a monitor involving schoolchildren.
The present kicks off with two boys debating whose love is deeper, by engraving their girlfriends’ names on their arms with a compass. Later, a woman and a boy fall in love whereas strolling their bicycles apart from one another as a substitute of using them dwelling. And the petty but evocative classroom politics, of the category monitor forfeiting his badge to the brand new class topper, and of the category monitor writing the names of nuisance-makers on the blackboard. These kids get as a lot screentime as the remainder of the prolific solid, however their integration with the principle storyline appears extra force-fitted than natural.
There is a pretty bit the place the category topper is recruited by his resourceful good friend to ghost-write love letters in English for a Hindi medium-read mechanic. The child has a course of to write down love letters: he should hearken to English music on his Walkman and do the ultimate touches by spraying his mother’s Pink Mamba on the letter. In a hilarious sequence, he writes as a Bryan Adams music performs within the background, a lot to the confusion of the mechanic and his sidekick.
However apart from these cute components, there does not appear to be a bigger cause for putting the story within the ‘90s. What are Raj & DK attempting to stir inside us, that goes past nostalgia porn? Sadly, there’s solely a deafening silence regardless of how laborious you shake it, like a gullak on the finish of the month.
Raj & DK populate Weapons & Gulaabs with a bunch of quirky criminals. They draw a parallel between Chhota Ganchi (Adarsh Gourav), the son of the city’s most dreaded gangster Ganchi (Satish Kaushik), and Tipu (Rajkummar Rao), a mechanic and the son of Ganchi’s loyal however dispensable gang member. Each carry the burden of their dad’s deeds. Whereas Chhota feels the dire stress to step into the big sneakers of his father, however retains failing miserably, Tipu is evident he does not need to comply with in his father’s footsteps, however finally ends up killing males with a mere spanner like informal strokes.
But once more, this monitor of bearing the daddy’s legacy looms massive over the plot, however by no means comes out with power as a result of it is slowed down by the remainder of the present that is filled with random facet plots, inconsequential chase sequences, and downright boring scenes. All of those components hold drifting aside additional because the narrative progresses, and by no means come right into a coherent complete, similar to the seasoned solid who go about their roles in isolation, however by no means unite for what would’ve been an explosive celluloid second.
Rajkummar Rao is the funniest of the lot. He has the longest arc and does as a lot justice to it as he can. Be careful for his early bits, particularly when he forgets his father has died, whereas flirting with a love curiosity (Learn: “Han, pitaji theek hain… arey, pitaji toh mar gaye). Adarsh Gourav additionally has an pleasurable arc with good touches and a grand end result. However the simmering depth inside the younger actor is wasted by the collection’ divided focus. Dulquer Salmaan lends integrity to his function of a cop, however is saddled with pointless character traits, predictable gray shades, and a side-plot of adultery. Truthfully, Shreya Dhanwanthary popping up for randomly blackmailing Dulquer and dropping a fact bomb on him in the long run looks like a revenge arc after what he did to her in R Balki’s Chup final yr.
Gulshan Devaiah’s character is the quirkiest and he makes positive to have enjoyable with it. That is it. Let’s not even focus on the ladies characters. Or perhaps, let’s do this as a result of somebody ought to give them their due, if co-writers Raj & DK and Suman Kumar do not. The one noticeable one from the lot is Chandralekha (TJ Bhanu), a schoolteacher. She appears to be turned on by gutsy confessions and informal crimes. That is an interesting darkish contact to a schoolteacher, however Weapons & Gulaabs is clearly not concerned with fleshing it out additional.
The collection provides send-off to the late Satish Kaushik. He will get some cracker traces, a depraved character, and even a tribute when his identify seems on a calendar within the closing credit of the primary episode. However his most memorable scene is the one when the picket ground beneath him begins creaking and cracking. Say no extra.
Raj & DK might’ve taken a solid like that and turned a present with them into gold. However they flip too indulgent to offer it any type of depth, coherence and even color past a degree. I like to recommend after they write their subsequent script, they use a little bit of Pink Mamba and a Bryan Adams music to get again into their groove. If that helps, in any respect.
Weapons & Gulaabs is streaming on Netflix India.