To be [Gangster] or not to be [Gangster]

Despite Bollywood’s wide variety of love movies, “Gangster: A Love Story” was one that depicted love as a hurtful feeling rather than something beautiful. As the movie focuses on one woman, named Simran (Kangana Ranaut), she tells her life story and the events that are quite surprising throughout the movie. She was an alcoholic, and suffered from loneliness from her negligent, long-distance boyfriend, Daya Shankar (Shiney Ahuja), who is a wanted gangster. Simran had difficulties in her love life, as she was confused over whether she loves her neglectful boyfriend or her good friend, Akash (Emraan Hashmi.)

The story starts with a clip of the past, Simran getting shot by someone as she rushes down the stairs. She was then sent away for medical attention, and sees that someone next to her has died. As her wound was being cleaned up, she re-imagines her past starting with fireworks in the night sky, as she drank happily on a row-boat with Akash. Throughout the film, Simran tells Akash about her past, about when she met Daya and how their life was together after all the troubles they’ve been through. As Simran received rare phone calls from Daya, she still felt lonely and she started to bond with Akash, who constantly persuaded her to turn her criminal boyfriend in. Simran, not knowing the right choice, hoped that whatever she decided would make her suffering end.

Throughout the movie, the scenes moved quite slowly and one could see that the actors did a good job, as there was much drama in some parts that were all portrayed so well, to the point where the story itself seemed realistic.

This movie was filmed in Korea, and the story also took place in Korea, which was unique and a different place from the usual India or England setting in most Bollywood movies. The entire set and environment was pleasant and calm, and truly gave an idea on how landscapes and architecture in Korea are different compared to other countries. Simran’s city was almost a half-country, half-city area where cars and motorcycles moved, but also had that corner stand where someone would sell jewelry and ride a bike on a very bumpy and steep alleyway.

All the actors were wonderful, as Hashmi really played different roles in many movies very well, and Ahuja could make any man in the audience cry. Ranaut, playing the confused character, performed very well as the sullen, drunk and regretful one. All the actors also did a good job lip syncing in the film, as the movie is also somewhat a musical.

The soundtrack was captivating, as the music was different in almost every scene in speed, tone and words, and really added to the sadness and the excitement. Not to mention many of the songs were quite meaningful and sung by many different famous artists, one being K.K.

Whether watching this film with a family member, partner or friend, “Gangster: A Love Story” tells a realistic tale of love affairs and the difficulties within relationships which all lead to other complicated events. With a taste of Indian Bollywood’s movies and with a hint of the Hindu language, this movie portrayed love to be more tragic than “Romeo and Juliet,” “Atonement” and “Tristan + Isolde.” Just don’t forget that it’ll be tragic to watch this if you don’t have subtitles.

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