Recently, a website posted a spoof news article that fans of Gunda were worried that Action Jackson might become the new cult classic. While this makes for interesting reading, there is no way in high hell that any movie ever made in Bollywood will take away Gunda from the high pedestal it has in Bollywood, and here are the reasons why:
The Production Values:
One of the few rules of a trashy movie is the zero production value-rule. Seriously, the entire movie seems to be shot with a single video camera. This might be the only movie in the history of filmed cinema where nobody in the crew shouted ‘Dolly ki mundi kaat’ or ‘Jimmy ko lamba kar’. Whether it is an action sequence or a song sequence, or even an intense dramatic scene, Kanti Shah requires nothing to add an ethos or pathos to the ongoing. The only time the camera moves, one horizontally and one vertically, is when Mithun is introduced and the other time when Mukesh Rishi is introduced.
The Star Studded Cast:
What makes a trashy movie is the star cast. Sometimes, there’s no actor that we will ever know, sometimes, there’s one actor that we know and the entire movie tentpoles around him or her, and sometimes, the entire cast is well known to the audience. In Gunda, apart from the female leads, atleast in the nineties, all the actors were relevant and acting in movies. Hell, Mukesh Rishi, Shakti Kapoor, Mohan Joshi and the Mithun – all of them still have decent movie careers, even 20 years after this movie released.
We checked. We double checked and we triple checked. None of the dialogues were dubbed by somebody else. The actors themselves have honest to goodness said all the dialogues. Of course, the worst – or should we say the best – dialogues are for Mukesh Rishi, and he says them like a Baws. We wonder how they could actually mouth those dialogues. If there would ever be a collective endeavor to wipe a movie off people’s memories, it’d be Gunda. We are pretty sure nobody affiliated with the movie will ever want to talk about it.
In the movie, one of the most infamous characters in Indian cinema, named Chutia (because he has a ponytail duh), is killed in a men’s washroom. In the whole movie, this character has been chided about how ‘he is not a man’ and how people are trying to ‘make him a man’. And when he dies, he is killed in a Men’s washroom. The meta and symbolism makes us cry.
The nineties was a fun time for Bollywood and Indian entertainment in general. Not many people took the movie industry seriously and public outrage about something in a movie was rare. Some of the most offending movies were made in this decade, offending minorities, offending sexual preferences, offending new fads, etc. In fact, the first big public outrage started with Bombay Boys, one of the few movies that were running in theaters under police protection, but that’s another story. Gunda was one of the first movies to make news about the number of cuts. Legend and rumor has it that almost every dialogue in Gunda had to be reworked and cut. Some reports at that time put the number of changes to be as high as 200, but we will never get to the crux of the matter, until someone asks Kanti Shah about it.
Honest to goodness, there’s Mithun. The National Award winning Mithun. No, the twice National award winning Mithun, no, the three time National Award winning Mithun is in this movie. ‘Nuff said.