When a movie gets the Anurag Kashyap ‘Seal of Approval’ (and also gets him to edit it), you can be assured the film will be better than most. Meeruthiya Gangsters is just that. The trailer suggested Meeruthiya Gangsters is “from the writer of Gangs of Wasseypur”. Who is the writer, you ask? Well, Zeishan Quadri. Who Zeishan Quadri? Well, obviously the writer of Gangs of Wasseypur but you might also remember him as ‘Definite’ from Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2. After writing, producing and acting in movies, Quadri takes the director’s chair for the first time with Meeruthiya Gangsters, which you should not dismiss before a watch. With a fast-paced plot, the movie serves you your dose of guns, goons and sharp humor.
Based in Meerut, the story features a group of bungling gangsters who have the best of intentions…for themselves. Nikhil (Jaideep Ahlawat), Amit (Aakash Dahiya), Gagan (Vansh Bhardwaj), Sanjeev Foreigner (Jatin Sarna), Sunny (Shadab Kamal) and Rahul (Chandrachoor Rai) are college students who are into petty robbery for the quick bucks. Not that they do not want the honest way of life as is suggested when they eagerly appear to be interviewed for a proper day job. However, they need more money to pay their way through the interview. Hence, more and bigger crimes are in order. Kidnappings, ransom calls, botched plans, gunfights follow aplenty. Mukul Dev and Sanjay Mishra appear in supporting roles as an ill-mannered cop and a clumsy uncle of one of the gangsters, respectively.
Dipped in local parlance, the plot peppered generously with witty dialogues and healthy doses of humor keeps Meeruthiya Gangsters from falling into the clichés of regular gangster movies. The first half of the movie moves quick and smart holding the audience’s interest. It is the second half that leaves a lot to be desired. One often feels that the storyline gets a tad repetitive and you are left wanting better twists.
Meeruthiya Gangsters does not boast of star power but it really does not have to. The story, while not earth-shatteringly unique is good enough to draw audiences. The performances are sincere and strong. Ahlawat particularly shines above the rest. You will remember him as Shahid Khan from Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1. Sarna as Sanjay ‘Foreigner’ (because blonde hair) is rather delightful too. He is the one who gobbles up Cerelac because he is hungry while the gang robs a family. You wish Dev and Mishra were given more screen time but the movie focuses on the lives of the gangsters and it doesn’t digress.
One cannot help but notice the influence Kashyap has had on his protégé when you see Quadri sincerely trying to follow his mentor’s footsteps. Meeruthiya Gangsters is no Gangs of Wasseypur although there could be signs that it attempts to be so. Nonetheless, it is quite the laudable effort.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If you’re a fan of the Anurag Kashyap school of cinema, you should not give Meeruthiya Gangsters a miss. Do not expect the world from it and you will not be disappointed. This movie is what it sets out to be – a definite entertainer.