Gali Guleiyan movie review: Dark and haunting in many ways

ngocbaonguyen |Sep 08, 2018

In a bravura performance, Manoj Bajpayee plays a man losing his grasp on reality.

Manoj Bajpayee’s Khudoos is a peerer who watches the labyrinthine Old Delhi stretching around him through a complex web of close-circuit cameras.  A while back, he turned his back to the real world, with the vague CCTV images being his only link. And one devoted friend Ganeshi (Ranvir Shorey) who anxious about Khudoos like a mother would and tries to keep him calm.

Watch the Gali Guleiyan trailer here

Brilliantly portrayed by Bajpayee, Khudoos is locked up in the maze in the old city and inside his mind. A uncontrollable loner, his hold on reality is slipping. The only shelter is his old shop, which is inhabited by old technology and a long time of loneliness. That’s where he first listens the cries of Iddu (Om Singh), a teenaged boy who sticked with his abusive father (Neeraj Kabi). As Khudoos, Iddu wants an exit from his smothering neighbourhood and familiar links.

Their two lives are connected by an unseen umbilical cord and get Iddu out of his abused father becomes the only reason for Khudoos’ existence. After that, their lives intersect as Khudoos begins his feverish search for the boy.

Gali Guleiyan is set in Old Delhi.

Promoted as a psychological thriller, Gali Guleiyan is light on suspense and you can see the twist a mile off. Bajpayee makes Khudoos become more human and vulnerable. His body language saying what he can never speak out lout. The actor see the film as his Godfather, and it is indeed the performance of a lifetime.

Neeraj Kabi plays an abusive father.

Actor Om Singh does a fine job of playing Iddu. His anger at his father is intense but just under the surface. Kabi and Shahana Goswami does good jobs as the parents role too, the camera perking up every time the mother played by her is in the frame.

Manoj Bajpayee most recently appeared in Satyameva Jayate.

There is another character in the film who writes everyone’s fate and seals them -- the social dystopia that’s Old Delhi. Coloured in grey, brown and yellow palette, it is a maniacal presence without any empathy. Director Dipesh Jain ensures it has nothing in common with the kite-flying bonhomie with which we have associated the space till now. His Old Delhi is not about new beginnings, it is about the dead ends.


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