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GALI GULEIYAN (Movie Review) - A visually realistic & complex experiment that isn't engaging and convincing enough despite Manoj Bajpayee’s bravura performance. - By Bobby Sing

08 Sep, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases

To begin with I personally love watching experimental films getting into the unexplored dark zones of life and our hidden psyche. But the experiment has to convey something significant finding that most important connect with the viewer in terms of a life-lesson, a severe shock or a novel unpredictable plot forcing us to think beyond the usual or the impossible.

Honestly where GALI GULEIYAN works in its technique, characterization and performance department, it fails to establish that connect in terms of the chosen subject or its purpose, emerging as a film only made for the festival kind of audience and not the majority. Progressing at a too slow pace, it becomes predictable after a while and loses all the excitement of watching a revealing climax. However what still keeps you involved is the well-chosen cast led by Manoj Bajpayee, once again delivering a gem of a performance quite close to the excellence witnessed in ALIGARH. The young debutante Om Singh (the boy) also delivers a praiseworthy polished act along with Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami and Ranvir Shorey perfectly playing their given roles with an amazing natural ease.
Promoted as a dark and mysterious psychological film, GALI GULEIYAN actually falters at many levels despite Bajpayee’s bravura performance. 
The biggest point in support of the above statement is its confusing, unclear and unheard kind of title GALI GULEIYAN, which is both a tongue twister and spell-twister together. As per my understanding, a title plays a huge role in building the excitement for a film among the interested viewers. And going with such complex one, the makers surely lost a lot of ticket-sales unarguably.
Elaborating on the same, I personally had no idea what the title actually means and thus was unable to explain everyone asking me about the same before the film’s release. And now after watching it, all I can guess is that perhaps it is something on the lines of BHOOL BHULAIYA pointing towards the city-maze or may be related to a person willing to make an escape out of it, but still not very sure about the exact terminology.
Second, the extremely slow pace of the film remains the issue throughout which again happens to be the biggest obstacle in the way of such experiments reaching the general audience bridging the age-old gap between commercial and artistic cinema. GG begins well but then becomes an uneven ride with noticeable sequences coming at intervals resulting in restlessness among the viewers.
Thirdly the most exciting feature of such daring, mysterious experiments has to be the climax or its concluding moments revealing something shocking beyond imagination winning over the unaware viewer. Unfortunately GG fails to make any similar kind of impact in its culmination too as the entire story progression (through its shift between the past and the present) easily reveals the twist well before its actual conclusion. 
Moreover, unclear-aimless surveillance being done by Manoj since very long, his caring friend never objecting to the same, the neighbours never questioning his mysterious acts, installing new spy-cameras without any fresh wiring and the mother having no issues with her young kid peeping into people’s homes remain the major flaws in its otherwise artistic execution diluting the overall impact.
Having said that, the film still works and delivers in its technical department - especially in terms of cinematography, editing and a detailed production design, superbly capturing the claustrophobic maze of Delhi-6. Probably this is the first Hindi film looking at the famous narrow lanes from this angle, wherein there is no scope for even the Fire-brigade to enter in the times of severe crisis.
The sound design of the film using minimal background score with only the natural sounds deserves a special mention here creating an apt ambience. And then it’s also the key plot of disconnect between a young boy and his father, which largely makes an impact through its so real presentation.
In all, GALI GULEIYAN is certainly a film made for a specific section of viewers and you can surely watch it if you consider yourself one of those special ones eagerly willing to support such experimental cinema.
Directed by Dipesh Jain, its no doubt a visually realistic & complex psychological drama featuring many outstanding performances. But at the same time it isn't any highly engaging or convincing film too that can easily be skipped in theaters and later tried on Prime, Netflix or else in the near future.
On a personal note, I seriously wish this had an intriguing suspense and mystery element, resulting in a much better film worth recommending.
Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (With the additional 0.5 for the exceptional Manoj Bajpayee, constantly supporting and promoting such experimental cinema)

Tags : GALI GULEIYAN Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Manoj Bajpayee Films, Hindi Psychological Dramas
08 Sep 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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