Movies

‘Gali Guleiyan’ review: enter the manic maze

A still from Gali Guleiyan   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Irrespective of whether you foresee the twist in the tale early on in the film or not, Gali Guleiyan is compelling for several reasons. To begin with, the scary dystopia that it portrays Old Delhi as. That old-worldly charming part of the Capital in which every family ostensibly lives happily ever after, in harmony with the neighbours, is far from an ideal community cluster here. Instead, the film is about individuals becoming islands unto themselves, living in solitary confinement, cheek-by-jowl in the congested lanes. They watch over with curiosity than participate with any empathy in each other’s lives. Everyone is on surveillance here, yet, no one is quite protected.

Gali Guleiyan
  • Director: Dipesh Jain
  • Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Ranvir Shorey, Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami, Om Singh
  • Run time: 114 minutes
  • Storyline: A mentally unstable man is on a search for a child violence victim in his neighbourhood

So you have Khuddoos (Manoj Bajpayee) with his closed circuit cameras monitoring the locality, keeping a vigil, yet not being able to trace the boy next door who is being subjected to violence. His is a lonely world, with unresolved personal issues, his own brother behaving as a stranger and only a friend to call his own. The disturbing proclivity towards voyeurism is all that he has to fill the stretched out time. It puts Khuddoos in much the same league as Norman Bates in Psycho or Tomek in A Short Film About Love where the act of becoming a peeping tom gives a larger sense of purpose to life.

The film is a journey into the labyrinthine mind of this tortured soul played with a profound, heartbreaking urgency by Bajpayee. He makes the anxieties and anger leap out at you as he goes about searching for a child next door who is losing his childhood at the hands of an abusive, violent adult. Neeraj Kabi is equally effective, the baggage of negativity of his character notwithstanding.

Debutante director Dipesh Jain does well in mirroring the confusion and feverishness of Khuddoos’ mind in the bewildering lanes of Old Delhi. Much like mindgames, these alleyways lead you nowhere, often taking you to a dead end. Very rarely in Hindi cinema have both character and locale melded so effectively. The mood of the place, its claustrophobia get personified in Khuddoos. The film is a fine study of deteriorating places, people, relationships, families, neighbourhoods, communities and human minds with the one aerial shot at the end capturing it all economically. It’s a bird’s eye view of a manic maze in which not just a child but practically everyone is lost.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:54:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/gali-guleiyan-review-enter-the-manic-maze/article24884146.ece

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