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Gurgaon Review: Pankaj Tripathi shines in this dark, twisted & mean family saga

By Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has been flooding his social media accounts with promotions for Gurgaon. 
A small-budget film, Gurgaon does not boast of stars or any major name from the industry. Pankaj Tripathi (who played Sultan in Gangs of Wasseypur) is the biggest name associated with it.
Then, why should you watch it? For its thrilling, dark and twisted story and the director’s understanding of our deep-rooted gender issues.
Shanker Raman makes his directorial debut with Gurgaon and has gathered a group of solid actors for the film. It’s a dark story of a family living in Gurgaon - the city - and the members struggling with their individual demons, of conscience and the past. 
Kehri Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) is a real estate baron, who rose from rags to riches and wants to retire, passing on the baton to his daughter Preeto (Ragini Khanna). What follows is a dark tale of the worst emotions human hearts can conjure up and the film brings forth the most meanest of twists to the family drama.
The film also gives us a blunt commentary on the way a rural area was transformed into a cyberhub that Gurgaon is today. There are farmers losing land to government officials and real estate agents, high-class pubs, farmhouses and discos, pieces of land waiting to be turned into new concrete jungles and more.
Apart from an authentic portrayal of the village-turned-metro city, Shankar also displays a deep sense of understanding the gender equations in our society. Without being offensive to either sides, he manages to depict the issues vis-a-vis our moral and family values.
The lingering dark frames and shaky camera add to the heavy impact that Gurgaon leaves.
If there is one film which showed similarly mean and dark characters, it is Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly. Not comparing Shankar’s film with the 2015 thriller, but the two films are on the same lines - both uncover the darkness that lies beneath the human skin and show us how mean we can be, even within our families. In fact, Shankar’s style of filmmaking is a reminder of Anurag Kashyap’s craft. The rawness of their characters, the unapologetic attitude and a sensible handling of social and gender equations is all there.
Pankaj Tripathi’s sturdy, brooding performance brings out his best while Ragini Khanna rises up to her character and delivers an impressive performance. Akshay and Shalini Vatsa (Pankaj’s wife in the film) too offer a restrained but strong act.
The narrative is, however, scarily slow. Though it works for some parts, it also takes away the thrill most of the times. Shanker lingers too much at almost every nook and corner of his twisty tale and that stops Gurgaon from becoming a gripping thriller. They could have easily done away with a good 15-20 minutes of the film for a sharper impact and intense experience.