Gandu (film)

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Gandu poster.jpg
Directed by Qaushiq Mukherjee, known as 'Q'
Produced by Overdose Joint
Written by Surojit Sen
Starring Anubrata
Music by Five Little Indians (music)
Q. (lyrics)
Cinematography Q
Edited by Manas Mittal
Release dates
  • 29 October 2010 (2010-10-29) (New York City)
Country India
Language Bengali

Gandu is a 2010 black-and-white Indian film, in the Bengali language, directed by Qaushiq Mukherjee who has described the film as a "rap musical".[2] It features Anubrata, Joyraj, Kamalika, Silajit, and Rii in the lead roles. The film's music is by the alternative rock band Five Little Indians.[3] Gandu previewed at Yale University before making its international premiere on 29 October 2010 at the 2010 South Asian International Film Festival in New York City.[2] Gandu was an official selection at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival and was also screened at the Slamdance Film Festival.[4]

Gandu has received mainly positive reviews from critics. John Reis called it "a stunning visual and narrative feast"[5] while Variety said it is "a happily transgressive rhyme-fueled romp".[1] Gandu has caused some controversy because of language and scenes of nudity and sex. Audiences have left during sex scenes.[6] Because of the controversy the film did not have its first public screening in India until 2012 at the Osian Film Festival.[7] The main star Anubrata Basu is shown with his penis fully erect in a love scene.[8]


The movie is set on the life of an unnamed protagonist who is called Gandu by most who address him in the movie (an Indian slang/swear word that would literally translate to 'of the ass', the English translation running in the subtitle translates it to the English 'Asshole'). Gandu is portrayed as a frustrated teenager whose state of mind is shown by intercuts of him rapping in Bengali (it is later revealed in the movie that the protagonist is a member of a rap band). Gandu's mother seemingly supports the family through the magnanimity of her 'lover' Dasbabu (an unvoiced character who appears frequently) Gandu's mother and Dasbabu are shown having graphic sex a number of times. Gandu himself is shown repeatedly sneaking into the room of the copulating couple to steal money from Dasbabu's wallet. Gandu seemingly has complex emotions regarding this stealing and takes care to hide from his mother .

Gandu is also apparently quite lonely. His choice of hairstyle (shaved nearly bald) and general proclivity to drugs and rap makes him an object of ridicule in front of most of his peers, who mock him as 'an Egglike Gandu'. His loneliness is dispelled when he literally bumps into Rickshaw, a cycle rickshaw driver, who slaps Gandu and then scares him off by a bizarre show of Kung Fu (it is later revealed that Rickshaw literally worships Bruce Lee and models himself on his idol) That night Gandu has a dream of himself and Rickshaw in a near naked embrace (this has led to the common perception that Gandu and Rickshaw share a homosexual relationship but the movie itself never shows this explicitly and it maybe a more symbolic element)

On one of his stealing missions, Gandu's mother sees him and hides him from Dasbabu and seemingly laughs in complicity. This causes Gandu great anguish and he curses in frustration. His mother then knocks on his door and slaps him angrily and walks away. She is naked.

Gandu urges Rickshaw to 'take him away' Rickshaw and Gandu then go off to consume 'Dhatura Seeds' which causes them both to go on a strange and extremely intense trip. When they come to their senses they find they have no money. In a meta narrativistic scene the director Q himself drives into the scene and Gandu is told by Rickshaw how Gandu is a character in a movie being shot by Q. Gandu cannot quite comprehend this.

Gandu comes back to Kolkata to find that he has won a lottery of Rs. 50,000 (less than 1000 dollars), then he gives his mother some of the money and goes on a crack binge with Rickshaw. Rickshaw then admonishes him for never having actually sleeping with a woman despite incessantly rapping about cunt and pussy and sex. Gandu then has a surrealistic and very explicit sex scene (the only colour part in the movie and the reason being this is the only colorful/worthwhile moment in his life) with an unnamed woman who constantly meows (symbolizing a 'pussy' i.e female's genital in slang term) at the end of coitus she whispers 'demo' to him. Gandu goes back to Rickshaw telling him how he will now record a demo of his rap and show it to ADF (Asian Dub Foundation) The movie closes with Gandu finally becoming successful.

The film is shot mostly in black and white stressing on the bleak existence of the protagonist. At the end of the movie, the film shifts to the color mode (the reason being his life shifts from the dull black and white phase to a adventurous colorful happy life).

Gandu also ponders on the meaning of life and what we must do with it.



Gandu was shot in Kolkata on a limited budget with only eight crew members. It was filmed in black and white with one scene in color and had no official script. Q. used a high-definition Canon EOS 7D Single-lens reflex camera to shoot the film. In order to prepare the cast for their nude scenes, Q. required them to undergo several workshops in which they used Boal techniques. Rituparna, who plays several different roles in the film, is Q.'s real life girlfriend.[9]

Title track[edit]

The film's soundtrack has garnered rave reviews as well, composed by the Calcutta-based alternative rock band Five Little Indians and mixed by London-based producer Miti Adhikari.


  • 2010 - Jury Award for Best Film at the South Asian International Film Festival[10]


  1. ^ a b John Anderson (30 January 2011). "Gandu". Variety. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Priyanka Dasgupta (19 November 2010). "'Why this shame about sexuality?'". Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Gandu Finds Its Groove". Times of India. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Shamik Bag (14 February 2011). "Tradition with a twist". Mint. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  5. ^ John Reiss (29 January 2011). "Exciting times in Park City". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Shalini Langer (20 February 2011). "Berlin buzz: Meet Q, Kolkata director who doesn’t mind his Ps". Indian Express. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Ganguly, Ruman (27 July 2012). "Rituparno's Chitrangada to premiere at film festival". Times of India. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "GANDU: An Explosive Film that Melds I STAND ALONE with 8 MILE in the Ghetto Hood of Calcutta" Hammer to Published 30 January 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  9. ^ Sudhish Kamath (30 December 2010). "A telling tale". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  10. ^ Meenakshi Shedde (February Kolkata Mangalore). "'G--- will win over fans exhausted with the tried and true’". Retrieved 24 February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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