"Gangster" is not really a film about homicidal crime. Nor is it a film that dwells stylishly on the glossy exteriors of the high life. It focuses on the stark interiors of hearts that ruthlessly seek love in relentlessly self-serving places.
Never shy of exposing the inner-most contours of a lacerated heart and soul, writer Mahesh Bhatt gives us a love triangle between a girl on the brink Simran (Kangna), her gangster-lover (Shiney Ahuja) and the man (Emraan Hashmi) who comes into her life to put balm on her frayed nerves.
Simran [Kangana] is an alcoholic, heading towards doom. The only person who comforts her when she's feeling low in far-away Seoul [South Korea] is Aakash [Emraan Hashmi], a singer in an Indian restaurant. Their relationship gradually changes from friendship to love. And one night, Aakash learns of Simran's past and the prime reason for her loneliness.
From a bar dancer in Mumbai to a lonely, pointless existence in Seoul, Simran's journey is full of thorns. She is the girlfriend of the dreaded gangster Daya [Shiny Ahuja], a man on the run. He is in Mauritius, then Dubai, later Seoul. He has no place he can call his own. When Daya learns of Simran's relationship with Aakash, he promises to mend ways and fulfill her dreams of a normal life. But there are complications. Simran discovers that she is pregnant; she is carrying Aakash's baby. She is now torn between the two men in her life. She has to make a choice!
The first number itself is a superbly composed love ballad, "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai", which appears thrice in the album and since it's fantastic, no one is complaining! K.K. is simply amazing. His trademark high-pitched vocals are brilliant. The intermittent use of the chorus makes the track soar to dizzying heights. Sayeed Quadri's lyrics (like Pritam's music and K.K.'s singing), are superlative - "Tu hi meri shab hai, subah hai, tu hi din hai mera, tu hi mera rab hai, jahaan hai, tu hi meri duniya." Hats off to the team's effort!
Kangana is a remarkable find, the actress coming across with great conviction. Shiney Ahuja is potentially one of the finest young actors we have out there, and this film too sees him seethe and simmer, soften and sizzle -- mostly without words. Emraan character is an understated one, and Hashmi manages to keep it that way. There is no unnecessary bluster or melodrama, and he does a pretty believable job. Pritam's music is another highpoint. The songs have a different sound and the placement of each track in the narrative make you cherish them all the more. 'Tuhi Meri Shab Hai Subah Hai' and 'Bheegi Bheegi' are the best tracks. Even the song in the second half, 'Ya Ali', has a strong story running simultaneously. Cinematography [Bobby Singh] is consistent. The locales of Seoul give the film that extra zing.
On the whole, Gangster is a solid film, and deserves both appreciation and applause..