Gunda Is Still Talked About, Here’s Why

Gunda, starring Mithun Chakraborthy

Gunda released 21 years ago and the film is still talked about. This ultra rare film is a talking and an identifying point for Bollywood fans all over the world. Gunda, starring Mithun Chakraborthy in the 2000th revamp of a typical Bollywood potboiler shouldn’t have been this popular. The film stars some of the most infamous actors in Bollywood, relegated to B and C grade cinema, but also had Mithun Chakraborthy, Mukesh Rishi and Shakti Kapoor, giving the film some kind of recognition in trade circles and a massive fan following in the Jhuggi cinema circuit. 

Gunda Story Was Simple As Salt.

Gunda has a simple as salt story. The son of a havaldar falls foul to some gangsters, the gangsters vow to ruin his life, and the son takes revenge. So, there’s the typical Bollywood trope – like the father being killed, the girlfriend being assaulted (almost), some pretty violent fight sequences, some unbelievable ones, and some dialogues that would make people eye roll. What raises people’s curiosity for Gunda even today is the number of barechested assassins, the no-name actress who seems to exist only to cavort around trees in colourful attire, the over-the-top characters, the dedication and sincerity with which Mithun plays his character, so on and so forth.

Gunda Raised Brows Even Before It Released.

Gunda wasn’t an inconspicuous film. It was just one of ‘those films that Mithun did’. From the mid 90s to the late 2000s, Mithun made an insane number of films that no Wikipedia Filmography can do justice to. These films were made for a particular audience and they were made with clockwork consistence.  Gunda first raised heckles when the Censor Board came down heavily on the dialogues. Now, this is one of the few times that anyone can justify what the Censor Board did. If memory serves right,  news reports of an alarming number of dialogues being cut by the CBFC hit the newspapers. Gunda was one of the first films that really made the newspapers before tabloids and newspapers started a films or a medianet section.

Gunda Revealed Ootywood to People.

Before Gunda became so mainstream, not many knew that Mithun starred in so many films, most of them shot in Ooty and releasing like crazed monkeys escaping a volcano. That fad was termed ‘Ootywood’.  When audiences, then and now, heard about the sheer atrociousness of Gunda, they talked about how many films Mithun has starred in. Therefore, Gunda played an important role in making the common film audiences understand and marvel at Bollywood. Mithun has been a surprising actor. Look at his filmography, that’s massive.

Gunda Had a Cliched Script But Well Known Actors

The other thing was that several modern audiences were surprised with the kind of names attached to the atrocity that was Gunda. Modern audiences knew Mukesh Rishi as the police officer from Sarfarosh, Xennials knew him as the villain in Gardish. Xennials knew Rami Reddy as Spot Nana, Deepak Shirke was also a recognised name back then, and of course there was Mithun and Shakti Kapoor. If the film had Kader Khan somewhere, they’d have cast three of the most saleable names in Bollywood. That was what confused newer audiences, why would these guys make a Gunda?

Gunda is Super Rare Today

Only Induna.com lists Jhuggi Cinema classics  in the blend that they are meant to be, and that website doesn’t have the Gunda VCD. So, it’s safe to say that its difficult to own a Gunda CD. Today, you can watch Gunda only on the official Goldmines YouTube channel. Goldmines also streams some of the other cult classic Bollywood films, like the Ramsay films. So, this link makes it the only way to watch Gunda legally. I remember that a particular Gunda screening was called off a couple of years ago. I have no idea why that happened.

So here it is, in all its censored glory, the film that whose conversation can get you into any hardened film club. Even after so many years, I still can’t fathom why this particular film became such a cult one.

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