Gradually, Netflix is expanding its lineup of binge-worthy original Indian shows, benefiting from the scarcity of such content on other platforms like Amazon Prime and Hotstar.

Be it CAT, Rana Naidu, or Kohrra, nearly all of Netflix’s recent Hindi shows have garnered positive responses.

Guns & Gulaabs is another highly anticipated new series currently available for streaming on this colossal platform.

Its substantial social media buzz is partly attributable to the esteemed reputation of its creators, Raj and DK.

Here is my review of the show.

Guns & Gulaabs Synopsis

Gulaabganj, a village in rural India, is a captivating blend of love, crime, and… opium.

The Ganchi Gang, one of the two dominant gangs in the region, receives the largest drug order ever.

Image Credits: Netflix

As they strive to fulfill the delivery, various obstacles impede their progress.

The narrative takes unexpected turns as the baton of power shifts from one hand to another, leading to eventual chaos.

Created by Raj and DK, Guns & Gulaabs stars Satish Kaushik (Ganchi), Rajkummar Rao (Tipu), Dulquer Salmaan (Arjun), Gulshan Devaiah (Atmaram), Adarsh Gaurav (Ganchi Jr.), T J Bhanu (Chandralekha), Manuj Sharma (Bunty), and Vipin Sharma (Mahendra) in pivotal roles.

Shreya Dhanwanthary and Varun Badola play cameos in the series.

What Works for Guns & Gulaabs?

Though the concept is not fresh, the storyline of Guns & Gulaabs is intricate and balanced. The blend of crime, offbeat action scenes, and emotional exchanges makes it satiable.

We hardly see linear narrations working well these days but here, it goes in favor of the idea.

The only instance where the storytelling becomes slightly aggressive is toward the end, and this also proves to be a positive move.

Both the characters and the setting of the tale contribute to Guns & Gulaabs’ appeal. It combines simplicity with allure.

Moreover, the writing exhibits maturity and conciseness. Despite the inclusion of several prominent names in the cast, none of them are allowed to overshadow the story.

Image Credits: Netflix

This approach has its merits and drawbacks. Some viewers might argue that an actor of Rajkummar Rao’s caliber should have been given a more prominent role, a valid viewpoint.

However, from a broader perspective, this restraint is one of Guns & Gulaabs’ strongest assets.

Each character possesses the potential to deliver surprises, irrespective of their star status.

The attention to detail in character development is also commendable.

The show immerses viewers in a bygone era with its portrayal of a century-old school, the vintage roads, and a generation that communicates through written letters—a nostalgic experience beautifully packaged for the audience.

Furthermore, the presentation of Guns & Gulaabs is cleverly effective.

Raj and DK have infused it with a whimsical touch through vintage clip-art-style animations, which feel relevant to the time period they are depicting.

Image Credits: Netflix

Clearly, there was thought behind incorporating these annotations into the screenplay.

Regarding the screenplay, it’s somewhat precarious.

It may not exhilarate or thrill you, but it manages to maintain a decent level of excitement.

Boredom never creeps onto the screen, thanks in part to the witty dialogues.

The humor, fun, and occasional tension stem from the characters’ interactions.

In some ways, Guns & Gulaabs brings to mind the spirit of “Gangs of Wasseypur,” although it falls short of attaining such a lofty status.

However, the comparison is made in terms of the inherent entertainment value, which Guns & Gulaabs undeniably possesses.

How are the Performances?

Satish Kaushik, in his role as Ganchi, knows no bounds.

The late actor provides us with another opportunity to cherish his enduring legacy, characterized by his sarcastic acting prowess.

Every line he delivers brings a smile, accompanied by Kaushik’s skillful expressions.

Rajkummar Rao plays Tipu in Guns & Gulaabs. He lifts the character to further heights solely through his dialogue delivery.

Image Credits: Netflix

His flavorful demeanor is what keeps the show running for the most part.

Since the number of actors is on the higher side in the series, there were moments when I would actually wait for Rao to occupy the screen again.

Such is the brilliance of the actor. His expressions, body movement, and the unconventional ability to strike a chord with people are top-notch.

Dulquer Salmaan surpasses all the expectations on his mainstream Hindi OTT debut. As Arjun, he gives us a lot to enjoy, starting with his infectious aura.

He owns the screen, right from the beginning. There’s an uncanny authority that Dulquer comes with. It helps the actor gain ground and then capitalize on it moving forward.

Gulshan Devaiah’s portrayal of Atmaram in Guns & Gulaabs leaves an indelible mark.

While the writing may have been commendable and creative liberties taken, it’s Devaiah’s personal touch as an actor that shines brightest.

He delivers a performance that tugs at the heartstrings. If Guns & Gulaabs were a comedy film, Devaiah would be its ‘dark’ element.

His performance in the show is truly superb.

Image Credits: Netflix

Adarsh Gaurav plays Jugnoo aka Ganchi Junior. He is stupendous as always. And getting to see his fun side after a string of serious roles felt good.

His dim-witted presentation makes the character more enjoyable than ever.

If you look at the idea of Jugnoo, it is quite a complex manifestation.

The makers have given him traits of a modern man but decided to let him die in his insecurities.

T J Bhanu portrays Chandralekha in the Netflix series, and as always, she shines brightly. Her act is calm and serene.

She transports a quiet affability to the screen and lets the user relate it to the era of the 1980s.

What Doesn’t Work for Guns & Gulaabs?

Regrettably, the show suffers from a weak plot. While you may expect intrigue, it is challenging to find within the narrative.

The gradual development fails to culminate in a satisfying climax, leaving you wanting more than it delivers.

Furthermore, Guns & Gulaabs unfolds at a slow pace. This issue persisted for a significant duration of the series.

Not only is the buildup sluggish, but the overall pacing could have been improved, given the series’ length.

Image Credits: Netflix

Another downside of Guns & Gulaabs is the lack of consistent stimulation. The series fails the potential of becoming a cult crime drama.

It does promise a lot of excitement and entertainment but fails to do so. All the intrigue has been put into the last episode.

You are served almost nothing for the rest of it. There are some fun scenes, a bit of chase and run, and also crime.

Then what’s there in the rest of the series? Drama. And a whole lot of it. While suitable for a general audience, it falls short of the standards set by Raj and DK, lacking their signature X-factor

Should You Stream or Skip Guns & Gulaabs?

Answering this question isn’t straightforward after careful consideration. However, I would still recommend giving it a watch.

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