‘Gali Guleiyan’ Movie Review: This movie will tell you what insanity feels like

Directed By: Dipesh Jain
Produced By: Exstant Motion Pictures Ltd (UK)
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Om Singh, Ranvir Shorey, Neeraj Kabi, Shahana Goswami
Duration: 1 hr 57 min
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3.5/5

In the first 10 minutes of Gali Guleiyan, it is difficult to understand what is really going on. The cinematography is great, Manoj Bajpayee seems to be totally under the skin of his character, but you don’t know where all the confusion is leading. A little while later though, once you get the feel of the world that the film is set in, and you connect a few dots (I didn’t need to wait till the end to realize that Khuddoos and Idris are the same person), the movie becomes an immersive experience. You feel Bajpayee’s fear and you can understand his eccentricities. As far as Idris (Idu), the child character played by Om Singh is concerned, one must give credit to Dipesh Jain for extracting an extremely realistic performance from him.


The movie has two stories running together. One featuring Bajpayee’s insane present (he has installed CCTV cameras to spy on his neighbours), and the other featuring Bajpayee’s innocent childhood. As an adult, Bajpayee is a lonely and deranged person who cannot get out of his locality. He listens to voices from other rooms, and has simply way too much going on his head. His speech is slurred, he walks like a defeated man and there always seems to be a peculiar frown on his face. As far as Idu is concerned, he is not a similarly unusual child. He loves his mom, but hates his dad (whom he catches committing adultery). The movie’s plot is not such that one thing leads to another. It’s a movie where you have to feel the atmosphere in order to be absorbed.


Both Manoj Bajpayee and Om Singh deliver a performance that is without any flaws whatsoever. In a scene, Manoj finds his hand bleeding, and stitches the wound himself without the help of any anesthesia. It’s a stirring scene, and just one among many in the film. Om Singh’s portrayal of Idu is subtle and extremely realistic. Nobody in this movie seem like they are trying to act, but instead, they seem like they are part of a dystopian world.

Direction and Cinematography

It’s a masterful movie by a first time director. You can feel the paranoia and despair present in both the stories. It takes you a while to adjust to the director’s voice and the atmosphere of the film, but once you can connect the dots, it becomes a psychological tour de Force.

What’s Good

Some scintillating performances along with great direction, make this film a must-watch for those who enjoy experimental cinema. If you like to watch films sipping on a coffee, as compared to munching on popcorn, this one’s for you.

What’s Bad

The film might not be suited to everyone’s taste. While exiting the movie, I heard people complain that they didn’t understand the film.

Final Verdict

It’s an amazing movie that deserves all the accolades it is getting. Make sure that you catch it, because it is rare to find such films made in India. Also, independent cinema needs all the support it can get.

Watch the trailer here: