Film-maker Ram Gopal Varma is back with Company, a movie that tackles the seedy side of Bollywood, the underworld of gangsters.

It’s a time to kill for Hindi cinema this season. From actor-turned-director Chekravarthy’s underworld drama Durga, Vipul Shah’s suave look at gangsterism in Ankhein and Hansal Mehta’s forthcoming Chhal, filmmakers seem to have unleashed a virtual gang-war on screen.

And now there is Ram Gopal Varma’s Company, which chronicles the story of two underworld dons who become bitter enemies. Though Varma denies the film’s proximity to real life, the industry is abuzz with rumours that the film is inspired by the restless relationship between Mumbai’s underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan.

Director Ram Gopal Varma, known for hit movies Rangeela, Daud, Satya and Pyar Tune Kya Kiya, has established himself in Indian cinema as one of the industry’s most talented and creative directors.

As expected and never quite falling short of it, Ram Gopal Varma’s crew puts together a different and unique story in Company. The film boasts a feast of first class actors: two National Award winners, Mohanlal (dubbed by Varma as the Robert de Niro of Indian cinema) and Ajay Devgan as well as Manisha Koirala. To support this stellar cast is the much talked about debut of Vivek Oberoi, son of actor Suresh.

Ajay Devgan is the main protagonist, the Chief ‘Execution’ Officer of a Company. His business is that of crime with the basic message that once you’re in, you can never leave. Unfortunately, Vivek Oberoi has a change of heart and attempts to do just that. The result is execution – bloodless and sophisticated – on a grand scale.

If you are tempted to think ‘déjà vu’, don’t. There is more to this action packed movie than the typical Bollywood mara mari. Company is one of the most convincing portrayals of India’s rampant corruption and the fear tactics employed by its underworld.

Most importantly, the movie reveals a side to Bollywood rarely seen before. Under the glitz and glam of India’s film industry lies a dirty business closely linked to drugs, arms and terrorism.And if the story still does not tempt you, Urmila’s special appearance in a song and dance number with the credit titles of the movie is a must-see.

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