Home Cinema Guns & Gulaabs: Doon’s unique topography, rich heritage shine

Guns & Gulaabs: Doon’s unique topography, rich heritage shine

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Raj and DK, the writer-director-producer duo of ‘The Family Man’ and ‘Farzi’ fame, have been popular for their unique and original content. Their new series on Netflix, ‘Guns & Gulaabs’, is a well-made entertainer that has piqued Doonites even more. The series has been shot chiefly in Uttarakhand, especially in areas around Dehradun and lets the residents relish their town’s heritage assets.

The comedy crime thriller series has all the ingredients to provide an entertaining treat. The story is intriguing, and the characters are enigmatically captivating. It is fun as well as thought-provoking, with emotional depths in characters. It revolves around a son trying hard to emerge from the shadows of his gangster father, who died while working for a drug racket.

Philanthropist Dr S Farooq with actor Rajkummar Rao at his Turner Road residence.

He is also head over heels to win over the love of his life, and during this journey he encounters many odd yet dangerous situations. The series is a complete entertainer as it has action, crime, deceit, revenge, hatred, love, and inner struggles emulated effortlessly by the actors. They nowhere step out of the skin of their respective characters.

The web series packs fabulous performances by Rajkummar Rao, Dulquer Salmaan, Gulshan Devaiah, and Adarsh Gourav. The story revolves around poppy grown in fields for medicinal use by the government and the web laid by the local players who operate illegally. The gangsters of two adjoining districts are tongs and hammer over a big deal with a Kolkata-based bigger don. Coincidently and unintentionally, a love-struck mechanic ‘panna’ (Rajkummar Rao) Tipu, a name given to him after he kills two gangsters with a mechanical tool ‘panna’, enters this mayhem. His innocent love, adorable friendships, straightforwardness, and adorable attitude enhance the part played by the very talented Rajkummar Rao.
Dulquer Salmaan, the narcotics officer posted in the area, has a tiff with the local goons and the police. His tall personality and presence escalate the entertainment factor. Adarsh Gourav, as Chotta Ganchi, is an intelligently written character that gives insight into behavioral patterns and human psychology. Gourav nails it.
The series transports us to the ’90s with full support from the respected Doon resident and social activist Dr S Farooq, President of The Himalaya Wellness Company, who provided his infrastructure and vintage cars. His splendid residence on Turner Road, Clement Town, looks gorgeous. It has been used as the residence of Don Ganchi, late Satish Kaushik, in the series. The vintage cars driven in Guns & Gulaabs are from the glorious fleet of vintage cars owned by Dr Farooq. The vehicles look fabulous as they are driven against the scenic backdrops.
Raj and DK take back fond memories from Doon. They share a colossal praise for Dehradun’s innate characteristics that it still owns to a great extent. They thank for the support provided by its resident in their pursuit to create Gulabganj, the essential requirement of the town in the story. The 1980s tea estate heritage factory provided an ideal place for the dons to meet and plan. The story has a vibe and the texture of a small town of the 90s with no dish antennas or hints of the contemporary era. The chosen locations in Dehradun fitted like feathers on a duck.

The director duo Raj and DK share their experience of shooting in Doon: ‘Our vision for Gulaabgunj was a quaint, sweet, small-town of the 90s. While we had shortlisted many locations and towns nationwide, Dehradun seemed to fit all our needs perfectly. From a small-town setting to mountainous roads to lush greenery…this place, with its pristine scapes, has it all. While the city is on par with any metro, its diversity with the surrounding areas, including Mussoorie and Bhatta Village et al., was so fascinating that we knew we had found our Gulaabgunj and Sherpur. Not to forget the beautiful weather, production-friendly infrastructure and welcoming people, we couldn’t have asked for a better setting. We are immensely grateful to the people of this beautiful region for their love and hospitality.’