Gypsy is a 2020 Indian Tamil-language romantic road movie written and directed by Raju Murugan. The film stars Jiiva, Natasha Singh, Lal Jose, Sunny Wayne, and Susheela Raman. This film marked the debut appearance of Malayalam actor-director Lal Jose and actor Sunny Wayne in Tamil cinema, with the former playing the antagonist. It was produced by Ambeth Kumar under the banner of Olympia Movies. The film’s soundtrack was composed by Santhosh Narayanan and cinematography and editing were handled by Selvakumar S. K. and Raymond Derrick Crasta.
After running into censorship troubles, the film was initially scheduled to release on 24 January 2020 but later pushed to 6 March 2020 release. The film had its theatrical release on 6 March 2020 after several delays and received mixed reviews from the critics mainly criticising the writing and screenplay. Critics revealed that the storyline and release of the film was a nick of time that resembled the deadly ethnic clashes between Hindus and Muslims which started in New Delhi on 23 February 2020.
Cast of Gypsy
Jiiva as Gypsy
Natasha Singh as Waheeda
Sunny Wayne as communist leader
Lal Jose as Muthaleef
The film titled was announced by director Raju Murugan as his third assignment in June 2018 who is also known for his previous directorial works such as Joker and Cuckoo. The shooting for the film commenced in around early June 2018 at Karaikkal. The first look poster of the film was unveiled on 11 June 2018. Jiiva accepted to work for the film with the director while he was busy with the shooting of his next film Gorilla.
The film was initially speculated to be a social drama film but later the film-makers revealed that the film was made up as a romantic travel based story. It was also revealed that actor Jiiva also learned to play guitar for the film. Malayalam actor Sunny Wayne was roped in to play an important role as a communist leader in the film and coincidentally he made his début in the Kollywood industry through this film.
For his role in the film, Jiiva grew his hair, learned to play the guitar, and practiced horseriding. The shooting of the film was wrapped up on 6 November 2018.
Marketing and release of Gypsy
The official teaser of the film was released on 5 January 2019 on YouTube. The theatrical trailer of the film was released on 3 April 2019 where the film’s soundtrack album was released at the event.
The makers announced that the satellite and digital rights of Gypsy have been acquired by Zee Tamil.
The film was initially scheduled to release on 24 January 2020, but director Murugan announced that the film would release on 6 March 2020.
Censorship issues Gypsy
The film faced issues on censoring, despite wrapping the shoot months ago. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), disapproved to censor the film as there are some scenes in the film that resemble the issues that happened in the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, and there are also reports that some dialogues have been asked to be muted and names of characters which resemble real-life prominent figures have been asked to be changed, in the hope of avoiding a controversy later on. The censor issues were cleared after the makers appealed the Film Certification Appeal Tribunal (FCAT), regarding the issue, where the film received an “A” certificate with minor cuts. Actor Jiiva revealed that 25 cuts of the film are available on YouTube.
Director Raju Murugan is a clever writer and he proved his mettle in his previous films. In his latest outing Gypsy, he takes on a topical subject divisive politics and its effect on human beings. At a time when religious politics and anti-CAA protests have taken over India, there couldn’t have been a better film than Gypsy to lay it out.
But, would the filmmaker be allowed to showcase the divisive politics carried out by political outfits in today’s scenario? The answer is a big ‘No’. That’s where Gypsy suffered. The film suffered more than 20 cuts and the censor board had asked Raju Murugan to change the tone of the riot scenes from color to black-and-white. Because you just cannot point such things out. The government doesn’t allow it.
Gypsy (Jiiva) is a nomad, who lost his parents in a riot in Kashmir when he was an infant. He was picked up by a stranger (named Senior in the film), who names him Gypsy and teaches him what life is all about. Gypsy is a free bird’ not limited by caste, religion or community. Senior tells Gypsy that he needs a partner in life, a face he could remember in his deathbed.
Gypsy meets Waheeda (Natasha Singh) and falls in love. While Gypsy is a free bird, Waheeda is a caged one, bound by his entitled Muslim father. Gypsy frees her from both the clutches of her father and religion and teaches her to live. But, tragedy strikes and changes their life when they are in the middle of a communal riot.
Raju Murugan is an abled-storyteller and pulls the audience into his universe of filmmaking. In one of the scenes, you see “no war” written on the walls. Again, you get why he named the white horse after the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. You get a painting of Bhagat Singh. You understand the “diversity” can both make and break the nation. In Gypsy, Raju Murugan weaves the narrative with some powerful messages like, “Endha katchi jeichalum, thokkaporadhu makkal dhan”, “All Holy books (the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita) teaches peace to humanity and carry the same message, though, with different names) and “Kadavula kettavana aakara manushana nambadhinga!”.
Santhosh Narayanan’s music contributes to some of the film’s finest moments. Jiiva brings such fine depth to his character. After Neethane En Ponvasantham (2012), I think this is a solid role in which he doesn’t overdo anything—in terms of acting. Natasha Singh comes off as an earnest Muslim woman. She is the portrait of quiet dignity and grace. She does well even with minimal dialogues, relying on her eyes. Her expressions do the talking half the time, especially in crucial scenes. If Gypsy were a complete Malayalam film, it would have been celebrated. You will understand why when you watch it.