Guns & Gulaabs Review: Raj & DK put up an average show with Rajkummar Rao, Dulquer Salmaan and team

Name: Guns & Gulaabs

Director: Raj Nidimoru,Krishna DK

Cast: Rajkummar Rao,Dulquer Salmaan,Gulshan Devaiah

Rating: 2.5 / 5

There’s a thing with web series – if they work, you are forced to binge watch and if they don’t, you probably shut them off, without even making an attempt to complete them. But then comes the middling shows, which you continue to watch hoping for an arc of redemption. The Raj & DK directed Guns & Gulaabs falls into the last category.


Guns & Gulaabs is set in the fictional town of Gulaabgunj, which is known to be the go-to place for legal opium trading. As one knows, all legal routes have illegal backdoors and the town is also known for large-scale smuggling of opium to the mafias. It’s a story of the drug cartel that intertwines the journey of a cop, Arjun (Dulquer Salmaan), a mechanic, Tipu (Rajkummar Rao), a serial killer, Atmaram (Gulshan Devaiah), a teacher, Chandralekha (TJ Bhanu) and the politics involving members of an influential family, Ganchi (Satish Kaushik, Adarsh Gourav). What’s the role of every character in the Nexus? Is Arjun able to stop the illegal trading of opium in Gulaabgung? Who controls the entire nexus? All this unfolds in Guns & Gulaabs.

What works?

The biggest strength of Guns & Gulaabs is the characters written by Raj & DK. None of the 4 leading protagonists – Arjun, Tipu, Atmaram, Chandralekha, and Jr. Ganchi – have traits explored before in feature presentations. There are ample quirks, and shades of grey that keep the interest intact. The core plot of Guns & Gulaabs is fascinating as there is an attempt to wrap up the template of drug trading in a new format of story-telling.

The visuals are phenomenal and Raj & DK manage to create a fictional world that looks very believable. The story arc of Arjun’s track is done well, exploring various shades of human behavior, the same for Jr. Ganchi, who is on a journey to prove himself. The use of music to create a nostalgic environment is well integrated into the plot.

The humor lands well, and those one-liners keep the momentum rolling in the narrative.

What doesn’t work?

While the core plot is presented in a unique format of story-telling, the screenplay is too predictable without any surprise elements. The happenings in the screenplay are on the slower side, which gives the vibe of a drag in proceedings. The entire sub-track of Rajkummar Rao and his equation with his father as also his love interest, Chandralekha, is not explored well and rather force-fitted in the narrative.

While Atmaram is among the quirkiest characters in the series, there isn’t enough time invested to set up the arc that the character stands for. The nexus of police and politicians is left unexplored. Raj & DK series like Family Man and Farzi have a good marriage of thrill with comedy, but this one pales when compared to their earlier work. In fact, the writing isn’t gripping enough to keep us on the edge of our seats.

With Raj & DK at the helm of the affair, one hopes for the pace to pick up with every passing episode, but that doesn’t happen as the series eventually ends up being a middling affair with some memorable events and exciting arcs.


Guns & Gulaab’s ensemble rides on the presence of Dulquer Salmaan to Rajkummar Rao, Adarsh Gourav, TJ Bhanu, Gulshan Devaiah, Satish Kaushik, Vipin Sharma, and Shreya Dhanwanthary among others. It’s among the rare feature presentations of Indian Cinema that has an apt cast for all the characters, as performances by the entire gang are perfect. Full credit to Raj & DK for extracting credible performance and making some of the most outlandish scenes look believable on the screen. Some of the sequences would fall flat but succeed purely due to the faith shown by actors in the conviction of Raj & DK.


Guns & Gulaabs is a middling affair that promises a lot but leaves you wanting for more. While the director duo set up the world well in the initial two episodes, things go a little haywire as the story proceeds. The final episode is also underwhelming, as all the twists that you expect with the conflict just don’t land well. It works primarily due to the phenomenal performances and fascinating characters but falls short of expectations due to the undercooked plot.



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