Gunga Din is an adventurous film indeed, but it seems to be trying a little too hard. This is a film that definitely appears as a vehicle for its three main stars, and is desperately trying to pull something together for them. A number of gags in the central part are amusing, including the punch bowl sequence and pretty much anything featuring the title character, but these seem few and far between.
The film starts off a bit slow to impress, but it grows. The black & white cinematography is definitely noteworthy, and it was nominated for an Academy Award. The filmmakers use sped-up action sequences, which is a personal annoyance, but I can see how it would’ve been the best way to do the job in the classical era; not to mention the hammy and cheesy action choreography itself. The whole thing produces a very manic comedic feeling to it, which I assume must have been the intention, what with the score being what it is.
The one thing that does elevate this above others of its kind is the climax, which is very inspirational indeed. The movie as a whole, though, is about average, but otherwise decent enough. If you want a few laughs, a few thrills, and a great ending to boot, give this one a shot.
Arbitrary Rating: 7/10