Gangster (AKA Gangster: A Love Story) opens with its central character, the young Indian woman Simran (Kangna Ranaut) at the lowest of all ebbs. She spends her nights boozing away embittered memories of a troubled past and drumming up conversation with an affable barkeep, Akash (Emraan Hashmi), who not only exudes compassion for Simran, but nurtures an obvious interest in her. One evening, Simran innocently spills all and details her sordid history to her new friend and prospective lover. Years prior, it seems, Simran lived in a Mumbai tenement and worked as an exotic dancer in a local bar. Her life was relatively conflict free, until the gangster Daya (Shiney Ahuja) burst into her home during his lam from the cops, and hid out for a period. A romance quickly blossomed between the two, but the relationship forced Simran to flee from the law with Daya, making her life stressful and chaotic. In a desperate attempt to lead a "normal" life, Simran adopted a young boy, Bittu - who fell into the path of a bullet during a gun-wielding brawl between Daya and the cops, and was promptly killed. In time, the couple separated by necessity, with Daya fleeing to exile in Mauritius and Simran sinking into the mire of alcoholism. Cutting back to the present day, Akash reaches out to Simran and the two begin an intense affair - until the violent Daya literally bursts in and forces Simran to choose between two lovers.