Movie: Gulabo Sitabo
Director: Shoojit Sircar
OTT release: Amazon Prime Videos
Ratings: 3/5 stars
Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar and writer Juhi Chaturvedi’s collaborations have always been a rider for the viewers. After giving us the brilliant entertainers like ‘Vicky Donor’, ‘October’ and ‘Piku’, the duo is back with ‘Gulabo Sitabo’.
The movie set in Lucknow will take you through the bylanes as the lead character of Amitabh Bachchan aka Mirza moves in his hunch forward walk with a curious look on his face and nailing it too. Of course, no one recognised him in real while shooting in the busy city markets (full marks to the make-up artiste).
Coming back to Mirza and his longstanding love for Fatima Haveli (named after his Begum). The screenplay introduces several supporting cast characters and then comes Ayushmann Khurrana as Baaney Rastogi – the street-smart chap who is one of the tenants at Fatima Haveli.
The bitter banter between Mirza and Baankey is juxtaposed with the ancient folklore of Gulabo-Sitabo who are represented by puppets of the same name. They are seen as two sisters-in-law, who fight with each other yet can’t stay away from each other.
So, this thread between the puppets and the lead movie characters is an interesting draw by the writer Juhi Chaturvedi.
The screenplay moves forward and we get to see how much Mirza loves this Fatima Haveli. Again have to say, Bachchan senior shoulders the film with so much grace and precision and if not a fan (which is highly unlikely), you will fall for his utmost brilliance in the craft.
His camaraderie with Baankey, who has three sisters and a mother to take care of completes presents a lighter side of life without losing the battle to livelihood hardships in the script.
We meet some finest supporting actors in this 2 hour, few minutes journey of Gulabo Sitabo as warring rivals – one trying to get this Haveli on his name and the other fighting against his landlord.
Meanwhile, in between enters government officer Gyanesh Shukla aka Vijay Raaz from the Archaelogic department, who finds some heritage value in this over 70-year-old once palatial haveli.
Brijendra Kala, who plays lawyer Christopher Clark, also needs a special mention. His subtle act and one-liners are enough to bring a smile on your faces.
The lady who stands out in this ‘Begum’, played by Farrukh Jafar takes the cake too. She is so badass, has got the swag and literally shows it off in the end. No Spoilers here!
All in all, a good watch amid lockdown to keep your spirits high and healthy.
Our verdict: Watch it for Bachchan – he is a class apart as Mirza!