Gangubai kathiawadi Review– Alia Bhatt's Convincing Performance Is Bound To Leave It's Mark!
Posted on 25 Feb, 2022
Starring : Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, Jim Sarbh, Shantanu Maheshwari, Vijay Raaz, Seema Pahwa, and Indira Tiwari
Directed by : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Duration : 154 minutes
Genre : Crime/ Drama
Alia Bhatt starrer Gangubai kathiawadi takes place in the 60s when Mumbai was predominantly in control of the underworld. It’s a story of Gangubai who was forced into prostitution at a very young age. The movie mostly follows a linear path where her past is introduced to establish her role, and slowly it walks through her emergence as the mafia queen.
Alia Bhatt as Gangubai steers clear from making the character look animated and one-note. Instead, she breathes life into it. In most of the scenes, Alia transports you to the story with her dialogue delivery and charisma. Ajay Devgn as Rahim Lala, who had Kamathipura by the reins, steals every frame that he is in. Ajay Devgn is in his comfort role of an all-powerful person with a moral code to abide by. He brings his intensity to the role which compliments Gangubai’s part.
Gangubai Kathiawadi marks the big Bollywood debut for Shantanu Maheshwari who impresses audiences with his innocence and sincerity. He makes an earnest effort to understand the vision of the director. He brings forward the much needed comic relief in some parts, and the tension in others.
Seema Pahwa shines in her limited screentime.
Vijay Raaz as Raziabai has a brief but impactful part. Suspense and apprehension are in the air whenever his character is on the screen, making the audience guess what his next move could be.
Jim Sarbh reunites with Sanjay Leela Bhansali with this venture. His character lightens the mood of the movie and gives an emotional break from the sequences filled with turmoil.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s visual narrative adds a layer to the film’s story. The attention to detail while portraying every nook and corner of Kamathipura to designing a beautiful ambiance with the color palette, Gangubai kathiawadi is a visual treat to watch. Bhansali manages to hook the viewers from the very first scene with its camera shots and tight angles while capturing a society composed of unbaiting prejudices about prostitution and the double standards that follow.
A Bhansali film is bound to have musicals; this too is no exception to that rule. Gangubai Kathiawadi uses music to carry the narrative forward, slows it down when required, and communicates the characters’ inner turmoil into the scene. There are a few instances in the movie where the dialogue delivery falls a bit flat but the music carries it well.
Gangubai Kathiawadi upholds its narrative with crowd-pleasing dialogues and is successful in it. The main conflict of the film doesn’t have quick resolutions, it doesn’t take a shortcut instead we strap ourselves on a journey with Gangubai as she fights through and through her battles. The second half of the movie happens in quick succession which counts for an engaging screenplay. While Bhansali employs the tactic of “show not tell” in his previous works. This one falls a bit differently, as some parts appear to be heavy-handed. The subtlety of these few scenes diminishes when it’s quiet on the nose.
Overall the story presents clarity by not convoluting its premise and keeping it grounded. Alia Bhatt puts forth a convincing performance, one which is set to stay with the viewers for a long time
Rating – 3.5/5
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