Yes it is Friday and we are entering ‘Unlock 1′(par ab tak kuch khula nahi hai 😛). Ofcourse no theatrical releases yet, but there is an OTT release and yet again this is an early bird review. Gulabo Sitabo, the first of the many hindi films which has released directly on an OTT platform leaving the cinema owners fuming! But the good part being, we get to view them whenever we like. And I like to view them almost immediately. So lets dig in to the review.
Set in Lucknow, Gulabo Sitabo(theme based on a fable of two warring sisters) is the story of a feud between a landlord and his tenant that soon gets twisty with each one wanting to stake their claim over the property where they live in. The story is a breath of fresh air as the Bollywood cinephiles may not have witnessed such a story being told before(and an entire film made on it). The premise is simple and the screenplay is filled with subtle yet funny one liners and some lip smacking(not literally🙄) confrontational scenes between the two protagonists. There is a small emotional thread maintained throughout that culminates into an interesting climax. Also, it shows just to what extent a simple premise can be explored. On the downside, a few sequences drag in the middle but it is the performances that keep you invested. The dialogues are earthy and almost take you to Lucknow where the film is set in. The music blends well with the drama. Director Shoojit Sircar who is one of my favourite directors and one who is known to take risks by picking odd subjects and transforming them into gems(Piku, Vicky Donor, October) is once again in fine form and the dynamics that he creates with the characters is a joy to watch.
The performances are just outstanding. Brijendra Kala as the lawyer is first rate. Vijay Raaz is a prolific actor and here too he brings his impeccable comic timing to the table as the government official. Farrukh Jaffar as Begum is also nails her one liners. Srishti Srivastava as Guddo is the find here and the one to watch out for in the future. She has tremendous screen presence and is a natural onscreen. Ayushmann Khurrana(after a minor blip in Shubhh Mangal Zyaada Savdhan) finds form once again as the lisping Baankey. His confrontational scenes with Mr Bachchan exude humour and are a treat to watch(something that could have been explored a little more in the second hour). And Mr Bachchan as Mirza is
O-U-T-S-T-A-N-D-I-N-G!! Right from his makeup to his posture to his gait, he just nails his character and how!
Please be warned that Gulabo Sitabo is not your usual run-of-the-mill kind of cinema. It is for a niche audience(many might find it drab and boring) and may not appeal to all. Yet, if you have enjoyed Piku this can be clubbed in the same genre. I have seen many regional films tackling a simple premise and so I have thoroughly enjoyed this attempt. The writer-director duo of Juhi Chaturvedi and Shoojit Sircar have scored yet again, Gulabo Sitabo available on Amazon Prime and Highly Recommended!