Gulabo Sitabo Review: A gentle, bittersweet drama that could have been a lot funnier!

Siddarth Srinivas -

Gulabo Sitabo Review: A gentle, bittersweet drama that could have been a lot funnier!

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Format: Feature Film
Platform: Prime Video
Movie Rated: All Ages
Genre: Drama
Language: Hindi
Digital Premiere Date: 12 June 2020

 

At a time when all the Indians out there are hungry for good OTT content, Amazon Prime brings us a favourite face of all time with a favourite face in his current prime, in the same film. Gulabo Sitabo is Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturvedi’s next instalment in the series of films which talk about the different themes in life. This time, the story’s all about greed, and how it plays spoilsport in life.
 
What’s the story about?
Gulabo Sitabo mainly focuses on the story of Mirza (Amitabh Bachchan), an elderly man who owns a mansion where a lot of different tenants lead their lives. One of the tenants is Baankey (Ayushmann Khurrana), a youngster who runs a flour mill and struggles to make ends meet. Mirza’s only aim is to find himself on the richer side of things, and that is by selling off the mansion for the biggest price possible. The issues caused by the Baankey and the other tenants come as hurdles, as the old man finds more than one way to end his need.


 

Analysis
Gulabo Sitabo has a very good plot in hand, but the main issue with the film is how it always ends up with very less comedy. A lot of the jokes are stitched into the quirkiness and milieu of the locations, which is why it is very hard to keep our attention pinned continuously in the middle hour of the film. Juhi Chaturvedi’s seeded writing makes us read between the lines, but this process does require a lot of patience which is not on everybody’s court. A little more light-heartedness in the screenplay was a requirement which should have been fulfilled. However, the film pulls up its socks in the final stretch, and though things seem a little far-fetched, the morals are put across very nicely.
 
Performances
With two excellent performers in hand, it’s normal to expect two strong performances from the film. But here, it is Amitabh Bachchan who takes away most of the screen time as his tracks with both Vijay Raaz and Brijendra Kala move on. Though Ayushmann has a decent amount of screen time, his character doesn’t have much to do in the film but for being a helper to be present in the important moments which push the story forward. While Amitabh is really good in his role, it’s a cakewalk for Ayushmann, who just jogs along with the rest of the cast who fit the bill.


 

Music and Other Departments
Shantanu Moitra’s repetitive score doesn’t add much value to the film, with the songs too, failing to stand out. Avik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography is neat, without much complaints on this small scale.
 
Highlights
Amitabh Bachchan pulls out another enjoyable performance from the top drawer, and the film does its best to make up for the flaws in the third act. These two are the biggest draws.
 
Drawbacks
The lack of comedy is definitely a minus point, for characters such as Nalneesh Neel are wasted at places which could have brought the roof down.
 
Did I enjoy it?
It was a little tough to sit through the middle hour of the film, but I liked the climax which managed to put a smile on my face and realize the harsh truth behind the story of the film.
 
Do I recommend it?
Gulabo Sitabo is one of the freewheeling films that you can watch at your own pace. The film is fine for a home viewing, where you wouldn’t mind the pacing issues. A middling dramedy that is saved by the final run.
 
 
 

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