Gulabo Sitabo Movie Review: Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starrer film is about greed and selfishness in a light-hearten way.Modified On: 12 June 2020 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
The film takes time to establish the conflict and loses its grip in a few places but the simplicity and impactful performances from the cast hold your interest.
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Shrishti Srivastava, Vijay Raaz, Brijendra Kala, and Farrukh Jafar
Directed By: Shoojit Sircar
The film opens with a streetside puppeteer singing the story of Gulabo and Sitabo, two ladies who are constantly fighting with each other, this sets the tone of the main characters Mirza Chunnan Nawab(Amitabh Bachchan) who owns the mansion 'Fatima Mahal' which is technically not his and Baankey Rastogi(Ayushmann Khurrana) who his tenet and pays only 30 rupees to him constantly quarrel between each other. This leads to Mirza plans something so that he gets rid of his annoying tenant and gets more rent.
Gulabo Sitabo depicts the life of the lower middle class and their petty issues. This is the story of survival but as we human beings we want more and greed comes into the picture. But Gulabo Sitabo is not folklore or moral lesson guide about greed which we already got in terrific 2018 film Tummbad.
The making style of Soojit Sircar films is from the school of Basu Chatterji and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. His films like the veterans are more about characters and their inner conflict. The tone of the film is simple and the issue they face doesn't create much complexity in the story.
The film can also be placed as the battle of ages not only between Baankey and Mirza but the story itself based on Lucknow which is known for its monuments and ancient legacy which is coping with modernity in society. As one of the character Gyanesh Shukla from the archaeology department (Vijay Raaz) is showing Baankey old monuments and its reconstruction, he asks Shukla pointing one of the random monuments 'Are you restoring this building too?' for which Shukla replies 'No, its just the useless building'. This also shows our ignorance towards old people and ancient monuments.
The characters of these films are not very likable. They are street smarts and don't empathize with the condition of the other. Baankey lives his family with three sisters and a widowed mother. His life is so miserable that even his girlfriend says to him at one point that, Mujhe nhin pta that aap itne garib hain (I didn't know that you were that poor).
Mirza is an old chap who wants his wife who is 13 years elder to her dies soon so that he gets her mansion.
But unlike these two characters, we have women in Gulabo Sitabo who are smarter and confident about their actions and don't whine about their issues. Shristi Srivastava had done a terrific performance as smart wit Guddo who proves time and again that she is better than Baankey. The standout is Farruk Jafar has Begum who is the matriarch and his emotionally attached to her mansion.
As said earlier the film is all about its character and the film takes time to establish their conflict and needs the patient of the audience to sit through though the latter part of the film has his share of wit and humor. The film takes the advantage of the OTT platform or else the time taking establishment might not work with the theatre audience who need an instant adrenal rush.
Finally, Gulabo Sitabo has the old school charm of simplicity and message but doesn't rush to any conclusion because we human beings conflict doesn't end until we are dead.
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