Gulabo Sitabo Movie Review: It rides high on Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana’s intense performances

Gulabo Sitabo Review: Gulabo Sitabo drags in parts and is only salvaged by the merit of the director to keep it under two hours.
Gulabo Sitabo Movie Review: It rides high on Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana’s intense performancesGulabo Sitabo Movie Review: It rides high on Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana’s intense performances

Movie Name: Gulabo Sitabo

Gulabo Sitabo Director: Shoojit Sircar

Gulabo Sitabo Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vijay Raaz

Gulabo Sitabo Stars: 2.5/5

One of the biggest complaints a film reviewer has today is that films which were supposed to experience on the silver screen had to compromise with a digital release. Notwithstanding that it offers a broader audience reach for the filmmakers, but storytelling is best experienced in a theatre.

Gulabo Sitabo is one such film which released on an OTT platform today. The film revolves around Mirza Sheikh (Amitabh Bachchan) and Baankey Sodhi (Ayushmann Khurrana) who stay at an almost century-old Haveli in Lucknow known as Fatima Mahal. Baankey is among several other tenants who pay meagre rent and do not want to vacate the homes despite faulting on the payments often.

Mirza, on the other hand, is not the legal owner of the property! His spouse, who is referred through the movie as Begum (Farrukh Jaffar), inherited the property from her forefathers. Mirza, who is 17 years younger to her, is waiting for her demise and the consequent legal transfer of property rights to him.

Mirza wants to throw all the tenants out. Albeit he doesn’t have any understanding of what the current market rent is or what is the cost of an antique chandelier. He hasn’t paid enough time to figure out what he will do with the property once the tenants are out. On the other hand, Baankey is living with a sense of know-it-all. He, however, isn’t even street-smart like his sibling and continues to toil hard in the flour mill and still failing to provide better living conditions for his family. 

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It’s the first time when the audience will see Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana share screen space. Amitabh Bachchan’s prosthetics grabbed headlines when the trailer was out. Perhaps, the second time in his career after the film Paa.  With a long beard, old school spectacles, a headscarf and a prosthetic-pronounced nose, Big B looks absolutely unrecognizable, and his signature baritone too has been replaced with a Lucknowi twang to it.

However, when you start watching the film, his make-up and look doesn’t distract the viewer, and he keeps the audience engaged with his performance. Ayushmann Khurrana as always gets into the skin of the character and is now adept at playing the real-life characters. Yet, it is interesting to see the battle of performance between the two leads. Vijay Raaz as an archaeology officer (Gyanesh Shukla) and Brijendra Shukla (Mirza’s lawyer) adds fun moments to this dark satire.

Shoojit Sircar is a raconteur and shares the elixir of his story through engaging characters. In this case, its greed. His characters are often etched from reality and can’t always be labelled black or white. It’s the grey that makes his characters believable. The greed of every nature in Gulabo Sitabo develops from rhytides to wrinkles – more prominent as the story develops.

However, in Gulabo Sitabo, you feel that the cacophony of characters at times becomes an impediment in the story. There are characters and scenes one could have avoided and still told the story. Dialogues are real, grounded, and maintain the local flavour of the script. 

Now if you wonder what is connect with the title? Shoojit uses the folk art form of puppetry to share the tale of two female puppets who are in a constant state of dramatic fights. The protagonists, Mirza and Baankey, are similar to Gulabo and Sitabo – who are focused on their greed, materialism and consumed by their endeavour to win the argument. But at what cost?

ALSO READ | Ayushmann Khurrana shares his fan moment and excitement of working with Amitabh Bachchan in Gulabo Sitabo

Gulabo Sitabo takes us back to our school days when greed was amongst the most-cited vices. Despite being a dramedy, it isn’t preachy. The pace of the film might remind you of Shoojit’s October, which had a romantic story at its heart but demanded the audience to be patient. Gulabo Sitabo drags in parts and is only salvaged by the merit of the director to keep it under two hours. For those who can wait for the story to take its time and develop, it works. For others, it doesn’t. Perhaps, Shoojit is aware and testing these crevices, but only the success of the film will tell how much he was able to convince the audience. 

Watch Gulabo Sitabo movie officical trailer below:

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Anonymous 1 month ago

Good movie

Anonymous 2 months ago

cool movie

Anonymous 2 months ago

At the beginning, I thought movie would hold the viewers to their chair... But somewhere it lost the grip in half an hour... The story and script not great... The movie could have been finished in not more one hour thirty minutes... But dragged for two hours which is waste for public. Acting and make up of Amitabh was good.. Otherwise, story line is Zero.

Anonymous 2 months ago

Boring and meaning less movie there is nothing that keeps you gripped to the movie slow pace only acting is good

Anonymous 2 months ago

jao SOTY dekho

Anonymous 2 months ago

I liked amitabh role. Film was good but boring in some parts. PV will only give 3.5 4 rating to dharma and latka jhatka movie

Anonymous 2 months ago

Boring

Anonymous 2 months ago

Boring movie in boring periods...

Anonymous 2 months ago

Excellent movie

Anonymous 2 months ago

Another masterpiece! Great performance by the legend & his protege. Serious message communicated lightheartedly ...super.. kudos to Sujit Sarkar & team for a brilliant film..

Anonymous 2 months ago

Good watch, screenplay, art direction, costumes were all bang on, narration was bit slow as the storyline was crowded with so many characters in between, the protagonist of the story Mirza was soul of the film and was interesting to see Amitabh Bachchan pulling off this character so neatly. It's definitely not a movie for masses, it's going to be loved by people who have interest in story telling...or literature. I personally like Begum's character and the actor... texture of her voice was so royal and despite having a poor demenure she fit the character of a khandani royal muslim lady. Ayushman Khurana - a real talent in indian cinema today. He was very convincing in his character of a atta chakki wala, loved him for his ease in acting and wow what a portrayal of character. Overall I loved the movie. The story writing had that feel of Tagore's writing style.

Anonymous 2 months ago

Movie me thodi last me story incomplete si lgi...but superb piece of acting yaar ...overall mzaa aaagya.

Anonymous 2 months ago

Badhiya film.

Anonymous 2 months ago

I felt really bad for Mirza in the end. ☹️

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