Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

Any SubtitleApril 17, 2022

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

 

1. USER REVIEWS – 9.5/10 – Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

I’m about to start writing a Gangubai Kathiawadi Review. Gangubai Kathiawadi, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, is one of the best films ever created! Goosebumps is a good term to describe Gangubai Kathiawadi. The film is poetry that flows via power in suffering from the first scene to the end. This is Alia Bhatt’s greatest performance to date, and I don’t believe anybody could have played Gangubai better than Alia. Her metamorphosis from Ganga to Gangu to Gangubai is depicted and expressed nicely. The entire film’s plot keeps you on the edge of your seat, yet there is a sense of humanity throughout.

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review - 2022 - Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

For me, the entire film was contradictory, almost an oxymoron. Gangu is powerful but fragile; she is witty but irritable; she is fierce but kind; she is quiet but tense; she is intelligent but reliant; she is a visionary but trapped in the past; she believes but is hopeless; she is popular but lonely; she wants to love but she sacrifices.

The majority of Alia’s speech is conveyed through her eyes. For example, she may be advocating for the rights of prostitutes’ children in one moment, but her eyes may be drawn to her childhood memories of celebrating Navratri in Kathiawad with her friends in another. Her eyes are filled with the agony of her husband selling her into prostitution in another scene, as she is attempting to fall in love with her tailor once more. As a result, the character and the film’s fabric always had two margins.

The picture features a fantastic cast. Rahim Lala, Gangu’s rakhi-brother, played by Ajay Devgn, who has a fantastic prolonged cameo, was always there to assist her and was the ladder she needed to climb. Raziabai, played by Vijay Raaz, is my favorite character; she has such a strong screen presence, and her conflict with Gangu is full of flair and sparks. Shantanu Maheshwari, who plays Afshaan tailor, and Seema Pahwa, who plays Sheela Masi, both firmly support moving the plot ahead on a path that will capture the audience. Jim Sarbh in the role of Faizibhai and Indira Tiwari in the role of Kamli has done an amazing job, and they are very perfectly cast! Bhansali’s lucky charm, Raza Murad, makes an appearance as Lala’s guest.

The Bombay shows from the 1960s are vibrant, nostalgic, and completely enthralling. The movement of the sets, along with the music, transports you back to the past; you feel as if you are with Gangu, and at moments, you are Gangu. Everything about her hypnotizes you into Bhansali’s magic: her sorrow, her suffering, her faith, her tact, her desire, her belonging, she might, her effervescence, her game, her need. Alia’s attire transitions from joyful designs to depressing rags, then from glittering sarees to white chiffons, and each garment represents what Gangu was going through at the time.

The music of Gangubai Kathiawadi is another Bhansalian gem. The CD features a wide range of genres and ragas, from the powerful Dholida to the viscous Meri Jaan. There’s a Qawwali called Shikayat and a folk song called Jhume ee Gori, both of which are unique but beautifully interwoven into the story. Although not featured in the film, Arijit Singh’s Muskurahat is one of my all-time favorite songs. Alia has never lip-synced a song and instead performs them to the beat, whether it’s Garba or Montage.

The discourse of Prakash Kapadia pierces your heart and makes you examine life’s paradox. “Shakti, Sadbuddhi, Sampatti / jab yeh tee hee auratein hain, toh inn Mardon ko kiss baat ka Ghuroor” – a must-have Bhansali Ghuroor conversation cutting through societal stigmas and generating a flood of inspiration inside you. Bhansali’s writing is like poetry in motion, and his editing is flawless.

My favorite part in the film is when she discusses how white can take on several shapes. There’s white in the moon and clouds, white in the snow and salt, white in the milk, and white in the swan. Gangu’s white is a metaphor for how one incident has spawned a plethora of emotions, each with its hue that is heavily influenced by her emotional state. She is flirty, domineering, furious, vulnerable, wounded, and sincerely wishing for the embrace of a man in a wonderful single-track sequence. She wants Afshan to caress her and brush her head with love and peace, rather than passion.

The climax is the last thing I want to do. Bhansali is recognized for his epic, bold, and forceful climaxes that captivate the audience. Gangubai Kathiawadi doesn’t let you down. Her entire existence is flashing before her eyes. Every figure who has had a negative or good effect on her has played a part in shaping who she is. She hates what happened to her and would never wish such horrors on anyone else, but she is ecstatic with who she has become and what she has accomplished.

She is both shocked and awestruck by her adventure and every milestone she has passed along the way. She draws strength from her perspiration and ensures that her prostitution business is not tainted. She is unapologetically, unashamedly, and unwaveringly proud of who she is, what she has done, and what she has left behind. She is grateful for the strength of her friends and the motivation of her adversaries. She is a businesswoman who is proud of her work and expects to be treated with respect. Gangu is the moon and will remain so forever.

“Gangu Chaand Thi aur Chaand hee rahegi”.

2. USER REVIEWS – 7/10 – Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

What the film did not get right:

1. I’m about to start writing a Gangubai Kathiawadi Review. Gangubai Kathiawadi was a real person who lived in India. As captivating as her tale of rising from the ashes to become a great civil rights champion for her community was, her association with the mafia, underworld, drugs, alcohol, and other vices had a dark side. That aspect was only barely mentioned and not given much attention. No matter how kind her humanitarian work may be, maintaining a job for someone like her comes at a high cost. Addressing all sides would provide a more fair and balanced picture of her to the audience.

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review - 2022 - Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

2. Some of the justifications for prostitution were difficult to accept. This company has existed since the dawn of time simply because there is a need for it. There is no need for justification.

3. I believed Alia put out a lot of effort to immerse herself in the role. For me, the scene with younger Gangu and Ala worked well in demonstrating the character’s innocence and well-off upbringing. By the time the elder Gangubai appeared on film, she didn’t quite match the role. She had the appearance of a porcelain doll. Women who are subjected to daily abuse and dehumanization and are compelled to live on the brink reveal the symptoms and costs of that difficult survival. Alia understood the discourse, as well as the agony in her eyes and her facial expression.
Her voice and words had a good texture, but her body language (at times a touch too sensitive for a brothel owner) and dress (too near to designer sarees and blouses, a little garishness, and some ill-fitting items were required) were not quite appropriate for the role. I’m not sure if casting a different woman to play the elder Gangubai would have worked. If not, she should have been given a weathered appearance on the face and body.

What the film did get right:

1. After hearing Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film companion interview and learning how close he grew up with Kamathipura and the profound influence the hard life these ladies lived had on him, I felt the film came straight from his heart. As much as an outsider can, he connects with their strength, aches, pleasures, and the process of reconstructing themselves as human beings after being dehumanized night after night. Throughout the film, several tiny moments touched one’s heart.

2. The actors portraying other female characters in Gangubai’s world, such as Kamli, knocked it out of the park. They dressed like their role, spoke like their character, and every one of them, along with many other excellent supporting characters, performed an outstanding job. I’m not sure why they don’t get more credit.

3. The soundtrack, scene design, and general look and feel of the film are reminiscent of ancient Hindi film masterpieces, of which Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a devoted student. These days, few films manage to capture this feeling.

In general, I’m pleased I went to see the movie. I almost didn’t watch it because the early user reviews were so harsh. The film had its moments that held my attention, but it was also thought-provoking. The film reminded me once again of the incredibly difficult circumstances that some people are forced to endure against their will, but they survive, laugh, show courage to make further sacrifices, even dare to dream, fulfill small wishes, make friends, become armor around each other, and form a deeply woven community borne out of their shared pain.

3. USER REVIEWS – 9/10 – Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

This film pleasantly shocked me with how much I like it! All of the performers were fantastic, but the film is really about SLB and Alia Bhatt. There was a lot of chatter about Alia not being right for the role, but I never had that feeling while watching the film. I believe the trailer is misleading due to the way it is edited, and I disliked it in general, but that isn’t the objective of my review. She portrays the role in such a manner that you can see a young woman who was extremely lively and feisty as she grows older.

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review - 2022 - Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

Alia’s delicate/petite-ness contrasts sharply with her personality at first, and I believe that is the objective. These ladies are all pushed into this society at an early age, and it’s a world where you either eat or you’re devoured. She needed to go to the top, and her attitude grew to match.

She isn’t someone who was born into this world, but she has adapted to it. I also believe that the way the film was set up, filmed, and the actors around her all contributed to her being larger and scarier. She was framed in such a manner that she appeared large and important, and I believe the production and design teams did a fantastic job showcasing her and bolstering her cinematic presence.

Alia was fantastic in this video, being the focal point of practically every scene, and I didn’t get weary of watching it as I had with a few other SLB films. The lines are a little heavy-handed at the end, but it’s still enjoyable. This is a long film, but it didn’t feel that long to me, especially when compared to Padmavaat, which I felt to be exceedingly long and uninteresting, and which I fell asleep watching numerous times.

The only reason I gave it four stars is that there was a mismatch between Ganga’s arrival at the brothel and her transformation into Gangu within a year. Although the video mentions how other prostitutes are shunned by their society and families because of their occupation, I was perplexed as to why Gangu did not try to contact her family or flee sooner. There was grief at first, but I thought the switch to the confident version was a little abrupt and without rationale. The scenes preceding and following were all good and well-characterized; it was only the transition between the two that I didn’t fully get.

I can envision what happened, but I believe that adding one or two scenes would have better explained why she felt compelled to remain at the brothel and defend her fellow prostitutes. She is really uncomfortable/scared, especially in the beginning. I wish there was a transition to indicate how their friendship grew so deep that she abandoned her attempts to flee. Anyway, I may have missed that and will have to watch it again.

The sights of prostitute harassment and assault are disturbing. They’re well-made and not overly gory, but they made me feel sick, so be warned.

I know it’s to be expected, but SLB directed the sequences in such a disturbing and horrifying way that, although not being as violent as other combat films, there’s a lot of suffering and misery that may be difficult to hear. I suggest this, especially to theatergoers who frequently watch movies on their phones, because the shift in sound/theater experience heightened those sequences for me, so just be aware if you are sensitive to that sort of stuff.
3 – 9/10
This film pleasantly shocked me with how much I like it! All of the performers were fantastic, but the film is really about SLB and Alia Bhatt. There was a lot of chatter about Alia not being right for the role, but I never had that feeling while watching the film. I believe the trailer is misleading due to the way it is edited, and I disliked it in general, but that isn’t the objective of my review. She portrays the role in such a manner that you can see a young woman who was extremely lively and feisty as she grows older.

Alia’s delicate/petite-ness contrasts sharply with her personality at first, and I believe that is the objective. These ladies are all pushed into this society at an early age, and it’s a world where you either eat or you’re devoured. She needed to go to the top, and her attitude grew to match.

She isn’t someone who was born into this world, but she has adapted to it. I also believe that the way the film was set up, filmed, and the actors around her all contributed to her being larger and scarier. She was framed in such a manner that she appeared large and important, and I believe the production and design teams did a fantastic job showcasing her and bolstering her cinematic presence.

Alia was fantastic in this video, being the focal point of practically every scene, and I didn’t get weary of watching it as I had with a few other SLB films. The lines are a little heavy-handed at the end, but it’s still enjoyable. This is a long film, but it didn’t feel that long to me, especially when compared to Padmavaat, which I felt to be exceedingly long and uninteresting, and which I fell asleep watching numerous times.

The only reason I gave it four stars is that there was a mismatch between Ganga’s arrival at the brothel and her transformation into Gangu within a year. Although the video mentions how other prostitutes are shunned by their society and families because of their occupation, I was perplexed as to why Gangu did not try to contact her family or flee sooner. There was grief at first, but I thought the switch to the confident version was a little abrupt and without rationale. The scenes preceding and following were all good and well-characterized; it was only the transition between the two that I didn’t fully get.

I can envision what happened, but I believe that adding one or two scenes would have better explained why she felt compelled to remain at the brothel and defend her fellow prostitutes. She is really uncomfortable/scared, especially in the beginning. I wish there was a transition to indicate how their friendship grew so deep that she abandoned her attempts to flee. Anyway, I may have missed that and will have to watch it again.

The sights of prostitute harassment and assault are disturbing. They’re well-made and not overly gory, but they made me feel sick, so be warned.

I know it’s to be expected, but SLB directed the sequences in such a disturbing and horrifying way that, although not being as violent as other combat films, there’s a lot of suffering and misery that may be difficult to hear. I suggest this, especially to theatergoers who frequently watch movies on their phones, because the shift in sound/theater experience heightened those sequences for me, so just be aware if you are sensitive to that sort of stuff.

4. USER REVIEWS – 6/10 – Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

It was a joy to witness Gangubai Kathiawadi at Movietime Starcity Cinema, Matunga’s first-day first show with a gathering of millennials who appeared to be Alia Bhatt admirers following the Omicron wave. Indeed, no home theater system, no matter how powerful, can equal the theatrical experience. These are the types of films that should only be seen in theaters. There’s no denying it!!

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review - 2022 - Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

In any case, the film opens with a close-up image of a young woman getting dressed up for sale. Blood is gushing and spilling from her chin as her nose is violently punctured. This horrifying sequence establishes the tone of the ostensible biography about a real-life Kamathipura madame who was sold into the flesh trade by her suitor and ascended through the ranks to become a mafia queen and political powerhouse in the region.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a brilliant craftsman whose images never fail to captivate. He transforms Mumbai’s Grant Road into a desi Moulin Rouge here. The settings are extremely genuine, and I was especially amazed at how they replicated the Alfred and New Roshan Talkies in that area. Incredibly good work!!

Alia Bhatt’s transformation from the innocent Ganga to the dhandewali Gangu and lastly to Gangubai, the President of Kamathipura, keeps you engrossed throughout the first half. Her journey is well crafted, and I particularly enjoyed her brief relationship with Afsaan, a much younger tailor (Shantanu Maheshwari). The sequence in which she takes a bath in front of him is both seductive and filthy. It reflects Bhansali’s class!!

After the intermission, Gangubai transforms into a long-drawn political play in which she becomes a fighter for women’s rights and advocates for the legalization of the flesh trade. Her much-publicized encounter with then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, on the other hand, appears rushed and poorly edited. The climax is underwhelming.

Even in a cameo appearance, Ajay Devgn inspires cities among the actors. His first walk is really awe-inspiring! Vijay Raaz shines in the supporting role as Gangubai’s rival. Chhaya Kadam, too, left her imprint. Even though his role barely appears in the second half, Jim Sarbh merits particular note.

When it comes to playing a prostitute turned mafia queen, Alia lacks the experience and maturity required. Alia comes across as a school bully when compared to the dazzling Sharmila Tagore in Mausam (1975) or Smita Patil in Mandi (1983). It’s not that she doesn’t make an effort. Her passion and hard effort are evident in each scene, however, the lady does not appear to be convincing as the fiery and feisty Gangubai. This is a textbook instance of bad casting. At some point, that remains the film’s largest!!

All said and endured, Gangubai Kathiawadi still works as a Bhansali film. It may not be his best effort but it definitely, is a cut above the commonplace. Bollywood buffs should watch it. It is a much-needed respite after the dry spell since Christmas!!

 

5. USER REVIEWS – 8/10 – Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

This film’s every shot is like a painting! This film is nothing short of a visual show, from the exquisite framing of certain shots to the great costume and makeup that heighten the humane foregrounds juxtaposed with the gorgeously created backdrops! When you see a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, you are treated to some of the best cinematography, framing, music, costuming, makeup, set design, and aesthetics in the industry, and Gangubai Kathiawadi is no exception.

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review - 2022 - Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

However, if not backed by an equally strong star cast, the hard effort invested into building these characteristics can easily be overlooked by spectators. In the instance of Gangubai Kathiawadi, the star actors expertly balanced that huge weight on their shoulders and ensured that the beautiful settings they were communicated with were given full respect.

Alia has provided a career-best performance that I feel no other actress of her generation could have pulled off with such an uncompromised mix & balance of grandeur, power, gentleness, and charm that an “innocent young girl turned mafia queen” type role would necessitate.

Alia established that this was her show and that she was destined to portray this character, from her exact accent complemented with a clean vocal modulation to the influential mannerism and style she shined in every scene she was a part of! Her dances during the song sequences were so expressively and brilliantly done that they were nothing short of perfection to witness. She spent a lot of time researching, practicing, and honing her skills in order to not only play but really embody the role of Ganguabi.

Alia’s bright presence was well balanced by Vijay Raaz’s hostile act. Seema Bhargava did an outstanding job playing a villain you can’t help but despise. Ajay Devgn provided a reassuring presence, while Shantanu Maheshwari and Jim Sarbh provided excellent romantic and professional backing to Alia’s role.

The story follows Gangubai’s riveting journey from a young girl sold into prostitution by her betraying lover to a powerful but blunt figure of trust and emotion for the people she represents while becoming one of the most illustrious champions of women’s empowerment (particularly in the field of prostitution and how they are perceived and victimized) for them.

We see moments of self-doubt and near-relapses in between, but it is Gangubai’s determination to persevere for a brighter future that propels him to the top. Some may find it overly slow-paced, but the story’s raw and thrilling adventure makes it worthwhile to sit through and enjoy. The music, lyrics, and dancing scenes enhance the already incredible plot. There were a few errors (such as how Gangubai’s sutures to patch her injuries from an abusive rapist were suddenly entirely recovered later in the film), but they did not detract or detract significantly from the overall experience.

6. USER REVIEWS – 8/10 – Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

“Gangubai Kathiawadi” is a gritty biography of Ganga, a chirpy, dreamy, and the loving young girl who was sold for the flesh trade in Bombay, and her transformation into Gangubai, the underground mafia queen who fought tirelessly for the welfare and upliftment of the sex workers’ life in Kamathipura. This Sanjay Leela Bhansali magnum opus is mounted on an artistic, larger-than-life film with sumptuous production values and sterilized studio settings that are a signature of all SLB films, written and partially produced by S. Hussain Zaidi.

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review - 2022 - Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

Ganga had to go through a lot of hardships because she was sold off by someone she thought was faithful at a young age, including violence that rips her apart. However, she stays steadfast in her desire to legitimate prostitution and provides respect to the world’s oldest industry, all while tirelessly fighting for the betterment of the sex workers’ community. She finds backing for her cause in Rahim Lala, Bombay’s then-powerful underground mafia ruler, and an enthusiastic journalist, Fez, who gives her the boost she needs, but she also has her adversaries, including the profession’s society and peer group leaders.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali handles the subject with care, weaving a lyrical fabric around the real-life figure of Gangubai without succumbing to commercialism. Even though the settings are pristine and sterilized, and verbal interactions are kept respectful, the film manages to capture the emotional journey of Gangubai from a young Ganga to the matriarch she became, widely admired by her employees and peers who acknowledged her unselfish efforts.

Unfortunately, the finger-licking conflict between Gangu (Alia Bhatt) and Raziabai (Vijay Raaz) was cut short too soon, and we could have used a bit more of it. Instead, SLB spent a long time representing a love interlude in her adult life that revealed the fragile, soft side of her character, and this component of the film dragged the movie down in the middle. However, no harm has been done!

Alia Bhatt is fantastic in the lead role. She incorporates all of her craft talents into Gangubai’s persona, which is reminiscent of Madhuri Dixit’s previous work. She proves herself as a multidimensional performer capable of taking on a wide range of tough parts. Ajay Devgn is a man of few words, composure, strength, and sophistication. Shantanu Maheshwari is a quiet, polite young man. As a journalist, Jim Sarbh is ideal. But two performances stand out: Vijay Raaz’s Raziabai was fantastic and frightening, and Seema Pahwa’s Sheila Masi was hilarious! This SLB project not only helped convert a topic like prostitution and sex trade into a highly compelling family drama, but it also went the extra mile.

7. USER REVIEWS – 4/10 – Gangubai Kathiawadi Review

There’s a reason I haven’t seen any of SLB’s films since Black. After Black, he began to believe that hiring star youngsters, building larger-than-life grandeur sets, and slamming in loud, mind-numbing background scores with box office records in crores constituted filmmaking. How does a man who created Khamoshi end himself in this situation? I agree that Khamoshi did not perform well at the box office, but the actual SLB is remembered for that film more than these. He abandoned serious filmmaking somewhere and became engrossed with the “Crore Club” hysteria.

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review - 2022 - Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi Review – 2022 – Movie Reviews

Gangubai Kathiawadi, a two-and-a-half-hour-and-a-half-hour-and-a-half-hour-and-a-half-hour-and-a-half-hour-and-a-half-hour-and- It starts at 00.00.01 and concludes at 01.00.00; the rest of the movie is devoted to glorifying the un-glorified. What is Gangubai’s name? How did she end up in the prostitute business? How does she rise above her oppressors to become the red light district’s leader?

Is a plot point that is resolved within the first hour of the movie. Post that you’re aware of what’s coming and how it’ll arrive. Now, as long as it keeps us involved, something that jumps off the page, we can live with the idea that we know what will happen next. But nothing occurs in this flick. Situations are hurled at you with no regard for your feelings. We’re supposed to get goosebumps from the zoom views and close-ups, as well as the booming background soundtrack, but sadly, nothing happens.

Vijay Raaz, Seema Pahwa, and Chayya Kadam are among the actors who have successfully portrayed the character. Characters are meant to stand out in a film like this because of their performances, not because of their looks. Alia Bhatt stands out as a prominent character not because of her acting abilities, but because of her physical attractiveness.

The thick makeup ironed whitewashed sarees, and Alia Bhatt’s overall stance gives the impression that this film is more about presenting Alia Bhatt’s glamour, dancing routines, and cleavage than the actual character and life of the person on whom this film is based. Amalia’s performance is abysmal in comparison to what Imtiaz Ali and Meghna Gulzar did with her in Highway and Raazi. And I say made her’ since she is the daughter of a director. Alia Bhatt is nothing more than a glorified bimbo who continues getting major projects because of daddy’s money without the appropriate director.

Save money and time by not squandering them. Try to resist the impulse and wait for it to appear on OTT if you can.

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