Gulabo Sitabo review:- Amitabh Bachchan shines in an otherwise weak film

Gulabo Sitabo stars Amitabh Bachchan & Ayushmann Khurrana in the lead roles

It's the time when movies are seeing a direct release on OTT platforms since a theatrical release is not possible in any part of the world. Most of the biggies in Hindi cinema are anyhow scheduled to release in theatres before getting a digital release. The likes of Sooryavanshi, Radhe, 83, Laxmi Bomb etc will first be tested at the box office. However, the medium budgeted films are seeing a direct showdown on digital platforms which is proving to be profitable for the producers of those projects. One such film is Gulabo Sitabo directed by Shoojit Sircar who has a history of making class films which sets him apart from all the other directors. The film "Gulabo Sitabo" stars Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role as Mirza and Ayushmann Khurrana as Bankey. Mirza owns a prized possession in form of a very old mansion and Bankey is a tenant in the same who refuses to pay a bigger sum of rent to Mirza and there's a continuous tension between them. The story sees a shift where Mirza is forced to try and sell the mansion while Bankey is on the other side trying his level best with the other tenants to stop Mirza from selling the mansion or get a nice flat in lieu of giving up their respective rooms in the mansion. Let's look at the positives as well as negatives of the film to get a better analysis regarding the whole thing:- 

Positives 

Humorous at times 

Gulabo Sitabo was expected to have those hilarious laugh riots anyway and it does fit up to the billing a few times. The whole tension between Mirza played by Amitabh Bachchan and Bankey played by Ayushmann Khurrana makes up for an interesting first hour of the movie. The other characters get their chance to get the spotlight as well. Shoojit Sircar has made a way of putting out the humour in a very subtle sense. The scenes in his projects happen to make you laugh but the characters are never trying too hard. This is because of the effortless writing which comes on board with this amazingly talented director and they do not miss their trademark moves here. They have been able to dish out the humour quotient incredibly well.

Interesting characterization & performances

This is something you would not see in the films directed by the top directors of the industry. In most of the commercial films, the whole story is about the main lead showing his heroics while other characters are mere puppets in it. Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturvedi have always been able to make each of their characters feel really important. Starting from Vicky Donor itself, they have made each performance look worth watching. Ayushmann Khurrana delivers a very effective performance in Gulabo Sitabo. Some people might argue that it is a performance which is not any different from his previous work but he has played the character to perfection here. Vijay Raaz plays a government officer, Gyanesh Shukla and his performance is easily the strongest from the supporting cast. Along with Vijay Raaz, Farrukh Zafar who plays the wife of Mirza (Amit Ji) is simply terrific in each of the scenes she features in. Brijendra Kala as the lawyer, Srishti as Guido, Nalneesh Neel as Sheikhu needs a mention for their performances too while the other cast members have done their job pretty well too.

Amitabh Bachchan, however, is the scene-stealer here. It's a character which required him to have different mannerisms, dialogue delivery and even a different face. He pulled it off to perfection and never gives even the slightest hint that it is Amitabh Bachchan playing that role. It's the same actor who has given brilliant performances in likes of Black, Paa, Piku but pulling off something like this at the age of 77 proves why he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest actors Indian cinema has ever witnessed. He's terrific with his comic timing and expressions! 

             Negatives


Really slow-paced 

When it is a Shoojit Sircar film, you know it is not going to work at the pace you would like it. Gulabo Sitabo is no different and it might have been better if it was released in theatres. The case with digital platforms is that people have the fast forward option available with them. When they feel a bit uneasy about things, they just skip it. It makes you feel absent regarding the essence of the entire project. In a Shoojit Sircar film, silence has a meaning of its own too. It is about showing the patience and understanding the nuance of the subject. The slow pace is not going to work in favour of the film especially when it is a direct OTT release. This is a major negative for the film as well.

Flat narration 

Now, this is something that I personally have got real problems with, I expected a better narration from Shoojit Sircar. His films usually start on a slow note but after a point, it picks up and it does that beautifully. His last film October started on a very methodical pace but by the end, you picked up many meanings out of it. Gulabo Sitabo starts on the same pitch as it ends, this is one of the major disappointments for me. There were a few giggles in the first 30 minutes or so but afterwards there's hardly anything that makes you laugh. The only saviours from that point on are the performances which seem very genuine all the time. It might go down as the weakest second half in all of Shoojit Sircar films. With a better narration, the characterization would have worked wonders & the film could also get its repeat values which are missing here. 

Depth in characters 

This is something that I analysed after completely watching the movie. Gulabo Sitabo hardly makes you empathetic for any character or root for anyone. Amitabh Bachchan's character "Mirza" gets the most screen time and even after the end of it, you never understood whether he was a right guy or the wrong one. It is sure he was greedy and wouldn't lose a chance to get money from anywhere even if it offered him just a single penny but you will never realize why he was like that or he was always like this, to begin with. Bankey played by Ayushmann Khurrana is fed up of his lower-middle-class life but what else? His love angle did not have any impact on the screen. The only character perfectly was written was Gyanesh Shukla played by Vijay Raaz. His only intention was to prove that the property needs to be sealed. He urged to make it a tourist site at any and all costs. It is important to learn something from the characters in a film made by Shoojit Sircar. So if you're expecting it to be another one of those gems in terms of characterization, you will feel disappointed for sure.

All in all, Gulabo Sitabo is a decent one time watch and it may appeal to its audience too. I for sure think that the movie would have worked way better for its audience if it had been a theatrical release. You will laugh a few times and you might get impressed by the performances as well. But all in all, this film could have been much better had it worked with the trademark Shoojit Sircar formula.

Have you watched the film? Are you looking forward to watching it? Go on and let me know what you feel about the same in the comments below! 

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