Gangubai Kathiawadi Movie Review
Gangubai Kathiawadi depicts the story of a young, Naive Ganga (Alia Bhatt), whose manipulative boyfriend (Varun Kapoor) takes advantage of her desire of becoming a Hindi movie heroine and lures her to Mumbai with him. All of her hopes and goals are dashed in an instant when she learns that her boyfriend has sold her to a brothel madam (Seema Pahwa) for a pittance. Ganga eventually surrenders to her fate and takes the name Gangubai instead of her birth name. She strikes an alliance with criminal Rahim Lala (Ajay Devgn), and thus begins her transformation from a defenceless sex-worker to the most powerful lady to ever live in Mumbai’s red-light area, Kamathipura.
The films of Sanjay Leela Bhansali feature larger-than-life characters. Whatever tale he’s telling and whatever century it’s set in, it has to be visually gorgeous from the start. Bhansali teamed up with Alia Bhatt for his latest directorial Gangubai Kathiawadi, based on Hussain Zaidi’s novel Mafia Queens of Mumbai.
Alia Bhatt plays the main character in Gangubai Kathiawadi, and she is excellent in the role. The actress seamlessly changes from a naive Kaithawad girl to a helpless victim of circumstance forced into the sex trade, and lastly to Kamathipura’s most powerful woman, the mafia queen with underworld ties. In every role, Bhatt excels and gives a performance that will be appreciated for a long time. Brilliant actors like Seema Pahwa and Vijay Raaz also create a lasting impact in the film. With his adorable performance, actor Shantanu Maheshwari, who makes his silver screen debut with the flick, will enchant his way into your hearts.
This movie is filled with a number of outstanding scenes. The sequence where Gangubai travels to visit her ace opponent, trans madam Raziabai, played impeccably by Vijay Raaz, after foiling her efforts to organise a big protest to flaunt her authority ahead of the presidency elections in the red-light district, is one of the film’s standout scenes. Another memorable moment is when she shows up unannounced in a school principal’s office to register children of sex workers. And don’t forget her address at a massive march for sex workers’ rights! The film also contains a barrage of hilarious one-liners that will make you laugh every now and then.
Gangubai Kathiawadi is reminiscent of all the films directed by Bhansali in recent years. The same enormous and nearly identical colour scheme. Also, if the film had focused more on Gangubai’s fight for the rights of her fellow sex-workers, it would have been fantastic. That’s something that’s missing.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t watch Gangubai Kathiawadi. Alia Bhatt may appear to be too young to play a brothel madam at first, but she will amaze you with the seriousness with which she portrays her role to perfection. Visual splendour, deft storytelling, wonderful music, and memorable performances are just a few of the elements that keep you captivated in the movie.