After an intense tug-of-war between the multiplexes and the OTT platforms, the Shoojit Sircar directed film ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ finally released this Friday on Amazon Prime. Starring Amitabh Bacchan and Ayushman Khuranna, this film made many rosy promises to the Bollywood cinephiles, especially after the trailer was released. Unfortunately, however rosy the trailer might have seemed, the film was more thorns than roses.
Gulabo Sitabo: An Overview
The movie is set in Old Delhi and the story (if you can call it that) revolves around one of the many dusty, dishevelled, historic havelis in these parts. The movie kicks off with scenes of ubiquitous differences and banters among the landlord Mirza (played by Big-B) and his tenants, Bnaake (played by Ayushman Khurrana) and co. But soon third parties get involved in what was an everyday-scene and turn it into a power struggle. The moot point of the storyline is the struggle for annexing the bungalow by the Archaeological Survey of India, some local contractors, and the tenants, with the landlord swinging back and forth between the parties. Towards the end of the movie comes a twist which turns the scenario on its head (no spoilers), and the movie ends with a moral message.
Gulabo Sitabo Review: Brilliant acting in a hodge-podge story
Plot: A three-way power struggle that takes the movie nowhere
In its attempt to punch together the problems faced by India’s old, heritage buildings with the heated, but comical relationship between landlords and tenants, the plot lost its plot. The twist at the end, however surprising, failed to cover the blemishes of its preceding scenes.
Amitabh and Ayushmann: Stars of different eras but actors of similar rich vein
The acting was great. The raisin-like moments of magic produced by Amitabh and Ayushmann in what, otherwise, is an absolute dung-cake (if you would like a reference to a dung cake movie,click here) comes to the movie’s rescue. Had it not been for the brilliant acting skills put on display, no one would have sat through the two hours (even in this lockdown).
The Heavy Message
However disappointing the movie was, the message that it delivered right at the end of the movie earned it a few, elusive brownie points. The message dealt with something that we, millennials, are often guilty of doing in our lives– rushing into making decisions without considering the long-term value of something. The ending should carve it in our minds.
The film is already into the history books for becoming Bollywood’s first ever OTT release, and thank god it was. Paying the exorbitantly high multiplex ticket prices to watch this movie would have been money thrown down the drain.
If the movie got you thinking about the condition of India’s collection of old, larger-than-life, historic mansions, you might love reading the book ‘Mansions at Dusk’, or ‘Abandoned India’.
So that was it from our side. Have you watched Gulabo Sitabo yet? Let us know in the comments section.