A delightful little movie with deeply etched characters and premises!!
Gulabo Sitabo is the Shoojit Sircar-Juhi Chaturvedi combo’s third outing after the success of Piku and October. After hearing about the film, like many, I was also wondering what does the title Gulabo Sitabo mean. Google says, It is a traditional glove puppetry from Uttar Pradesh, where the artist tells a story through two puppet heroines, Gulabo and Sitabo. Sitabo is the worn out spouse while Gulabo is the dazzling lover of the same man. Our story is set in Lucknow and revolves around an old mansion. Here, Gulabo and Sitabo are Mirza, a greedy landlord who wants to evict the tenants from his haveli by any means and the shrewd and cunning Baankey, one of the tenants who even finds excuses not to pay a rent of just Rs.30.
If it was the ancestral home in Kolkata for Bhashkor Banerjee in Piku, it is the haveli ‘Fathima Mahal’ for Mirza here as the priced possession. The haveli in question is almost a 100 years old and it is the ancestral property of Mirza’s wife, Fathima Begum. Mirza is waiting for her death to become the sole owner of the property, while Baankey and the other tenants are not prepared to move out so easily as they have been living there for many years. Fight between them escalates to a new level when the mansion gets the attention of an archaeology inspector. He assures the tenants LIG flats, so the tenants including Baankey takes his side for archaeological acquisition of the property. Mirza meanwhile goes to a lawyer to somehow evict the tenants. The fight for the haveli goes on until begum teaches them a priceless life lesson.
The whole fight for the mansion is narrated with lots of hilarious situations and funny exchanges between the characters, especially Mizra and Baankey constantly outwitting each other. The dialogues and quirky one-liners written by Juhi Chaturvedi were the backbone of the story. As the dialogues and the slang were in original Lucknow native-language, it was a little difficult for me to register at times and had to take that extra effort in understanding. The characters and the premises were designed with great perfection by Shoojit Sircar and the visuals were captured so brilliantly that the declining heritage of Lucknow and the lives of regular folks were right in front of our eyes. The background score played well with the visuals and the songs were equal to it.
Amitabh Bachan associates with Shoojit Sircar yet again and delivers another stunning performance. Even though he had to wear a lot of prosthetic to become Mirza, the actors eyes and body language along with his powerful voice helped him make the role his own. Ayushmann Khuranna once again shows his skill in selecting a movie and it is getting better each time. He was flawless as Baankey as the actor brings suttle variations in showing shrewdness, anger, helplessness, and awkwardness so brilliantly. There were other outstanding performers on show as well. Srishti Srivastava as Guddo, Vijay Raaza as the archaeology officer, Brijendra Kala as the lawyer and Farrukh Jaffer as Fathima Begum have all given remarkable contributions to the final output. The wit, and the timing shown by each of these actors have given some moments of genuine laghter.
Gulabo Sitabo excels in almost all fronts and is a delightful little movie with deeply etched characters and premises.
Language : Hindi