Gangubai Kathiawadi’s real story: Gangubai kathiawadi release date, Alia Bhatt brings this Sanjay Leela Bhansali spectacle to life in Gangubai Kathiawadi. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest film, Gangubai Kathiawadi, is the kind of old-fashioned dialogue-heavy, a sentiment-on-sleeve film that Bollywood is forgetting how to make.
Gangubai Kathiawadi real story
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi is about women from the world’s oldest profession plying their trade and fighting for justice in Bombay’s Kamathipura during Nehruvian times. The period drama, on the other hand, is meticulously crafted for effect rather than factual accuracy. Even though it runs a little over two and a half hours, the result is an immersive film that does not feel overly stretched.
As is customary for the writer-director, he abandons the grimy, granular, journalistic view of the lives depicted in the book on which the film is based (Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories of Women from the Ganglands) in favor of a grandiose, melodramatic patina for the exploits of the titular heroine, who transforms herself from a grievously wronged girl to an intrepid activist for the rights of.
With some trepidation, one approaches Alia Bhatt’s casting as an assertive matriarch of 4000 prostitutes fighting for survival in a world where lust trumps love at all hours of the day and night, but the actress dispels all doubts with a brilliantly lively performance that grows steadily on the audience.
We don’t need to be concerned about the actress’ physical resemblance to Gangubai because she was most likely a footnote in the annals of Bombay’s underworld and the general public had no idea what she looked like. What matters is that Alia Bhatt, with the power of a phenomenal star turn, brings the real-life protagonist to life so vividly that all doubts fade away.
The songs playing in the background and the movie posters (Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Jahazi Lutera) on the walls of Kamathipura and the cinema hall that serves the neighborhood reflect the period.
Ignore the fact that when an Urdu journalist shows Gangubai a copy of his magazine, what we see is an English-language publication or the fact that all the children born in Gangubai’s brothel appear to be female. These are minor annoyances in a cinematic essay with larger ambitions than those minor niggles.
To conjure up a vision of the rapid metamorphosis of a well-off Kathiawad barrister’s teenage daughter and Dev Anand fan who travels to Mumbai with her lover Ramnik (Varun Kapoor) with dreams of making it as a movie actress but is sold to a brothel run by a domineering Sheila Bai, Bhansali uses broad and evocative brushstrokes (Seema Pahwa)
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She screams for assistance, but it is in vain. The brothel madam does everything she can to soften Ganga up and ease her into work she despises, but the experienced woman sees right through Ganga’s innocence and recognizes that she is not to be trifled with. She transforms into Gangu and then Gangubai Kathiawadi, Kamathipura’s undisputed queen.
The visually lavish character study is both sweeping and intimate, more baroque than 1950s Bombay. Gangubai Kathiawadi takes shape as a compelling tale of one woman’s individuality, tenacity, and meteoric ascent to power, with the help of relentless drama riding on several well-mounted sequences, which, of course, is Bhansali’s proven forte, and an unwavering empathy for a lot of the women who are sold for a song and forced to make a living in a hellhole from which there is no escape.
Production designers Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray, as well as director of photography Sudeep Chatterjee, are able allies for Bhansali, who edited Gangubai Kathiawadi and composed the film’s songs. The film creates an atmosphere that, despite being consciously crafted, draws us in and makes us believe the story. It does so through a combination of fadeouts and fade-ins, as well as contrasts between Gangubai’s benighted world and the white sari she wears.
Gangubai Kathiawadi review
Gangubai tells a couple of zealous photographers who click away with their blinding flashbulbs on as she prepares to address a gathering on behalf of her maligned sorority, Itni roshni ki aadat nahi hai humein (We are not accustomed to so much brightness). She has made it her life’s work to dispel the darkness that pervades the lives of women like her. Gangubai Kathiawadi is a deeply felt account of an endeavor that perseveres in the face of adversity. Anything less than a larger-than-life scale would be incompatible with the film’s essential dynamics.
The technicians work well together to deliver just in a saga that starts out as a coming-of-age drama. It develops into a rousing account of a tough-as-nails woman who faces off against several whimsical brothel madams (including one played by Chhaya Kadam), a transgender rival (Vijay Raaz) in the election for Kamathipura president, and a school that petitions the authorities against the brothels in the lanes and bylanes behind it over the next 150 minutes.
Rahim Lala, a mafia don played by Ajay Devgn, has an extended cameo. When the chips are down for Gangubai and the women she represents, Jim Sarbh makes an appearance as an Urdu journalist who takes up cudgels for her. Rahul Vohra appears in a single scene.
Gangubai Kathiawadi Death
In Delhi, Gangubai is given an audience by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Gangubai is smitten by Shantanu Maheshwari, a young tailor. In the brothel, Indira Tiwari plays Kamli, Gangubai’s best friend and confidante. Despite the limited scope of their roles in the film, they all make an impression.
The powerful dialogues in a couple of scenes stand out (Prakash Kapadia and Utkarshini Vashishtha). Alia Bhatt’s Gangubai goes head to head with Vijay Raaz’s Razia Bai in an Irani cafe where she and her friends go for the bheja fry and nalli nihari. It makes a crackling sound.
The other is an impromptu speech given by Gangubai at an Azad Maidan rally for women’s empowerment. It not only captures the essence of Gangubai Kathiawadi with exceptional clarity and power, but it also allows Alia Bhatt to reach her full potential and end the film on a high note.