This is one of those 'exception to the rule' films, which still gets
rated as an essential watch despite being just average and having many
major glitches in its execution to put it honestly. So getting over
with its weaker points first, the film's basic plot is now widely known
to all after the recent controversy over its title and the court case
filed by the original Gulaabi Gang's leader Smt. Sampat Pal. A well
made documentary on the amazing social work by this famous women group
was released just a few days back. And though the film is not entirely
based on the real life facts, still it is quite evident from where the
idea has been borrowed for its basic theme.
Directed by Soumik Sen, GULAAB GANG is a sheer commercial adaptation of
a serious mission wherein the women power is shown in full force with
some well directed confrontation and action sequences along with many
punchy dialogues. But since the director also had the knowledge of
music, so to display it loudly he goes on adding numerous average as
well as not-required songs in his narration right from the first few
minutes to the last. Also including a clearly forced HOLI song in the
final moments, in which Madhuri starts singing and dancing right after
a pretty serious sequence in an utterly silly manner. So mainly due to
this worst feature of the film (i.e. the songs), GULAAB GANG fails to
make that desired impact which could have easily been achieved with
just a theme song being played repeatedly.
The film begins at a very lazy pace coming to the point after a long
introduction and the entertaining tension actually commences, once Juhi
Chawla enters the scene with her cunning smile. Later it keeps moving
as a bumpy ride with some worth applauding high points coming after
regular intervals. However many routine seen before sequences hamper
its overall pace post the intermission and then the all hurried up,
illogical climax ruins the entire build up quite badly.
So then why I am still interested in recommending the film for all the
Hindi cinema lovers willing to see something great? The reason is that
yes GULAAB GANG turns out to be a clear masala interpretation of a
relevant theme as expected, yet it gives you something unique and
entertaining in few of its well conceived sequences focusing on the
powerful clashes between the two veterans i.e. Juhi Chawla and Madhuri
Dixit, executed like never before. Its indeed a treat to watch the
stunning Madhuri walking with her solid attitude in slow motion along
with the pumping music playing at the back. Plus the pleasantly
shocking Juhi replying to Madhuri's every move with just a playful,
teasing smile like a typical shrewd politician.
In fact here I would like to admit that though the project was widely
promoted as a Madhuri Dixit film in its entire promotional campaign and
print advertisements. But in reality its Juhi Chawla who makes a more
killer impact in her first ever role of a vamp unarguably. Hence as an
exciting surprise, here we have the beautiful Juhi in a completely new
negative avatar played real well, offering a lot more than the viewer's
expectations from the talented actress. In other words, where Madhuri's
decent attempt struggles to make an instant connect due to her mixed
language (accent) or all meaningless songs (dances), there Juhi takes
the full advantage of this unintentional flaw and emerges as a clear
winner in this on screen contest evidently.
Now if truth be told then the only person responsible for this visible
imbalance in the two key portrayals is the music composer residing
inside the body of the director only, who forced him to put so many
songs & dance numbers into the film, which actually weakened the entire
aura around Madhuri's strong character of a revolting lady ultimately.
In other words, if only this film was made with just a theme song and
stressing more upon the balanced depiction of both the clashing
characters thoughtfully, it would have surely become a gem of a
trendsetter in all possibilities, as it seems.
Technically speaking, GG has a splendid camera-work complementing the
enjoyable actions sequences of the film superbly and one really keeps
waiting for all the tension filled scenes of Madhuri-Juhi together,
eagerly. The novelty of a woman standing against another evil woman,
moving away from the routine stuff keeps the interest alive and its
truly a treat to watch only for these specific scenes alone as
mentioned before. In the supporting acts, Divya Jagdale performs a bit
over the top in a forceful mode but both Priyanka Bose and Tannishtha
Chatterjee are wonderfully natural. All the men featuring in their
various negative roles are fine, especially the one playing the local
politician forced to face the cruel humiliation.
In short, do give GULAAB GANG a chance, especially for the two veterans
clashing with each other like never before and I am sure you would not
regret the decision made, celebrating this year's Women's Day with
Madhuri and Juhi together.
After watching the film on the first day of its release, I was eager
to read the reviews. But i was shocked to learn that critics have rated
this film as average to poor. If you watch a film wearing magnifying
glasses you will surely find errors in every film. But this film, which
is made with such conviction surely deserved better reviews. The
highlight of the film is its star cast. Juhi Chawla is excellent as the
evil politician. She brings so much life into the diabolic character
that you get goosebumps whenever you see her on screen. Juhi is totally
believable as as a malignant and immoral lady. Madhuri too has acted
well, but something was lacking in her characterization , due to which
this does not make one of her memorable performances. Rest of the cast
is also good. The actresses who played madhuri's associates have
delivered a great act. Despite having no male lead actors, the film is
thoroughly entertaining. It is thrilling to watch the confrontation
between Madhuri & Juhi. I wish the critics had set aside their double
standards and watched the film from audience's perspective. This film
is far better than multi million grossing films which i feel are making
fool out of the audiences.
By showing women empowerment as a solution to thwart the patriarchal
anarchy prevalent in some (many) parts of the country. Based in Uttar
Pradesh, Gulaab Gang goes on to talk boldly about the times of the
original Gulaab gang, a vigilante group concerned with achieving
righteousness through violence.
The plot conveys quite a good message, two of which can be absorbed:
one, that women power is the need of the hour to help the oppressed &
two, that even women can get corrupted by power. Madhuri Dixit's
portrayal does a greater impact on-screen, while I am disappointed with
Juhi Chawla who decided to flash her white pearls throughout the film
defining a stupid air as a minister.
While the action sequences are good enough to entertain, the writing is
flawed. It only shows the moments of culmination. What about the
terrible lives they themselves lead? No insight into the inside story
of the gang members. Showing just two instances of a rather
unbelievable side-story troubled me.
But, I'm not complaining. The writers also had few good ideas that is
visible; the dialogs are bold but Bollywood still hasn't learned to
edit their songs properly. What, 4 or 5 songs? That is too much. I
could get bored, but the fast-paced story-line kept me hooked.
BOTTOM LINE: A watchable crime drama, showing relatively new
characters, and at least snubs the age old fashion of having a male
lead protagonist. It works.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NO
Violence: Very Critical | Alcohol/Smoking: Very Strong | Nudity: Very
Mild | Gore: Mild