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Review: ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’: Alia steals hearts as Gangubai

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Film: ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ (Running in Theatres); Duration: 157 minutes

Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Cast: Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, Huma Qureshi, Seema Pahwa, Vijay Raaz, Jim Sarbh, Chhaya Kadam, Mitali Jagtap, Indira Tiwari, Shantanu Maheshwari

Rating: ****

Auteur Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest oeuvre, ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ is based on the chapter, ‘The Matriarch of Kamatipura’ from the book ‘Mafia Queens of Mumbai – Stories of Women from the Ganglands’ authored by S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges.

This is the compelling story of Ganga Harjivandas Kathiawadi, the daughter of a barrister from Kathiawar, who with stardust in her eyes, ran away from home to become an actress only to find herself sold in the brothel of Kamathipura, a neighbourhood of Mumbai famous for flesh-trade. This film unravels Ganga’s journey from a brothel worker to an activist fighting for the rights of the sex workers. In the film, Ganga calls herself “Ganga Jagjivandas Kathiawadi.”

While Ganga’s story is filled with pain and pathos, the narrative effortless makes the film appear like a sunshine film that motivates. “Gangubai mahaan nahin thi, woh shaitan bhi nahi thi,” and despite this, Bhansali brilliantly manages to portray her as a larger-than-life character, and you empathise with her when she puts forth her point of view regarding the women of her tribe.

The film is loaded with admirable performances from its ace star cast.

The film is an outright Alia Bhatt’s canvas where she delivers a flawless performance showcasing a gamut of emotions and her dancing skills with aplomb. She steals the show on several counts, be it while speaking to her mother over the phone, or headbutting with Raziabai (Vijay Raaz) the eunuch who is standing for the local elections, or flirting with the apprentice tailor Afshan Razak (Shantanu Maheshwari), or dancing during the Navratri celebrations where she delivers complex steps to an intense song in a seamlessly one lengthy shot.

It is impossible to take your eyes off Ajay Devgn who, in a significantly minor role as the principled mafia don Rahimlala is intense and intimidating all at the same time. Seema Pahwa, who as Sheelamaasi, the madam of the brothel, is fascinating. Similarly, Vijay Raaz as the eunuch Raziabai is enthralling, and Shantanu Maheshwari as Gangubai’s love interest Afshan Razak is charming.

Unfortunately, Huma Qureshi in a stage performance is wasted.

This engaging biopic contains all the tropes of a typical SLB film. Bhansali astutely manages to put his inimitable stamp into every frame of the film, which appears like poetry on the screen, emotionally expressive and attractive. The screenplay is water-tight and engaging, keeping you riveted to the screen for over two and a half hours. The dialogues full of wit and hard-hitting messages are fresh and worth mentioning. Sample this, when Razia challenges Gangubai before the election campaign, Gangubai tells her, “Tuje kyon tevar dikhaongi mein tuje din main tare dikhaongi.”

Mounted with brilliant production qualities the film is visually captivating with well-etched characters, resplendent sets, and period costumes. While the timelines in the film are ambiguous and blurred, it nevertheless captures the period from the mid-1950s to the 1960s, with film posters from that era, prominent among them being ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ and ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand.’

The music, as usual, is exceptional but a bit low-key compared to SBL’s previous films. Two songs cater to the Garba audience, and they are both fabulously choreographed and picturised.

Overall, ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi,’ is worth watching on the big screen.

Bollywood

Stree 3 CONFIRMED! Dinesh Vijan Says ‘Script Is Already Written’, Announces Another Horror-Comedy Dhaama

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Stree 3 CONFIRMED! Dinesh Vijan Says 'Script Is Already Written', Announces Another Horror-Comedy Dhaama

The makers have released the trailer of Stree 2 on Thursday, July 18. The film stars Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Abhishek Banerjee and Pankaj Tripathi in pivotal roles. During the trailer launch of Stree 2, producer Dinesh Vijan confirmed the Part 3 of the film, and their another horror-comedy film titled Dhaama.

Maddock’s Supernatural Universe began with Stree in 2018. It starred Rajkummar and Shraddha in the lead roles. After its success, the makers came up with the horror-comedy Stree 2 and are now all set for Stree 3. Dinesh said, “The script of Stree 3 is already written and we’ll soon start shooting the film. We also have a film called ‘Dhaama’ in the horror-comedy universe.”

The makers have now raised the excitement among fans with Stree 3.

Stree 3 promises to bring out the eerie folklore while maintaining the comedic elements that made the first and second films a hit. However, the script is been locked, and the cast is yet to be announced.

The announcement will surely create a buzz on social media, with fans eagerly speculating about the plot and potential surprises. Talking about Stree 2, it is directed by Amar Kaushik, and produced by Dinesh Vijan’s Maddock Films.

The film is all set to release in theaters on on Independence Day, August 15. It will be facing a clash with Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film Khel Khel Mein, which stars Vaani Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, and Taapsee Pannu in the lead roles.

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Bollywood

Ulajh Trailer: Janhvi Kapoor Impresses As IFS Officer, Fights Being Called A Nepo Kid & ‘Desh Drohi’

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Ulajh Trailer: Janhvi Kapoor Impresses As IFS Officer, Fights Being Called A Nepo Kid & 'Desh Drohi'

The much-anticipated trailer of Janhvi Kapoor’s upcoming film Uljah has been unveiled today, July 16. It also stars Gulshan Devaiah, Roshan Mathew, Rajesh Tailang, and Meiyang Chang in pivotal roles.

Sharing the trailer, Janhvi wrote, “Everyone has a story. Every story has secrets. Every secret is a trap. Iss #Ulajh ko suljhana is not going to be easy. #UlajhTrailer out now.”

The trailer shows the journey of Janhvi as Suhana Bhatia, the youngest Deputy High Commissioner of the country, gets accused of being a ‘nepo’ kid. She gets embroiled in a dangerous personal conspiracy while far from her home turf, at a career-defining post at the London embassy.

Talking about Ulajh, Janhvi said, “This film is particularly special to me as I portray a very challenging role of a diplomat for the first time. It has been a humbling and fascinating experience. Working with Sudhanshu Saria has been incredibly enriching; he made me push my own boundaries. Suhana’s character is strong and multi-dimensional, and I found a personal connection to some shades of the character that enabled me to deliver an authentic performance.”

Director Sudhanshu Saria added, “Ulajh is ultimately about the conundrum of choices,choices and setting it in the high stakes world of international diplomacy made it that much more exciting. Directing this spectacular cast, led by Janhvi, Gulshan, and Roshan has been a privilege and they have all brought remarkable depth to their characters and elevated the narrative. I can’t wait to see audiences go on this thrill-ride loaded with twists and turns.”

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Bollywood

‘Shock Laga Ki Itna Logon Ko Interest Hai’: Vijay Varma On How His Relation With Girlfriend Tamannaah Overshadow His Film Release

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'Shock Laga Ki Itna Logon Ko Interest Hai': Vijay Varma On How His Relation With Girlfriend Tamannaah Overshadow His Film Release

B-Town’s much-loved couple Vijay Varma and Tamannaah Bhatia are are always spotted supporting each other at press screenings, parties and events.

Vijay and Tamannaah are head over heels in love and their love story says it all. Recently, Vijay spoke about his relationship with Tamannaah Bhatia. The Mirzapur star said that fans are often excited to know about his love life updates. The Jaane Jaan actor finds it surprising that his relationship grabbed the attention and overshadowed his film release at times.

Here’s What He Has To Say


Vijay feels it’s new for him, but he has loved being in the spotlight, speaking to Mashabale India he said, Shock laga ki itna logon ko interest hai is mein but I got used to it now. Pehle aisa laga ki meri film release se badi news hai so that was a big revealing of how people see things. (I used to be shocked by how much interest there was in our relationship. Initially, I felt that it was bigger news than my film being released).” He expressed that he has a ‘strong and lovely’ relationship with Tamannah and both of them love public attention.


He also shared a story of how their path collided and he found the love of his life. He lauded Tamannaah’s fluency in Telugu and Tamil languages. “Ek hi, time par hum log cross hue ek doosre se (We crossed our paths at the same time). So mujhe bahot interesting lagta hai hum dono ka (I find our relationship quite interesting),” he stated.

Vijay And Tamannaah’s Love Story

The couple met on the sets of Lust Stories 2 and their love story took off from there. Vijay had shared in the past that he had invited Tamannaah to show’s wrap-up party, which was attended by only four individuals.

Upcoming Work


On the work front, Vijay is riding high on the success of his latest release Mirzapur 2. He will be next in Suriya 43, and Ul Jalool Ishq. On the other hand, Tamannaah will be next in Vedaa with John Abraham, Sharvari, and Abhishek Banerjee, and Odela 2 with Hebah Patel, and Vasishta N. Simha. She will also have a special appearance in a song for Stree 2.

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