Gulaab Gang Movie Review: All About Madhuri And Juhi
The animation sequence at the beginning of the film sets the stage for Gulaab Gang. While the expectation is pretty much set that this is going to be a dramatic outing with action interspersing the narrative, you know as an audience that what follows next would be in line with what the promos of this Anubhav Sinha backed film had suggested.
The film comes to the point straight away with the introduction of Gulaab Gang. It is a different world out there and though one can sense Madhuri Dixit's presence for a while, she is unveiled - well, literally, in a well set scene at a government office. Her modus operandi being well established, you know that 'Rod is God' in the dictionary of Madhuri and her gang members. If there is no resolution in sight with 'baat', the gang resorts to laat and laathi, which time and again pays.
Of course at times you do wonder if it is actually that simple for Rajjo [Madhuri] and her gang to be unchallenged, considering the number of people around her that turn into her enemies. Her gang maims people, takes on cops, walk away insulting politicians, kicks goons, challenges administrations and yet, is more often than not unscathed despite no help whatsoever from anyone, be it an insider or an outsider.
However, this could well be a cinematic liberty taken by first time director Soumik Sen who basically focuses the film on three pointers - Education for women, their empowerment and the power game. With Madhuri's character being shown as supporter for anyone who can ensure the first two (she is even willing to support politicians for that), when it comes to the third, she even takes on the reigning politician (Juhi Chawla) heads on.
It is this very factor that leads to some good confrontations that ensure that Gulaab Gang has many moments where you actually sit up and take notice of what proceeds on screen. Right from the introduction scene of Juhi where she doesn't spare a cop who refuses to touch her feet, the veteran actress is projected as an opportunist politician who believes in being friends with ‘time’ than real people. At times one is disgusted with her while at other times you are simply amused with the manner in which plays her game.
This is the reason why whenever she and Madhuri come face to face, there is good spark on screen. (Spoilers ahead) Whether it is the scene at a politician's house where Juhi offers compensation for a rape victim, Madhuri's response that follows, the crowd reactions when both come out of the house, the conversation between the two at Juhi's home, the scene at the inauguration at a school where both share stage, the 'holi' sequence - you can't look away from screen once Madhuri and Juhi come together.
In fact there are certain standalone scenes as well where Juhi is just flawless. Her insulting of a fellow politician who tries to barge into her home, the one where her party workers gather at the office, her general gyan about politics - one really hates Juhi for what she portrays on screen and that is the win indeed for the actress who gets it so perfectly right.
On the other hand Madhuri is as flawless as ever and though one wishes that her character could have been all the more powerful, calculating and scheming (at times you feel she is a little too simple to be taking on the oppressors), she does well on what is presented to her on paper. Yes, you do feel though that some of the dance numbers could have been placed better or curtailed. For instance, while there is simmering tension at the electricity office at the film's beginning, she breaks into a dance number. Later, despite being aware of a danger lurking ahead, she breaks into a dance on 'Holi'.
Moreover, even though it was required to showcase the humane side of her gang members, one does feel that extended focus on supporting gang members. Though Priyanka Bose is still balanced, Divya Jagdale tends to go overboard at number of places. The one who keeps it all balanced is Tannishtha Chatterjee who is especially good when she slaps her husband.
Ultimately though, what one takes home the performances of Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla. Well intentioned with some good dramatic encounters, Gulaab Gang offers a different story with good entertainment.
Release Date : 07 March 2014
Producer : Anubhav Sinha
Director : Soumik Sen
Genre : Action , Drama , Social