Posted on March 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Bollywood What's Happenin'

Film Review: Gulaab Gang!

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Cast: Madhuri Dixit & Juhi Chawla

Director: Soumik Sen

Producer: Anubhav Sinha

Genre: Drama/Action

Rating: 3.5/5

The wisdom that lies behind one’s knowledge of wanting to create a social change through the empowerment of women, is a cause that deserves a film to be made upon. And undoubtedly, Soumik Sen has gone above & beyond in articulately expressing the importance of a woman and the way women are mistreated in today’s society, through his exceptional vision of Gulaab Gang.

It is a story which revolves around the central theme of struggling woman in India. However, unlike any other male dominated script, this film is based upon two sections of society, where Sumitra  Devi (Juhi Chawla) who plays an outright corrupt politician, does everything to ensure that her wrong means of governance can intimidate the actions of any other party in the village district. Until, she encounters the mighty and fearless Gulaab Gang which is headed by Rajjo (Madhuri Dixit), who believes in empowering the cause of women, and is willing to do anything within the means of non-corrupt acts, to ensure the safety, security & rights of woman in the village. When Sumitra Devi becomes aware of Rajjo’s willpower to succeed over her, she decides to make several attempts at using her tactics to convince Rajjo to join politics, which Rajjo denies the offer, as she is well aware of Sumitra’s ulterior motives. After a series of physical and aggressive confrontations, the end outcome of the progression of events, results in the victory of good triumphing over evil.

This being his directorial debut, Soumik Sen conveys a very clear perception of what differentiates the characters from the primary subject of the film. His artistic sense of presenting conflict between his characters, is a skill that most directors would fail to match like the way he’s conveyed it in the film. Sen has a powerful sense of scenic creativity which blends in beautifully with the script. Though there were moments of excessive background detail, he does complete justice to the end outcome of what he intended to showcase.

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The charm of Madhuri Dixit’s onscreen presence is too flawless for words to describe. However, her role in this film is unlike her past performances. She showcases the rural & rough, yet dignified persona of Rajjo, very effortlessly. It was special to see her implementing distinctive detail in her body language, as she holds a place of her own during some of the powerful scenes with Juhi Chawla. Sen does a brilliant job by focusing on the dynamism of both the characters, by allowing their natural ability to shine through. What was most pleasing and impressive to see is, she remained in character for the entire progression, as there wasn’t a single moment of Madhuri Dixit the ‘superstar’ in the film. Hence, her consistency is likely to be applauded by critics in the coming weeks to follow.

If there is one role of Juhi Chawla that she could look back and be proud of, it would be this one. Her every look, dialogue, gesture, tone and characteristic, stands out powerfully throughout the film. Her attempt to take a rather challenging role impressed me to the extent, that she makes you want to hate her for the negativity that her character symbolizes. Chawla being more popularly known for her famous romantic and comedy roles in the past, has allowed her to push the envelope, through her scintillating performance in Gulaab Gang. Juhi Chawla has an amazing ability to use her unconventional mannerisms to her advantage. And that quality of hers as an actor, stood out once again whilst showcasing Sumitra Devi. Such a performance made me realize that there are good actors and there are gifted actors. Juhi Chawla is exceptionally gifted.

Every film is made with the intention of putting together a masterpiece through performances, that convey an impactful, yet realistic and shockingly eye-opening message. Gulaab Gang is the portrayal of a story that does everything right in making you want to appreciate, value & honour the presence of women in our society today, because it is the soul and the ability of a woman, that makes the existence of mankind worth living.

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