If I asked you to narrate the plot of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, it would just be darn good fun to hear what you'd say. For starters, you will take ample time before offering a concise answer. The answer itself will exhibit what the film actually is - an interesting mess. This isn't because it is badly executed or acted, it's just unevenly scripted. While some dialogues and plot turns showcase true talent and originality, unfortunately, there is always a dead end waiting for it. If there is a single word to describe the film it would be: convoluted.
Post the events of the 2011 film - Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, the situation royale stands thus - Biwi is still an alcoholic but Saheb is now a gamer. No seriously, since he became partially paralyzed he plays video games on his Playstation. No, he doesn't do that throughout the film, thank god. Moving on. Gangster is Indrajeet (Irrfan Khan takes on the baton from Randeep Hooda). He is in love with Ranjhna (Soha Ali Khan), a princess. Saheb decides to be a bigamist and wed the young princess. A few blackmails and double-crosses later it is decided that Indrajeet will kill the Saheb before the union takes place. Cute.
I actively despise indulging in plot details but I do have a specific reason for telling you bits of the premise. Since what we have left of it when the film ends is a haze. All the promises end in betrayal. The boiling drama is all but vapourized. (Minor spoilers ahead) It is hard to make sense out of Indrajeet's trigger-mopey choices. Moreover, how the character of princess Ranjhna winds up at the end is utterly baffling and highly witless. (End of minor spoilers)
On the bright side, Irrfan Khan kicks ass. He not only gets the best dialogues but he seems to be the only one who gets the humor in Tigmanshu's script right. He becomes the writer's mouthpiece. Although for me, the actor who ruled was Jimmy Shergill. If there is an actor who leaves his footprints on this franchise, it is this man. We've seen him in supporting roles, winning praises for his performances. I think it's time to let him stretch out a bit and go for a major role; he's ready for it.
Soha Ali Khan is adequate. Mahie Gill isn't quite. Simply put, she is like a piece of chalk screeching on a blackboard. Good god, her sad-drunk voice is nearly unbearable. The women in this film are tastelessly written, some even cheap. Not to mention, the god-awful item song.
While the untidy plot continues to get increasingly entangled, you can't help but look at your watch. The film is far too long. Clocking in at 2 and a half hours, it feels even longer. It is never about how long a film actually is but how long it feels. The previous film was roughly 1 hour 50 minutes but due to the tight screenplay the runtime was never a point of debate.
In all honesty, I'm not the perfect audience for Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster or its sequel. I didn't love the first film either, it was strictly okay, hardly anything spectacular. (Spectacular would be Abrar Alvi's Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam. That's right). The sequel - Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns is neither good enough nor is it spectacular. Although it does make a case to be both.
Remember those stories about Rajas and Maharajas? The palaces and the treasures, those stories of heroism? I like those. I'm sure the modern day version wouldn't be so childishly idealized but this...? They are petty gangsters? I just don't understand the mix. While I was watching the film, I kept wondering about royalty and class. No, not classy gentry but filmmaking class. That's what Tigmanshu Dhulia's movies don't possess, and I just can't seem to acquire a taste for the lack of it. There is a good movie in there, but what's dug out is a rough stone and a failure to carve and polish it.view less